Tarts Wireless Sensors

I’ve done some searching on the forums and haven’t found any mention of Tarts Wireless Sensors. Anyone playing with them? They are pretty much all the hardware needed for a killer wireless sensor network. Relatively cheap, industry tested sensors, hub, library - all that’s needed is a photon/electron! Home automation/security?

I’ve messed with Arduino library a little bit, but not enough to fully port, not sure I’m capable enough to actually do it, anyway! Willing to spend some time on it, willing to spend some $ on sensors, wouldn’t mind working with others interested in getting them to work…


Interesting, but probably of limited interest in our community.
You can buy the basic Tarts gateway for $30, and connect to it via AT commands, but alternatively you can use $4 NRF transmitter to accomplish the same thing on a Photon. and use $5 Arduinos as sensors with NRF’s as radios, with much more flexibility.
For ‘Lego Block’ easy to assemble systems they seem OK, but for production and hobby uses they seem expensive and limited.

Tarts is actually just the “maker division” of Monnit.

They haven’t really gotten much traction at all in the open source maker community. Unlikely you’re gonna see a lot of folks building stuff on their devices. Sorry :confused:

While the same thing may be accomplished cheaper ($9 + $5 + sensor = cheaper?), I would say that there’s an awful lot of work and learning curve to assemble a reliable sensor node that will work for a year or two on a coin cell battery. Considering there are 22 different types of sensors, they seem like a jump start that many people might need to get a project going. I’m a little puzzled why this hardware seems so outlandish to a community that vehemently fosters novices. I guess I’ll fight through porting the library, as I can think of a couple of projects around the house that would otherwise go undone. Will be a good lesson in porting, even if I don’t get the lesson in building my own motes…

More like $1.60 for a pro mini, $0.70 for an NRF24L01, and some amount for a sensor of choice. So $2.30+sensor = cheaper, for sure. That might not make too much of a difference for one device, but most certainly for 10 or more. Not to mention the fact that that one $2.30 may be hooked up to multiple sensors, again saving you lots, both in cost as well as space and maintenance.

A coincell might be ambitious, but it also depends on the interval at which you read your sensor. Once a day VS once an hour make a big difference. Running several sensors on double A batteries is very much doable though, for prolonged periods of times. Again, this is dependent of the interval, but a year should be possible.
As far as that learning curve goes, there’s another community quite actively involved in making sensor networks out of these things. You can find them over at mysensors.org.

They’ve [mysensors] got about 24 sensors, with guides and example code, for much less of the prices Tarts offers. Also, since you’re building it yourself, it’s fully customizable, you’re in full control, and you decide what to spend money on. 10 sensors on one node? Sure, that’s $2.30 + your sensors, as opposed to 10*sensor. Depending on where you get them, that alone should easily save you over a hindered bucks, if not more.

Personally I think price. Let’s say I wanted to read temperature/humidity at a single spot. Say we use photons on the receiving end for both at $19.
With Tarts, I’d have to place two sensors, $25 and $40 next to each other, and a base station ($30) to receive it somewhere. That’s about $95.
Doing this with the NRFs, this would need a pro mini ($1.60), two Radios (2*$0.70) and a sensor. Lets take the DHT22 since it combines both Temperature and humidity. They can be had for around $3. That comes down to $6 total. Admitting that the DHT22 isn’t the most accurate, let’s say we use a fancier sensor at $12, which would get us to $15 total.
That would still get me 6 DIY sensors for the same price, or less. Depending on what you want to measure, and how many sensors you need at every location, this can add up extremely quickly. So the versatility, as well as the cost would make the DIY solution much more attractive to me. The sensors/code/hardware used are well understood, and very much supported, whereas I find that doubtful with the Tarts devices.

Just my two cents :slight_smile:

@Moors7, that was an extremely helpful response. I’d never stumbled upon mysensors.org, seems very comprehensive, and certainly helps with the learning curve to accomplish the same tasks as the prepackaged Tarts. Thanks for taking the time to break this down.