A Free and Open Replacement for Wireless LAN
That's it we have done it! if you have followed the series of post "We will put wireless on NanoNote" (I) & (II) , you will be happy to know that we have finish to produce the first batch of atben/atusb boards to enable wireless communication between Ben NanoNote and whatever thing running Linux and having a USB host. In spite of there is work to be be done yet on the software stack The driver level code for 802.15.4 has been demo'd. A production test program is working which verifies that a board is not severly compromised. There are a small number of programs to send and receive data. However, there's still a lot to do in order to have a useable 6LoWpan stack but at least now we have hardware available to develop on it :)
You have them available right now on the Tuxbrain's shop, more info inside the post
atusb is a wireless IEEE 802.15.4 sender/receiver operating in the 2.4 GHz band that provides IEEE 802.15.4 connectivity via USB. It has an AVR(r) microcontroller with 32 kB flash memory (currently 10 kB used) and works at USB(tm) Full-Speed. Firmware currently only supports Linux
atben is a wireless IEEE 802.15.4 sender/receiver operating in the 2.4 GHz band, designed to give the Ben NanoNote short-range wireless connectivity. Plugs into the Ben's 8:10 card slot. This is not an SDIO(tm) device and will only work in products specifically supporting it.
General technical specifications:
- Transmit power up to 3 dBm (2 mW)
- Built-in antenna
- Standard data rate 250 kbps (non-standard and with reduced range, up to 2 Mbps)
- Typical indoors distance between sender/receiver 10 m
- Linux drivers, hardware design, firmware, and test software are all Open Source are available under Free licenses (GPLv2+, LGPLv2.1+, CC-BY-SA 3.0)
- Note: IEEE 802.15.4 is not compatible with WiFi(tm) or BlueTooth(tm). You need a pair of IEEE 802.15.4 devices for communication.
Tuxbrain produce the atben y atusb to enchance NanoNote with 802.15.4 WPAN wireless capabilities.
Werner Almesberger , has already reported comunication between two Ben Nanonotes using the stack of linux-zigbee project.
A clarification wireless is not WI FI , on Qi Hardware we don't go a step forward if is not towards freedom, and sadly there is no real free hardware alternative on 802.11(Wi-Fi) yet, so we decide to desing and produce a total copyleft hardware for 802.15.4 (Wireless Personal Area Network WPAN) for protocols based on it like 6LoWPAN or Zigbee, from our part we will focus on 6LoWPAN due is protocol open, free and under the standards of the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force)
I will quote Wolfwang's words on the qi-hardware announcements mailing list about this:
Qi-Hardware, the community that brought us the Ben NanoNote handheld computer, have just released their next piece of all-out free and open hardware: the AtBEN+AtUSB wireless dongles. Aiming for a solution that works without proprietary firmware blobs, WLAN compatibility was abandoned. Instead the project went for simpler, yet more open 6LoWPAN technology.
Both atben and atusb are now available at Tuxbrain :)
AtBEN 29,50 EUR
AtBEN-AtUSB Combo 59,00 EUR
AtUSB 41,30 EUR
For more information about Ben WPAN, see the homepage at
Cheers Werner Almesberger and Tuxbrain for getting things this far!
Now we have the chance to join...
The prices are with Spanish EU VAT included (costumers out of EU or with a valid VAT ID outside Spain have to remove of the 18% of taxes)
If you think to buy +10 units please email us to we can arrange the price a little bit :)
As Wolfgang sais on the WIKI page http://en.qi-hardware.com/wiki/Ben_WPAN we will centralize both technical and production documentation, let us some time to arrange all this that we have now dispersed in the mailing list and in our personal mails. Meanwhile enjoy with real wireless freedom :)