By roger on Apr 23, 2009
We have some pretty exciting new features planned for upcoming Red (V5.0) release of the Sun SPOT software environment. In particular I'm really pleased with some of the improvements in the radio stack. We have improved the performance of the system over multiple hops significantly. One of the main difficulties of programming these distributed wireless devices is that it is often debugging communications. The current development release of the Sun SPOT Java Development Kit includes a new Solarium view called RadioVIew. It shows the current state of the network of Sun SPOT devices.
The RadioView is built into Solarium and allows you to see the topology of your radio-space. What deivces can "hear" each other and what ones can't. This can help debug some of those nasty mutihop radio bugs and aid you in tracking down dead points in your radio space. Additionally, you can get information about each node and each link from the view to see what the signal strength is like for any particular link.
How to try it out for yourself
Since our development is completely open, you can take a sneak peek at some of these features now as we develop them. First make sure that you have installed the Sun SPOT Java Development Kit. In the SPOT Manager Tool, select "Dev Preview" under the "Preferences" tab of SPOT Manager.
Once you have selected "Dev Preview" return to the SDK tab and you will find all the developer releases under "Available SDKs." Install the latest red-XXXXXX release. Then upgrade your Sun SPOT devices. Remember, its an unstable developer build, but any time you run into too many bugs you can always revert back to your previous version of the SDK.
Once you are up and running, open Solarium and create a RadioView under the "Views" menu. It takes a few seconds for it to interrogate the network, but once you see your devices there, click around to get information about what is happening.
Also, don't forget that, as with any other Solarium view, Radio View can be "docked" to other Solarium views or made into an independent window simply by clicking and dragging on the area just below the titlebar of the window.