Getting the vest computers set up was not such a big deal. Radio had to be programmed and then the Arduino had to be programmed. Much of the reprogramming happened on the Arduino and since I had the programming pins exposed it was pretty easy to cycle through a bunch at a time.
Things got really complicated once we added Leo’s network and wanted to interchage the vests. The Arduinos were programmed to talk to a predetermined coordinator (hard coded fixed address). Also, I couldn’t easily play with baud rates (which is what I think is hurting range).
I fixed this by introducing a new class that manages the configuration of the XBee PAN id and baud rate. You program a desired rate and PAN and the computer will negotiate with the XBee to make it happen (and then make it persist). Seems to be working pretty well. I’ve been dreading needing to reprogram everyones’ vests and this makes it half as hard. Also, reconfiguring on the fly is now a possibility because I could potentially send a reconfiguration command. On network reboot we could be running on a different baud rate, different PAN id or both!