Introducing Wi-Fi with
the PIC 32-bit Micro
By Tom Kibalo
We’re going to introduce
Wi-Fi applications by
using the Roving
Networks RN-XV Wi-Fi
module and the PIC 32-bit
(Experimenter for short).
Our focus will be on Wi-Fi
that can be useful for
remote Wi-Fi sensors. The
RN-XV is a self-contained
Wi-Fi module, with lots of
capability and — better yet
— it is fairly inexpensive.
The module interfaces to the
Experimenter through a serial UART
interface for both command and data
transfer. The RN-XV does most of the
heavy lifting for the Wi-Fi
communications, leaving the
Experimenter to focus on applications.
Figure 1. The 32-bit Experimenter with Wi-Fi.
Back in the December 2012 issue, we introduced an Experimenter RF carrier board for use with the XBee to
help in developing wireless sensor networks. The good
news here is that the Roving Networks RN-XV fits the form
and function of the XBee de-facto standard. This makes
our RN-XV integration to the Experimenter straightforward
when using the RF carrier board.
We will examine two configurations of the 32-bit
40 March 2013
Experimenter for use with the RN-XV, then a stand-alone
battery powered configuration (without the Experimenter).
These examples should provide many good ideas on ways
to use the RN-XV in your own designs.
The first configuration is designated as the “evaluation
mode.” It’s the best setup to get your feet wet. You simply
plug the RN-XV into the Experimenter (using the RF carrier
board), and then hook up the Experimenter via its USB to
your PC for direct control. The second configuration is
“stand-alone mode” which has no direct hookup to your
PC, but still uses the Experimenter. This is closer to how
you may actually use the RN-XV for a full capability
The final configuration is “remote battery stand-alone”
which does not use the Experimenter. It runs the RN-XV
off a battery as a limited function remote Wi-Fi sensor. We
will also introduce some new software tools, and work
through several exercises and setups with these
configurations. All the code is available for download at
the article link. All software tools are free and available
from the designated vendor websites.