I’d like to hook up some sensors to monitor temperature, and energy consumption in my home and I’ve been looking for the cheap options. One possibility is the JeeNode kits, which are available in the US from Modern Devices for $22.50.
The US JeeNode combines an 8-bit Atmega328 microcontroller, with a ISM-band 915 Mhz, or 433 MHz radio along with 4 analog or digital I/O ports and misc supporting circuitry. There are a variety of I/O modules available as well. If I understand correctly, the JeeNode is compatible with the Arduino ecosystem, so there is a lot of code and hardware expertise to be tapped.
The JeeNode seems like a great option if you want your sensor nodes to have a bit of intelligence. It is cheaper than the combination of some other Arduino plus an XBee wireless shield. For my purposes though, an XBee alone may be good enough, since it has enough “intelligence” to be programmed to send readings from its sensor pins back to home-base on a regular interval, or when an interrupt is generated.