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One can obtain information about a region by deploying a network of sensor nodes there. Since remotely deployed nodes are usually powered by batteries, an energy-efficient data gathering scheme is needed to prolong the lifetime of the sensor network. We proposed a novel scheme for periodic data gathering but evaluated it only in simulation experiments assuming ideal environments. In this paper, we evaluated the scheme experimentally in small networks consisting of commercial, off-the-shelf wireless sensor units. We also developed mechanisms to solve problems due to the instability of radio communications and demonstrated the effectiveness of these mechanisms experimentally. We confirmed that energy-efficient data gathering can be implemented by using our proposed scheme with several improvements and that synchronization can be established and maintained under unstable and changing conditions.