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The problem of designing simple and energy-efficient sensor nodes in a wireless sensor network is considered from a joint source-channel coding perspective. An algorithm for designing distributed scalar quantizers for orthogonal channels is proposed and evaluated. In particular the cases of the binary symmetric channel as well as the additive white Gaussian noise channel are studied. It is demonstrated that correlation between sources can be useful in order to reduce quantization distortion as well as protecting data when being transmitted over non- ideal channels. It is also demonstrated that the obtained system is robust against channel SNR mismatch.