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The theory of network coding is hardly ever used and cannot be mapped to general wireless sensor network (WSN) topologies without careful consideration of technology constraints. Severe energy constraints and low bandwidth are faced by platforms of low computational power. We show how network coding methods can be implemented with low computational power. We discuss extensive experimentation in simulation of scalability for arbitrarily large networks. It is configured according to the results from mote hardware measurements. The testbed implementation and the mote software implementation is kept completely generic. All phases, including the initialization, are implemented and work for mesh networks of any size without modification. Our work explains important considerations for applying network coding to WSNs. The gain from applying the method over ad-hoc on-demand (AODV) like routing closely approaches the optimum value of 2. Thereby WSN resource constraints are relaxed and network lifetime is prolonged.