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Zigbee based I/O system using XBee modules
#11
I get my radios from Sparfun. I use two methods of connecting to a PC. One is the USB Explorer board and the other is a serial Arduino with the chip removed and an Xbee shield.
Recovering (quasi) ex-professional integrator...wait...scratch that. I'm back in the field and should probably have my head examined...
HAI, UPB, Parasound, Global Cache GC100 and IR learner, DatalogDB, Barix Barionet (I need to buy another one of these!), Weather, RFID, Logic Server
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#12
well, I have the first version working. I can send digital input and analog input data to CQC from the XBee board and I can have CQC send digital on/off's to control the LED's on the XBee board.
I'll clean it up, test it on multiple boards next week and then post the .001 version
Embedded micro-controller design and Controller Area Network interfaces at http://www.zanthic.com
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#13
Right on. You mentioned earlier that you were using a breakout board of your design. One, is there any part of your board that is necessary to your driver? Two, can you elaborate on why your design may be easier to work with (other than my assumption that you have added easier termination of sensors) than, say, a USB explorer or empty Arduino board? Are you using point to point or mesh? In other words, how many devices will the driver handle?
Recovering (quasi) ex-professional integrator...wait...scratch that. I'm back in the field and should probably have my head examined...
HAI, UPB, Parasound, Global Cache GC100 and IR learner, DatalogDB, Barix Barionet (I need to buy another one of these!), Weather, RFID, Logic Server
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#14
my program can be used with any XBee board, provided that it has the correct version of the ZB firmware. I haven't actually used my breakout boards yet, I am just using the test boards from Digi. I order circuit boards every week or two and I normally have extra corners to throw small boards on so that's what I did but there is nothing special about them. They have a 3.3v regulator and connection for power and a small prototype area, that's it. I can post the gerbers if anybody wants to make their own but I suspect it is easier to just buy them from somewhere.

I'm using the mesh firmware so it can handle a number of devices but what the maximum will be I am not sure. I can't see there being a problem for some reasonable number and you program each board as to how often you want it to send data so you could always make each board send every few seconds if you had to. My test board is sending once every second right now.
Embedded micro-controller design and Controller Area Network interfaces at http://www.zanthic.com
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#15
Thinking on a slightly different plane at the moment, do you expect that this will work with the Zigbee Pro standard, and allow for communcaitions with some of the new Lock Devices, etc been released which are designed for HA with Zigbee Por?
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#16
There are two considerations, transport of the data and the application layer that explains how to communicate with a device, like a lock. In terms of transport, any ZigBee stack device is completely interoperable with any ZigBee Pro stack device, and vise versa. Both are just different "flavors" of the ZigBee 2007 standard. This, however, doesn't in itself guarantee you can speak to a lock. This is the application layer.

In order for any ZigBee OR ZigBee Pro device to communicate with any "ZigBee Home Automation" device like a lock, both sides must also support the ZigBee Home Automation Profile. The new certified locks do.

ZigBee OR ZigBee Pro just provides the communications to the lock, but it doesn't specify how to talk to a lock. The ZigBee Home Automation profile does that. Just like if you buy a Ethernet printer. It not only has to talk Ethernet, but you also need a driver to tell your computer how to speak to the printer in its language. Without that driver, good luck communicating with that printer, even if both are connected together with Ethernet.
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#17
Another thread brought up a nice possibility, which is a really nice hard buttoned remote that has the ability to configure the buttons to send out a text string, a la the RTI RP6. A Zigbee remote control of that sort would be pretty cool for CQC and various other things. That would make it easily usable via our generic ASCII trigger driver. And it would be far easier to configure and more reliable probably than an IR remote, and also 'roamable' as well.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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#18
Just today actually, the ZigBee Alliance released the complete spec for RF4CE. RF4CE specifies how ZigBee remotes and ZigBee TVs/Receivers/etc. communicate.

The spec is here:
http://www.zigbee.org/Products/DownloadT...fault.aspx

I still haven't gotten a response back from my ZigBee friend at Freescale on if a RF4CE remote can communicate to a ZigBee lightswitch and then back to the PC, of if the PC has to communicate directly with the RF4CE device? I think its the latter. (RF4CE devices support the ZigBee radio, but NOT the ZigBee stack or Mesh Networking. RF4CE is JUST point-to-point.)
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#19
damian.flynn Wrote:Thinking on a slightly different plane at the moment, do you expect that this will work with the Zigbee Pro standard, and allow for communcaitions with some of the new Lock Devices, etc been released which are designed for HA with Zigbee Por?

no, it won't. What the XBee module is doing is that it has a built in mode that is providing simple I/O control over the module (you can configure it to automatically send data every n seconds and you can also have it power down in between sending data) This feature is built into the XBee firmware and uses their own simple protocol riding on top of the Zigbee stack.

This means that it can be used as a simple Zigbee I/O system and that is all it will ever be, but, having said that, it does provide some experience that can be applied to future systems such as a Zigbee Pro connection to CQC but I suspect that would look completely different than this.
Embedded micro-controller design and Controller Area Network interfaces at http://www.zanthic.com
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#20
Thanks - Understand the concepts here, and i think for the disussion the directions need to be very obivous. we need to get a Zigbee PRO device which supports the HA profile, premtting us to gave a very cost effective gateway to the new emerging world of zigbee pro devices which will proliferate.

that product would also need to be supported with inexpensive zigbee pro repeaters to get coverage fixed for projects which would only have a few devices but far eonough apart to introduce coverage issues.
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