A new Zigbee starter kit from Kanda.com is a complete hardware and software package that makes it easy to get started with Zigbee networks. Zigbee is ideal for home automation or industrial control applications.
Zigbee is one of the newer wireless technologies and it is ideal for home automation or industrial control and monitoring networks. As well as USB and serial ZigBee interfaces, Kanda supply embedded ZigBee modules so you can add ZigBee wireless interfaces to your product or equipment. There is a new Zigbee Starter Kit from Kanda.com to let your design-in these embedded ZigBee modules without effort.
Zigbee is just one of the available wireless protocols, which include Bluetooth, WiFi, WiMax and WiMedia. All have advantages and disadvantages that make them suitable for different applications. Bluetooth, for example, is perfect for creating ad-hoc networks with mobile phones, while WiMedia is aimed at transferring large amounts of information over short distances, such as video . Zigbee has a different purpose and is designed for static networks with lots of devices and low data rates, which fits the home automation or industrial control and monitoring scenario.
Zigbee networks have the following advantages - low cost modules and sensors, long-battery-life (months to years), and large sensor networks (with up to 65,000 nodes). It also has high levels of security (128-bit AES) to prevent wireless tampering and eavesdropping, great reliability to ensure that data packets are received plus a reasonable range for the sensors and actuators in the system, typically 10m plus but this can easily be extended with different antennas..
These features make Zigbee perfect for use in industrial control and monitoring, home automation and energy management or similar applications. ZigBee networks have one controller (the Coordinator) and up to 65000 nodes than can be intermediate Routers or low power End Points. The ZigBee network can be configured as a star or mesh network so it can include peer to peer communication or a multi-node mesh networking. This means that new modes can be easily added to extend the network, act as repeaters, or to provide an alternative path for redundancy.
The Kanda.com starter kit includes a motherboard, three Zigbee modules, antenna and lead, USB cable and software. The board has a USB connector for connection to a PC and an external interface for connection to a microcontroller serial port. Code is included for PC communications and for an AVR microcontroller, in C.
This Zigbee starter kit is a cost-effective way of learning how to create your own network that can be easily expanded to wireless enable a range of off-the-shelf sensors, such as thermostats, for a wide variety of applications from industrial control to home automation.
Kanda are manufacturers and distributors of tools for electronic engineers and trainers. Products include microcontroller and PLD training kits, programmers, cables and embedded modules. PC interfaces for CAN Bus, Bluetooth, USB and ZigBee wireless.
Issued by: Kanda on 28 August 2007.
Tel: +44 (0)1974 261 273