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Zigbee Networks – PIC Xbee project

Hello again,
Long time no see huh! Well I was pretty busy with many many things. I hope I can find more time to write more posts here. Today we are going to talk about PIC Zigbee projects.

Last year I was working on a PIC project that needed wireless communication and I made a little research on the internet where I came across ZigBee networks. Zigbee specification is ideal for low power applications. It is actually an offspring of the IEEE 802.15.4-2003 standard which is aiming low power wireless communications.

ZigBee is betting on the fact that it is less expensive than the well established Bluetooth and uses lower power. The trade-off of that is the much lower (compared to Bluetooth) transmission rate of data. Therefore the two are not actually the same but they have a common region of the low bandwidth projects. Projects that don’t require too much bandwidth can now be created easier and more cheap by using ZigBee network instead of Bluetooth.

ZigBee (as most of the rest of the gang) uses the free RF frequencies so you don’t need to worry about licences or anything. It also comes in different versions for power regulation for USA and Europe.

Another important part is that ZigBee supports mesh topology which is great for some modern applications like wireless sensors networks. It also supports security wireless security but more on that on a later post.

Manufacturers are seeing the potential of ZigBee and we already have some pretty attractive ZigBee modules to use in our projects. One that I also used is called Xbee and it is manufactured by Digi. It has some very nice features it is quite easy to interface to a PIC.

I don’t want to get to any more details in this post. I just wanted to give you a heads up and introduce you to ZigBee and Xbee. In the future I am planning to show you some more detailed information on how to interface it on a PIC micro. I am planning a Xbee PIC project soon…

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  1. mehdi M
    November 22nd, 2010 at 10:04 | #1

    i am working on a simple zigbee project with pic,and i want to use a zigbee modoule but i dont know which modoule i have to choose.
    please if have any info help me in that.

  2. psychoul
    November 22nd, 2010 at 19:08 | #2

    Hi there mehdi,

    This is the module you need Xbee – Zigbee module

    If you need more help, post here in the comments

  3. aiman
    November 15th, 2011 at 20:11 | #3

    hello psychoul,

    im a final year student. im really interest to use zigbee with pic. i also open the Xbee-Zigbee module that you posted before but im still not sure which module should i buy. What is the different between Programmable XBee-PRO ZB Dev Kit and ZigBee RF Module Development Kit ? The “programmable” words means that we program the PIC connection to Xbee or program Xbee itself?

    please help me with that…

    thanks in advance

  4. psychoul
    November 15th, 2011 at 21:30 | #4

    Hi there aiman,
    Well it depends on what your project is about. If you just want wireless communications on your project, to exchange data I don’t think you need the dev kit. You need to buy:
    (1) XBee Modules – I would go with the XBee Pro series 2 (ZB) module. Not the dev kit (something like this)
    (2) an XBee Explorer circuit so you can program your XBees
    (3) and the USB cable to connect the Explorer 🙂

    Oh, and if you are planning on using any breadboard or prototyping board then you will need these pins as the pin distances of the xbee module wont be compatible

    As I told you, it really depends on you application.
    Hope this helps.

  5. aiman
    November 18th, 2011 at 15:03 | #5


    i’ll try to take a look of that first…

    really appreciate that..

  6. aiman
    November 18th, 2011 at 15:16 | #6

    my project like this:

    i made voice recognition for home automation( on/off light, fan etc)…

    so what i want to do is:

    1. microphone(amplified) circuit will be connect to the PIC+zigbee circuit(a)
    2. zigbee(a) transmit data wireless to other zigbee+pic circuit(b)
    3. the transmitter zigbee circuit(b) process the data
    4. action execute.

    so i just need xbee pro series 2(ZB) module to do that right?


  7. psychoul
    November 18th, 2011 at 15:57 | #7

    Exactly. Just get what I mentioned in the comment above. I am planning to write a post sometime soon that will describe the easiest way to establish a 2-way connection between two XBees. Check back in a couple of weeks or use the RSS to get notified.

    If you need any help on the process let me know.

  8. aiman
    November 20th, 2011 at 11:05 | #8

    excuse me

    do u have any messenger?? YM or MSN?? email me your id so i can ask u about my project later.


  9. psychoul
    November 21st, 2011 at 08:48 | #9

    I would prefer you write here so others can benefit from our discussion. You could contact me in person as well through the ‘Contact Me’ page

  10. woot
    February 6th, 2013 at 09:27 | #10

    im using pic16f877a and a zigbee pro series 2 and a proton programmer both for tx and rx can you help me in programming my pic so i can send serial output and input in both zigbee as a signal is sent from the tx the rx pic’s led wont light

  11. khalidkhan
    April 3rd, 2013 at 18:14 | #11

    Hello !
    Im doing my final year project on “Wirekess sensor network based Climate station”. I want to interface my sensors with a pic microcontroller to get the data and on the other hand needa zigbee sensor system which can send the data from microcontroller to my pc where i can make a log of those data from different sensors. can any1 help me in any aspect ?????

  12. Biplav
    May 27th, 2014 at 17:09 | #12

    hey there, i have brought my xbee s2 modules. I have configured them. Now remains interfacing with pic16f877a. How do i interface?can i directly connect the RX and tx of pic with dout and din of xbee,plus biasing the xbee with 3.3 volt? or do i need some special circuitry?please help me. Thanks in advance

  13. psychoul
    May 27th, 2014 at 21:32 | #13

    Hi Biplav. If you use 3.3V to power the PIC then you don’t need anything else. Just connect TX/RX pairs and it should work.

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