creating my own smart hub/gateway with zigbee smart outlet and Xbee ZB SMT

I am creating my own smart home energy monitoring system for plug in devices for a senior design project that can send alerts to the user and report different types of energy usage etc… i am going to be using a few arduinos and shields, xbees, usb dongles etc. The goal is to connect a GE Zigbee smart outlet, that calculates enegry consumption data, to an xbee transceiver (just purchased the Xbee ZB SMT product from digi) that is plugged into an arduino board. the data is transmitted from the outlet to the arduino. THe arduino may either send it to an online server ((mySQL) or something (figure out that when i get that far) for data manipulation/storage) or send it to another arduino through zigbee (and then to the online database). I have xctu already and plan to configure the xbee like so:

any comments/advice would be great.

The relatively easy part is configuring the XBee so that the GE ZigBee Smart Outlet can join. Once that is done you have the have to code all of the ZigBee protocol messages (ZDO/ZCL) to communicate with the outlet.

One point in your favor is that you’re only concerned with interop to the single device so you can probably get away with a lot of assumptions (not performing ZDO discovery to determine what endpoint you are talking with, etc). Hard-code a lot of details rather than making a general purpose application.

If you haven’t already, go to There will be links to register and download the various specifications. There are three specifications that matter for you, the core ZigBee, ZCL (Zigbee Cluster Library, and HA (Home Automation). Each specification builds on the previous.

You’re also going to want to invest in a ZigBee sniffer for your own sanity. You might look into something like ( I’m not sure on their current licensing costs, probably more than you would like but might be worth to contact if they have special student licenses or could cut you a deal. They also have a trial.

As an alternate path you could use one of the Digi gateways like That doesn’t come built-in with ZCL support but you can throw on the application from to get it. Handles all of the ZDO/ZCL communication and provides a high-level RPC interface that you can script on top of in Python.

is there a specified baud rate for home automation or am i free to choose. i assume 9600 is standard but i think i saw someone use 115200. which should i configure my xbees as

Baud rate selection is only for the serial UART interface. Faster baud rates will result in better performance A 100-byte frame at 9600 baud will be ~104ms but only ~8.7ms at 115200.

There is an over-the-air baud rate for the wireless tranceiver but that is fixed and compatible with other HA devices.