Kick Start: ZigBee modules


I have a project that I want to implement using the ZigBee standard. After reading a lot of information on the web, I’m a bit confused on what parts I need and how to connect them. Coordinators, Gateways, End points, etc… The attached image shows what I want to do. What I want to know is what type of module I need in each part of my network. I will then order a kit and read on it. For now, I’ve seen so much different kits with different names and features that I don’t know where to start.

I want a standard ZigBee network, not an optimized proprietary network. So, based on what I read on this site, if I correctly understand, I need a ZigBee mesh and not a Digimesh.

In my network, module will never communicate directly with each other. They will all communicate with the server (using the coordinator?), and the server will then communicate back some commands to ZigBee modules.

Thanks for your help!

ZigBee requires one Coordinator to setup the ZigBee network. This Coordinator can be a ZigBee module or adapter loaded with Coordinator firmware or one of our ConnectPort X gateways, it all depends on what you want to do with your data. If you want pre-processing of the data, a ConnectPort X ZB gateway running a python script to collect your data (such as the iDigi Dia) will do just that.

As for your switches, sensors, relay box, and dimmer, these can be either Routers or End Devices. A router would be mains powered, whereas an End Device is typically battery powered and therefore configured to sleep for a period, wakeup and take a sample then go back to sleep to conserve its battery life. Additional routers (such as the Digi Wall Router ZB) may be required to extend your network to cover a greater area, since 2.4 GHz doesn’t have a very long range.

You are correct that if you want a ZigBee network, you’ll want to use our ZigBee mesh (ZB) modules rather than DigiMesh. If using our ZB modules with other-manufacturer ZigBee devices, you’ll want to set your Digi ZB module stack profile to ZS=2 for ZigBee Pro featureset compatibility.

Thank you for these informations.

So I’m gonna get a serial gateway to connect to my server and a router ZB module for each switches and relay boxes, because they will all be connected to main power. In this configuration, no module will be out of range since any module will be able to create a path to the others. It’s what routers are made for if I correctly understand.

For the communication with the modules, in my configuration, all modules will send or receive commands from or to the server through the gateway (coordinator). The only thing I’ll have to read about is how the modules are identified since the server will need to know every of them to send direct commands or to know who’s talking. Is the ID/name management included in the ZigBee stack of it’s something I’ll need to handle in my programs?

And you’re talking about Python. Does it mean that there’s a Python interpreter on each Digi modules to use the I/O ports? So I’ll only have to write a Python program on the module’s flash memory to handle communication events?

Thanks a lot for your help!