Recently the people at Logos Electromechanical have announced their new product – the Zigduino.
The Zigduino is an Arduino-compatible microcontroller platform that integrates an 802.15.4 radio on the board. The radio can be configured to support any 802.15.4-based protocol, including ZigBee, Route Under MAC/6LoWPAN, and RF4CE. It uses a reverse polarity SMA connector (RP-SMA) for an external antenna. This allows the user to use nearly any existing 2.4 GHz antenna with it. The Zigduino runs on 3.3V, but all I/O pins are 5V compatible.
Pictured below is a production Zigduino kit with all components:
Thankfully all that SMD word is done for you. The only soldering required is the aerial socket, Arduino headers and the DC socket. All the components shown in the image above are included with purchase. The Zigduino specifications include (from the website):
|Input Voltage (recommended)||7-18V|
|Input Voltage (maximum)||6-30V (transients to -20V and +60V)|
|Digital I/O Pins||14 + 3 auxiliary|
|PWM Output Pins||6|
|Analog Input Pins||6 (0-1.8V)|
|I/O Protection||±30V transient|
|-2.5V to +5.8V continuous|
|DC Current per I/O Pin||20 mA|
|DC Current for 5V Pin||250 mA|
|DC Current for 3.3V Pin||200 mA|
|Flash Memory||128 KB of which 2 KB is used by the bootloader|
|Clock Speed||16 MHz|
|RF transmit power||+3.5 dBm|
|Receiver sensitivity||-100 dB|
|Antenna gain||2 dBi|
|Current Draw||30 mA (transmitting, USB, no I/O connections)|
|15 mA (transmitting, no USB, no I/O connections)|
|6 mA (radio off, no USB, no I/O connections)|
|250 μA (sleep)|
- Compatible with any shield that supports 3.3V logic
- Compatible with existing Arduino libraries that do not use hard-coded pin definitions
- Compatible with Arduino IDE with updated compiler, avr-gcc-4.3.3 or later.
- Ported bootloader and Arduino core libraries, on Github.
- IEEE 802.15.4 MAC, from Atmel
- ZMAC, a compatibility layer to allow the use of Atmel’s MAC from inside the Arduino environment, from ManiacBug
- BitCloud, Atmel’s ZigBee PRO implementation
The Zigduino can be powered through the USB connection or with an external power supply. The power source with the highest voltage is selected automatically.
External power can be supplied via a wall wart or a battery. It can be connected with a 2.1mm center-positive plug inserted into the power jack. Alternately, external power can be connected through the GND and VIN pins of the POWER header.
The board will operate correctly on an input voltage between 6V and 30V. It will survive transients as large as -20V or +60V. However, higher supply voltages may cause excessive heat dissipation at higher current draws. The input voltage regulator has integral overtemperature protection, so you can’t permanently damage the board this way. However, the board may not work correctly under these circumstances.
The power pins are as follows:
- VIN — The input voltage to the Arduino board when it is running from external power, i.e. not USB bus power.
- 5V — The regulated 5V used to power 5V components on the board and external 5V shields. It comes either from the USB or from the VIN via the 5V regulator. Maximum current draw is 250 mA.
- 3V3 — The regulated 3.3V supply that powers the microcontroller. It is derived from the 5V bus via a second regulator. Maximum current draw is 200 mA.
- GND — Ground pins.
The ATmega128RFA1 has 128 KB of flash memory, of which 2 KB is occupied by the bootloader. It also has 16 KB of SRAM (the most of any Arduino-compatible board) and 4 KB of EEPROM, which can be accessed through the EEPROM library.
Input and Output
Each of the 14 digital pins of the Zigduino can be used as an input or output, using pinMode(), digitalWrite(), and digitalRead(). Each pin operates at 3.3V and can source or sink 10 mA. Each also has an internal pullup, which is disabled by default. Each pin is protected against ±30V spikes and can tolerate continuous 5V input.
The six analog input pins, labeled A0 – A5, are likewise protected against ±30V spikes and can tolerate continuous 5V input. Each provides 10 bits of resolution and measures 0 – 1.8V. It is possible to change to a lower top voltage through use of the AREF pin and the analogReference() function.
A key design goal of the Zigduino is maintaining compatibility with existing shields to the greatest extent possible. The ATmega128RFA1’s peripherals are arranged slightly differently than the corresponding peripherals on the ATmega328 used in the stock Arduino. Therefore, in order to provide the desired shield compatibility, there are three solder jumpers provided on the back of the board. They function as follows:
- Digital pin 11 can be set as either SPI MOSI or a PWM output. Neither option is selected as shipped. SPI MOSI is also available on the SPI connector at all times along with SCK and MISO.
- Analog pin 4 can be set as either A4 or I2C SDA. Neither option is selected as shipped. Both I2C pins are available on the I2C connector.
- Analog pin 5 can be set as either A4 or I2C SCL. Neither option is selected as shipped. Both I2C pins are available on the I2C connector.
The following additional special functions are available:
- Serial: 0 (RX) and 1 (TX) — Used to transmit and receive TTL serial data. These pins are connected to the corresponding pins on the FTDI USB interface chip.
- PWM: 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, and 11 — Provides 8-bit PWM output with the analogWrite() function. Pin 11 must be selected for PWM operation with the solder jumper on the back of the board.
- SPI: 11 (MOSI), 12 (MISO), 13 (SCK) — These pins support SPI communications using the SPI library. Pin 11 must be selected for SPI operation with the solder jumper on the back, or SPI must be accessed with the SPI connector.
- LED: 13 — This is the built-in LED on digital pin 13. When the pin is high, the LED is on.
- External Interrupts: 2, 3, 6, and 7 — These pins can be configured to trigger and interrupt on a low value, high value, or an edge. See the attachInterrupt() function for details. The two I2C pins can also be used as interrupts.
- I2C: A4 (SDA) and A5 (SCL) — These pins support I2C communications using the Wire library. They must be selected for I2C operation with the jumpers on the back or I2C must be accessed through the I2C connector. They can also be configured as interrupts.
This is one very capable Arduino-compatible board and sure to find many uses. For updates and new ideas consider following the Logos Electromechanical blog page. Furthermore associated Zigduino files can be found on Github.
So if you are looking to expand into the world of personal-area networks, Zigbee wireless and so on – you could do very well by considering a Zigduino or two. For more information, questions, support, and to purchase visit the product website, Seeed Studio or lipoly.de.
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