Before the RFarmer

A project log for NANDfarm => RFarmer

Small, easy to use, cheap ZigBee developement board for the internet of things.

radu-constantinRadu Constantin 07/23/2014 at 16:380 Comments

Before my ideea for the NANDfarm and the RFarmer; before via stithcing and impedance matching, there was The Base.

A few months ago (March?) a client asked me if I could build him a set of wireless interconected devices that can be controlled by a tablet. The ideea was nothing new. There are a lot of readily available boards/modules/chips avalilable on the market to do just this. The only problem was to find the right one. So I started looking into some readily available modules and settled on the ATMEL ATZB-24-A2 ZigBit module. It's small, it has an ATmega1281 inside and best of all it has an antenna.  

After several hours in Eagle I fired up the CNC for drilling, heated the ferochloride shower and I was ready to start the production. I ended up making 3 main boards for the tests and a small USB-to-ZigBit dongle for the tablet. The main device looks something like this:

Aside for the passive components and the ZigBit module, I also used a Microchip MCP73871 Single Cell Battery Management Circuit and a FT230 for the serial communication. Usually I make my own boards because it's much faster than sending them to the fab. For this I use the CNC and the ferichloride shower available at a nearby FabLab.

All in all it turned out to be a very nice project so far. Now it's time to commence the programming.

Unfortnately, this is a work in progress, and I can not yet give the schematics or the BOM but I can happily answer all your questions. When other info is available, I will post it here.