Signal Fish Tutorial: ZigBee networks

Version 6

    ZigBee networks

    There are few important concepts to understand about wireless networks before getting your XBee modules set up. There are three main types of network devices used for forming a ZigBee wireless network:

    1. Coordinator
    2. Router
    3. End device


    There are several types of networks you can create using the ZigBee protocol. We will be building the simplest type, a pair network. This type of network requires only two devices, called nodes.


    Every ZigBee network needs one (and only one) device defined as a coordinator. A coordinator device can be considered the “brains” of a ZigBee network. It’s responsible for things like forming the actual network, security, management, and device address assignment, among other things.


    A device that is defined as a router acts as a messenger between devices to pass information. It is similar to a network router you would find in a home office. A network can have multiple routers, thus increasing the physical reach of the network.


    An end device is a simpler version of a router, in that it essentially sends and receives data. Due to simplicity, it needs a router or a coordinator synced as its parent device.


    Let’s say you have several end devices that have a long physical distance between each other. You can use a router to relay the data across the rest of the network. You can even have a network without a router, and use a coordinator to communicate to nodes that are within range.

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    < Wireless communication using XBeeXBee configuration >

    Part 1: XBee configuration
    Part 2: Rig construction
    Part 3: Circuit