Zigbee project creation and addressing

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Zigbee project creation and addressing

Postby Dams » Tue May 06, 2014 10:02 am

Hi all,

I'm a student in a French (I apologize for my bad english, hoping you will understand) school of electronics, and four coworkers and I have a project about Zigbee home automation. As we have chosen our subject ourself, teachers cannot help us.

Our project is to create a "mother board" (based on a Raspberry PI) commendable with an android smartphone or a web page. With this motherboard, we create two "daughter boards", very simple in a first time : just a button actioned by the user and a daughter board controlling a on/off lamp. The motherboard and daughter boards communicate in a Zigbee Network. In this network, the motherboard is the coordinator. First we will do only end devices.

As this project is about Home automation, we have chosen Zigbee Home automation as our profile. Furthermore, we use Xbee Modules.

We have some issues with addressing and network creation. For the moment, we do not have written any code, it's only "paper work".
The first issue we have is about PAN ID. In the Zigbee Home automation documentation, Startup parameters precise PAN ID = 0xFFFF and ExtentedPAN ID = 0x0000000000000000. But this is the only place in the document where PAN ID is mentioned. Moreover, there is no PAN ID in ZCL or ZDO frames. How does a device in the network know that this frame is for him and not for a neighbor network?

Then, I have read somewhere that the 16-bit address can be changed. For instance, the startup parameters precise Short Address = 0xFFFF, so, it will be changed (by the coordinator probably ?) ... we do not have found any function for re-adressing this 16-bit address in the Zigbee Specification (but we don't have read the 600 pages at this moment). Could you help us and explain how it works ?

thank you for having read these questions and for your answers
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Re: Zigbee project creation and addressing

Postby Digit » Tue May 06, 2014 10:57 pm


I'm using about 8 Xbee modules but I don't use any profile, so I can't comment on that.

What I do know is that the 16-bit address is not something you can choose, it's an address that's in the frame sent by the XBee and in the Node Discovery (ND) reply.
From what I can remember it can change when a module re-joins.
I used to keep track of the 16-bit address sent by an XBee so I could use it when I wanted to send something back to an XBee module, but IIRC I don't do that anymore.
Nowadays I think I use 0xfffe as 16-bit address which should work just fine as well (it's some sort of "broadcast" or "don't know" address).
I'm not sure, just let me know if you want a solid answer on this.

And it's a good thing to first start reading those 600 pages, it's very informative!
Sometimes RT-large-M can make the difference between success and failure :wink:
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Re: Zigbee project creation and addressing

Postby Han » Sun May 11, 2014 9:19 pm


Devices can communicate with each other if they are on the same channel, and use the same PanId.

When a Zigbee coordinator is started, it chooses a channel with the least activity (the cleanest channel). If the PanID of the coordinator is set as 0xFFFF, a random PanId is chosen by the coordinator. If it not 0xFFFF, the user-set PanId is chosen. Now the network is ready, and end devices and/or rpouters can join the network. If the end device/router PanId is set as 0xFFFF, it will link to the the PanId set by the coordinator. If it is set otherwise, it will only join a pan with the given PanId.

When an end device joins the network, a 16 bit network address is assigned by the coordinator (not by the user).
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