Quickie ZigBee Application Kit from Rabbit!

Started by Bill Giovino October 9, 2006
Admittedly, I'm a fan of ZigBee because it solves a lot of problems. Rabbit has
just
introduced a solid ZigBee kit:

http://microcontroller.com/news/zigbee_rabbit.asp

This is a great starter kit, and by this time next year ZigBee will be a needed
skill to
list on your resume.

Regards,

Bill Giovino
Executive Editor
http://Microcontroller.com





Bill Giovino wrote:

> This is a great starter kit, and by this time next year ZigBee will be a needed
skill to
> list on your resume.
Hardly. Zigbee is one of those license portfolios^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hvaluable technological innovations you approach, see if you can use any parts, then back away again. I know they posit it as being the best thing since sliced cheese and the technology that will mesh us all, but the cup hasn't reached the lip yet by a long, long way. The strongest thing you can say with a straight face is that by this time next year, there may be some more brochures listing Zigbee as a bullet point. It will CERTAINLY not be an essential survival skill.
larwe wrote:
> Bill Giovino wrote: > > > This is a great starter kit, and by this time next year ZigBee will be a needed
skill to
> > list on your resume. > > Hardly. Zigbee is one of those license portfolios^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hvaluable > technological innovations you approach, see if you can use any parts, > then back away again. >
at least it's cheap, anytime you see a product that is bluetooth compatible you know it has a hefty pricetag on it.
steve wrote:


> > Hardly. Zigbee is one of those license portfolios^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hvaluable > > technological innovations you approach, see if you can use any parts, > > > at least it's cheap, anytime you see a product that is bluetooth > compatible you know it has a hefty pricetag on it.
Hmm, maybe. Bill's effusive postings gushing over the extreme purchase-worthiness of whatever flavor of the month just annoy me somewhat.
"steve" wrote...
> > larwe wrote: > > Bill Giovino wrote: > > > > > This is a great starter kit, and by this time next year ZigBee will be a
needed skill to
> > > list on your resume. > > > > Hardly. Zigbee is one of those license portfolios^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hvaluable > > technological innovations you approach, see if you can use any parts, > > then back away again. > > > at least it's cheap, anytime you see a product that is bluetooth > compatible you know it has a hefty pricetag on it.
Bingo! The importance of ZigBee is also that it is not only (usually) inexpensive, but most importantly it is very low power. And the adoption rate I'm seeing in the market is tremendous because it is serving an unaddressed market. In the field of wireless sensors alone, ZigBee is becoming the dominant wireless technologies because with just a small sensor hooked up to a ZigBee node with a common battery, you can have a battery life of over a year. No, it's not sexy, and it's not high speed, and it's not faster than a speeding bullet. But yeah, it's growing faster than Bluetooth ever did. Regards, Bill Giovino Executive Editor http://Microcontroller.com
"larwe" wrote...
> Hmm, maybe. Bill's effusive postings gushing over the extreme > purchase-worthiness of whatever flavor of the month just annoy me > somewhat.
I'm sorry to see you write that. In the future, I will try to be more on-point. Regards, Bill Giovino Executive Editor http://Microcontroller.com
Hello Bill,

>>> >>>>This is a great starter kit, and by this time next year ZigBee will be a needed > > skill to > >>>>list on your resume. >>>
To be honest, I'd have some doubts there just as Lewin does.
>>>Hardly. Zigbee is one of those license portfolios^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hvaluable >>>technological innovations you approach, see if you can use any parts, >>>then back away again. >>> >> >>at least it's cheap, anytime you see a product that is bluetooth >>compatible you know it has a hefty pricetag on it. > > > Bingo! The importance of ZigBee is also that it is not only (usually) inexpensive,
but
> most importantly it is very low power. And the adoption rate I'm seeing in the
market is
> tremendous because it is serving an unaddressed market. > > In the field of wireless sensors alone, ZigBee is becoming the dominant wireless > technologies because with just a small sensor hooked up to a ZigBee node with a
common
> battery, you can have a battery life of over a year. >
My old wireless thermometer has a battery life of over two years and it doesn't use Zigbee ;-)
> No, it's not sexy, and it's not high speed, and it's not faster than a speeding
bullet.
> But yeah, it's growing faster than Bluetooth ever did. >
Any hard data to back up that claim? I mean, not prognostic but proven sales numbers? -- Regards, Joerg http://www.analogconsultants.com
Bill Giovino wrote:
> "steve" wrote... > > > > larwe wrote: > > > Bill Giovino wrote: > > > > > > > This is a great starter kit, and by this time next year ZigBee will be a
needed
> skill to > > > > list on your resume. > > > > > > Hardly. Zigbee is one of those license portfolios^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hvaluable > > > technological innovations you approach, see if you can use any parts, > > > then back away again. > > > > > at least it's cheap, anytime you see a product that is bluetooth > > compatible you know it has a hefty pricetag on it. > > Bingo! The importance of ZigBee is also that it is not only (usually) inexpensive,
but
> most importantly it is very low power.
Well, it's only low power when it's in beacon mode, it takes 20-40 mA to transmit/receive, and looking at the datarates it's not any better (mA/datarate) then bluetooth.
Joerg wrote:
> Hello Bill, > >>>> >>>>> This is a great starter kit, and by this time next year ZigBee will >>>>> be a needed skill to list on your resume. > > To be honest, I'd have some doubts there just as Lewin does.
Agreed.
>>>> Hardly. Zigbee is one of those license portfolios^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hvaluable >>>> technological innovations you approach, see if you can use any parts, >>>> then back away again.
*Exactly*. I looked seriously at ZigBee for a few product designs and backed away from it, quickly. For any *sustained* data rates, it holds no advantages over BT (design an intercom system using Zigbee and look at the power consumption :> ). And, it doesn't "play well with others" (zigbee-enabled printer? zigbee-enabled cell phone?? zigbee-enabled keyboard?)
>>> at least it's cheap, anytime you see a product that is bluetooth >>> compatible you know it has a hefty pricetag on it.
As with everything, "that depends". Have you analyzed "price per transmitted data bit"? Or, "price per WHr? "Any time you see a product that is CARBIDE TIPPED you know it has a hefty price tag on it". (and, those products that are NOT "carbide tipped" don't last long cutting through masonry! ;> ) Horses for coarses.
>> Bingo! The importance of ZigBee is also that it is not only (usually) >> inexpensive, but >> most importantly it is very low power. And the adoption rate I'm >> seeing in the market is >> tremendous because it is serving an unaddressed market. >> >> In the field of wireless sensors alone, ZigBee is becoming the >> dominant wireless >> technologies because with just a small sensor hooked up to a ZigBee >> node with a common >> battery, you can have a battery life of over a year. > > My old wireless thermometer has a battery life of over two years and it > doesn't use Zigbee ;-)
Yeah, and I've never replaced the battery in my wireless garage door opener in the 6 years since the purchase of the garage door... Amazing how devices that don't transmit any data (i.e. *do* any electrical "work") seem to last SO LONG on a single battery! ;-)
>> No, it's not sexy, and it's not high speed, and it's not faster than a >> speeding bullet. >> But yeah, it's growing faster than Bluetooth ever did. > > Any hard data to back up that claim? I mean, not prognostic but proven > sales numbers?
Perhaps in terms of *nodes*, but not in terms of "deployments". E.g., you may opt to use zigbee for a security system, intrusion detection, HVAC control, etc. -- in which case, you might easily have 1000 nodes in a single site (e.g., a hotel). But, the hundreds of *guests* staying in that hotel at any given instant probably ALL own a BT-enabled phone -- or, soon *will*! Amusing thought: book a room in said hotel and set up a zigbee master waking up all the nodes within "earshot" every second or so. And chuckle to think of the maintenance staff scratching their heads wondering why all of the zigbee devices in "the east wing" had batteries die twice as fast as those in the other parts of the hotel :>
steve wrote:
>> Bingo! The importance of ZigBee is also that it is not only (usually)
inexpensive, but
>> most importantly it is very low power. > > Well, it's only low power when it's in beacon mode, it takes 20-40 mA > to transmit/receive, and looking at the datarates it's not any better > (mA/datarate) then bluetooth.
Exactly. Zigbee addresses the very low data rate market. Ideal (?) for something like HvAC control in a large facility. Or, energy management. Where the cost of *wiring* far exceeds the cost of the device (assuming you can't come up with other clever solutions to eliminate that wiring) -- yet the device's communicaions requirements are essentally miniscule..