We spotted the first product from Italy-based DIYer Giovanni (aka Gio-dot) has designed a ZigBee supported development board, the Z1 Mini, that lets you build custom ZigBee end devices like switches, buttons, relays, and many more.
The Z1 Mini development board features Texas Instruments’ CC2530 system on chip solutions for 2.4-GHz unlicensed IEEE 802.15.4 and ZigBee applications. This wireless MCU has 256kB flash memory and 8kB RAM with a high-performance and low-power 8051 microcontroller core.
According to the designer, the board is capable of supporting the standard CC2530 or the amplified CC2530 type. With the standard CC2530, the board features the E18-MS1-PCB ZigBee module used in most cases. The amplified type E18-MS1PA2-PCB ZigBee module is preferred “where there are issues related to distance or obstacles”.
The board gets a standard ICSP (in-circuit serial programming) connector, which takes the data serially, and then the microcontroller executes these instructions. “The firmware can be flashed using CC-debugger, SmartRF04EB, or a Raspberry used as a programmer,” Giovanni notes.
Z1 mini development board allows you to build your own ZigBee end devices with more simplicity than the Tasmota or Esphome. You can also connect multiple sensors, switches, relays, etc. on a single ZigBee development board.
This device enables the potential of building your own custom ZigBee devices with a large number of IOs, plus UART, I2C, ADC, and PWM. The board gets power on a V+ pin with a voltage of a max of 13.2V. However, it is possible to use 3.3V to power sensors.
One of the most common applications demonstrated by the designer is the ZigBee RFID tag reader that uses Arduino nano as it can be used with various tag readers, including RC522, PN532, Wiegand etc.
Abhishek Jadhav is an engineering student, RISC-V Ambassador, freelance tech writer, and leader of the Open Hardware Developer Community.