Arduino, ZigBee and motion sensor help needed.

For a future project, I need to make use of remote triggers. These could be motion sensors, beam sensors, pressure mats, etc.

The ZigBee standard seems to be the way to go since I can find cheap consumer motion sensors that run on batteries. There also seems to be ZigBee repeaters, which allow giving the distance I need simply by plugging them in from place to place to create a mesh network.

XBee might be another option, if cheap motion sensors and repeaters are also available.

The goal is to have a central location be able to read the motion sensor status for many sensors, that could be spread out beyond walls hundreds of feet away.

Any pointers to where I might get started would be appreciated. Ideally I’d drive this all by a low-cost Arduino since the device will be used in an area where power might not be stable (and I wouldn’t want to corrupt the Linux file system on a Raspberry Pi).


2 thoughts on “Arduino, ZigBee and motion sensor help needed.

  1. Rob Schofield

    Not sure ZB will have the range, or connection stability across the distances you describe. LoRa might be a better transmission mechanism, although it could be slower. It is very low power, with shields and sensors available for Arduino. If you wanted to go whole-hog, you could connect a group of sensors using a LoRaWAN gateway/concentrator: if there was no local connectivity, you could use a 3/4G datalink connection from the gateway to the internet, which would allow world-wide access to the sensor group via, say, The Things Network.
    A gateway can be built cheaply using a shield and Arduino, stacked with a 3/4G SIM shield.

    1. Allen Huffman Post author

      I am unfamiliar with that, but I know there are lots of cheap off the shelf battery motion sensors for the home market. That’s what I’d like to leverage, and have as much of it plug and go as possible, except for my custom Arduino/Pi machine which will have a radio of some kind, and then a stack of audio players connected to amplifiers. I will look up LoRa.


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