Tutorial: ZigBee

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This page shows the tutorial for experiments with ZigBee communications and the testbed.

The ZigBee Testbed in B1-612, Main Building

Useful links:

The simplest example

This example shows

1) how the event-driven programming works,

2) how to burn a program to a TelosB node.

for details you can see simplest tinyos program

1. Configuration file, SimpleAppC.nc

configuration SimpleAppC{

    components SimpleC, MainC;
    SimpleC.Boot -> MainC.Boot;

this file will link two components SimpleC and MainC

2. SimpleC.nc

module SimpleC{
    uses interface Boot;

    event void Boot.booted() {

When system starts, it will call interface booted in MainC, but this interface is not implemented.

So SimpleC implements it.

MainC in nesC is just like main function in C.

In this example, it does nothing, so it is just like following code in C:

int main () {
  return 0;

3. Makefile

include $(MAKERULES)

with Makefile we can compile the code by typing

make telosb

4. install

make telosb install bsl,/dev/ttyUSB0


To measure various information from received packets.

Details is here

Code template


// extract info upon receiving a packet.
event message_t* Receive.receive(message_t* bufPtr, void* payload, uint8_t len) {
    if (len != sizeof(msg_t)) {
        return bufPtr;
    } else {
        msg_t* msg = (msg_t*)payload;
        // msg is the info, we can do something upon it.
        // write your code with msg here, for example, we show it by led
        call Leds.set(msg->counter);
        return bufPtr;



// following code is the implementation
// to send a packet, we should create a packet at first.
message_t packet; // packet is a container of payload.
bool locked; // when it is sending a packet, sender is locked.
uint16_t counter = 0; // the payload in this example

event void Timer0.fired() {
    msg_t *msg;
    // important!!!
    // variable declaration must be present before operation
    // in this example, msg is present before `if (locked)'
    if (locked) {
    msg = (msg_t*) call Packet.getPayload(&packet, sizeof(msg_t));
    // suppose msg contains payload `counter`
    msg->counter = counter;
    // if there is other payload in msg, do assignment.
    // to send this packet
    if (call AMSend.send(AM_BROADCAST_ADDR, &packet, sizeof(msg_t)) == SUCCESS) {
        locked = TRUE;
        // the packet is being sent



#ifndef EXAMPLE_H
#define EXAMPLE_H

typedef nx_struct example_msg {
  nx_uint16_t counter;
} msg_t;

enum {
    AM_MSG = 6, // mesage group


#include "Example.h"
configuration ExampleAppC {}
implementation {
    components MainC, ExampleC as App, LedsC;
    components new AMSenderC(AM_MSG);
    components new AMReceiverC(AM_MSG);
    components new TimerMilliC() as Timer0;
    components ActiveMessageC;
    App.Boot -> MainC.Boot;
    App.Receive -> AMReceiverC;
    App.AMSend -> AMSenderC;
    App.AMControl -> ActiveMessageC;
    App.Leds -> LedsC;
    App.Timer0 -> Timer0;
    App.Packet -> AMSenderC;


#include "Timer.h"
#include "Example.h"
module ExampleC @safe() {
    uses {
        interface Leds;
        interface Boot;
        interface Receive;
        interface AMSend;
        interface Timer<TMilli> as Timer0;
        interface SplitControl as AMControl;
        interface Packet;
implementation {
    event void Boot.booted() {
        call AMControl.start();

    event void AMControl.startDone(error_t err) {
        if (err == SUCCESS) {
            call Timer0.startPeriodic(250);
        } else {
            call AMControl.start();
    // ... see in other sections: code example, payload



// to unlock
event void AMSend.sendDone(message_t* bufPtr, error_t error) {
    if (&packet == bufPtr) {
        locked = FALSE;
event void AMControl.stopDone(error_t err) {
     // do nothing


include $(MAKERULES)


Byte-level RSSI


Code template

we can change ADDRESS to implement different protocols.

if (call AMSend.send(ADDRESS, &packet, sizeof(msg_t)) == SUCCESS) {
    locked = TRUE;
    // the packet is being sent


AM_BROADCAST_ADDR is a MACRO. Using this ADDRESS, a mote will boradcast the packet.



When load the binary to the mote, we can set the TOS_NODE_ID, so we can set the ADDRESS to a specific TOS_NODE_ID, such as 1 to unicast a packet. For exmaple, if we want to set TOS_NODE_ID = 1 in /dev/ttyUSB2

make telosb install,1 bsl,/dev/ttyUSB2

Testbed usage

Data collection using USB cables

1. Use Printf

Details is here.


#include "printf.h"
// in function, fell free to use printf()


#include "printf.h"
implementation {
    components PrintfC;
    components SerialStartC;


add following code

CFLAGS += -I$(TOSDIR)/lib/printf


in our exvironments, type the following command:

java net.tinyos.tools.PrintfClient -comm serial@/dev/ttyUSB1:telosb

Batch burn of multiple network nodes

1. burn multiple nodes

usage: burn.py [-s] ids
burn.py -s 1    , node with TOS_NODE_ID = 1 will be burned
burn.py -s 5 3 2    , TOS_NODE_ID = 5, 3, 2 will be burned
burn.py 23 55    , TOS_NODE_ID from 23 to 55 will be burned

2. burn all nodes


Remote configuration via web

You can visit our server via ssh, then control the motes.

Useful parse scripts

For details you can see /opt/myscripts/tinyos-helpers

1. collect_data.py

similar to burn.py, collect_data.py will redirect the printf message from terminal to files.

2. get-bitmap.py

say collect_data.py provides us the raw data, get-bitmap.py will parse it to bitmap.

3. sjava.py

when we use java, the commad is too long,
just like java net. ... -comm serial@/dev/ttyUSB0:115200,
but with sjava.py, we can just type `sjava.py 1 Class'
here, 1 is the node's id, and Class is a specific java class.

4. output_data.py

similar to sjava.py, when we just want to see exactly one node's printf message in terminal,
say the node's id is 1, then type `output_data.py 1'

Demo Experiments

This demo shows a simple way to calculate ETX and correlation.

1. Initiation

Suppose you are in home directory(~)

$ tinyos-environment-init

You can see apps in ~/tinyos/612_mobinets.


Make and burn app sendonly and receiveonly.

$ cd sendonly
$ make telosb
$ cd ../receiveonly
$ make telosb

The transmission power is 3 in this experiment. If you want to change it, change the argument in sendonly/Makefile.


If we want node(id 3) to send packets and other nodes to receive.

$ all-burn-excluding 3
$ all-collect-excluding 3

all-burn-excluding 3 will burn all nodes excluding node(id 3) with app receiveonly.

all-collect-excluding 3 will collect data generated by function printf and save it into files.

Then, open a new terminal

$ cd ~/tinyos/612_mobinets/sendonly
$ burn.py -s 3


Totally, there are 10,000 packets to be sent (if you want to change it, please change it in Makefile), whose interval is 8ms.

After transmission is done, go to the first terminal press key Ctrl+C to exit, then go to the second terminal

$ cd ~/data/tinyos
$ wc -l *.txt

You can see how many packets every node received.

Suppose we find node 23, 32, 40, 55, 60 are what we want.

$ mkdir raw
$ cp 23.txt 32.txt 40.txt 55.txt 60.txt raw
5. Processing data

To get bitmap (by default, we send 10000 packets)

$ get-bitmap.py

If we send 100000 packets

$ get-bitmap.py 100000

To calculate a-ETX (by default, we send 10000 packets)

$  cal-aetx.py

If we send 100000 packets

$ cal-aetx.py 100000

To calculate b-ETX (by default, we send 10000 packets, number of windows is 5 and size is 4, w = 5, d = 4, definition of w and d, please refer to paper)

$ cal-betx.py

Please see the details of cal-betx.py in /opt/myscripts/tinyos-helpers/cal-betx.py If we send 100000 packets

$ cal-betx.py 5 4 100000

To calculate correlation (by default, we send 10000 packets)

$ cal-correl.py

If we send 100000 packets

$ cal-correl.py 100000

For more details, you can see the scripts in /opt/myscripts/tinyos-helpers

And the experimental data is archived in /data/archived/tinyos/demos/correlation


1. Q: error occurs when compile apps that contain java program such as RadioCountToLeds

   $ source /opt/myscripts/tinyos-helpers/tinyos-set-classpath

2. Q: