Xbee remote sensors tell you when someone enters your home

[Bill Porter] is helping a friend out by designing a simple security system for her home. It relies on Xbee modules to alert a base station when doors are opened, or a pressure mat is stepped on.

The door sensors are quite simple, and you’re probably already familiar with them. One part mounts to the door and has a magnet in it, the mating part mounts to the jamb and has a reed switch that closes a contact when the magnet is in place. The floor mat uses two sheets of conductive material separated by bits of foam. When it is stepped on a circuit is completed and can be sensed by the Xbee as a button press.

These sensors report back to an Arduino base station that has a buzzer and three 8×8 LED modules to scroll a message saying which sensor was tripped. [Bill] does a good job of showing what goes into configuring an Xbee network if you’ve never worked with the hardware before.

You’ll find his demo video after the break.

13 thoughts on “Xbee remote sensors tell you when someone enters your home

  1. Whenever I see these xbee networks, I can’t help wondering if there’s a cheaper possibility for digital wireless communication, because at $25 a pop, the cost of a larger project can get out of hand quickly.

    1. If you want to combine it with an Arduino you could look up Jeenodes, they’re Arduino clones that come with a radio module on the board.

      They are also slightly cheaper than a normal Arduino, so in total they’re a lot cheaper than a Arduino + Xbee.

  2. Well sure there is. Sparkfun carries some simpler systems for $5-10 each. The XBee module is a pretty “smart” device that can handle a lot of functionality as well as having fairly robust error detection capabilities.

    It’s all a matter of what works for you, and (at least in my case) what technology you want to get your arms around for further projects.

  3. They way he is using the X-Bees is cool. The X-Bee is actually a really smart device all on it’s own and and for a lot of tasks do not need an MCU. I guess one could hack a cheap radio along with say a DTMF chip to do much the same thing but this does offer some expansion options. Maybe something like a temperature sensor. Or a low battery warning.

      1. Actually this got me thinking about a weather station. You could use the XBee to measure wind speed, Direction, temperature, pressure and humidity all without any MCU. Not to mention keep an eye on the battery as well. I would be tempted to put a solar pannel on it just because.

  4. Back to the Bluetooth thing, a little Question:
    Does anyone know a module with integrated PAN Profile controlled over for example SPI or something like that? If there would be something like that, that would be a very nice toy.

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