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This page was written for Mature ZigBit modules.  Click here for information on the newer modules.


The purpose of this page is to provide a quick start guide for the ATZB-EVB-24-A2 (MeshBean) development board from Atmel.


This development kit allows evaluation of the ATZB-24-A2 ZigBee module from Atmel.  This version of Zigbit includes an integrated chip antenna and is therefore a complete solution consisting of a microcontroller, an RF transceiver, and an antenna.  The kit ships with a AA x2 battery holder and 4 plastic standoffs/screws for mounting.  The battery holder interfaces with the DC power connector.

Hardware Description/Overview

Hardware Documentation
  • MeshBean board schematics/BOM are available per request.
  • Zigbit schematics are available per request.
  • Contact the author if you would like access to these documents.

Board Power Options

  • Power through USB mini-B connector
  • 2.4 - 5.5V from external DC power supply through PJ1 connector
  • Two AA batteries through PJ1 connector (battery holder comes standard with kit)
Power Config Header Examples

The P4 header is used for board power configuration.  Pins 9 and 10 are used to measure current draw of the Zigbit module only.

Jumper SettingBoard Configuration
P4.1 tied to P4.2Allows USB power for entire board.
P4.1 tied to P4.3Allows PJ1 power for entire board.
P4.3 tied to P4.4Does nothing (P4.4 is not connected to anything)
P4.5 tied to P4.6

Disables Vdd (no board power)

P4.7 tied to P4.8Does nothing (P4.7 and P4.8 are not connected to anything)
P4.9 tied to P4.10 Normal Operation (remove this jumper to measure current draw of Zigbit module) 


Programming Options


    • JTAG - An Atmel programmer that supports JTAG can be used to program the onboard Zigbit module through the 10-pin JTAG header.
    • Serial Bootloader - A serial bootloader can be loaded to the Zigbit which can then be used to program the Zigbit through the USB/UART interface.  USB/UART driver must be installed on a PC (refer to the USB/UART Driver Installation Section)


    • ISP - An Atmel programmer that supports ISP can be used to program the onboard tiny13 device.

Default Firmware

By default, a serial bootloader is loaded on the Zigbit module.  Therefore, it is not necessary to use a JTAG debugger to program the device.  The USB/UART bridge driver needs to be installed on a PC as well as the serial bootloader upload PC software.  Once the USB/UART driver is installed, and the PC software is installed, the Zigbit module can be programmed through the USB mini-B connector.  The standard UART bootloader for ATmega1281 is <6KB, while the ATmega1281 bootloader designed for BitCloud with Over-the-Air Upgrade functionality is <9KB.  Using a JTAG programmer to program the device will overwrite the serial bootloader.  If the bootloader is overwritten, it can be reloaded using a JTAG programmer.

Manual Installation of USB to UART Driver

1. Download the CP210x USB to UART Bridge driver from here http://www.silabs.com/products/mcu/Pages/USBtoUARTBridgeVCPDrivers.aspx

2. Extract the contents of the zip file to a known location.

3. In the download folder, open up the .inf file named "slabvcp" using Notepad.

Pre edited version is available here: https://raw.github.com/eewiki/fixes/master/Atmel/MeshBean/driver/slabvcp.inf


4. In the "Device Section" of the file, scroll down to the [SiLabs.NTamd64] subsection.  Copy and paste the following string to the end of the [SiLabs.NTamd64] subsection as shown below.

Note: for WinXP/32bit users, also copy the same line under the [Silabs] subsection.

           %USB\VID_03EB&PID_2121.DeviceDesc%=silabser.Dev, USB\VID_03EB&PID_2121


5. Copy and paste the following string in the [Strings] subsection at the end of the file as shown below.

           USB\VID_03EB&PID_2121.DeviceDesc="CP210x USB to UART Bridge"


6. Save and close the file.

7. Connect Meshbean development board to PC using USB cable.

8. Open Device Manager:  Start -> Control Panel -> Device Manager

9. Identify the Atmel Meshbean board under "Other devices"


10. Double-click on "Atmel Meshbean" device and select "Update Driver".  You may need to wait until the Windows automatic driver search completes (fails).


11. Select "Browse my computer for driver software"


12. Click the "Browse" button and navigate to the "CP210x_VCP_Windows" download folder.  By default, the "Include subfolders" checkbox may be selected.  It can remain selected for this installation.


13. Once the download folder has been selected, click "Next".


14. When Windows can't verify the publisher of the driver software, select "Install this driver software anyway"


15. Once Windows successfully installs the driver, close the Update Driver Software dialog box.


16. The PC should now recognize the device as "CP210x USB to UART Bridge (COMxx).  Verify the device status is "working properly" and close the Device Properties dialog box.


17. The device should show up in the Device Manager under "Ports (COM & LPT)".


18. Connect additional Meshbean development boards to the PC and Windows should successfully find the driver software in its preconfigured folders, automatically.


Contact Author

The reader is encouraged to read all documentation referenced on this page.  If you have questions regarding the MeshBean development board, or if you would like board documentation, you can email me at eewiki@digikey.com.  The eewiki creators love getting feedback on wiki content.  If you have suggestions for content, questions, or just general feedback, let us know!  I hope you enjoy experimenting with Atmel's RF products!

        -  Scott


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