Friday, February 1, 2013

Inside the Freebox V6 controller

Freebox controller module
(Zigbee + Gyroscope + 3-Axis Accelerometer)

It's been a while since I've blogged, so tonight I decided to share again the hacks and stuff I'm currently working on. I will do my best to write more often about the builds and the experiments I make.

Tonight while I was watching TV, I accidentally dropped the remote controller and the battery cover fell beside. So I decided to take it apart and have a quick look inside.

I thought about this wireless controller almost each time I used it. It has some interesting really interesting capabilities that i would love to hack and use them for my future projects.

The most interesting features this controller have are the built in gyroscopic capabilities and the accelerometer . I couldn't resist the temptation to take it apart to discover what it actually look like inside.

I was very pleased to see how tiny and clever the board was designed. This little PCB was simply clipped to the back of the keypad using some header pins. (I will post some pictures later).

I discovered three interesting chips inside:

  1. CC2530 Zigbee chip offernig 2.4GHz RF capabilities 
    • CC2530 Key Features
      • Up to 256 KB Flash/8 KB of RAM
      • Excellent link budget (102 dBm)
      • 49 dB adjacent channel rejection (best in class)
      • Four flexible power modes for reduced power consumption
      • Powerful five-channel DMA
    • Key Applications
      • RF remote controls
      • 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.15.4 systems
      • Home and building automation
      • Industrial control and monitoring
      • Set-top boxes
      • Consumer electronics
      • Smart Energy
  2. The STMicro 2128 33DH, a three-axis accelerometer.
    • This is the same accelerometer used by Apple for the iPhone 4S.
  3. A mysterious chip labeled "8130 33DH 08M38"
    • Maybe it's the keypad chip, or a controller... I haven't found anything about it for now.
I was very pleased to discover the Zigbee module because I was plannig to buy one next week, and this one was just sitting here all the time waiting for someone to use it. What a coincidence as I just ordered two books about XBEE from Amazon: 
  1. The Hands-on XBEE Lab Manual: Experiments that Teach you XBEE Wirelesss Communications (By Jonathan A Titus)
  2. Building Wireless Sensor Networks (By Robert Faludi)
Well, i'll leave you there for now, but i'll be back very soon after some further reading about those chips.

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