Good ZigBee Dev Starter Kit Recommendation Help

Greetings, I am looking to get started developing a short range low power device that will consist of a controller and a device with a motor and sensors. I would like to use ZigBee as the wireless technology solution to connect the controller to the device. It meets the price point and range that I need and the potential for mesh networking opens other future opportunities.

I am curious if anyone can recommend an affordable entry into ZigBee development. Ideally I am looking for 2 ZigBee boards (Controller and Motor/Sensors) and the option of using a desktop computer as another node on the network. Ideally I would like some sort of system on a chip so I don't need to source another MCU, but I do need some sort of A/D, D/A functionality, ideally something with PWM built in to support controlling motor speed. I am not too picky at the moment about the underlying MCU (Freescale, AVR, whatever), a nice software stack for C compiling and flashing the boards would be a very nice plus because who likes fighting software when all you want to do is build something.

If anyone has any opinions as to what is a good starter kit, or an inexpensive entry point into developing this kind of system I would very much appreciate hearing all about it. I have been looking around and see there are a variety of options but I am curious to hear about peoples actual use experiences with various solutions.

Thank you for your help, it really is appreciated!



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For inexpensive and turnkey, I think you will be hard pressed to find something better than the Microchip MRF24J40MA. - each module is type approved, $9 in single-piece quantity and it is ready to drop into your circuit. Relatively simple to use and Microchip make their stack source available free. It will not directly bolt onto a PC, but it is not a difficult matter to make a serial-interfaced bridge. Take three free sample PICs from Microchip's website and you're there with three nodes for a total cost of $40 (plus some glue

- battery holder, caps, etc).

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For $99, you get it all from Atmel.

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Free zigbee stack to boot, with no royalties.

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