The Sense/Stage MiniBee is a small microcontroller board based on the Arduino, integrated with a connection for an XBee wireless chip. It is small and comes with preloaded firmware to use it easily in your wireless projects for a lot of common sensing and actuating purposes. As a bonus there is a 3-axis accelerometer on board. Cross platform open source software sends the data from the boards to your interactive environment via OpenSoundControl (OSC).

The MiniBee revision B was the second version of the MiniBee, the beta version. It was manufactured during the research-creation project Sense/Stage at Concordia University and McGill University in 2010. It was only distributed to those who were somehow involved in the project. The overview of the board is given here for historical reference.

Overview of the board:

  • 6 analog inputs: A0, A1, A2, A3, A6, A7
  • 9 digital inputs or outputs: D3 to D11
  • PWM (“analog”) output, at pins D3, D5, D6, D9, D10, D11
  • I2C communication: SDA (A4), SCL (A5)
  • Serial I/O: RX, TX (to XBee)
  • Power input (between 3.3V and 5V), through battery connector and coin cell battery
  • Regulated power output: 3.3V, GND
  • green pcb

Pin out

The pin outs on the header are from left to right:

GND - GND - D5 - D7 - D9 - D11 - A6 - SDA - A2 - A0
3v3 - D3 - D4 - D6 - D8 - D10 - A7 - SCL - A3 - A1


Technical documents

  • board layout
  • schematic

Design files for Eagle on github

Changes to previous version

Revision B of the board has several improvements over revision A:

  • Faster resonator (12 MHz), allowing for higher baudrates
  • A fuse to protect the circuit
  • Smaller footprint
  • One-way battery connector
  • Coin cell holder footprint on the back for coin cell battery
  • On/off switch
  • Flow control for communication between XBee and ATmega chip
  • ATmega328P instead of ATmega168, so more program and data memory
  • Reset pin broken out (mostly useful for getting the bootloader onto the board)

Programming firmware and bootloader

For programming the firmware, use the board definition: Sense/Stage MiniBee revB/D/F (3.3V, 12MHz) w/ Atmega328p

page created on: last changed on:
6 February 2017 20 May 2017