MicroPython in a Wireless Communications Systems Course

David R. Loker, Nathan Wayne Brubaker, Daniel Albert Bohbot

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Part of the requirements for an Electrical Engineering Technology program or Computer Engineering Technology program includes the ability for students to design and implement embedded systems in a variety of courses. Typical courses can include embedded processors, instrumentation and measurement systems, wireless communications systems, networking, and control systems, and they can be lower-division and/or upper-division courses. Due to the free and open source software availability of Python, and its popularity, a small subset of the Python standard library (called MicroPython) is optimized to run on a variety of microcontrollers for embedded applications. Additionally, some of these microcontrollers have wireless capabilities. One such device includes the Digi XBee3 module, which implements the Zigbee, IEEE 802.15.4, and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocols. Another wireless device is the ESP8266 Wi-Fi module, which implements the IEEE 802.11 family of protocols. These devices are inexpensive and suitable for embedded applications in a wireless communications systems course. The Community Edition of PyCharm is available for free and can be used as the software development environment. The goal of this paper is to introduce a series of labs, utilizing the Digi XBee3 module, that can be used within a variety of courses, including a wireless communications systems course. Possible topics for lab projects include: network connectivity, analog-to-digital conversion, sensor data collection, pulse-width modulation (PWM), digital input/output, Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter (UART) communication, and inter-integrated circuit (I2C) protocol. For lab projects, engineering requirements, software code or flowcharts, and schematics are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jul 26 2021
Event2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 26 2021Jul 29 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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