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Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles, Part 208: Activating WiFi and Bluetooth on the Avnet MiniZed dev board

Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
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By Adam Taylor


Connecting the low-cost, Zynq-based Avnet MiniZed dev board connected to our WiFi network allows us to transfer files between the board and our development environment quickly and easily. I will use WinSCP—a free, open-source SFTP client, FTP client, WebDAV client, and SCP client for Windows—to do this because it provides an easy-to-use, graphical method to upload files.


If we have power cycled or reset our MiniZed between enabling the WiFi as in the previous blog and connecting to it using WinSCP, we will need to rerun the WiFi setup script. LED D10 on the MiniZed board will be lit when WiFi is enabled. Once we are connected to the WIFI network, we can use WinSCP to remotely log in. In the example below, the MiniZed had the address of on my network. The username and password to log in are the same as for the log in over the terminal. Both are set to root.





Connecting the MiniZed to the WiFi network



Once we are connected with WinSCP, we can see the file systems on both our host computer and the MiniZed. We can simply drag and drop files between the two file systems to upload or download files. It can’t get much easier than this until we develop mind-reading capabilities for Zynq-based products. What we need now is a simple program we can use to prove the setup.






WinSCP connected and able to upload and download files



To create a simple program, we can use SDK targeting the Zynq SoC’s A9 processor. There is also a “hello world” program template that can use as the basis for our application. Within SDK, create a new project (File ->New->Application Project) as shown in the images below, this will create a simple “hello world” application.









Opening the helloworld.c file within the created application allows you to customize the program if you so desire.


Once you are happy with your customization, your next step is to build the file, which will result in an ELF file. we can then upload this ELF file to the MiniZed using WinSCP and use the terminal to run our first example. Make sure to set the permissions for read, write, and execute when uploading the file to the MiniZed dev board.


Within the terminal window, we can then run the application by executing it using the command:




When I executed this command, I received the following in response that proved everything was working as expected:






Once we have this simple program running successfully, we can create a more complex programs for various applications including ones that use the MiniZed dev board’s WiFi networking capabilities. To do this we need to use sockets, which we will explore in a future blog.


Having gotten the MiniZed board’s WiFi up and running and loading a simple “hello world” program, we now turn our attention to the board’s Bluetooth wireless capability, which we have not yet enabled. We enable Bluetooth networking in a similar manner to WiFi networking. Navigate to /usr/local/bin/ and perform a LS command. In the results, you will see not only the script we used to turn on WiFi (WIFI.sh) but also a script file named BT.sh for turning on Bluetooth. Running this script turns on the Bluetooth. You will see a blue LED D9 illuminate on the MiniZed board when Bluetooth is enabled and within the console window, you will notice that the Bluetooth feature configures and starts scanning. If there is a discoverable Bluetooth device in the area, then you will see it listed. In the example below, you can see my TV.






If we have another device that we wish to communicate with, re-running the same script will cause an issue. Instead, we use the command hcitool scan:







Running this command after making my mobile phone discoverable resulted in my Samsung S6 Edge phone being added to the list of Bluetooth devices.


Now we know how to enable both the WiFi and Bluetooth on the MiniZed board, how to write our own program, and upload it to the MiniZed.



In future blogs, we will look at how we can transfer data using both the Bluetooth and WiFi in our applications.



Code is available on Github as always.




If you want E book or hardback versions of previous MicroZed chronicle blogs, you can get them below.




  • First Year E Book here
  • First Year Hardback here.



MicroZed Chronicles hardcopy.jpg 



  • Second Year E Book here
  • Second Year Hardback here


MicroZed Chronicles Second Year.jpg 




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