About the article

Wireless ECG

Monitoring cardiac signals with ZigBee

Wireless ECG
The combination of electronics and biology always yields interesting projects. The system described here is easy to build and enables the wireless monitoring of cardiac signals. ZigBee modules are used for the wireless link.ZigBee technology is an ideal choice for this application in terms of cost, ease of use and low power consumption. The data transmission rate of 250 kbit/s is sufficient for applications such as transmitting ECG signals, which have a narrow bandwidth.
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Gerber file

CAM/CAD data for the PCB referred to in this article is available as a Gerber file. Elektor GREEN and GOLD members can exclusively download these files for free as part of their membership. Gerber files allow a PCB to be produced on an appropriate device available locally, or through an online PCB manufacturing service.

Elektor recommends its business partner Eurocircuits as the company of choice for its own prototypes and volume production in selected cases.

Extra info / Update


* ECG resolution 10 bits
* ZigBee wireless data transmission
* Range 100 m (300 ft) (outdoors)
* Based on XBee modules
* No programming necessary
* Serial computer interface
* Identical PCBs for acquisition and receiver boards


Updates & Corrections

January 6, 2011

- R12 should have a value of 3.3k (not 33k), the indicated gain of 142 is correct.

- In Figures 1 and 2, the gain of IC4 shoud be shown as 15, not 7.

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The BOM (Bill of Materials) is the technically exhaustive listing of parts and other hardware items used to produce the working and tested prototype of any Elektor Labs project. The BOM file contains deeper information than the Component List published for the same project in Elektor Magazine. If required the BOM gets updated directly by our lab engineers. As a reader, you can download the list here.
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Component list

Acquisition board
Resistors (SMD 0805)
R1,R19,R20 = 10kOhm
R2,R11,R14 = 1MOhm
R3 = 470kOhm
R4 = 240Ohm
R5,R9 = 27kOhm
R6,R7,R13,R16 = 33kOhm
R8 = 360Ohm
R10 = 8.2kOhm

R12 = 3.3kOhm (correction w.r.t. orignal publication)
R15,R17,R18 = 47kOhm
Capacitors (SMD 0805, ceramic, except C1,C7)
C1,C7 = 47µF 10V, SMD, Kemet B45196E2476K409
C2,C4,C8,C9,C11,C12 = 100nF
C3,C6,C13 = 10nF
C5 = 3,3nF
C10 = 1µF
D1 = 1N4148 SMD Minimelf
D2,D3,D4 = dubbeldiode BAV99 (SOT23)
IC1,IC3,IC5 = OPA237NA/250 (SOT23-5)
IC2 = MAX6120EUR+T (SOT-23)
IC4 = AD623ARZ (SOIC-8)
IC6 = LM317LM (SOIC-8)
K1,K2 = 2-pin pinheader, lead pitch 0.1 in. (2.54mm)
K3 = 5-pin pinheader, lead pitch 0.1 in. (2.54mm)
S1 = pushbutton, make contact, PCB mount, 6mm, e.g Multicomp type MC32830
XB1 = XBee module, ZB ZigBee with chip antenna, Digi type XB24-Z7CIT-004
A = no wire link
Receiver only

XBee-module, Digi type XB24-Z7CIT-004
USB-to-TTL cable, 3.3V version, Elektor # 080213-72
R19,R20 = 10kOhm
K4 = 6-pin pinheader, lead pitch 0.1 in.(2.54mm)
S1 = pushbutton, make contact, PCB mount, 6mm
A = wire link
PCB # 080805-1

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