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[FAQ] Zigbee Packet Sniffing Solutions

Other Parts Discussed in Thread: CC2531EMK

Hi everyone,

Packet sniffing is an essential part in understanding what is happening in your Zigbee network. As such, there are various Zigbee packet sniffing solutions that are currently available to you. Here are TI's recommendations for Zigbee packet sniffing solutions:

1. Ubiqua Protocol Analyzer

Ubiqua is a powerful, subscription-based IEEE 802.15.4 network analysis tool that is our preferred tool for Zigbee network analysis. More information about the tool can be found here:

2. Wireshark

Wireshark is a well-known, free, open-source packet sniffing tool that supports many different protocols and many different hardware platforms. Zigbee is among one of the protocols that is supported by this tool. Version 4.X is now supported by the 802.15.4 plugins provided with SMARTRFTM-STUDIO and PACKET-SNIFFER-2 v1.10+.  More information about the tool can be found here:

Supported TI Hardware for packet sniffing in Ubiqua OR Wireshark (version 4.X): 

The following software must be downloaded for packet sniffing operation:

Hardware/Software setup instructions for these software tools and hardware platforms can be found here:

Z-Stack User's Guide, Packet Sniffer Section

Additionally, if you would like to use the CC2531EMK to Zigbee packet sniff in Wireshark, you will need one additional software tool:

TI Wireshark Packet Converter 1

From the Wireshark setup instructions linked in the previous section, this tool is essentially the same thing as SmartRF Sniffer Agent but it is compatible with CC2531EMK instead of CC26X2LP/CC1352LP/CC2650LP. This tool was also bundled with our legacy TIMAC 1.5.2 product.

By default, you will not be able to import Zigbee captures that were taken in Wireshark into Ubiqua. This is due to how our Packet Conversion tools work with Wireshark. In order to convert your Wireshark Zigbee capture (*.pcapng) into a format which you CAN import into Ubiqua for more powerful analysis, I have created the following script (for Windows):


All this script does is trim the first 44 bytes off every packet in the *.pcapng, which will then allow this capture to be imported and parsed in Ubiqua correctly.