Newbie Q: what do I need to achieve this?

Hoping I can get some quick guidance to figure what I even need to get this system running for a test/eval:

  • One tag
  • Several (maybe 6-10) anchors
  • One node from which I can get the “position” (distance) information as the tag moves. This node can be a microcontroller, R-Pi, or other processor.
  • The tag may be out of range of some anchors when on one side of the space, but would be in touch with other anchors at that time.
  • My ultimate goal is to get a stream, log or CSV file of position(s) of the tag over a period of time so I can plot the trajectory on a computer.

So far, I have an MDEK kit and set up a few nodes as anchors plus one tag, and can see the position of the tag on the Android app. Nice. What else do I need to get the data on a microcontroller or SBC? IE: where can I get the distance information – can I have it all aggregated at one anchor and get it from there, or do I have to read it simultaneously from all anchors? Does the firmware on the DWM1001 boards automatically continuously spew out distance information, or do I have to configure them to do that, or even write custom firmware to do that?


Hi Neil,

In PANS, the distances are collected on the Tag where it performs also position calculation. The measurements can be collected on the Tag via some of the available API: UART/SPI/Shell/BLE/UserApp. Please refer to the DWM1001 Firmware API Guide - Decawave.

If you want to get those information on the server, then you will have to use the Gateway on a Raspberry PI. The data are not available directly via any UART/SPI of the Anchor. It has to be communicated via the Bridge mode. This is done by the Gateway software that consists of

  1. DWM Kernel Module
  2. DWM Daemon
  3. DWM Proxy
  4. MQTT Broker
  5. Web Manager (optional)

You can send the data from the Tag by implementing an User Application with PANS library. The data can be then collected on the MQTT Broker. Data to the Tag by publishing via the MQTT Broker. There have been quite a lot of discussion on this topic on the forums.


Thanks for the response TDK. I found this doc on setting up a gateway, which I’m going to try.

Is there an example project anywhere that uses that api, which I can try in the interim to let me get the data on the tag?