UWB Localization Feather

The Ultra-WideBand Feather incorporates the Decawave DWM1000 module and an ATSAMD21 ARM Cortex M0 into the Adafruit feather form-factor. The DWM1000 module is an IEEE802.15.4-2011 UWB compliant wireless module capable of precision indoor positioning and high data rates, making this board perfect for robotics projects where localization is required.

I sell on Tindie

– Decawave DWM1000 for precision tracking
– ARM Cortex M0 for fast & powerful applications
– Adafruit Feather compatible to integrate with a wide existing ecosystem
– SWD interface for programming and debugging applications
– USB-C connector
– Intergrated LiPo battery charger with status and voltage available in code
– Intergrated RGB LED

Get Hardware Files

Released under CERN OHL, you have access to all the build files to make your own



As mentioned in the introduction, the UWB Feather consists of an ATSAMD21 ARM Cortext M0+ for the brains and a Decawave DWM1000 module for the ultra-wide band wireless, in the feather form-factor. The design is relatively simple consisting of 17 unique BoM items on a 2-layer PCB. Pinout is Adafruit M0 Feather compatible

LiPo charging is handled by the MCP73832 single-cell, fully integrated charge management controller. Battery voltage can be monitored on D9, however is access to all the IO is required, JP1 can be cut to free up this pin. 3.3 volt regulation is preformed by the AP2112K-3.3 low dropout linear regulator, providing up to 600mA.

Pinout is fully compatible with the Adafruit M0 feather line for easy code portability. The DWM1000 IO lines are connected to the SPI bus and digital pins 2, 3 & 4 for RST, IRQ & SPI_CS respectivly (which are not exposed via the header). D13 is also connected to the onboard LED, as is standard among many Arduino-compatible boards.

Programming can be preformed over the SWD header or via USB if loaded with a corresponding bootloader such as the uf2-samdx1 from Microsoft. See firmware for more.

The DWM1000 has a One Time Programmable (OTP) user programmable memory for storing calibration information (see 1.6 in the datasheet). To program this region the VDD3V3 pins may need to be raised to 3.8 volts temporarily. To do this JP2 can be cut and a separate power supply can be connected to selectively boost the power to the module.

Version 1.0 Schematic

UWB Feather Version 1.0 Schematic. Eagle files available in project repository

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Version 1.1 Board Renders

Bill of Materials

BoM items are all available from DigiKey and are plentiful in supply. Total BoM cost was $60 AUD for 1 quantity, however further optimization can shave a few dollars off this.
CSV version of this table can be found in the project repository.

Manufacturer Part Number Manufacturer Digi-Key Part Number Customer Reference Quantity Description
S2B-PH-SM4-TB(LF)(SN) JST Sales America Inc. 455-1749-1-ND CN1 1 CONN HEADER SMD R/A 2POS 2MM
AP2112K-3.3TRG1 Diodes Incorporated AP2112K-3.3TRG1DICT-ND U4 1 IC REG LINEAR 3.3V 600MA SOT25
ATSAMD21G18A-MU Microchip Technology ATSAMD21G18A-MU-ND U1 1 IC MCU 32BIT 256KB FLASH 48QFN
DWM1000 Decawave Limited 1479-1002-1-ND U3 1 RF TXRX MODULE 802.15.4 CHIP ANT
MCP73832T-2ACI/OT Microchip Technology MCP73832T-2ACI/OTCT-ND U2 1 IC CONTROLLR LI-ION 4.2V SOT23-5
RC0603FR-075K1L Yageo 311-5.10KHRCT-ND R1 R2 R4 R6 4 RES SMD 5.1K OHM 1% 1/10W 0603
RC0603FR-07100KL Yageo 311-100KHRCT-ND R3 R5 R7 R9 4 RES SMD 100K OHM 1% 1/10W 0603
TMCJ0J106MTRF Vishay Sprague 718-2355-1-ND C5 C7 C8 3 CAP TANT 10UF 20% 6.3V 0603
TMCJ1C105MTRF Vishay Sprague 718-2362-1-ND C1 C4 C6 C9 4 CAP TANT 1UF 20% 16V 0603
CC0402FRNPO9BN150 Yageo 311-1642-1-ND C2 C3 2 CAP CER 15PF 50V C0G/NPO 0402
FC-135 32.7680KA-A0 EPSON SER4077CT-ND Y1 1 CRYSTAL 32.7680KHZ 12.5PF SMT
ASMT-YTD7-0AA02 Broadcom Limited 516-3219-1-ND D2 1 LED RGB DIFFUSED 6PLCC SMD
20021121-00010C4LF Amphenol ICC (FCI) 609-3695-1-ND J4 1 CONN HEADER SMD 10POS 1.27MM
USB4110-GF-A GCT 2073-USB4110-GF-A-1-ND J1 1 CONN USB 2.0 TYPE-C R/A SMT
YC124-JR-07330RL Yageo YC124J-330CT-ND R8 1 RES ARRAY 4 RES 330 OHM 0804


With only 20 BoM items and most components being no smaller than 0603 (the 2x crystal capacitors were 0402) , hand assembly of this board was easy. I had the PCB and solder stencil manufactured by JLCPCB in matte black with ENIG surface finish.

Total cost for 5 boards (although 10 had no price difference) and stencil was $68 AUD, however $42 of that was shipping 🤦‍♂️. First time ordering from JLCPCB and boards were of very high quality with nice finish.

Version 1 boards

Version 1.1 Boards


Firmware can be loaded over the SWD connector using a programmer such as the J-Link from Segger. Shown above is the J-Link EDU Mini. To start programming the board, we need to load our bootloader then set up our tool chain.

Programming the bootloader

I’ll be using Atmel Studio for flashing the bootloader. To do so, plug in the J-Link and open Atmel Studio. Then select Tools > Device Programming. Under Tool select the J-Link and set Device to ATSAMD21G18A then click Apply.

Connect the J-Link to the feather SWD header and apply power either over USB or via the battery. Once connected, under Device Signature click Read. The Device Signature and Target Voltage text boxes should propagate accordingly. If they do not check the connections and try again.

To flash the bootloader we first need to disable the BOOTPROT fuse. To do this select Fuses > USER_WORD_0.NVMCTRL_BOOTPROT and change to 0 Bytes. Click Program to upload the changes.

Now we can flash the bootloader by selecting Memories > Flash and set the location of the bootloader. Ensure Erase Flash before programming is selected and click Program. If all goes well D13 on the board should begin to pulse.

Now you’ll need to set the BOOTPROT fuse to the 8kB bootloader size. To do this select Fuses > USER_WORD_0.NVMCTRL_BOOTPROT and change to 8192 Bytes. Click program to upload the changes.

Now that the bootloader has been flashed D13 should be pulsing and if plugged in over USB, a mass storage device should appear. This is where UF2 files can be uploaded for programming the board.

Flashing firmware with PlatformIO

PlatformIO create project

Firmware can be uploaded over the UF2 protocol or directly via the SWD interface. Here we’ll be using PlatformIO for its ease and simplicity. To get started create a new PIO project and select Adafruit Feather M0 as the target board. When uploading over SWD with a J-Link set the upload_protocol in platformio.ini as shown below.

platform = atmelsam
board = adafruit_feather_m0
framework = arduino
upload_protocol = jlink

Now you can program the board with the simplicity of the Arduino framework.

Flashing the Anchor

The DWM1000 modules can be configured to be anchors or tags. Generally anchors are kept at known static locations and tags use anchors to get a relative position to them. To test the DWM1000 module you can upload the DW1000-Anchor example from the GitHub repository.

DW1000 Anchor

Simple anchor program for the UWB feather


To flash this program with PlatformIO, from PIO Home, select Open Project then find the location of the DW1000-Anchor folder in the GitHub repository. Then click the PIO upload button and it will automagically find the attached debug probe (ensure it is connected and the board is powered).

platformio upload

The tag firmware will need to be uploaded to another board. Then the result can be viewed in a serial terminal.

Screenshot of ranging example

Going further

Further improvements to this project will include development on a new DW1000 library, list other projects that utilize this ranging technology. For the latest up to date documentation for this board visit learn/uwb-feather

Thanks for reading. Leave any thoughts or criticisms in the comments below.

Further reading

Here is some links to papers that utilize the DW1000 IC and may be useful for integrating this module

Decawave UWB Clock Drift Correction and Power Self-Calibration

UWB Positioning

14 thoughts on “UWB Localization Feather

    1. Thanks, glad you liked it. I plan to finalize the V1.1 hardware over the next few days and I am considering selling them on Tindie, so stay tuned!

  1. Hello,
    Thanks for posting all of this. I have been working on my own DWM1000 proto-board that follows this guide. I’ve built up my own boards and they can be programmed with no apparent issue, but I’m running into an issue where the DWM1000 modules are getting insanely hot and I don’t understand why. Just curious if you have experienced anything like this? The anchor starts off at 26C then move up to ~30C, then jump to ~175C.

    1. Hi Bill,
      Yes I have noticed this as well on my board however haven’t had much time to investigate it yet. After a little searching the best thing I’ve found about the issue is from this project log of a project that uses the DWM1000 module:

      Thermal drift: DWM1000 does not have a TCXO. Depending on surrounding temperature and update rate (i.e. self heating due to radio usage), the measured distance can drift 3-5 cm before thermal equilibrium has been reached. This process can be as slow as half an hour or more.

      It seems to be related to update-rate and the radio output power levels. What library were you using to control the module?

      I will keep this post updated with anything else I find.

      1. Okay, that makes sense. I might need to enable the ADC clock before I run through the temp and voltage measurement procedure.

        I’ve been using the source code from the thotro git repo. Did you have to make any major modifications to that code to get the ranging example to work? I haven’t been able to connect a tag and an anchor. I thought it was a heating issue but now it must be something else. Did you have to figure out what the modules OTP EUI for the address argument passed through startAsAnchor() or startAsTag() or can you pass through an arbitrary address?

        1. I did need to make some modifications to the board definitions to get my boards to work (see https://prototypingcorner.io/learn/uwb-feather/). I also just pushed some test scripts I used to the GitHub repository (the anchor AND tag example code). Tag code at https://github.com/prototyping-corner/UWB-Feather/blob/version-1.1/firmware/DW1000-Anchor/src/tag.h. Its also important the the mode parameter in the DW1000RangingClass::startAsAnchor function is the same on both the anchor and tag. As for the address argument anything random should work fine, I haven’t had any issues with that part.

          The repository is a bit of a mess at the moment. I plan to tidy everything up over the next week. I also have plans to start working on a new DW1000 library. Let me know how you get on.

          Edit: Added a section to the end of the post with some links to papers that talk about this module, could be useful

          1. Awesome! This is very helpful, thank you so much. I did find yesterday that my SPI CLK was running at 24MHz, so I dropped it to 12MHz and it started printing valid statements. When it was running at 24MHz, it was reporting a voltage of 3.32V with a temp at 178C and the device ID wasn’t coming out to 0xDECA0130. But now it’s reporting 3.36V at 32C and an ID of 0xDECA0130. So making progress. I thought the SPI CLK was being divided down from a 48MHz clock, but I guess that’s not the case. I’m making a 4-layer board with some added power protection circuitry. I’d be happy to share it with you if you’re interested.

            1. That’s awesome and a good thing I’ll keep in mind if I run into a similar issue. I’d love to take a look at what your working on.

            2. Hi Bill, I would be interested in learning more about your project… I’m thinking about using UWB for indoor tracking.

  2. Dear Jed Hodson,
    I received two UWB Feather boards yesterday, and checked them.
    There are no problem when I tested RGB LED and Batteries via Configuration.h and main.cpp.
    However, during DWM1000 module test, I can NOT find the solution how I can operate both Anchor and Tag. I already compiled and uploaded the binary codes of them with using DW1000Ranging.h libraries from thotro/arduino-dw1000, but I can NOT see any messages in serial monitor after “### TAG ###” or “### ANCHOR ###”.
    Could you help me how to solve this problem? I guess DWM1000 module dose NOT work on my boards.
    Taehyoung Shim

    1. Hi Tawhyoung,
      Which code sample did you try? I personally tested each board shipped on the code in the repository at github.com/prototyping-corner/UWB-Feather/tree/version-1.1/firmware/DW1000-Anchor. Line 19 and 20 are used to choose between anchor and tag. There is also some changes that need to be made to your board definition that can be found at prototypingcorner.io/learn/uwb-feather. If your still unable to get it to work send me a email at jed (at) prototypingcorner.io and I’ll help you through it.

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