21 October 2008

Xbee Adapter Kit

I'm still having problems with the Xbee Arduino Shield. I struggled with building the darn thing and am now wondering if I fried a component. I only applied soldering heat for max of 3 seconds and then waited 5 seconds before trying again. But some leads were troublesome and I applied, applied, and re-applied heat many times. I'm not getting my Xbee in the Xbee Explorer USB to successfully chat to the Xbee in the Aruino shield connected to the Pololu LV-168 Orangutan. I'm a man of action so after wasting hours debugging, what do I do? Buy something new!

Lady Ada's XBee wireless modem adapter looks interesting. Like the Xbee Explorer USB, it can can be quickly hooked to a USB port but it also has headers exposed that can used for prototyping.

Like the Xbee Arduino Shield, it's also a kit but it's only about 10 parts, only $10, and dirt simple to build.

It took about 1/2 hour to build, no troubles. Within an hour, I had both Xbee's associated with each other. Here's what I did:
  • Xbee 1. Put it in the Xbee Explorer USB and plugged into my laptop. It shows up as /dev/ttyUSB0.
  • Xbee 2. Put it in the new shiny Xbee Adapter with an FTDI USB TTL-232 cable and plugged into my laptop. It shows up as /dev/ttyUSB1.
  • Used Digi's X-CTU to setup Xbee 1 as a ZNET 2.5 Router/End Device AT
  • To use X-CTU, I had to first setup User Com Port COM10.
  • Named Xbee 1 to PINK by setting the Node Identifier (NI)
  • Set PINK's destination to Xbee 2 by entering this command in the terminal: ATDNWHITE
  • Left X-CTU running and started another X-CTU instance for Xbee 2
  • Used Digi's X-CTU to setup Xbee 2 as a ZNET 2.5 Router/End Device AT
  • To use X-CTU, I first had to setup User Com Port COM11.
  • Named Xbee 2 to WHITE by setting the Node Identifier (NI)
  • Set WHITE's destination to Xbee 1 by entering this command in the terminal: ATDNPINK
After that, each endpoint was linked to the other. A quick quick to confirm: In the terminal tab of each Xbee type:

+++
ATND

The Xbee should reply with the association information of the other. In PINK's terminal, I saw info about the associate WHITE:

1FEC (MY - 16bit Network Address)
0013A200 (SH - Serial Number High)
403E2174 (SL- Serial Number Low)
WHITE (NI - Node Identifier)
FFFE (? - Signal Strength?)
01 (?)
00 (?)
C105 (?)
101E (?)

Next, I'm planning to connect the Xbee Adapter to the Orangutan and have it send a simple test message to XBee in the Explorer.

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