485 Adapter configuration help


I have three XBee 485 adapters (XA-Z14-CS3P-A) which I need to get working, but I think I have missed some vital piece of information.

Out of the box, they do not associate and form a network. I assume that this is because one of them needs to be configured as a coordinator. To do that, I need to upload coordinator firmware. Is that correct?

If yes, then I have tried to connect to one of the adapters using X-CTU and a RS-232 to RS-485 adapter. I can’t seem to connect whatever serial settings I try. Is this even possible? The user guide states that firmware upgrade is not possible for the 485 adapters, so if that’s true, then presumably there is no way to use one as a coordinator.

Apologies if I have been rambling, but Iv’e been going in circles for a while with this.


I’m pretty certain 2-wire won’t work with XCTU, but 4-wire (RS-422-like) might allow settings changes. I do think XCTU demans use of RTS and DTR to reflash, so that wouldn’t work.

I’ve never tried to talk to them this way, as I always have one of the Ethernet gateways which allows remote config.

Do you have an XBIB board? That would allow you to open the master unit & access the XBee directly. I fear this may be required.

Make sure the XBee setting ‘D7’ is 7 to enable proper RTS line-duplex control. This setting will be lost if you reflash the XBee.

A couple of questions:

  1. did you really want the 3-6vdc supply? Just curious.
  2. How do you expect data to move? ZB doesn’t handle broadcast gracefully, which is why a ‘gateway’ as master is more common. This allows it to manage the protocol and send the data as unicast.

Thanks for your reply. I was getting to the point of thinking I may have to talk to the XBee directly. May have to get an XBIB board.

  1. No, I would rather have the higher voltage supply, but these units were left over from a previous job (which I had nothing to do with, hence my steep learning curve), and therefore a no cost option.

  2. The application is a master system which talks to slave devices on a 485 bus, so yes it is broadcast. The wireless part needs to be basiacally transparent. Is this even possible with this product, or any product from Digi?

Thanks for your help