An Introduction to XBee ??

Hey guys

I’m ABSOLUTELY new to XBee so let me put my questions across to you guys in the clearest way possible.

What I have :
A few XBee Series 1 modules and the Sparkfun XBee explorer board
I’m using a couple of Arduino Fio boards, each of which has an XBee on it and it communicates with an XBee connected to my computer. As in, I have 4 Arduino boards, each in communication with one XBee par (ie. 8 XBee’s in total).

I’m trying to figure out if I can use the 4 Arduino + Xbee’s to communicate with my computer via only one XBee.
As in 4 Xbee’s talking to one Xbee.

Now I know the API mode is designed for this, but i dont know how to use it. Can you guys help?

Hi, and welcome to the forums!

The XBee product manual for your version is the main source: it does have the information you need, though because it’s a reference manual it can be a bit terse.

You might also want to check out the pinned posts at the top of this forum, if you haven’t done that already. The bits and pieces that I’ve produced, which are listed there, may help if used alongside the product manual.

Certainly you can communicate with your four Arduinos from a single XBee attached to the host computer, and that would be the normal way to do it.

The cookbook should be of some help with API mode (always in conjunction with the product manual of course). Also see the packet-check program. When you start composing API packets it’s very easy to make mistakes. The packet-check program will take a packet and decode it, reporting any errors it finds.

A tip: make sure all your XBees are updated to the latest firmware before you start experimenting. You can’t tell how long they may have been on a distributor’s shelf so there’s no guarantee that they will have the latest version when they reach you.

Hope that helps to get you started.

Thanks! The cookbook is really useful, but before I go into a lot of detail, I’d like to know something

If for example, the four arduinos are sending data and the receiving XBee has to pickup and process this data, how exactly is it done?

Would the receiving XBee have to read the data from each in turn? How would i go about doing this?

Basically, i want to how to code the Xbee…ie give it the capability to read from multiple source addresses?

A step by step (not necessarily detailed) explanation would be REEEALLLLY helpful!

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to peruse the cookbook / the manual.

And VERY important…I need the XBee’s to be able to identify themselves.

IS there a way I can tell which XBee exactly is sending the data?

It is a bit harder still I will try to find out!

I set out to compose a more detailed reply to your question, and then decided it should be something that appears in the FAQ. So I’ve re-issued the FAQ with that as the new Q1. See whether it helps. Suggestions on improving the answer would be very welcome.