books on Xbee ??

any books out there on developing projects and code using the Xbee and 802.15.4 ?

We have the product manual available under the 802.15.4 products, as well as articles in the knowledgebase.

yes, i’ve dl’d the manual. via that, just some things hard to wrap me head around.

after reading/perusing your manuals on your XBee & XBee Pro products i have to add this thought.

they are really poorly written. a lot of useful information in them but the way it is written, so called examples, and such, i find very frustrating.

others may not find this so, but for me, to make use of your products and if not for this forum, i think i would have switched to another product. and if tech support is only going to refer me to a page in these manuals, well, that is why i come to the forum…

Do you have a more specific question or place where you’re getting stuck?

I’ve had the same frustration learning how to use Xbee’s. All the info is in the docs but is not presented in a cohesive manner. But this is on par with much the documents on high tech embedded products from Xilinx, NPX, FreeScale, etc. MicroChip PIC’s are the exception with all the App Notes they have (no wonder PICs are popular with hobbyists and professionals).
I do embedded design professionally and it is most common to spend weeks with the documents and development boards before a good understanding is obtained.

Other sources of confusion with XBee is there are two series that use different hardware (FreeScale & Ember). Then there is different firmware for each with no clear explanation anywhere on the differences, one must digest each of the different documents to learn the differences.
Then there is the different protocols supported by different firmware that are very similar but with important differences.
This is an area that I feel Digi Int should address with a very clearly written document. Not with the marketing hype found on their web site.

I did learn much from this and other forums. I can only suggest reading through each thread in all of the RF module forums. Once I obtained an understanding of these Xbee’s I find they are easy to use and work great.

Message was edited by: waltr

>>This is an area that I feel Digi Int should address with a very clearly written document.

i agree. there is a great niche out there regarding this tech and the competition will only grow. Digi has a line of great products. i trust they’ll get around to reworking their docs. unless they just want to stay with a small niche of engineers…IMHO

I love the forums, that is where i really learn, along with the manuals and looking at code.

i just have to get a bit more of a foundation with them and then i’ll be on me way.


Thanks all, we appreciate the feedback, and will strive to make the “new user” experience a better one.

In the absence of books, I’ll offer the attached PDF file which contains the notes I maintain on my understanding of the XBee. Don’t expect too much: I wrote these for my own benefit, and without any intention of publication. Sometimes though it may be helpful to see the same information presented in different ways.

A few disclaimers are necessary:

  1. These are my own notes, and the excellent folks at Digi bear no responsibility for any mistakes.
  2. There will be some mistakes, I’m sure. I won’t take responsibility if you rely on the notes and then your XBee application burns down the house and/or kills the cat. Use the notes by all means, but please always cross-check with the product manual.
  3. My notes aren’t complete. They include only the stuff that I found it necessary to understand and remember. As an example of that, in my application there are no battery-powered XBees. Therefore I’ve never needed a proper understanding of sleep modes and the use of coordinators, and those topics are described only in a sketchy way.

Generally and like other posters in this thread I did find the Digi documentation daunting at first, and in some respects I still do. It’s like other product manuals and data sheets: it tries hard to provide the maximum information in the smallest space. That’s good for reference, but not ideal for a tutorial. My way of coping with that situation is to write my own “cookbook” such as you see here.

If anyone finds the notes helpful, I’ll be encouraged to update them. Error reports are especially welcome, including ones that may seem trivial.

Also, in the light of admin’s previous comment, maybe it would be interesting to see replies of the form “No, that’s not what I want; better would be …” In other words, I’ll be perfectly relaxed if people want to criticize the notes as a basis for suggesting what should be provided. Since I didn’t write them for publication, I won’t be offended. And maybe Digi might find that sort of comment helpful.

Message was edited by: johnf

i find them helpful…appreciate it

That’s a nice cookbook John, thanks for posting it!

thanks john. your cookbook is good and informative.

Rob Faludi wrote a great book introducing 802.15.4 and ZigBee with Digi’s XBee modules.

“Building Wireless Sensor Networks” by Rob Faludi

You can get 25% off the print version and 35% off the electronic version by using promo code DIGID and buying here:

“Making Things Talk” by Tom Igoe has some xbee introduction and examples in it, and some other wireless options. It is published by O’Reilly/Make Magazine. “Building Wireless Sensor Networks”