Looking for some information for Beginners on programming XBee

For my fourth year design course, I wanted to make a wireless navigating robot, and ordered two Xbee modules, and a USB dev kit.

I’m new to serial programming, and am wondering where I can find some information.

Here’s some of my basic questions:

  1. What’s the difference between the various firmware options I can load? How do I check what is currently loaded?

  2. How do I send a simple binary packet from one xbee (connected to my PC) to another xbee? I’m trying to read through the xbee manual, but don’t really know where to start. Is there a tutorial somewhere?

Thanks a lot for your help

Yeah i have the same question as CuppoJava … the manual (for the drop in networking professional developement kit) seems like it uses a star network (pg 28) so everything goes to the gateway first … but how do i get it to work like a mesh network so i can send data from say the RS232 Interface Board (Xbee-PRO) to the USB Interface Board???

Help please someone!!

And what are the SW buttons for??

The firmware options available for an 802.15.4 rf module are either 802.15.4 or DigiMesh 2.4. The actual firmware files can be found elsewhere on the Support website. As far as checking what’s currently loaded, you could do this through XCTU or over the air with the VR command.

Regarding your second question, if both are in AT mode, and the DH/DL of each module is set to the SH/SL of the opposite module, and MY=FFFF (i.e. setting the modules to Unicast mode with each other), you’d basically have a wire-replacement and whatever you typed on one end (assuming RS232 dev board or adapter) would come out the other end.

As far as tutorials, I don’t think we really have any other than the getting started guides that come with our starter kits. We do have a wealth of knowledge in our OEM product manuals, knowledge base articles, and a lot of good info on this forum as well.

Admin’s second paragraph (“Regarding your second question…”) has already given the key information. But let me chip in to see whether we’re understanding the situation.

You say your project is for a “wireless navigating robot”. Sounds to me as though in descending order of importance:

  1. It’s a robot - a mechanical device that moves around, so you’re going to build some neat hardware
  2. It navigates - you’re going to write some clever software
  3. It’s wireless, so it doesn’t trail cables around the floor.

My guess would be that objectives (1) and (2) are what are going to get you the marks, so you want to minimise the investment in (3). After all, (1) and (2) are going to be demanding enough…

To translate that, I’d suggest that when reading the XBee documentation you concentrate on the bits that talk about “command mode” and more particularly “transparent mode”. As admin has said, transparent mode lets you treat the pair of XBees as though they were a wired connection.

You also ask about firmware versions. If your system consists of just one pair of XBees, you don’t need to worry about the different networking models. The standard firmware will work fine.

Execpt: check the firmware version (VR command) as admin said. Version 10CD seems to be the latest that’s officially recommended. If your version is older than that, then use X-CTU to upgrade it. (In honesty, I think transparent mode works fine in any version. But if you have further questions, it’ll help your street cred if you can point out that you are running the latest firmware version :slight_smile: