need help on Xbee series 1

hi i am a student and i need help on working with the xbee module. i ve got the xbee modules and i am unable to get any of the breakout or interface boards. i can probably make a breakout board myself but what do i do to connect to the cpu and use the XCTU software ? is there a possibility of using the xbee module without an MCU if i jut want it to be throwing data from a sensor to another xbee ??

How do you want to communicate to the Xbee? Via computer or via a micro controller?

If you want to communicate via computer(I’m going to assume serial), you are going to need to construction some kind of TTL to RS232 converter to convert the low voltage serial data from the xbee to high voltage serial PC Com ports use. There are many public circuits for doing this and I have constructed one myself. I don’t remember remember the chip’s name off the top of my head however.

If you want to communicate via micro controller it’s as easy as wiring a micro controller pin to the appropriate Xbee pin, hooking up power, and sending a serial command. This method will however not allow you to run the XCTU software.

All you need is a MAX232 or equivalent. Best way to get one is from an old phone lead, the one that allows you to connect your phone to a PC. Only 6 wires to connect, the pins are given in the module datasheet. If you don’t want to upgrade the firmware then you only need to connect 4, +, gnd, TX, RX. If you want to upgrade the firmware then you need RTS and CTS too.

XBee S1 is using CMOS logic instead of TTL logic, hence MAX3232 have to be used instead of MAX232.

MAX3232 can work at 3.3 but MAX232 not.
Also, the manual stated that the minimum connections for updating firmware are VCC, GND, DIN, DOUT, RTS & DTR.

You may want to have a look to the interface board schmatic:

Regarding to the main problem, XBee S1(Before REV.B) is composed by Freescale MC13193 transcever and MC9S08GT60 MCU, hence XBee itself is strong enough to work without additional MCU. However, you have to work on the code yourself on Freescale BeeStack or TI Z-Stack.

But, if you just want to make a simple point to point network, using the UART interface and AT Command would be good enough. You may add a cheap MCU that work on CMOS logic to control the XBee, no MAX3232 will be needed in this case.

If you still want to write your own code for the MC9S08GT60 inside the XBee to make a simple point to point network, you may interest in Freesale SMAC.

Schematic of XBee S1 Rev.A is avaliable in the following document:

Hope these information can help you. I suffered a lot from these problems before.

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