Solution recommendation to remote access SBC and enable devices via GPIO

We are currently working on a project that we have done previously, sort of, however we need to scale down the size considerably. In the past we have used a Digi lr54 to connect remotely to a SBC and Arduino device. The Arduino would always be powered on, which would be used for gpio toggling of enable signals for the SBC, Flatpack power packs, and a few other devices. The SBC would be a remote device that we would remote onto for desktop access.

While its not the exact project, it is a very similar project, but the over all size will need to be scaled down considerably. The lr54 needs to be replaced with a smaller option, the SBC and Arduino models will be scaled down as well. I’m supporting my EE in finding some new options. We will be going to a custom Beaglebone black board to replace the larger SBC we were previously using. We will need network access to the device, however, we do not need a switch as the BBB will be the only device needing network connectivity, that and the lr54 is too large. Here is what I’m thinking.

I’ve used the Xbee 900mhz rf radio in the past for simple serial communication. We designed a small board that the xbee would plugged into, allow for serial coms with multiple connected devices. Reading through documentation, it appears that the device also has gpio pins and is somewhat programmable. I never got that far into using the Xbee beyond, setting up the peer to peer communication. Never dived any deeper.

My questions are: 1) If I needed remote access to an SBC, allowing me to remote onto the desktop, with the smallest possible footprint. Would the Digi Xbee Wi-Fi be an viable solution? Would there be another recommended solution? 2) The specifications show the Xbee Wifi has 10 Digital I/O. Can these be used directly from a client radio to toggle 3.3v enable lines on devices, so we can ditch the Arduino all together?

Thank you for your time and help.


Sure you can. As long as you follow the directions in the product manual.


Thanks for the input. What I’m having issue with is the lack of information related to how we would accomplish this. There doesn’t seem to be any wiring options for us to go from the Xbee radio module to a Ethernet port, which would allow us to connect the SBC.

Mascenzi, I would suggest sending an email to Digi support so they can help you locate the documentation you are looking for.