[ Foreword ]
Xbee can be used for wireless communication with low power consumption. A 3.6V 600mA Lithium battery may last 6 - 12 months for powering up an Xbee while the wireless range can up to 1 mile. It talks with well known UART interface and makes it easy to use. It is simple and straight forward if you only use 2 Xbee for communication. People use this for their own electronics projects for wireless communication. Arduino plus Xbee is a very popular combination for electronics projects. In this tutorial , I'll show you the most basic way to make a Xbee network communication happen which is only consist two Xbee. You will be able to use Xbee in your robot control / monitor project. Xbee is the module using Zigbee protocol. Zigbee is a wireless communication protocol like wifi and bluetooth. ZigBee defines a network layer above the 802.15.4 layers to support advanced mesh routing capabilities.It is simple to make XBee talk to another XBee( P2P , use 802.15.4) , however , it is not an easy job to setup a Zigbee Network. This tutorial will also demonstrate a simple way to make it happen. When you are trying to touch and play Xbee in the first time , you may notice that it is not just like plug and play. The datasheet has totally 69 pages , and the content does not show you how to make it work right away. Also , when you try to update the firmware , you may have a lot of questions in your mind about : Which modem and function set is the one that I need? You may found after upgrading the firmware , the XBee looks like transforming into a "Brick" from USD$25.0 (or USD$55.0 if you're using the Pro ver.). After succeeding in updating the firmware , how do I configure these tons of setting so the Xbee will start communicating?This tutorial will show you the tips and shortcuts about how to make Xbee Net Work !
[ The Scope Of This Website ]
How to use X-CTU ( Software for updating firmware and configuring parameters )
How to Recover a "BRICKed" XBee ( Save your XBee ! Visit here if you screw up on updating the XBee Firmware , and the XBee seems dead !)
[ Configure XBee with X-CTU ]
Digi International write a software X-CTU for configuring XBee. With X-CTU , it is simple and easy to update the firmware and modify the parameters. Before you can do that , you will need an USB adapter for XBee. After the right setting , the XBee will work for you and your projects. The basic tutorials of XBee configuration for both P2P(802.15.4) and Network(Coordinator and Router) will be covered in here.
[ PC Talk To XBee ]
Sometimes , you wanna your PC be able to communicate with other electronics device , such as Arduino , an Embedded Sytem in your home , or other electronics projects , wirelessly. In this time , XBee is one the best choice , and you'll need an USB adapter for this purpose.
X-CTU is a very good tool for updating firmware and parameters , however , it can not perform this task. For doing this , you will need :
An USB Adapter for PC to connect to XBee
In my case , the USB Adapter has a FTDI chip : "FTDI FT232RL". It will create a Virtual COM Port(VCP) in your PC , such that you can write a simple program which can talk to this Virtual COM Port. The tutorial of Windows Serial Port Programming is here. Then , this VCP driver will talk to your XBee through USB Port and the FTDI chip. In this case , you can use your PC to collect and store the data from your electronics project , or control / monitor them , wirelessly.
[ Web Server For Electronics Project ]
Further more , if you make your own Customized Web Server , a simple one of course , then you can access (monitor and control) your personal electronics project from Internet.
The technology defined by the ZigBee specification is intended to be simpler and less expensive than other WPANs, such as Bluetooth. ZigBee is targeted at radio-frequency (RF) applications that require a low data rate, long battery life, and secure networking.
ZigBee is a low-cost, low-power, wireless mesh networking proprietary standard. The low cost allows the technology to be widely deployed in wireless control and monitoring applications, the low power-usage allows longer life with smaller batteries, and the mesh networking provides high reliability and larger range.
[ Application ]
Not only just on and off , XBee can communicate wirelessly. This is an example of using XBee to communicate between PC and a microcontroller(Arduino). So , the XBee can transfer input data from a microcontroller to PC. Tell PC "Hey , Buddy! Something is happening here! What should I do?". So the PC got input data and found it is too dark and the vehicle hit the wall. Then , PC commands Arduino through XBee "Don't Panic and stay cool. Just turn on your flashlight. Then go backward and make a right turn!".
[ A Friendly Reminder ]
This website may contain error messages and personal opinions. Be aware that all the information here are just for viewer's references.