How To Use X-CTU

Digi International offers a convenient tools for Xbee module programming - X-CTU.    With this software , the user be able to upgrade the firmware , update the parameters , perform communication testing easily.    The basic operations are listed below , make sure you read through and try them.

Before you can talk to an XBee , except USB cable you will need to get an USB adapter for XBee.    With the USB adapter , you can communicate with Xbee through "USB Serial Port".    You may have more than one device on
serial port , for example , you wanna test the wireless communication and connect two XBee to your PC.    So you will more devices on serial port.    In either case , select the correct one that you wanna perform operations.

See the picture on the left.
  In this case , it only has one Xbee connect to PC.    And it locates on com port 9 (COM9)

[ Xbee Query ]
This is an easy way to test and check if an XBee is working and configuring properly.   After parameter modification and firmware upgrading , you need to do this for checking if everything is ok.   You will have a
very little chance to get a problem Xbee.    If you got problem to Test / Query an XBee , usually it is due to the wrong parameter setting.

For a successful two way communication , the most primary principle is the "Baud Rate" should match each other.

For a new Xbee module , follow this procedure to query.
  1. Select com port in section : "PC Settings"
  2. Baud Rate set to 9600 (only for the new Xbee module , set the value to your case)
  3. Flow Control : NONE
  4. Data Bits : 8 
  5. Parity : NONE
  6. Stop Bits : 1
  7. Enable API : Uncheck  (Click Here to See "What is API ?")
  8. Click "Test / Query"
If you had set the Baud Rate to other value , then you should change to it.

When every thing comes to the right place , this window will appear.    If you see any other kind of message window , it means something wrong even you see an OK on it.    It is not ok without this message and window.   With the same setting , if you only got this occasionally , it means the communication is unstable.   You may need to use an XBee adapter with a better quality , or try another XBee.

The modem type and firmware version means the firmware be programmed in this XBee.   It is possible to have other types of firmware , depends on your usage for XBee.

If something goes wrong , then you will get this window.   For most cases , it can be solved by just changing the Baud Rate and un/check API Mode.    We will have a detailed information about this latter.

The wrong firmware in XBee will also result in this kind of message.    If the setting and firmware are correct , then the hardware may have problem.    In this case , check the adapter first then XBee.     A hand made , bad quality Xbee adapter may result in this.    Although the specification can not tell this , but XBee Pro apparently has a better tolerance on power source and adapter than normal XBee.

The next section will discuss the four main tabs in X-CTU and information about using XBee with Arduino.

X-CTU User Interface

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