Thursday, December 8, 2011

XBee 101

This month I am working with XBee's to get my sensors wirelessly transmitting data. Ive started to come across many tutorials out there, but nobody is saying straight out that XBee's will work out of the box with no setup required. You just have to verify that the PAN ID, CHANNEL and BAUD RATE match both XBee's, but other than that DONT play with any other settings if you just want a simple point-to-point transmit/receive setup.
XBee Series 1 Modem
If I had known that a week ago, I would have spent this time experimenting with sensors, but I just got the thing working last night, because both Sparkfun and Adafruit DONT explicitly state these things. They give you a tutorial to follow, and if you stray from that, you're in trouble. For example, one tutorial I came across said to change my DH and DL serial numbers (thats Destination High and Low), to the serial number of the current XBee you are working with. Thats wrong because then it tries to talk with itself, and nothing will happen.

Anyways, complaints aside, now I have a working XBee network. Its only one node and one router, but thats a start. Next step is to work on sensors, and get a simple setup going for a wireless burglar alarm system. It helps to have a high decibel piezo alarm to get a better feel when its working (as I do). I'll keep you posted of updates, and I might throw some sample code on here the next time I post.

Thats all for now. Peace Out.

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