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View Full Version : [Question(s)] ArbotiX, XBee and The FTDI Basic Breakout



Robonaut
02-27-2010, 06:37 PM
I just purchased an ArbotiX, 2 XBees and The FTDI Basic Breakout. I was told when I made this order and I also read some where on this site that I can not have the XBee the FTDI Basic Breakout connected at the same time and expect either one to function properly or at all.

Dang if I can find it again. Something about them basically fighting with each other. Which is ok by me. Doubt there is a reason I would need both of them running at the same time.

The solution put forward was to pull the XBee while using the FTDI. Makes sense to me and is very doable. I'm waiting for my hardware to arrive. (Is it Wednesday yet?) So I don't have them to inspect at this point but I'm thinking I could put a off switch in between the XBee and the Arbotix somehow.

Questions:

Is it harmful to the hardware or the programming if I were to forget and attach both by mistake?
Has anyone made a switch to deal with this or has there been any discussion on it?
Is there a rev coming out for any of the 3 pieces of hardware to deal with this issue?

Connor
02-27-2010, 06:51 PM
The best thing to do in this case is use a ISP instead of the FTDI. It doesn't require you to remove the Xbee for programming. Frankly, having BOTH is a nice thing. Just makes it easier no matter what your using.

Thanks, Connor

lnxfergy
02-27-2010, 06:54 PM
The note is in both the hardware manual, and on the Getting Started page of the wiki. You can actually use the XBEE while the FTDI is plugged in, but not the other way around -- the XBEE doesn't tri-state itself well enough to avoid messing up the FTDI's signals.

You'd actually have to put a switch on the serial RX/TX, which would be a bit of a pain. An earlier board i designed some time ago actually did this, but I found it to be more of a pain than it was worth (just pulling the XBEE is easy enough).

There are currently no plans for hardware revisions on any Vanadium Labs boards at the moment. If you eventually get an ISP, you could also go to wireless bootloading (a number of ArbotiX users already do this, we just don't recommend doing it without access to an ISP, which would be required to re-install the bootloader should it be corrupted during a wireless download).

-Fergs

DresnerRobotics
02-27-2010, 07:39 PM
The best thing to do in this case is use a ISP instead of the FTDI. It doesn't require you to remove the Xbee for programming. Frankly, having BOTH is a nice thing. Just makes it easier no matter what your using.

Thanks, Connor



He's using a mac though, so his number of compatible ISPs is a bit more limited and I didn't have one to offer him on the store, which is why I suggested the FTDI. It's not a big deal though, just swap em when you need to program and/or eventually pick up a mac compatible ISP if you no longer want to swap em. I have and use both ftdi's and isp's, as Connor said it's useful to have both in the long run.

Connor
02-27-2010, 08:22 PM
He's using a mac though, so his number of compatible ISPs is a bit more limited and I didn't have one to offer him on the store, which is why I suggested the FTDI. It's not a big deal though, just swap em when you need to program and/or eventually pick up a mac compatible ISP if you no longer want to swap em. I have and use both ftdi's and isp's, as Connor said it's useful to have both in the long run.

Ah, okay, your stocking the 2nd generation instead of the first generation of polou's ISP. I got the first generation based on Fergy's recomendation.. Looks like they have around 21 of them in stock at the moment... and that one works with Mac I belive as well.

Thanks, Connor