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Thread: Xbee help !

  1. #1

    Xbee help !

    Hello -

    I'm trying to program my Xbees for Mech Warfare but I'm having some trouble. I appreciate any advice.

    Here's how I think it should work:
    1. I plug an Xbee in my USB XBee Explorer.
    2. I plug the USB cable into my PC.
    3. I run X-CTU and configure away.

    Is that right so far ?

    I've tried on three different systems (Win7 32 bit, Win8 64 and 32 bit) with the same results. The PC recognizes the USB serial port but X-CTU fails to find the XBee. I hit the "Test/Query" button but get an error message about how it can't find the Xbee. I have two different Xbee modules and they fail the same way. They're old but I have no other reason to believe they're both bad.

    Any idea what's up ?

    Thanks a lot,

  2. #2

    Re: Xbee help !

    Are they Xbee version 1 or version 2? I don't know if X-CTU cares about that or not; perhaps it does. You're supposed to use version 1 firmware/modules for the transparent serial port work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Rep Power

    Re: Xbee help !

    You didn't mention anything about baud rate... Test/Query will fail if you don't have the right baud rate set.

    You can also reset the xbees by hooking up pin 20 to something, probably with a resistor... Look it up. My preferred xbee board is the UARTSBee, because it has a reset button built-in.

  4. #4

    Re: Xbee help !

    My guess also is baud rate: The two baud rates I would try are:
    9600 - I think most from places like digikey and sparkfun come configured at this baud rate
    38400 - I think ones purchased from Trossen are often at this baud rate.

    X-CTU I am pretty sure can handle both Series 1 and Series 2.

    I also like boards that have the reset, but don't have any working ones of these any more. So at time you can get away with the sledge hammer approach. That is don't have the xbee in the socket, do a query, when it talks about reset, tell it to do so and then stick the xbee in the socket (Baud rate 9600).

    Good Luck

  5. #5

    Re: Xbee help !

    Thanks, guys.

    I don't remember seeing a version number on the Xbees. They did have a manufacture date in 2008, though, so I bet they're version one.

    I've tried a few baud rates but spent most of the time using 9600-N81. I think I bought everything from Trossen. I'll make sure I try 38400 baud.

    I'll also try a reset. I'd rather use the pin pull up/pull down method, so I'll check on that.

    If all this fails, it looks like I'll be buying a new Xbee.

  6. #6

    Re: Xbee help !

    Got it ! Using a combination of the reset techniques above and a lot of trial and error, I got the things programmed. I think the key was to re-flash the firmware. Thanks again for the assist.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Rep Power

    Re: Xbee help !

    Good to hear. Trossen only sells the Series 1 xbees, and for what we all do with mechs, do *not* spend money on the series 2 xbees... They were extremely unreliable for me last year, but I fortunately had a pair of S1 xbees with me.

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