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Topic: Unable to program Xbee chips (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic

Hello,

I'm trying to control a servo wirelessly, using Xbee chips, just like in Jeremy Blum's tutorial.

My problem is that i cannot program the Xbee chips (I use this one). When I launch PuTTY, I don't get an OK when i type +++, and nothing happens as i carry on. The only difference with his hardware is that i use the Wireless shield instead of the Xbee shield, but i did as recommanded in the description page (uploading a blank sketch in the Atmega before switching to "micro", etc). And the sketches don't work if i leave the Xbees unprogrammed.

Thanks for your help.



PaulS

I'd do three things. First, I'd get the right XBees. If you want two XBees to talk to each other, and only two XBees, you want point-to-point models, not mesh-network models.

Second, I'd get a USB explorer to program the XBees with.

Third, I'd use X-CTU, rather than putty, to configure them. X-CTU is distributed by digi.com (for Windows only, which is its only drawback) expressly for programming XBees. It provides a lot more information about any failure to communicate with the XBee.

#3
Sep 05, 2012, 01:11 pm Last Edit: Sep 05, 2012, 01:23 pm by N_Tesla Reason: 1
Thank you for your reply.


I'd do three things. First, I'd get the right XBees. If you want two XBees to talk to each other, and only two XBees, you want point-to-point models, not mesh-network models.

Yes, I realised I took the less adequate series 2 only afterwards.  :~


Second, I'd get a USB explorer to program the XBees with.

Alright, but is it really not possible to do it with the wireless shield ? What is the wireless shield's micro/usb switch useful for if not for programming the Xbee's ? I'll get an USB explorer, but I want to be sure there's nothing else to do beforehand.


Third, I'd use X-CTU, rather than putty, to configure them. X-CTU is distributed by digi.com (for Windows only, which is its only drawback) expressly for programming XBees. It provides a lot more information about any failure to communicate with the XBee.

I installed it ... and got an error when I runned the test.  :~ A screenshot is attached. Resetting as proposed in the error message didn't solve the problem.

Thank you for your help and your patience.

PaulS

Quote
Alright, but is it really not possible to do it with the wireless shield ?

Have you removed the ATMega328 chip from the Arduino? That is necessary, as it interferes with the serial communication that takes place between the USB to serial converter chip and the shield with the XBee on it. Without removing the ATMega328 (pay attention to its orientation, so you can put it back correctly), I don't know of a way to use the Arduino/XBee shield to program the XBees.

Quote
I'll get an USB explorer

You won't regret it. I have two, so I can program and test two XBees at a time.

I removed the ATMega chip ... and now it works indeed !

Thank you very much, PaulS.

doughboy

an alternative to getting xbee explorer is to just get a usb to serial converter for under $3 on ebay.  you need to connect dtr if you want to update xbee firmware. otherwise, only rx/tx connection plus power is required (i.e. using UNO without the mega chip will work).

my "xbee explorer" using usb to serial adapter

Looks like my modules are bricked... No response to +++ and X-CTU doesn't recognize/write/update them whatever trick I use. I tried all the procedure I could find via google, in vain.

I guess I have to hope the company I bought them to will accept a return.

Best regards,

doughboy

unless you were updating the firmware, I don't think you can brick your xbee.
use xctu query and try all the different baud rate setting.

if in one of your writes you changed the baud rate, then you need to change the xctu baud rate after that write to match.

But I think i updated the firmware. I wanted to play with the software a little, see how it worked, i didn't imagine this could wreck my Xbee like this. I'll try what you propose and let you know.

doughboy

If you don't use an xbee explorer or USB to serial adapter, then it is impossible for you to update the firmware. Writing the parameters is not updating the firmware

I use the Arduino Wireless shield, with the Atmega chip removed. I could recover one of my Xbee's but the other is still dead.

The fact is that, in all unbricking tutorials, the error popup window must disapear when the Xbee module is resetted. But on mine, the window stays, the resetting changes nothing.  :~

doughboy

were you able to succesfully do a write with "always update firmware" checked?
the unbrick procedure is basically to update the firmware again.

note that if you actually did update the firmware, the baud rate will go back to default of 9600.


were you able to succesfully do a write with "always update firmware" checked?

Indeed.

Now about the still-dead module, is it possible than i completely corrupted the firmware ? Because, right now I again tried several ways to unbrick it (testing with various version and function sets, etc), and it is still unresponding. I'm really considering a Tesla coil lightning-packed therapy for this one.

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