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I have been trying to get the arduino xbee shield up and running with two XBee's and there appears to be a problem loading the sketch when externally powering the boards.  I have verified this by uploading the "Blink" sketch. When the Xbee shield is plugged in (doesn't matter whether the jumpers are in the USB or XBEE position), Blink won't load, evidenced by the LED fast blinking 3 times.  When I disconnect the xbee shield, Blink loads and runs.  This is the same behavior when I'm trying to get 2 Xbees to communicate. Yes, I have already configured the XBees using X CTU.  And I have gone thru numerous samples from numerous forums/blogs.  The marketing hype of this system will tell you this works straight out of the box.  Which appears to be a bunch of crap.  I'm involved in a serious project and can't be fooling around with a tinker toy system.
If this is a typical problem, I'm moving on to a real development system
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Does it work with it plugged in to usb power?

Either...
1:The external power doesn't have enough current.
2:Defective shield.
3:Defective xbee.

Does the arduino boot without the radio module installed?
If yes, then the radio is bad, if not then there's a problem with the shield.

Of course all of this is assuming you have nothing else being powered by your external source.
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Thanks for your reply.

It works when the shield is not plugged in.
It works with the shield plugged in and no radio plugged in.

It does not work with the radio plugged in.

Both radios Bad?  seems unlikely but  maybe!
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BUT, I was able to talk to and program parameters into the radios using X CTU.  So, I'm not sure about your theory.
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Yea, I doubt both radios are bad.  Sounds like a power issue.  Any way of trying a different external power source?

I've only used usb power for my xbees.
Dave
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The sketch, any sketch, will load and run when attached to the USB and IDE with the sketch and radio connected.

The sketch will NOT load when attached to the USB with the shield and radio connected. (not talking to the IDE)

The sketch will NOT load when attached to the power supply with the shield and radio connected.

The sketch will load and run when the shield is connected but with no radio.

The sketch will load and run when the shield is not connected.

I can communicate and program the radio via X CTU.
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I am using a USB from a Desktop computer and a 5 volt 2500 mA wall wart.

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I read there are/were problems with the bootloader not able to load a sketch if the sketch is invoking the serial port and not allowing the bootloader to timeout. If the serial port is on from the get-go, the bootloader never times out and keeps trying to connect to the IDE, therefore never loading the sketch.

Ever heard of this?
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The sketch, any sketch, will load and run when attached to the USB and IDE with the sketch and radio connected.

The sketch will NOT load when attached to the USB with the shield and radio connected. (not talking to the IDE)
I am going to assume that the last occurrence of "sketch" in the first sentence should have been "shield".

I am completely confused by the second statement, however. How can you load a sketch to the Arduino without the IDE talking to the Arduino?
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Once the IDE uploads a sketch to the Arduino, it's save in the micros memory.  Upon powering the Arduino, the bootloader loads the sketch that is in it's memory and executes it.

I have been successful at getting the radios working but I'm still having this loading problem.  I have been able to get it to work by talking to the Arduino using the X CTU.   As soon as I ping the Arduino externally with some serial comm activity the bootloader loads the sketch and it works but I'm still not sure why. Either it has to do with the serial comm, not allowing the bootloader to load or there is a reference on the Arduino troubleshooting page that either the RX or TX lines need to be tied to ground with a 10K resistor.  I'm heading to Radio Shack to pickup a couple of resistors to try this fix.  For something that is suppose to work out of the box, this sure has been a pain in the A#%.
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By the way, These comments came directly from the  Arduino Troubleshooting page.  Here they are:

Why doesn't my sketch start when I'm powering the board with an external power supply? (Arduino Diecimila or earlier)

Because the RX pin is unconnected, the bootloader on the board may be seeing garbage data coming in, meaning that it never times out and starts your sketch. Try tying the RX pin to ground with a 10K resistor (or connecting it to the TX pin).

Why doesn't my sketch start when I power up or reset the Arduino board?

Most likely because you are sending serial data to the board when it firsts turns on. During the first few seconds, the bootloader (a program pre-burned onto the chip on the board) listens for the computer to send it a new sketch to be uploaded to the board. After a few seconds without communication, the bootloader will time out and start the sketch that's already on the board. If you continue to send data to the bootloader, it will never time out and your sketch will never start. You'll either need to find a way to stop serial data from arriving for the first few seconds when the board powers (e.g. by enabling the chip that sends the data from within your setup() function) or burn your sketch onto the board with an external programmer, replacing the bootloader.
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I have been trying to get the arduino xbee shield up and running with two XBee's and there appears to be a problem loading the sketch when externally powering the boards.  I have verified this by uploading the "Blink" sketch. When the Xbee shield is plugged in (doesn't matter whether the jumpers are in the USB or XBEE position), Blink won't load, evidenced by the LED fast blinking 3 times.
As long as I know, no sketch can be uploaded to arduino when XBee module is connected (the shield can be connected, but not XBee module).
The configuration Pins are to configure who XBee speaks to: XBee<->USB, XBee<->microcontroller.

One possibility is create your own shield. Do it that the power to the XBee is controlled by an arduino pin, and default to disconnected.
Oh, this first solution can be implemented like this:

Can be usefull if you don't need the cyclic sleep. Must configure sleep mode as "Pin Sleep" (P9 on Series 2). The transistor is a 2N7000.
When D12 is HIGH => XBee awakes (P9 LOW).
When D12 is LOW => XBee sleeps (P9 not connected => HIGH)

The second possibility is upload the sketch wirelessly from other XBee.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 04:30:07 pm by ishinay » Logged

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I have the same problem on Arduino UNO while on an arduino mega everything works correctly.

Does it exist a solution to that problem?
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I have the same problem on Arduino UNO while on an arduino mega everything works correctly.

Does it exist a solution to that problem?

What problem?
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When XBee is connected to the Arduino UNO, the loaded sketch is not able to start (LED13 intermittently blink 3 times).

I also have an arduino mega board and there the XBEE module works perfectly.

I have an XBee Pro Shield v1.1 + Digi Xbee module

I see that the problem is shared by others...someone who solved it?
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