So... I got used to the nrf2401 modules for my wireless project, but a friend has been recommending XBee for a while. To get started, I bought from Sparkfun two of the 2mW 2.5 modules (part# XB24-BWIT-004) and two of the Sparkfun designed Arduino XBee Shield since my plan is to get two autonomous robots to communicate.
I googled around for some info and tutorials on getting them up and running, but so far no luck. First I just tried to run some sample code to see if they work out of box but got absolutely nothing. Then I tried sending some commands over the serial port to get to command mode, and still nothing. Then I tried to follow the tutorial on the link below, downloading and installing X-CTU, removing the atmega ic from the Arduino as oriented somewhere else, putting the shield switch on the UART position and tried the test/query as well as to get the firmware info with X-CTU. It always fails. I tried all baudrate options, with API enabled, etc, and nothing ever happens. It's like the modules aren' t there. The DIO5 led is on all the time, as the power led. I soldered a wire to the reset pad and used it to reset the XBee module during an attempt to read, and DOUT led turns on and DIO5 off when I touch ground with it, but nothing else.
I considered updating the firmware, but from what I read around, if I can' t query the current version I won't be able to do anything else anyway, and I'd need the XBee Explorer anyway (out of stock), because it needs the RTS, unavailable on the Arduino. From the tutorial, seems like the ftdi breakout board works, but I only have the basic anyway, which doesn' t have a pin for RTS either.
Obviously, I already checked all soldering on both shields, and the Arduino boards are working. I tried with 4 different boards, the result is always the same.
Any ideas on how to get this working?