simple Lilpad xBee sensor to Arduino xBee shield

Newbie request for help after searching boards.

My goal is to communicate sensor data from xBee Ser. 2 on Lilypad xBee directly (not through Lilypad) to xBee Ser. 2 sitting on Arduino xBee Shield. Data then collected by serial object in MAX/MSP.

If someone could find it in their heart to provide step-by-step info for both hardware connections and software (just Arduino sketches and any required xBee configs, not MAX), I would be forever grateful.

Things I have tried: --Lilypad xBee connections 3.7 v battery to + and -, bend sensor +3.3 v through 10K resistor split to d0 and ground as with any Arduino voltage-divided sensor.

--xBee and xBee shield on Arduino USB board AT Mega 328. Shield jumpers off for uploading sketches, on inside two pins for attempted use receiving serial data from Lilypad.

--Results--nada, no data coming into my Mac to either the serial monitor or to MAX/MSP.

--I did not program the xBees--I had read somewhere they should communicate out of the box.

--I did not remove the AT Mega 328 chip from my Arduino board. Do I need to do that for this to post made it sound that way.

--Is there a more comprehensive description of the Lilypad xBee shield than simply the pin list on Kate Harman's site. I had read of pullup and pulldown resistors, etc. on the board, but I don't have the expertise to find that from a schematic.

I appreciate anyone who would take the time to help me get this going. Once I do, I will post a comprehensive amateur tutorial somewhere to help others get off the ground with these simplest of tasks.


I read that crap on Digi's site about the xbees working out-of-the-box. mine didn't.

I ordered some of the Series 2 xbees from Sparkfun. They sent the Series 1 models. I complained, and they sent the Series 2 models. Meanwhile, I got the series 1 models talking to each other.

I never could get the series 2 radios to talk to each other. I could get one to talk to the other, but no reply was ever received. Finally got tired of it, packed them back up, and sent them back to Sparkfun. Kept the series 1 radios, which are working quite well for me.

I'd help you if I could.

I don't know spit about xbee but i know what it's like for things not to work.

Couple of things: 1:There are status leds on the xbees - do they tell you anything? 2:The business about removing the atmega is maybe to do with not having both the xbee tx/rx and the mega's tx/rx hooked up to the usb's rx/tx at the same time. If it's the mac that you want to see the xbee then you can't have the mega hooked to the same USB. 3:I can ALWAYS hook up tx & rx backwards - have you checkd that?

There are no LEDS on the xBees that I see, but there are pin-outs to the shields which show the power on, but no activity from the associate light. What I am looking for here is a beginning-to-end summary of the steps needed to accomplish the goal I listed above by someone with experience doing it. Since my initial posting, I am also wondering if it is possible to update the xBee's settings and firmware on the Arduino xBee shield using a Mac. The listings I've seen are for placing the xBees on something else and using a PC + X-CTU.

The xbees can be configured using the arduino and xbee shield, if you first remove the ATmega chip from the Arduino.

The associate light on the shield should come on when the xbee powers up and starts transmitting.

If your light isn't flashing, the xbee isn't working.

Thanks Paul, I am making some progress (I think). I unchipped my Arduino board and configured my two xBees using a PC and X-CPU, one as a coordinator AT, so at least the associate light on that one is flashing twice a second. Not sure if they are communicating, so I could still use help in how to hook something like a flex sensor directly to the Lilypad xBee shield (what tabs, can I do it in AT mode, etc.), and send it to MAX/MSP through the Arduino xBee shield, etc. Do I put the chip back in the Arduino or leave it unchipped if all I want to do is pass the data through to MAX?

Put the chip back in.

The simplest thing to do is to first get the Lilypad sending just text. The xbee should read what's on the tx pin, and send that out. No sensors needed, so, nothing to hook up.

If the receiver xbee receives anything it puts the data onto the rx pin of the Arduino which can then do whatever is needed. Simply use SoftSerial to create a connection on another (unused) pair of pins, and echo the data to the Serial Monitor window to start.

When you can receive data, you can add sensors, and send real data.

Then, you can work on returning data. Finally, work on using the returned data, if needed.

xbee and mac isnt the easiest, im having many joys with mine, pfft.