Uno/Sparkfun Xbee Shield/Xbee S1

Hey,

I'm new to all this stuff and have a small project I want to do.

I have an Xbee S1, Xbee Shield, and an Uno.

Connecting one at a time onto my PC, the arduino is detected fine, but I can't talk to the shield. I get the error message in X-CTU on both boards. I've seen something about diode issues on the shield but I can't even get the board to get recognized on X-CTU so I don't think I'm at the point where that is a problem.

The switch is set to UART and I soldered the pins onto the shield. I get power LED and DIO5 led.

I'm not sure if the baud rate is still the same. Do I really need to purchase the Xbee Explorer and the USB cable (like ~$35).

What next steps can I take?

I don’t quite follow what you did, but for reference, you cannot have the UNO chip talk to both
the XBee and the PC (via USB port) simultaneously using the normal Rx,Tx pins, as the XBee and
USB signals confict with each other. This is a standard gotcha with these things.

Some people connect pins 2,3 to the Xbee, and use SoftSerial, but it’s never worked well for me.

Some people have reported that it worked for them setting the dipswitch to UART. Will I need to purchase a serial/usb board (Xbee explorer, etc) for the inital setup of these? I don't understand what the point of the shield is if you can't use it to program the Xbee via Arduino.

X-CTU wants to talk over a COM port directly to the X-Bee module. Plugged into the shield, there is no way to do this without some kind of custom software running on the Arduino board; kinda like ArduinoISP works. You would need software that could act as a transparent pass thru to the X-Bee, while the X-Bee used pins 2 and 3 to communicate with the passthru software.

I recommend just buying the explorer, it's handy for using a PC as an endpoint.

Thanks for the clear answer. I went ahead and ordered an Xbee Adapter from Adafruit so hopefully that works well for me.

I will see what progress I can make when it comes in.

CYANiDE: Thanks for the clear answer. I went ahead and ordered an Xbee Adapter from Adafruit so hopefully that works well for me.

I will see what progress I can make when it comes in.

Unless you want to upgrade the firmware, I suppose you don't have to use X-CTU. You could just send AT commands from the software to set everything up I think. I bought the sparkfun kit that has the arduino shield, usb explorer and two S1 modules. I really learned a lot after I promptly bricked one of my modules after a firmware upgrade. All is well now, but I had to go thru some pain to get it working again. A bunch of it was stuff that should just be printed on the home page of digi, but I had to painfully dig and search to make my way thru it. Now it seems fairly simple. Funny how that is. I have no trouble sending and receiving data just using the modules out of the box. You don't have to configure anything to get them to talk.

afremont:

CYANiDE: Thanks for the clear answer. I went ahead and ordered an Xbee Adapter from Adafruit so hopefully that works well for me.

I will see what progress I can make when it comes in.

Unless you want to upgrade the firmware, I suppose you don't have to use X-CTU. You could just send AT commands from the software to set everything up I think. I bought the sparkfun kit that has the arduino shield, usb explorer and two S1 modules. I really learned a lot after I promptly bricked one of my modules after a firmware upgrade. All is well now, but I had to go thru some pain to get it working again. A bunch of it was stuff that should just be printed on the home page of digi, but I had to painfully dig and search to make my way thru it. Now it seems fairly simple. Funny how that is. I have no trouble sending and receiving data just using the modules out of the box. You don't have to configure anything to get them to talk.

I bought these modules really cheap (used) so I'm not sure what they are configured to. I want to plug these into X-CTU and update the firmware and reset everything to default. Hopefully this little USB board will let me update and set to default so I can make these talk to each other.

Unfortunately, the common shields are designed for comms only, and are barely even good at that, for many reasons. To reflash the firmware in the XBee, I believe you need to be able to control both the DTR and CTS pins on the XBee so you need a different board, like the adafruit adaptor.

To just reconfigure baud rate, etc, you can use AT cmds as afremont says.

oric_dan: Unfortunately, the common shields are designed for comms only, and are barely even good at that, for many reasons. To reflash the firmware in the XBee, I believe you need to be able to control both the DTR and CTS pins on the XBee so you need a different board, like the adafruit adaptor.

To just reconfigure baud rate, etc, you can use AT cmds as afremont says.

I purchased the Parallax USB shield for Xbee from Adafruit and was able to get the Xbees updated to the latest firmware relatively easily. Thanks for the help guys!