XBee ZNet 2.5 (formerly Series 2)

Has anyone used this version of the Maxstream chip? It is pin compatible but cannot communicate with older versions including the pro.

I am planning on getting two sets -Freeduino Arduino XBee Shield Kit plus the transceivers from Digikey to save some money.
These models are actually cheaper than all but one version of the OEM Xbee and alot cheaper than the pro.

Thoughts?

I’ve just started using the ZNet 2.5 modules with the XBee shield. I only bought 2 to start with, so I’m only doing point-to-point stuff now. Before using them, I first had to re-flash the firmware on one to make it a Coordinator. You can’t (supposedly - I didn’t try it) reflash it using the Arduino or XBee shield because you need the DTS pin off the FT232RL; I just used the FT232RL Breakout board from Sparkfun.

Also, ZNet 2.5 modules don’t allow you to set the 16-bit network address (MY) since it’s assigned dynamically by the coordinator. Most Arduino + XBee code I’ve come across uses ATMY to set the destination node, so you’ll need to modify any existing code to set the destination node in a different way. I’m using the ASCII Node Identifier (NI) command; it uses more network resources, but it works fine for me.

This information is just off the top of my head while at work, so I apologize if any of the above is a little off.

According to these guys http://six.media.mit.edu:8080/6/development/daughterboards/xbee-daughterboard It seems that you could flash your XBee in an Arduino if you connect the following pins:

RTS => 3.3 V
CTR => GND

but I haven’t tried yet.

I have also just started trying to get a Series 2 Xbee module to work with an arduino for point to point communication. I wasn’t aware I would have to reflash one as a coordinator until I read your post cairn. Any explanation as to how you did it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

@rappa: thanks for that tip. I can’t load that link for some reason, but I’ll try hooking up the XBee that way and see if the firmware upgrade works.

@mbj5003: I made a quick drawing of how to connect an XBee module to the FT232 Breakout Board from Sparkfun so that you can upgrade the firmware using the X-CTU software from Digi. I don’t have my electronics in front of me so I can’t verify the drawing, but I’ll check it when I get home tonight. Maybe later I can write a short tutorial for how to set-up and use the XBee ZNet (Series 2) modules with Arduino if that would be helpful.

EDIT: I just noticed that I made a mistake on the drawing; there should be a wire connecting the DTR pin on the FT232 Breakout and the DTR pin on the XBee (right next to the ground pin). I’ll fix the drawing when I make the tutorial.

@rappa: thanks for that tip. I can’t load that link for some reason, but I’ll try hooking up the XBee that way and see if the firmware upgrade works.

@mbj5003: I made a quick drawing of how to connect an XBee module to the FT232 Breakout Board from Sparkfun so that you can upgrade the firmware using the X-CTU software from Digi. I don’t have my electronics in front of me so I can’t verify the drawing, but I’ll check it when I get home tonight. Maybe later I can write a short tutorial for how to set-up and use the XBee ZNet (Series 2) modules with Arduino if that would be helpful.

Nice drawing! How did you create that? A tutorial would be great. Thanks.

Thanks so much, that would be really awesome.

Nice drawing! How did you create that? A tutorial would be great. Thanks.

Thanks! I just copy/pasted the datasheet drawings from Sparkfun and Digi into illustrator and drew in some wires. I’ll put a tutorial together as soon as I can (probably by tomorrow evening).

Cairn: per your experience I ordered FT232 Breakout Board. I am going to try to flash it with the arduino but I have the breakout board if that does not work.

here is the project that I am working on http://jerdking.blogspot.com/
if you have any tips/thoughts I would be grateful

OK, I finished creating a tutorial for setting up a point-to-point network with two XBee ZNet modules. I put all the information into a PDF which I’m currently providing from my university’s web space; I’ll put the PDF somewhere else as soon as I can find a better place to host it.

XBee ZNet tutorial (PDF)

Photos used in tutorial

Hope that helps. I’d appreciate any feedback on the tutorial (mistakes or anything that is unclear).

Very nice job on the tutorial. What kind of camera did you use for the photos? They’re excellent! Could you provide a photo of everything wired up? I will need to get some ZNet radios to try this out; currently I just have a few XBee Pros.

OK, I finished creating a tutorial for setting up a point-to-point network with two XBee ZNet modules. I put all the information into a PDF which I’m currently providing from my university’s web space; I’ll put the PDF somewhere else as soon as I can find a better place to host it.

XBee ZNet tutorial (PDF)

Photos used in tutorial

Hope that helps. I’d appreciate any feedback on the tutorial (mistakes or anything that is unclear).

According to these guys http://six.media.mit.edu:8080/6/development/daughterboards/xbee-daughterboard It seems that you could flash your XBee in an Arduino if you connect the following pins:

RTS => 3.3 V
CTR => GND

but I haven’t tried yet.

I tested this method using a Freeduino USB board (Arduino Diecimila compatible) and the XBee shield, and it works.
The signals are:

RTS (pin 16) => 3.3V (pin 1)
DTR (pin 9) => GND (pin 10)

The pins are for the XBee module, not the Arduino board.

There is no CTR signal in RS-232. The XBEE/USB jumpers on the XBee shield must be in USB position, and you need to remove the ATMEGA168 (I didn’t try with the ATMEGA168 inserted, but I think it makes total sense to remove it).

I used X-CTU 5.0.2.2 and I updated the firmware on my XBee modules (series 1) to 10A5.

Just don’t forget to put the RTS and DTR signals back to normal after programming, as that configuration interferes with the normal use of the XBee modules.

Hope this helps.

OK, I finished creating a tutorial for setting up a point-to-point network with two XBee ZNet modules. I put all the information into a PDF which I’m currently providing from my university’s web space; I’ll put the PDF somewhere else as soon as I can find a better place to host it.

XBee ZNet tutorial (PDF)

Photos used in tutorial

Hope that helps. I’d appreciate any feedback on the tutorial (mistakes or anything that is unclear).

Fantastic tutorial!!

Now, I trying setting up a multi-point network (mesh), but it’s a totally different code. Anybody has created one successfully?

@rappa: Thanks! I used my new Cannon S5 IS for the photos, it has a super-macro mode which is great for electronics. I took my XBee boards apart for a robotics project, but I’ll breadboard one up this weekend and take a couple photos. If you’re just doing point-to-point stuff, I’d recommend sticking with the XBee-Pro Series 1 modules if you already have them. The ZNet modules add Mesh networking functionality which you may or may not need.

@cels: Mesh networking doesn’t require any different code, it is transparent with the ZNet modules. The only difference is that there are additional AT commands for working with the mesh network (like for sending data to a subset of devices on the network). Check out this Knowledge Base Article from Digi about doing simple point-to-point communication using 3 XBee ZNet modules as a mesh network.

Ok I got my boards and I finished building them yesterday.

I followed the instructions on the pdf but I used my arduinos without the atmega chip with the pins jumpered.
RTS (pin 16) => 3.3V (pin 1)
DTR (pin 9) => GND (pin 10)

I can flash the xbee units but it fails because reset does not seem to be working. I have tried using both reset buttons(Xbee and Arduino) It seems that the unit does get partially programmed. The function set is changed but the node and PAN ID are still the same.

Thoughts? thanks for all the help so far.

I can flash the xbee units but it fails because reset does not seem to be working. I have tried using both reset buttons(Xbee and Arduino) It seems that the unit does get partially programmed. The function set is changed but the node and PAN ID are still the same.

To reset the XBee, you just need to bring the XBee reset pin (pin 5) low (connect to ground) for a moment. When I am reflashing my XBees, I just use a bare wire jumper for this purpose.

I’m not sure what you are referring to by “both reset buttons(Xbee and Arduino)”; if you are using the XBee Shield, the rest button on it is for the Arduino, not the XBee. If you are using a button in the circuit as shown in the PDF tutorial, than the button should reset the XBee since it does the same thing as the bare-wire method above (momentarily connects XBee pin 5 to ground).

Thanks for all the help Cairn. Since I am using the arduino and xbee shield I was referring to the reset buttons on each one. I did as you suggested and I was able to update both Xbee units.

The current issue is that the router does not seem to be linking. The coordinator is blinking correctly but the router is not doing anything, the led just stays on. Any trouble shooting tips would be great.

Hmm, here’s some troubleshooting steps to try. For each XBee module, connect it to your computer, start the X-CTU software, click the “Read” button on the “Modem Configuration” tab and check the following:

For the coordinator module:

  • “Function Set” should be “ZNET COORDINATOR 2.5 AT”
  • Version should be 1041
  • PAN ID should be whatever you set it to. The default value is 123.
  • Scan Channels should be 1FFE
  • Node Join Time should be FF
  • Double check that the Node Identifier is the correct value (like “coord” or whatever you’re calling this module)

If the “Function Set” or Version is incorrect, then check the “Always Update firmware” box and click write. If the “Function Set” and Version are correct, but any of the values are incorrect, then enter the correct values, make sure that “Always Update Firmware” is UNCHECKED and click write (it’s normally fine to leave the box checked, but updating the firmware, then reseting , then writing new values in one step can lead to problems for some).

If everything looks right on the Coordinator, then connect your “router” module to the computer, start the X-CTU software, click the “Read” button on the “Modem Configuration” tab and check the following:

  • “Function Set” should be “ZNET ROUTER/END DEVICE AT”
  • Version should be 1241
  • PAN ID should match the PAN ID of the Coordinator OR you can set the PAN ID to FFFF and the module will connect to any open network
  • Scan Channels should be 1FFE
  • Node Join Time should be FF
  • Double check that the Node Identifier is what you want it to be (like “router1”)

Just as with the coordinator module, if the function set or version are incorrect, check the “Always update firmware” box and click write. If only the PAN ID and/or NI need to be changed, UNCHECK “Always update firmware” and click write.

Once all you’ve checked that all of these values are correct, you should be able to get a functioning XBee network. If you’re still not getting the blinking light on the router module, there’s something else to check. With the router module connected to the computer, power up the coordinator module using another XBee Shield or breakout board. Start the X-CTU software and click the “Read” button on the Modem Configuration tab. Check to see if the “Operating PAN ID” matches the PAN ID you’ve set on the coordinator. Also, scroll to the bottom of the window and check the value of “AI - Association Indication”. You want the value to be ‘0’; if it’s not, check the number against this list to find out why the router isn’t joining the network:

0x21 - Scan found no PANs
0x22 - Scan found no valid PANs based on current SC and ID settings
0x23 - Valid Coordinator or Routers found, but they are not allowing joining (NJ expired)
0x27 - Node Joining attempt failed (typically due to incompatible security settings)
0x2A - Coordinator Start attempt failed’
0xFF - Scanning for a Parent
0x2B - Checking for an existing coordinator

Let me know how the troubleshooting goes. Good luck!

Seeing this was the first link in a google search for
“xbee 2.5 example”

I had to follow, and what do you know, very helpful :slight_smile:
Good guide cairn.

My experience.
After playing with Series 1 a few days ago I had to give the Series 2 (now ZNet 2.5) a go for their meshing ability.

The biggest help here was that one had to be re programmed as a co-ordinator.
I did not need to touch the CTS, RTS, Reset pins to do this in my setup.
Left them floating.

It may seem obvious but I missed it so will share here in case someone else finds it useful.

I had flashed them and got the Router/End Device talking to the Coordinator ok.
But the Co. would not talk to the end device.

Douh, I did not set the destination :frowning:
Since my project will have multiple end devices so I went with the broadcast scheme.
Yes lots of radio chatter but I would not have to deal with API mode :slight_smile:

Destination set to broadcast on all devices in the network.
atdl0000ffffwr

Problem solved :slight_smile:

I hope this hasn’t been asked but where can you buy the 2.5 XBees as OEM parts? I really don’t want to buy a whole dev kit. Thanks.