Sunday, June 20, 2010

Arduino Xbee Shield

The Xbee shield allows an Arduino board to communicate wirelessly using Zigbee. It is based on the Xbee module from MaxStream. The module can communicate up to 100 feet indoors or 300 feet outdoors (with line-of-sight). It can be used as a serial/usb replacement or you can put it into a command mode and configure it for a variety
of broadcast and mesh networking options. The shields breaks out each of the Xbee's pins to a through-hole solder pad. It also provides female pin headers for use of digital pins 2 to 7 and the analog inputs, which are covered by the shield (digital pins 8 to 13 are not obstructed by the shield, so you can use the headers on the
board itself).The Xbee shield was created in collaboration with Libelium, who developed it for use in their SquidBee motes(used for creating sensor networks).

There are multiple parameters that need to be configured correctly for two modules to talk to each other(although with the default settings, all modules should be able to talk to each other). They need to be on the same network, as set by the ID parameter (see "Configuration" below for more details on the parameters). The modules need to be on the same channel, as set by the CH parameter. Finally, a module's destination address(DH and DL parameters) determine which modules on its network and channel will receive the data it transmits.

This can happen in a few ways:
• If a module's DH is 0 and its DL is less than 0xFFFF (i.e. 16 bits), data transmitted by that module
will be received by any module whose 16-bit address MY parameter equals DL.
• If DH is 0 and DL equals 0xFFFF, the module's transmissions will be received by all modules.
• If DH is non-zero or DL is greater than 0xFFFF, the transmission will only be received by the module whose serial number equals the transmitting module's destination address (i.e. whose SH equals the transmitting module's DH and whose SL equals its DL).Again, this address matching will only happen between modules on the same network and channel. If two modules are on different networks or channels, they can't communicate regardless of their addresses.
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