Setting up XBees

The Lithne allows for easy wireless communication between nodes and uploading of Arduino code over the same wireless network by use of an XBee.

To achieve this, it is important to set up the XBee Series 2 Radios. They should be set up in API 2 mode at 115200 Baud and have matching PAN ID's, furthermore it is recommended to enable channel verification.

Note: Don't forget to choose a unique PAN ID for your XBees so that they don't interfere with others.

Note: X-CTU, the program for changing the XBee configuration is only available for Windows. Alternative software for Mac users exists but we do not have good experiences with any of these programs.

Tip: The Lithne can also be used as XBee explorer.

How to configure Series 2 XBee radios

A network always requires 1 coordinator and one or more router/end devices.

Download, install and run the X-CTU tool (windows only) Download from Digi Website http://www.digi.com/support/productdetl.jsp?pid=3352&osvid=57&tp=5&s=316

  • Connect the XBee to PC (e.g. with XBee explorer board or use the Lithne as XBee explorer)
  •  In the PC-Tab, set correct com port, and current XBee Baud Rate (default 9600, the XBees from ILI are already preconfigured on 115200). Make sure 'Enable API mode' is unchecked if the XBee is currently configured in AT mode. Unless the XBee is currently configured in API mode 2 (escape characters), uncheck this field (check both boxes incase you use a preconfigured XBee from ILI).
    X-CTU empty
  • Press Test/Query to check if it works - if it does not, change parameters above until it does
  • In the Modem Configuration-Tab, press Read, and Restore to reset any existing settings


For XBee Coordinator

  • Select ZNET 2.5 COORDINATOR API, Press write.
    x-ctu coordinator
  • You will receive an error in the end, this is ok, remove the XBee from the explorer to unpower it, and plug it back in.


For Router / End Device

  • Select ZNET 2.5 ROUTER/END DEVICE API, Press write.
    COM11 X-CTU 21-8-2013 162043
  • You will receive an error in the end, this is ok, remove the XBee from the explorer to unpower it, and plug it back in.


For Both

  • Switch to PC-Tab, check the Enable API box
  • Switch to Modem Configuration-Tab, press read again
  • Set AP - API Enable to 2 (current value = 1), press write
  • Switch to PC-Tab, check the 'Use Escape Characters' Box
  • Switch to Modem Configuration-Tab, press read again
  • Change the ID - PAN ID to that set in the Coordinator - for the coordinator choose a random number
  • Set NI - Node Identfier to your likings (e.g. COORDINATOR or NODE1)
  • Enable Channel Verification
  • Press write
  • Finally, you may change the baud rate. In contrast to AT mode, API mode allows all baudrates, which makes for fast communication. After changing the baud rate, remember to change the baud rate in the PC settings as well if you want to change other settings.

Now you should be good to go!


This instruction is based on the instruction provided with the Java XBee API http://code.google.com/p/XBee-api/wiki/XBeeConfiguration