Upcoming XBee Class


When you are looking to make your latest project wireless, you have a few options, including the tried-and-true bluetooth protocol. However, another great option is XBee, which has become one of the go-to methods for wireless communication in DIY embedded systems.

To help you along, our education team has created a class that explores the power of XBee. It’s appropriately called “Exciting XBees.” This class takes place on February 23rd at 9 a.m. at SparkFun HQ.

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In this class, you’ll start with an introduction to all the required components, serial terminals, AT commands and the basics of mesh networking. The first project will be a Basic Chat session that demonstrates how to configure and connect coordinator and router ZigBee Series 1 radios together. We will also cover pin to pin data transfer using XBee Series 1 radios. After lunch you’ll do the same with XBee series 2 followed by a discussion on the different uses of the two XBee types. Finally we’ll develop a full Processing-based wireless simple sensor network using ZigBee radio connections to collect three data values from numerous remotely-placed sensors.

This is the class if you’re just getting started with wireless protocols and want to check out XBee. Sign up today! We hope to see you there!


Comments 21 comments

  • Here’s my 2 cents: I traveled from WA state to Boulder CO to take part in one of their summer semester classes. The XBee portion of the class was by far the most useful thing I learned! Without the direction and instruction from the studious employees/educators at SFE, I would have still been trying to pair my two XBees for a long time. Whenever I need to pair series 2(.5) XBees, I always refer back to the notes I took during that class. I highly recommend this class!

    • Thanks for the nice comment. We enjoyed having you and hope to see you at AVC this year!

      • I wish I could see me at AVC too, but it is the same day as my graduation. :( It was a real let down for me to learn that my school decided on that date, but I’ll be back next year… I hope.

  • I hope learn.sparkfun.com gets online classes soon! That would open these classes up to a lot more people (myself included).

    • Webinars are great! Sadly, they take a bit to manage and can cost a lot. I recommend visiting EETimes.com and looking at their Webinars. There are some great ones for hobbyists.

  • I live on the East Coast and would like on line classes. I do understand that they take a lot to manage. Could you not just record the class and allow us to view it on line. A lot eaiser.

    • We’re working on this. Really. Barring unforeseen problems we’ll have this class and others available for viewing soon. Thanks for your patience!

  • I’m impressed with the cancellation/refund policy. If you can’t make it you don’t lose your money you just get more new stuff.

  • Class description says “ how to configure and connect coordinator and router ZigBee Series 1 radios together.”

    Wrong terms. Big confusion. Digi’s trademark is XBee. And XBee is used for both Series 1 and Series 2 XBees. But Series 1 and 2 are totally different animals…

    “ZigBee” is the ZigBee Alliance’s trademarked name of a network layer meshing protocol usable on XBee Series 2 (Ember chipset). ZigBee is available on many vendors' RF modules. The Series 2 (S2) XBees can run ONLY ZigBee and not the simple, non-meshing point to point or hub/star network “topology”.

    Xbee Series 1 (S1) are not ZigBee capable, and often that’s a good thing. They can use either basic 802.15.4 with or without a PAN coordinator, and address data to any node based on the 64 bit MAC address. That’s a good choice for simple projects and for beginners. Like the MAC address of an Ethernet interface; or S1’s can use Digi’s own mesh protocol called DigiMesh. Arguably better than ZigBee.

    IMO, beginners should use S1 without meshing. Most simply projects don’t need the complexity of Meshing, nor the complications of “iDigi” which is Digi’s enterprise scale management system.

  • In the photo, the XBee modules are marked “MaxStream”. That company invented the XBee and broke new ground. Digi International acquired MaxStream many years ago and retired the name MaxStream.

    So those XBees are really old. Almost collector’s items.

  • Do you cover the WIFI version of the XBee also? I still haven’t figured out how to get them to communicate correctly. I can configure the xbee but it doesn’t get any farther than that using the arduino. I need some help from someone who is way smarter than me… Also will you do a webcast version of the class. That would be great.

  • Er!!! SparkFun!! Why are you 1800 miles away?! Looks like it’ll be the best $125 ever spent. (PS. I love that disclaimer you have at the end. Bad hair day!)

  • Do participants get to keep any of the radios after the class? Also, does it matter which type of Arduino we bring? Thanks!

    • Yes, if you read the class description it mentions what the class provides to you. If you look at the hardware costs they are basically teaching these classes for free!

  • Dear Santa/Easter Bunny/ToothFairy/Anyone with money to burn

    Please send me 2 airplane tickets From Seatac to Boulder so that I can go to the class (and my Wife can check out Boulder).

    • Send me a ticket to please Santa/Easter Bunny/ToothFairy/Anyone with money to burn! (But from South Dakota to Boulder)

      • Hey you could almost drive to Boulder :)

        • Hey I got an idea, Maybe Sparkfun could come to Seattle and give the class at the Seattle Science Center, and then all of us who can’t take time to DRIVE to lovely Boulder CO could take the class here in Sunny Seattle. (Well not so sunny, just our sun comes in liquid form and scares off those nice people from California.)

          • We will be launching a scaled down version of a national tour very soon - we hope to be in the Seattle area in July. Perhaps all of you Seattle area folks can convince Seattle Science Center to host a stop on the tour! Stay tuned!

        • Except I’m 14 (and my parents won’t drive me =/)

  • I was really looking forward to this class, but then wound up with a project that demanded wireless communication due on Jan 15th. Had to figure it all out on my own, and it took me a good bit longer than this class would have. Stupid deadlines!


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