Set Your Project Free


One of the many goals of the newly formed SparkFun Department of Education is to expand our offering of classes. An often requested class has been an introduction to wireless communication.

If you're ready to go wireless, Exciting Xbee Series 1 and Series 2 are the classes for you. Veteran wireless teachers, including Robert Faludi (the author of Building Wireless Sensor Networks), will lead you through the basics of radio networking and beyond. The class begins with an introduction to all the required components, serial terminals, AT commands and the basics of going wireless. The first project will be a basic chat session that demonstrates how to configure and connect a pair of XBee radios together.


Building Wireless Sensor Networks, also known as (to me at least) Dachshunds Go Wireless.

We'll follow that with a simple doorbell project, using the direct connection features of the XBee radio to link electronic components. Finally we'll create an Arduino-based XBee midway-style horse race using acoustic sensors and XBee radio connections to generate an interactive group competition.

After you've had your fill Day 1, we'll come back at you for Day 2! The second day will start off again with creating a basic chat session. Then we'll be using the embedded I/O features of the XBee radio to create a remote Arduino sensor. Finally we'll develop a full Processing-based wireless simple sensor network using ZigBee radio connections to collect temperature data from numerous remotely-placed sensors.

These two days combined will give you an outstanding platform to start exploring the power of the XBee communication protocol! Note that the two days are separate classes, so if you want to attend both, you'll need to sign up for each class individually. Hope to see you out there!


Comments 25 comments

  • When is the SparkFun education site going to be up?

    • We are putting together content right now and our goal is to have the sight up and running by the end of December. There aren’t a lot of us and we’re trying to do a lot. We’ll keep you updated via these homepage posts whenever something major happens. Thanks for the interest!

      • “sight”? I’m blind, but I’d love to visit your web site.
        Sorry but I couldn’t resist. And no, I’m not blind.

  • Person in the upper left photo: “This looks like a cracker. I wonder if I can eat it?"
    MountainMateo in the lower right photo: "Good god! It IS a freakin' cracker!”

  • Though buying the XBee/PCB may be required, is SFE contractually able to video-record the class lecture portion and put on line?

  • Need. to. get. to. Boulder. now. too. much. money!

    • I totally agree! Sparkfun, can you have your classes on the east coast from time to time?! Please?

      • I second, I live in VA. If you guys could find a place to do a week long stint of classes, i’d be down. I know a few companies that do training like that. Get a hotel confrence room for a few days. Mail supplies. Charge us a bit extra for convience. I’m sure you can get a few people paying 150 or 200 a day(I know i would) just to get a few class in DC the area. Just an idea. at 400 for 2 days, my costs would be well under 600, any where with in a 6 hour drive. The plane ticket to CO is about 600. Please look into it!!!

        • Yep, I just build my very first test thing (the joystick shield) and am itching to build anything and everything.
          I second classes in Northern Virgina.
          I think they would be a serious hit with all the hobbyist here. I will say this : I discovered Sparkfun products on Saturday, discovered Microcenter sold them on Sunday and it’s now Tuesday when I have gone back to get more “stuff” and things like the Uno had sold out between Sunday and today - SOMEONE must be buying them!

  • You should consider doing a series of internet based classes using streaming video and a password protected client of some kind. Sell a kit on the site that contains the materials for the class, and a single unique password.
    Just a thought.

  • is it just me or does that dog look like its wearing some kind of bling i mean that’s a pretty big dog tag it even has a chain

  • This ought to be a really good class. I would love to see some of the training materials available as a webinar or something. The only downfall I see is that the class is geared for Arduino users and as a non-Arduinite, the fundamentals being taught in the class would help me, but nothing else. I understand that you need some sort of solid footprint to keep the class effective, so don’t mis-understand my comment as Arduino bashing.

    • You’re right; we’re using the Arduino as a common platform for practical reasons (it would be difficult to support arbitrary platforms in a classroom setting), but there shouldn’t be anything overly Arduino-specific as far as the presented material goes. The XBees speak async serial, so anything that can send and receive properly-formatted text can get on the air.

  • I’d like to give a comment or two on the O'Reily book mentioned above. I purchased this a few months back from a different source and can say it is really one of the best resources on the subject. It is quite specific in its coverage of Xbees, and goes into details about the mesh networking, with examples and really explains a lot of the concepts behind the series 2 XBees. I would like to thank the author for sharing this great work with everyone - it really has been SUCH a help in the projects I’ve done.

    • If you take a look at the name of the author of the book and the name of the guy teaching the class they are the same (not just the names are the same, its actually the same guy). So get ready for an awesome class and learning a ton.

  • You seem to be selling day 1 and day 2 separately. Both are listed as coming with a bunch of hardware, including 2 xbees. How does that work? If I buy both days, do I get 4 xbees?

    • Yes. They are different versions. In the first class, we talk about series 1, and in the second class, it’s series 2. So you would get two separate sets of XBees.

  • Do you get to keep any of the electronics that you use? 100$ seems too cheap to walk away with two Xbees and hadrware….

  • Let me be the first to say: I think this is a great idea and I love that SFE does this sort of thing. Are there going to be any videos to go with this? Live of edited webcast maybe?
    BTW I love the stern, confounded look on Nate’s face in the last panel!

    • If I had a nickel for every time someone confused me for Nate…!

      • Well, if you can convince somebody in payroll…

      • I’d give you a nickle. Are you SURE you’re not Nate?? Maybe it’s just the pictures…

        • Pretty sure. In the picture matrix above, Nate is the one wearing the blue t-shirt in the middle photos. I think our similar looks have something to do with our shared Oklahoma roots. We’re bred for handsomeness in the Sooner state.


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