The SparkFun XBee Explorer Regulated takes care of the 3.3V regulation, signal conditioning, and basic activity indicators (Power, RSSI and DIN/DOUT activity LEDs). It translates the 5V serial signals to 3.3V so that you can connect a 5V (down to 3.3V) system to any XBee module. The board was conveniently designed to mate directly with the SparkFun Arduino Pro series of boards for wireless bootloading and USB based configuration.
This unit works with all XBee modules including the Series 1 and 2, standard and Pro versions. Plug an XBee into this breakout and you will have direct access to the serial and programming pins on the XBee unit and will be able to power the XBee with 5V.
This board comes fully populated with 3.3V regulator (5V max input), XBee socket, four status LEDs, and level shifting. In the latest revision the diode level shifter is replaced with a more robust MOSFET level shifter. This board does not include and XBee module. XBee modules sold below.
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Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
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Based on 13 ratings:
7 of 7 found this helpful:
Like the Parallax version of the Explorer, the pin numbers are wired in a way that is most confusing. It is off by one on one side and off by one in a different direction on the other side. All instructions including those written by Sparkfun go by XBee pin number, not Explorer pin number. You couldn't make it more confusing if you tried. The least you could do if you ever decide to change it in any way is make it more clear where pin 1 is.
1 of 1 found this helpful:
For the purpose for which I bought 2 of these -- for connecting XBee Pro 900HP modules in a near-Earth object balloon project -- they are not much use.
Xbee doesn't well-document the setup I have (XBee -> Explorer -> FTDI -> USB cable -> MacBook), and I've not yet been able to actually use XBees in this setup due to odd, undocumented behaviour. It's not possible to flash XBees in this setup due to unresolvable errors, and I've even managed to brick one of the XBees trying to get it to work.
If you go with this setup, make sure you're going down a well-defined path, and be prepared for frustration and lots of Googling.
Sorry to hear about the issues with the explorer breakout.
Have you contacted our support department @ firstname.lastname@example.org ? They're usually really good at addressing issues in setups like this.
1 of 1 found this helpful:
Being fom the caribben and ordering stuff from the us is somtimes a nightmare because you sometimes get faulty, broken and damage goods. Sometimes dont get the goods at all. And there is nothing we can do about it because we are not in the us. But this is not the case with the stuff i have gotten from Sparkfun. Grate explorer boad With a little time putting the board together you end up with a wonderful pice of tool. Notice that i said tool, because to me its not just a board. Five staRs for me.
1 of 2 found this helpful:
It works as advertised and I've never had an issue
Headers are a little weird, but the design facilitates the ability to breadboard this thing in two different configurations. wish it was just a little more narrow so it wouldn't eat up the entire breadboard width.
The explorer is well made, I was able to easily solder to the pins that I needed and the mounting holes are slightly larger than other boards, so mounting was easy also.
Used with a ublox gps, it just works.
Didn't have any need to dig into how.
These are great for fitting ab XBee into a verry small spot, and for running an XBee off Arduino serial ports OTHER than serial0 like all the shield makers want us to do. I prefer to keep Serial0 for updating programs (via USB), and use Serial1 for my comms work. I also found that I can still get at the direct signal ports (I'm using pins 19 & 20 via level changers) for signals in addition to my communications protocol via Din and Dout (which are already buffered). I also love the LEDs on Din and Dout, it makes it easy to debug.
no problems with it
I received 4 of these.. and have had zero luck getting XCTU to recognize the Xbee's I've plugged into them (yes, the correct way ;))
Tried via arduino and ftdi cable. No joy. Power light is on; that's about it. Tried every guide/idea I could find on the net - no luck. RST to GND does nothing. Either the Xbees I got were all DOA, or these boards (or both) - either way I am super disappointed and going to push to return the lot.
Update: Although I still can't configure it directly using an Arduino (which you should be able to do) I was able to finally get XCTU to see it with the FTDI cable after I soldered additional RTS & CTS lines. Once configured though, you should only need gnd, 5v, tx and rx from an arduino to this board. Will report back if that works.
Sorry you are having problems. This board is designed to mate with a Pro Mini meaning the RX/TX are reversed from what they are on an FTDI board/cable. Make sure you have RX going to TX and TX going to RX. If that doesn't work please contact our technical support team and they can help you or work with you on a return.
Working as expected :-)
couldn't be simpler. Having the 3.3Vreg on board for the XBee and being able to power the board from +5V makes it dirt simple to implement. I was able to 3D print a nice small box allowing it to sit proud of the body of my Hexapod so the carbon fiber body would not interfere with the signal. love it