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XBee Shield

**Replacement: **WRL-09841. Solder jumpers added to allow for use of any digital pins. This product has been replaced by a new revision. This page is for reference only.

The XBee Shield simplifies the task of interfacing an XBee with your Arduino. This board mates directly with an Arduino Pro or USB board, and equips it with wireless communication capabilities using the popular XBee module. This unit works with all XBee modules including the Series 1 and Series 2.5, standard and Pro version. This is SparkFun's own design and is a distant relative to the official XBee Shield from Arduino.

The serial pins (DIN and DOUT) of the XBee are connected through an SPDT switch, which allows you to select a connection to either the UART pins (D0, D1), the digital pins 3 and 2 of the Arduino. Power is taken from the 5V pin of the Arduino and regulated on-board to 3.3VDC before being supplied to the XBee. The shield also takes care of level shifting on the DIN pin of the XBee.

The board also includes LEDs to indicate power and activity on DIN, DOUT, RSSI, and DIO5 pins of the XBee. The Arduino's reset button is brought out on the shield, and a 12x11 grid of 0.1" holes are available for prototyping. The shield does not come with headers installed; we recommend the 6 and 8-pin stackable headers. The XBee module is also not included.

  • Mounts directly onto your Arduino
  • 3.3V power regulation and level shifting on-board
  • 12x11 grid of 0.1" spaced prototyping holes
  • Reset button brought out
  • Power, DIN, DOUT, RSSI and DIO5 indicator LEDs



Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • JeffRule / about 7 years ago / 1

    I am pairing this shield in a project with the Sparkfun MP3 shield which already requires use of pins 2 and 3. The docs indicate I can use different digital pins if I would like. I have looked at the doc and I don't see any examples of how to route the xbee shield to use pins other then D0/D1 (don't want to do that way too inconvenient for programming) or D2/D3 (already used by my other sparkfun shield). What are my options on re-configuring the board to use pins D5/D10 for TX/RX. I don't want to simply jumper D2/D3 -> D5/D10. I need D2/D3 to be left open for the other shield to use. Is that configuration possible with this shield?

  • 33Warlord / about 12 years ago / 2

    Its great to see so many new sheilds from SFE!
    I only wish that we had more control over the alternate pins for RX/TX, as nearly every shield uses serial on 2/3 as the alternate.
    Perhaps you could expose the device RX/TX via solder points. These could then be jumpered to a duplicate set of holes next to D1-13. i.e. manually jumper RX/TX to the pins we wanted to use for SoftSerial. (Adafruit's GPS logger shield uses this method.)
    When used in conjunction with SoftSerial, this would allow flexibility to use several shields at once. For example, using the Xbee Shield, Cellular Shield, GPS Shield and even serial debug all at once.

    • 33Warlord: Perhaps you could expose the device RX/TX via solder points. These could then be jumpered to a duplicate set of holes next to D1-13. i.e. manually jumper RX/TX to the pins we wanted to use for SoftSerial
      Done! The next batch of boards should have this fix.

      • 33Warlord / about 12 years ago / 1

        Just saw the new batch! Thanks for reacting so quickly.
        (Now there's a slew of new shields that I need to order)

  • imagineer / about 11 years ago / 1

    Finally Isolated the problem as to why my XBEE's weren't talking. The DLINE / UART switch is quite flimsy. So even set in UART mode it wasn't sending to the UART. By sheer luck I pushed the switch really hard towards the UART side and finally it worked.

  • jcarlin / about 12 years ago / 1

    I purchased this shield to use with my Series 2 XBees so that I could get them to send data back and forth. I've looked through a lot of tutorials, guides, etc, but none that I've found actually use this shield. In order to write to the XBee using this shield, you write to the serial pins, right? I think I have a problem with my Arduino board using the serial connections to connect to the usb port. Any ideas on this?

  • MFK / about 12 years ago / 1

    It's a little silly to not include the necessary headers in the xbee shield. The other shields come with the necessary components. What exacerbates the issue further, is that when the xbee shield is available, the 6 pin headers aren't, and vice versa.
    Also, there needs to be someway to isolate the xbee to allow for programming of the arduino. Currently, if the xbee is installed in the xbee shield, the arduino cannot be reprogrammed - you have to pop out the xbee module. Perhaps the shield could have a three-state buffer to the xbee serial pins that can be activated by one of the xbee dio's.
    Just a few things would really make this a great product.

  • LexTalionis / about 12 years ago / 1

    When is the new shield going to be available? I'd love to get one of these ASAP.

  • Newest schematic added.

  • pjwerneck / about 12 years ago / 1

    Well, the shield does work. You're probably trying to configure it from the PC using the shiel. I had the same problem, and it won't work that way. You need either configure it outside the shield using the explorer USB or the FTDI breakout, or you have to configure it from the arduino, writing the configure string to the serial (which I never tried, so I'm not sure if it works... this is only for configuring too, you can't update firmware).
    Check this topic:

  • kev / about 12 years ago / 1

    I got it working.
    This is a great little tutorial
    Make sure the switch is in the UART position and it should work.

  • RM2 / about 12 years ago / 1

    Can this be used as a drop-in replacement for the "official" Arduino XBee shield (the Libelium one) that Sparkfun used to sell? Or are there some significant operational differences that one should know about?

  • DAVI / about 12 years ago / 1

    It doesn't work for me. I don't know whether I'm doing something wrong or not, but the shield doesn't want to work for me. Using the same arduino board (with the same test code), the same Xbee module, the same ground station attached to the PC, but with the shield from libelium (bought before sparkfun had its own), all works according to plan. But with this shield from sparkfun, I got the PWR LED on, DI05 blinking, but I don't get anything else. Gentlemen, am I missing something?

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