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August 13, 2011
about 3 years ago
Just to be as clear as possible about this product, and the other regulated XBee boards that Sparkfun sells (this is just their “Xbee Explorer Regulated” in shield form, really).
It does NOT work with Xbee PRO XSC unless you can fine soldering that tiny black SMD diode off by itself on the opposite side of the board to the switch. The instructions to use X-CTU to change an internal pull-up do not apply to the XSC Xbee.
The most horrible solution, but it works, is to simply de-solder the diode carefully, without destroying either of the two pads it sits on, then bridge the gap with a small wire. You need a very fine tip soldering iron to do this and good eyes or a loupe. Without this change when the Xbee sitting in this shield transmitted, the remote got hex 00 (displayed as a “.” in X-CTU) for every character. I’ve no idea if this diminishes the life of the Xbee versus replacing the diode with a resistor.
After this change, I could write a loop-back sketch - read and write while available - and using another Xbee pro XSC (plugged into an Xbee explorer), use X-CTU to do the “Range Test” successfully. All “good” packets no bad ones.
* using this shield with a Uno (with only one UART) and having the UART available for driving the USB port, say for debugging, you need to have the switch set to “DLINE”, then you can use a bit-banging serial library like NewSoftSerial to talk to the Xbee. warning: NewSoftSerial is really a half-duplex serial library, it cannot send and receive simultaneously without corruption.
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