Picture of Configuring Xbees
Xbees are possibly the coolest little wireless units since bluetooth. These things work right out of the box, talking to one another with ease. If you haven't worked with Xbees yet, it's ok, I will be discussing them in a later instructable. For now this is meant for people that have worked with the Xbee at least a little bit. Changing settings in your Xbee is vital when working in certain environments, and with specific projects. In this Instructable we will be discussing Changing the baud rate. This is important if certain components of your project require a different baud rate than 9600. We will also go over changing channels so that you can make a completely separate communication channel.
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Step 1: Welcome to XCTU

Picture of Welcome to XCTU
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To get started we need to download a program directly from Digi, the manufacture of Xbee modules. The program is called XCTU, and can be downloaded here.

XCTU Download Site

Once you have downloaded, and installed XCTU open it up, and plug in your Xbee explorer.

For this Instructable I will be working with the up coming Sparkfun release, the Xbee dongle.

AhmadK17 months ago


im trying to connect zbee pro 900 ( xbp09-dpsit-156) through USB cable using XCTU software but it gives me error ( modem not connected ) , i checked the power and nothing bad , the xbee explorer is working .
so i hope someone will helps me solving this problem .

best regards ,
Ahmad Kalbouneh

bflorea9 months ago

You can buy an XBee USB adapter compatible with the XBee USB explorer for an even better price from this website:

Olivierh11 months ago

Hello! Thanks for explaining how to deal with Xbee modules ;)

You can buy a good Xbee USB adapter (that looks like the sparkfun one) for a good price on this website:

Gelfling61 year ago
I ran into an oddity... I managed to port Hyperterm over to Windows 7, only to have x64 Win-7 balk that it is not a compatible program... There were a few others out there, RealTerm, which promptly crashed once it fired up. One I found, that's semi-fool proof, Putty.. this is a multi-purpose shell terminal, either ssh or serial. In the serial mode, it's very rudimentary, you must remember what the serial port the usb Explorer, or ftdi cable are connected to, and manually set the baud rate. But, it runs very much like a standard serial terminal when selected. Element-14 contributor Jeremy Blum gets kudos for mentioning it. I've used it for serial and ssh access to microcontrollers and a home server, incase things go awry.
YAWN4 years ago
I dun have the USB explorer board! can I use the rs232 module to unbrick my xbee??!!??
Gelfling6 YAWN1 year ago
If you're using a version of X-CTU that talks to it via the RS-232, read the note above by kolment2003, which I just replied to. It should work the same, addint a momentary contact switch between pins 5 & 11, but only when X-CTU is in the middle of attempting to re-write the firmware, and failing.. the most recent version pops-up with a info window saying no response, yada.. yada.. yada.. then at the bottom: XBEE: Press and release the reset switch, info window will close...... might work?
kolment20034 years ago
Fixing Bricked Xbee 2.5 while using a usb explorer 1- solder some headers into the usb explorer to be able to attach on a breadboard 2- short out GND and RST with a switch ( just like the one for reset on arduino) 3- when asked to reset the xbee , short out GND and RST with the switch PS: i was never able to properly reset by just shorting the pins with a wire, but with a breadboard n a switch it works like a charm!!!!!!!
I just found this out myself after accidentally writing the wrong firmware to a S1.. Followed the instructions on a google page, but it still stayed unresponsive, short of the "do this..." window from X-CTU.. Then, I read the line.. press the reset.. But, the carriers from parallax or Adafruit don't have a reset button.. THEN it dawned on me, the pins (pin 5 & 11) as you said. As soon as I pressed the button on the breadboard, the info window closed, and X-CTU responded with writing firmware.. Now, the fun part for me.. learning the differences between the Series-1 (XB24 805.12.4 (?)) and the Series 2 (Not S2, XB24B)
thebadfrank (author)  kolment20034 years ago
Hi, Thanks so much for the input! That is valuable information. I will make some modifications to the Instructable to reflect this. Credit given of course. ;) Thanks for reading, and again thanks for the input.
I had a bricked XBee module. I "bricked" it the first day that I received it!! The same day that I started working with XBee's!!! This tutorial helped me fix my problem!!!! Thank you sooooo much. It's wonderful to have "people in the know" like your self ,that will try to help beginners!!! Thanks again!!!
jcarrr1 year ago
This works like a champ in every carrier I have tried it with. No wires, no buttons, no fuss. One of those "ahah" moments. Wish I had thought of it
mattsargent3 years ago
To un-Brick:

OK, I tried your UNBRICK technique and it worked once for me, but I did my mistake again and I could not get it back. I looked for a good long time and found the following. It even worked with my non-Digi usb board from Parallax...

It uses the X-CTU program and signals the module using break on the terminal window - you have to use the wire-to-reset trick, but it works!
gceselin3 years ago
I've bought two Xbee-PRO XSC with two XBee Explorer Regulated boards and a FTDI cable from sparkfun store.
I've tried to use them many times, but they don't work.

I've tried to manage them by X-CTU, Xbee module has been connect using sparkfun XBee Explorer Regulated board and FTDI usb cable. Parameters has been set to 9600 8-N-1 FLOW:NONE, API enabled, no baud change.
The test result has been "Comunication with modem..OK Modem type = Name unknown (ID = 42949672481228316) Modem firmware version= "
I've tried to disconnect the module or change it and the result has been always the same!
I've tried to update firmware by following your instruction, but X-CTU returned always the same sentence "Getting modem type....OK
Programming modem...Lost communication with modem
Write Parameters...Failed".
If I disable the API function and update, the Action Required windows appeared. I followed the instruction by resetting the module (pin5+ground) and the following sentence appeared: "Getting modem type....OK
Programming modem...Detected baud rate difference.
Make sure PC and modem baud rate is set correctly
Lost communication with modem
Write Parameters...Failed".
I've tried also by using "GUI serial Xbee3" for MAC OS, but neither it worked.
I've tried all the solution I found in internet, but they did not work. What I have to do?
Have I to use a XBee Explorer USB board instead of XBee Explorer Regulated board? Is it a problem of Vcc?
Thanks, Giuseppe.
hi, I can sent data but still can't receive it (Minimum connections: VCC, GND, DOUT & DIN with micro contololer) my xbee doesn't receive, led of dout doesn't any act.
vanick08184 years ago
have you tried using the dongle with an xbee pro? the way i understood your tutorial, u simply used the dongle to program the xbee right?
mman15064 years ago
thanks for the help i couldnt get either of the xbee to connect
sboy98694 years ago
I tried everything but still can't "communicate with modem". I have a pair of Xbee 24s and I've tried resetting, connecting piggyback to an arduino to give me the reset ability. I changed usb cables and swapped between the explorer module and the prototyping unit. Nothing seems to work.
It also comes up with a message saying the baud rate is different between modem and pc and then looses connection to the modem. I've triple checked the baude rates and retried but no luck.