XBee modems are one of the easiest ways to create a wireless point-to-point or mesh network. They have error correction, are configured with AT commands, come in multiple flavors and can create a wireless serial link out of the box! I wanted to make a wireless Arduino project but all the adapter boards on the market made me unhappy. So I designed what I think is an excellent low-cost adapter board.
- Yes it can act as a breakout board, but it also has....
- Onboard 3.3V regulator to cleanly power your XBee, up to 250mA
- Level shifting circuitry means that its trivial to connect it to 5V circuitry such as an Arduino without risk of damage
- Two LEDs, one for activity (RSSI), the other for power (Associate)
- 10-pin 2mm sockets included to protect the modem and allow easy swapping, upgrading or recycling
- All the commonly used pins are brought out along the edge, making it easy to breadboard or wire up
- For use with any XBee/Pro pin-compatible module
- Specifically created for use with an FTDI cable to connect to a computer via USB. This means that you can use, configure or upgrade the adapter painlessly simply by plugging in a cable:
Step 1: Make it! Tools and preparation
This is a very easy kit to make, just go through each of these steps to build the kit
1. Tools and preparation
2. Check the parts list
3. Assemble it
Learn how to solder with tons of tutorials!
Don't forget to learn how to use your multimeter too!
There are a few tools that are required for assembly. None of these tools are included. If you don't have them, now would be a good time to borrow or purchase them. They are very very handy whenever assembling/fixing/modifying electronic devices! I provide links to buy them, but of course, you should get them wherever is most convenient/inexpensive. Many of these parts are available in a place like Radio Shack or other (higher quality) DIY electronics stores.
I recommend a "basic" electronics tool set for this kit, which I describe here.
Soldering iron. One with temperature control and a stand is best. A conical or small 'screwdriver' tip is good, almost all irons come with one of these.
A low quality (ahem, $10 model from radioshack) iron may cause more problems than its worth!
Do not use a "ColdHeat" soldering iron, they are not suitable for delicate electronics work and can damage the kit (see here) http://www.epemag.wimborne.co.uk/cold-soldering2.htm
Solder. Rosin core, 60/40. Good solder is a good thing. Bad solder leads to bridging and cold solder joints which can be tough to find. Dont buy a tiny amount, you'll run out when you least expect it. A half pound spool is a minimum.
Multimeter/Oscilloscope. A meter is helpful to check voltages and continuity.
Flush/diagonal cutters. Essential for cutting leads close to the PCB.
Desoldering tool. If you are prone to incorrectly soldering parts.
'Handy Hands' with Magnifying Glass. Not absolutely necessary but will make things go much much faster.
Good light. More important than you think.
Check out my recommendations and where to buy.