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To configure the XBee:

Here's how to connect the XBee to your computer using the XBee shield (see

Remove the Atmega 168 from the Arduino board. Plug the shield in, and move the jumpers on the shield so that both are closer to the outside edge of the shield board. This configuration is called a "USB-XBee gateway." Normally, when you use the XBee shield on the Arduino with the Atmega 168 still in the Arduino, you place both jumpers further from the outside edge of the board (the opposite from the USB-XBee gateway configuration).

You can also make the connections using a breadboard and a breakout board for the XBee (to convert from the XBee's 2mm pitch to the 2.54mm pitch of the breadboard). Again, remove the Atemga 168 from the Arduino board. Run jumpers to connect the Xbee to 3.3V power, and to connect the Rx and Tx lines.

Use the USB connection on the Arduino board to connect the XBee to your computer. Use any "serial terminal" program to communicate with the XBee. We use X-CTU (can download here: On the "PC Settings" tab, here's the settings:

Baud: 9600
Flow Control: NONE
Data Bits: 8
Parity: NONE
Stop Bits: 1

To test for a connection, click on the "Terminal" tab (this is like the terminal in Hyperterminal), and type +++ (don't hit enter).

On the "Modem Configuration" tab, click "Read."

NOTE: If you're using Series 1 XBees with the "new" chipset (i.e. if you ordered them recently), the oldest firmware you can use is 10A5.

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Page last modified on December 29, 2008, at 01:24 PM