XBee S2C 3mW module setup point-to-point

XBee S2C 3mW module setup point-to-point

The new XBee 3mW S2C modules improve on the existing S2 modules by upping the power output and hence the range. You can now have a range of up to 1200 meters (outdoors - line of sight) without having to buy the much more expensive Pro versions.

I had thought that setting up two of these modules for simple communication would be similar to the S2 XBee's but i was wrong as the new modules have a better processor and more memory, as such the firmware has changed into an all-in-one solution.. So here in this tutorial i will show you how to setup two modules for simple two way point-to-point communication using the new firmware (ZIGBEE TH REG) and also how to setup the modules using the older firmware (802.15.4 TH)

To setup the XBee radios you will need a serial connection from your computer to the XBee module. We suggest using our XBee USB Adapter

In order to make two XBee S2C modules talk to each other we need to setup one as a Coordinator and one as an End Device (or Router), but first lets get hold of the required XCTU software

XCTU Software

Download and install the free XCTU configuration software.

This can be downloaded from the Digi website

Connect and check Firmware

Run up the XCTU software then click on the large + icon in the top left corner.

This brings up a list of serial ports. Choose the one that your XBee is connected to and change the Baud Rate if required. The default baud rate for XBee radios is 9600

XBee XCTU software connect

Once you have a connection to your XBee radio, select it by clicking on the connection in the left panel. XCTU will then download the current settings for the module.

XBee S2C Coordinator setup stage 1

This is where you might come across the first hurdle. Hobbytronics sells the XBee S2C modules with either a Wire Antenna or a PCB Antenna. Strangely these came with differing sets of firmware

 


 

Setup using the new ZIGBEE TH REG firmware

In the right hand Radio Configuration pane the current Function set is listed. This should be ZIGBEE TH REG

Zigbee Function Set

To change the Function Set, select the Update icon. This will pop-up a list of the available firmware. Select ZIGBEE TH REG and click the Update button to load the new firmware

Changing the Firmware

Coordinator Setup

One module always needs to be setup as a Coordinator.

There are only a couple of settings that need to be setup for the coordinator.

ID PAN ID

This is a number that is unique to your network setup and needs to be the same on all the XBee modules. To avoid potential conflict with other XBee radios, change this to any hexadecimal number between 0 and FFFF. Here i have selected 1729

Further down in the settings you will find CE Coordinator Enable. Change this so this module is a Coordinator

Coordinator setup

DL Destination Address Low

In order for the Coordinator to communicate with other modules we set the DL Destination Address to FFFF which is the broadcast address

Coordinator setup

Click on the Write Button to store the settings

End Device (Router) Setup

Setup for the End Device or Router is much easier. All we need to do is set the PAN ID to match that set in the Coordinator. All other settings can be left at the default.

 


 

Setup using the older 802.15.4 TH firmware

This setup should also work with the older S2 Xbee radios.

In the right hand Radio Configuration pane the current Function set is listed. This should be 802.15.4 TH. On the Wire Antenna modules this function set was different  and displayed as ZIGBEE TH Reg.

To change the Function Set, select the Update icon. This will pop-up a list of the available firmware. Select 802.15.4 TH and click the Update button to load the new firmware

XBee S2C Coordinator setup firmware

Coordinator Setup

There are a few settings that need to be setup for communication between the two modules

CH Channel

This defaults to C and can be left alone

ID PAN ID

This is a number that is unique to your network setup and needs to be the same on all the XBee modules. To avoid potential conflict with other XBee radios, change this to any hexadecimal number between 0 and FFFF. Here i have selected 1729

DH Destination Address High

Set this to 0

DL Destination Address Low

Because the XBee device we are setting up is a Coordinator, we need to allow it to communicate with all other XBee radios on the same network. To do this we set this value to FFFF which is the Broadcast Address to all other modules.

On previous S2 modules this address could be set to the MY address on the receiving module. However this does not seem to work with the new S2C modules

MY 16-bit source address

Leave this at 0

XBee S2C Coordinator setup stage

Further down in the settings you will find CE Coordinator Enable. Change this so this module is a Coordinator

XBee S2C Coordinator setup stage 2

Unless you want to change the baud rate (further down in the settings), this is all you need for this module.

Click on the Write Button to store the settings

End Device Setup

Swap XBee modules and connect to the one we are going to setup as an End Device

Again, check the function set is correct, then enter the following settings

CH Channel

This defaults to C and can be left alone, but should match the Coordinator

ID PAN ID

This is a number that is unique to your network setup and needs to be the same on all the XBee modules. To avoid potential conflict with other XBee radios, change this to any hexadecimal number between 0 and FFFF. Here i have selected 1729 - the same as the Coordinator.

DH Destination Address High

Set this to 0

DL Destination Address Low

Set this to 0

Along with the DH high address, this is the address of the coordinator module. (MY setting)

MY 16-bit source address

Set this to 1

CE Coordinator Enable

Make sure this is set to End Device

XBee S2C End Device setup stage 1

Apart from changing the baud rate, we are all set. Click on the Write button to save the changes

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