Assorted XBee Notes
ATRE Command Brings Sanity:
When putting an XBee into a project and doing the configuration from software code. I often have the problem of some crazy sleep mode or pin definition going on that I didn’t know about. So now, all my functions for setting up an XBee start with the command ATRE. That resets the radio to factory defaults before issuing the remainder of the setup commands like ID, MY and so forth. As long as you don’t write the settings back to firmware with WR, the factory reset is transient. As soon as that radio loses power, it goes back to whatever unique settings it had before you ran your program. Pretty handy if you’re popping the same units back and forth between hard configured Direct I/O mode and software configured applications.
New Ember ZigBee Coming:
Looks like Maxstream is coming out with a new line of ZigBee radios. These will be based on the Ember chipset rather than the current one from Freescale. The existing XBee radios will continue to be manufactured and fully supported in the 802.15.4 mode that we use here at ITP. For the ZigBee layer, it looks like that will mainly be developed on the new XBee Series 2. Inside information is that the AT commands and API will essentially match the current one. All good news.
One of the many reasons I can’t wait for my thesis to be done is so I can try out New Zealander Stan Swan’s method for repurposing “Asian cookware scoops” into parabolic WiFi and ZigBee antennas:
He claims that by using these #13 cooking scoops with an XBee Pro, the signal range would be theoretically only limited by the curvature of the earth. Wow! I wonder if by using a giant #13 spatula to flatten the earth, I could further extend this range…