Programmable XBee - Getting Started

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What is the Programmable XBee?

Throughout history, Digi XBee customers have asked the question, "Can I add custom code to the XBee firmware?" The answer has been "No" for the simple reason that there is rarely enough free RAM or FLASH available for users to use.

The Programmable XBee solves this problem by including a second Freescale processor on the XBee, use largely under the customer's complete control. The default processor is an HCS08 (MC9S08QE32CFT) with 32K Flash and 2K RAM. In 2011, another XBee Programmable version will become available with 128K Flash and 8K RAM.

Getting Started

  • Order the dev kit - it is currently listed on the XBee module page, not the Drop-In-Network Dev kit page: [XBee-PRO ZB ZigBee RF Modules] The kit includes 2 Programmable XBee modules, the USB-based debugger, a USB dev board and other hardware. You will need at least 2 free USB ports to use the kit. Code-Warrior does NOT run under 64-bit Windows.

Limitations

Currently, this programmable XBee is only available as ZigBee with PRO 100mw RF power ratings. Someday programmable XBee versions may be produced for DigiMesh (etc), but at present they are not committed to become products.

During full operation with RF activity, the programmable XBee draws about 15mA more power.

Useful Online Information

The product page: [XBee-PRO ZB Programmable Development Kit page], under Documentation and Sample Applications.

The FTP site [XBP_ZB_Programmable], which includes the software, drivers, and CodeWarrier.

The [Getting Started Guide]

Using an additional XBIB from a different kit for the "Building an Advanced Application" exercise.

What's happening underneath The Basic Framework of the main() function in your first Programmable XBee Application.

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