I have 14 Xbee RS-485 (XA-Z14-CS3PH-A) adapters I want to use to make a wireless serial connection between devices in a field. In the middle of the field I have one of those adapters connected to a box that sends and receives data from the internet. This will be my main data point.
Looking at the protocols, I think ZigBee or DigiMesh will work. I'm not interested in sleeping devices or end devices though. Everything can be routers. The confusion I'm having is whether I need to use a coordinator or not. I've done this before on another project but still don't understand how it fully works (even after reading). The first time I think I setup a Digimesh because I used an XSTICK and didn't have a coordinator. I configured my main data point adapter to broadcast to all, and then had all my other adapters setup as routers and had their addresses pointing to the main data point adapter. After that I removed the xstick from the network. I think that caused problems because an adapter died, and when I replaced it, it would not join the network.
Another issue is I won't be on site, I'm configuring about 2-3 adapters at a time (setting up their DH and DL addresses) and then they are being installed on the site. It is my understanding that as long as they all have the same PAN ID it will work when they are setup individually and then connected on site.
My question is should I setup this type as ZigBee or DigiMesh, and should I have a coordinator or use an XSTICK? It it simply a matter of setting the main data point to broadcast all (DH 0 and DL FFFF) and have all my routers DL = SL of the address of the main data point. If a device dies in the future will I be able to program a new one and add it easily?