How to Identify and Recover a Programmable XBee

First lets described what a Programmable XBee module is and how to determine if you have one.  A Programmable XBee is an XBee module that has an additional HCS08 FreeScale 8 bit microprocessor on board placed between the radios pins or header, and the RF processor.  It is designed to allow customers (who would have otherwise used a small external 8 bit microprocessor) the ability to reduce the amount of parts by including the processor on the XBee module.

One can determine if their XBee module has this Programmable chip by simply knowing what to look for in the part number.  A standard part number begins with XB or XBP indicating if it is an XBee module or an XBee PRO. This is followed by the frequency the radio operates at; for example "24" is for the 2.4 GHz band whereas "09" represents the 900 MHz band.

Next is the protocol used.  For example, a Zigbee PRO enabled product would have Z7 whereas a Digi Mesh would have DM or an 802.15.4 module would have -A

XBee 802.15.4:           XB24-A
XBee PRO 802.15.4:   XBP24-A
XBee PRO Zigbee:      XBP24Z7
XBee PRO Digi Mesh: XBP09-DM

The next item that is in the part number indicates the antenna type.
    W - Wire whip
    P - PCB
    S - RPSMA
    U - U.FL
    R - RF Pad


Now if it is a programmable, here is where it is indicated.  Instead of the Next value being a "-", a second "B" is put in its place.


The final part of the part number indicates what kind of node or firmware is installed.  For example, -001 is the 802.15.4, 004 is Router AT.

Now that you know how to determine which product you have, you can properly restore the radio.  Keep in mind that the following directions are strictly for the programmable versions. 
  1. First, connect the OEM Module to an XBIB interface board and the PC.
  2. Next, Connect the BDM programmer to both the PC via the USB cable and the BDM Header on the XBIB interface board
  3. Launch the Code Warrior Development Studio
  4. If you have not already done so, create the Bootloader Sample Application for the XBee modules
  5. Port the Bootloader Application to the XBee module using the BDM programmer
  6. Close out of the FreeScale Code Warrior software
  7. Launch XCTU version 6x
  8. From the Tools menu, select the XBee Recovery
  9. From the Modem type, select the modem type that fits your module (See part number description above)
  10. Select the Function Set and desired version. Keep in mind that the programmable modules communicate at a baud rate of 115.2kbps and API mode. So you need to make sure that you select the API version if there is both AT and API versions listed.
  11. Select the COM port that the module is connected to (not the BDM programmer but the XBIB board)
  12. Click on Recover and follow the on screen directions
Last updated: Aug 23, 2017

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