Range Testing of ZigBee Network using Cluster ID

X-CTU provides a feature to test the range capabilities of RF modules. Since the range or distance of Digi XBee products depends on several parameters in different environments, the range test function in the Digi tools is an effective way to determine the actual range and signal strength of the modules at your desired deployment location.

Digi XBee mesh-based modules provide a method to perform range tests using the Cluster ID parameter or function. The Cluster ID function allows you to set a specific port type address that loops all data back to the sending unit automatically. To perform this process, follow the steps described below:

  1. Download and install Digi XBee Studio from the XBee Studio product page.
  2. Launch Digi XBee Studio by double-clicking the icon on your desktop or within your start menu. When launched, XBee Studio will discover all XBee modules connected to your PC.
  3. Both mesh versions offered by the Digi XBee modules support the use of the Cluster ID, End Point, and API mode. Ensure that the module connected to the PC is set up for API mode and, if it uses the Zigbee protocol, that it is the coordinator.
  4. On the left side menu, click on the Diagnostics icon that looks like a stethoscopeand select the Range Test.​ 


    5. In the Range Test option, select the desired radio's 64-bit MAC address you wish to test.

    6. Set the Range Test Type to "Software loop back (Cluster ID (12))".

    7. Click on Configure Payload and either use the default value or enter your own desired value. Digi Support generally recommends using a sample string of the data you would actually be sending over the radio network.

    8. Digi Support also recommends setting the Rx Timeout to five seconds (5000) and the Test Duration to 100 packets.

   9. While the test is performing, both the local and remote RSSI status bars will display the  values received by both modules. It will also report the total number of packets sent and received, as well as any bad packets received.



Ideally, the result or the range test will be 100% packets received. However, as each application and deployment is unique, you will have to determine what you consider passing for the install. 

Last updated: Jul 08, 2024

Filed Under

RFRF Dev kits

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