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An XBee wireless modem adapter that doesn’t suck!

[flickr 2977097446 ]
[flickr 2977097004 ]

XBee modems are one of the easiest ways to create a wireless point-to-point or mesh network. They have error correction, are configured with AT commands, come in multiple flavors and can create a wireless serial link out of the box! I wanted to make a wireless Arduino project but all the adapter boards on the market made me unhappy. So I designed what I think is an excellent low-cost adapter board.

For more information, including instructions, schematics, example code, tutorials & more check out the project’s webpage! For $10 you can own one, too, simply head over to the Adafruit webshop.

  • Yes it can act as a breakout board, but it also has….
  • Onboard 3.3V regulator to cleanly power your XBee, up to 250mA
  • Level shifting circuitry means that its trivial to connect it to 5V circuitry such as an Arduino without risk of damage
  • Two LEDs, one for activity (RSSI), the other for power (Associate)
  • 10-pin 2mm sockets included to protect the modem and allow easy swapping, upgrading or recycling
  • All the commonly used pins are brought out along the edge, making it easy to breadboard or wire up
  • For use with any XBee/Pro pin-compatible module
  • Specifically created for use with an FTDI cable to connect to a computer via USB. This means that you can use, configure or upgrade the adapter painlessly simply by plugging in a cable:


Perfect for wirelessly communicating with a microcontroller project.


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3 Comments

  1. very nice! in your project instructions, one method of connection that you show (as also shown on these pictures) is to connect the regular straight headers parallel to the PCB, just soldering them to the holes, but the pins don’t actually go through the holes. I’m wondering is this method mechanically stable enough, compared to through-hole soldering?

  2. Thats a good question. It -isnt- as good as through hole but I just gave my board a really good twist and because all 10 pins are soldered with plenty of solder, they held up just fine. If one uses right-angle header, it’ll also bend, of course. I’d say its not as strong as a foot but as strong as a hand 🙂 (note that the xbee probably cant compete against a foot either!)

  3. Pretty cool! I think a “dongle” version would be nice too (basically adding a FTDI chip to the board), so I do not have to use the special cable for the computer’s side of the communication.

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