If you, a friend, or a loved one or family member wants to take an electronic project to the next level, the WIRELESS level – Xbee is a fantastic choice! What is Xbee? 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! We like to use them with Arduinos or with projects like wireless power meters.
Some time ago we wanted to make a wireless Arduino project but all the adapter boards on the market were not that good. So we designed what we think is an excellent low-cost adapter board – we also carry a variety of products for getting started with Xbee, and that’s what this guide is all about! The Xbee gift guide!
If you’re giving Xbees as a gift before to consider that you usually need 2 Xbees and 2 adapters (and a cable or 2)…
For the products we stock we conveniently included our “add to wishlist” button! For today only the products we sell in this gift guide are 10% off (use code XBEE) on checkout.
Building Wireless Sensor Networks: with ZigBee, XBee, Arduino, and Processing by Robert Faludi
This book should be out soon! You can get “rough cuts” access now – Get ready to create distributed sensor systems and intelligent interactive devices using the ZigBee wireless networking protocol and XBee radios. By the time you’re halfway through this fast-paced, hands-on guide, you’ll have built a series of useful projects, including a complete ZigBee wireless network that delivers remotely sensed data. Radio networking is creating revolutions in volcano monitoring, performance art, clean energy, and consumer electronics. By following the examples in each chapter, you’ll learn how to tackle inspiring projects of your own. This resource- and reference-packed book is perfect for inventors, hackers, crafters, students, hobbyists, and scientists.
XBee Module. This is a XBee 802.15.4 protocol 1mW wireless module, good for point-to-point, multipoint and convertible to a mesh network point. There are nearly a dozen different types of xbees. We just carry this one (its the best for all-around wireless communication) If you need others we suggest buying direct from Mouser/Digikey, see here for more details. Please note we used to carry the chip antenna, but now have the wire antenna version. Its the same price but 50% more range because of the improved antenna, awesome!
XBee Adapter kit
This adapter board is designed to make adding wireless point-to-point or mesh networking easy. We looked at all the XBee adapter boards available and decided to design something better. The kit includes a PCB and all components necessary to build the adapter, unassembled. Tools are not included. This kit is really easy and will only take 15 minutes to build, even if you’ve never soldered before.
Arduino Xbee Shield. The Xbee shield allows an Arduino board to communicate wirelessly using Zigbee. It is based on the Xbee module from MaxStream. The module can communicate up to 100 feet indoors or 300 feet outdoors (with line-of-sight). It can be used as a serial/usb replacement or you can put it into a command mode and configure it for a variety of broadcast and mesh networking options. The shields breaks out each of the Xbee’s pins to a through-hole solder pad. It also provides female pin headers for use of digital pins 2 to 7 and the analog inputs, which are covered by the shield (digital pins 8 to 13 are not obstructed by the shield, so you can use the headers on the board itself).
USB XBee Adapter
This low cost XBee USB Adapter Board comes in partially assembled kit form and provides a cost-effective solution to interfacing a PC or microcontroller to any XBee or XBee Pro module. The PC connection can be used to configure the XBee Module through Digi’s X-CTU software. By using this adapter board you can provide an easy interface to the XBee or XBee Pro modules by converting the 2mm pin spacing to breadboard friendly 0.100″ spacing. The adapter board also provides a means to connect pluggable wires or solder connections and also provides mounting holes.
Tweet-a-Watt starter pack
Tweet-a-Watt is a DIY wireless power monitoring system. The project uses an ‘off the shelf’ power monitor called the Kill-a-Watt and adds wireless reporting. Each plug transmits the power usage at that outlet to a central computer receiver. The receiver can then log, graph and report the data. This pack contains nearly everything* necessary to build a single outlet monitor and receiver. To monitor additional outlets, you will need an add-on transmitter pack. One outlet can monitor up to 1500 Watts.
FTDI Friend + extras
Long gone are the days of parallel ports and serial ports. Now the USB port reigns supreme! But USB is hard, and you just want to transfer your every-day serial data from a microcontroller to computer. What now? Enter the FTDI Friend! The Xbee only communicative via TTL serial, so if you want to reprogram the Xbee using a computer you’ll need an FTDI Friend (or FTDI cable).
USB FTDI TTL-232 cable
This is a FTDI FT232RL usb/serial chip embedded in a cable that has a 6-pin socket at the end. Useful whenever you want to communicate with a TTL serial device, such as an XBee through a breakout board.
BONUS: As a nice gift for giftee, print out or store/send our Xbee tutorials. Pop them on a flash drive or print’em out!
REMINDER: For the products we stock we conveniently included our “add to wishlist” button! For today only the products we sell in this gift guide are 10% off (use code XBEE) on checkout.
If we missed any cool products, post’em up!
Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.
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Maker Business — “If Work Is Digital, Why Do We Still Go to the Office?”
Wearables — Stiff upper lip
Electronics — Signature required?
Biohacking — BBC Biohacking: Technology and Health
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