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Help with XBee Explorer Regulated

Just received a couple of XBee & boards from SparkFun but I'm unsure how many pins are needed.


According to the schematic, http://www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/Wireless/Zigbee/XBee-Regulated-v10.pdf, there's a DIO3 pin.


What is it used for?

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More information is needed to answer your question.  Are you trying to hook it up to a micro?  Use it standalone?

It would help to specify which product you have, in addition to asking a complete question. Backtracking from the schematic link posted shows the Sparkfun XBee Explorer Regulated. The description on the product page states that its' pinout is made to match the Arduino Pro boards (by Sparkfun) and the FTDI Basic boards. Checking the Arduino Pro pic, it shows a pinout that matches the Xbee Explorer Regulated board. The FTDI basic also shows a similar pinout.

What the XBee explorer board allows is an interface to 3.3 volt TTL serial only. It will burn an XBee trying to connect to RS232 serial. The DIO3 pin is allowed to connect to the RTS pin of the micro. It may or may not be required in other micros, try it out to see, as long as you keep the signal levels at 0 to 3.3 volts.

I'm trying to connect the XBee Explorer Regulated to my BS2 on a breadboard. On the other end, I have the XBee Explorer (USB) connected to PC. Both my XBee from the series 2.


for the configuration on my breadboard, i only require 2 pins for Din & Dout right?

Your BS2 has RS232 level conversion on board and will fry your XBee radio if you try to use it with the XBee Explorer Regulated. You'll need the XBee Explorer Serial to connect with a Basic Stamp 2, to be able to convert the RS232 voltages down to TTL serial.

Another option might be to use this RS232 shifter with the XBee Explorer Regulated you have.  It should be powered with 3.3 volts for the XBee TTLvoltage levels.

Ok, I'm kinda confused.


 Here's how i intend to connect the boards:

PC -> XBee Explorer (USB) -> XBee  ---AIR---  XBee <- XBee explorer regulated <- BS2


what u mean is that i would require the RS232 shifter between the XBee explorer regulated & the BS2 right?

regarding the voltage, the Xbee explorer regulated takes in 5V, does that mean that i can power the RS232 shifter using 5V?

how many I/Os do i need for the BS2 side. Also, is the connection for my PC correct?


Thanx you


PC side is fine, BS2 side needs the addition :

--AIR--- XBee <- XBee explorer regulated <-RS232 converter <- BS2

Connections should be 

  • BS2 pin 1 (SOUT) to the RS232 DB9 pin 2 (RS-OUT)
  • BS2 pin 2 (SIN) to RS232 DB9 pin 3 (RS-IN)
  • BS2 pin 4 (Vss) to RS232 DB9 pin 5 (ground)

What bugs me is that there is no translation of the ATN line for the BS2, and I'm not sure it will work without that connection.

For the RS232 converter to the XBee Explorer to the RS2332 converter the connectinos are :

  • XBee Exp pin DIN to RS232 pin TX
  • XBee Exp pin DOUT to RS232 pin RX
  • XBee Exp pin GND to RS232 pin GND
  • XBee Exp tap on 3.3 volts to RS232 pin Vcc to insure that the XBee is getting 3.3 volt TTL, not 5 volt

In looking at this, it appears that the best option would be going ahead with getting the Xbee Explorer Serial, as it does translate the ATN line for the BS2. It is made to insure 3.3 volt TTL, and deliver all the comminicaions lines. The hack of the level shifter might work or might not, and I probably wouldn't waste the time and shipping cost on hoping it would.


would it be possible to connect the XBee explorer board to the 16 I/Os of BS2, similar to Parallax 433 RF modules.

will the voltage compatibility issue still exist?

Even the IOs is a problem. THe BS2 is 5 volt TTL, the XBee requires 3.3 volt TTL.
correct mi if i'm wrong. i thot the Xbee board takes in 5 V? I'm not sure if it's TTL though.
Check the schematic. THe Xbee Explorer Regulated takes in 5 volts and regulates it to 3.3 volts for the XBee module to use. The XBee module that plugs into the board is 3.3 volt TTL signals that is not 5 volt tolerant.