Everything Xbee


#1

Since Xbee devices were taking the Xiaomi devices - are they pairing / staying connected for you? thread off track and info is scattered between here and the SmartThings forum.
I figured I would create a thread for everything Xbee related.

These are great little devices to use as routers to extend your network and for mapping out your zigbee network.
They have made my Xiaomi devices stable routing through them and have extended my SmartThings arrival sensor range.
They can also route 12-20 (depending on xbee model) other devices through them VS a standard plug which can usually only do around 6.

First change your hub zigbee away from channel 25-26 (see below)
I found channel 20 worked best for me.
You should also move your 2.4 wifi channel on your router away from channel 20 just to keep any interference on your zigbee mesh down.

I use the xbee3 XB3-24Z8ST RP SMA antenna and XB3-24Z8PT (pcb antenna already built in)
I bought direct from Digikey (which I would recommend) or mouser
There are lots of different styles regardless which one you get make sure it is a zigbee not a 802.15.4 they are terrible at having both in their description but 802.15.4 will not work. basically the zigbee version have a Z in their model number.
RP-SMA antennas are just like the 2.4 wifi ones off your routers.

you will also need a usb adapter board to program the xbee and to optionally power it.
I preferred the digikey Grove USB board part number 602-1979-ND
(note surface mount xbee will require a surface mount usb board not this one)

another cheap Xbee adapter option that works from Ebay
Not recommended now due to missing a reset button
May have issues with initial programming and does not have a reset button for programming.
Better to use as just a power source.
Ebay Xbee USb adapter arrived after about 2 months and it appears to work fine with my Xbee3, not bad for $2.62 US.
you will need a mini usb cable for it instead of a micro usb cable.

Note: when writing settings to your Xbee to be careful to not use the scroll wheel on the mouse it grabs the wrong settings sometimes

Xbee3 (router) configuration (all settings not listed are set to default settings)
CE = join network (0)
ZS = 2
NJ = FF
JV = 1 (I changed to 0 after pairing to the hub to keep the Xbee on the same channel after power cycling I have never seen it change but just to be safe)

EE = Enabled (1)
E0 = 1
KY = 5a6967426565416c6c69616e63653039 (standard home automation key)
(but will be blank after you write and try to read again it is a write only option for security)

NJ = FF (to extend the joining time might help devices pair to them first)
NI - (name it whatever you like)
NH = FE (latest firmware 1005 maximum is FE now) (I set to max so devices could travel farther by being able to travel through more routers)
DD = 3000C
N0 = 3
BD - 115200 (7)
AP = API enabled (1)
A0 = 1 (not sure if it matters but changed from 3 to 1 due to this note in the manual
"Setting AO = 1 is required for the XBee3 Zigbee RF Module to use the Explicit Rx Indicator frame - 0x91
when receiving RF data packets. This is required if the application needs indication of source or
destination endpoint, cluster ID, or profile ID values used in received Zigbee data packets. ZDO
messages can only be received if AO = 1."
I have not seen this setting make any difference)
SP = AF0
SN = 130
D8 = disabled (I do not use them so why have them enabled)
D9 = disabled (I do not use them so why have them enabled)
PL = 4

image

- end devices settings below same settings as above except these
(end device will not route or scan your network)
AP = 0 (for an end device)
SM = 5 (has to be not 0 for end devices)
SP = 20 (I lowered this for transmitting in console mode not sure if required for micropython)

of course to pair it after writing all the settings remove power from the xbee then put the hub into pairing and repower the xbee. They pair as devices but still function.

  • I am no expert these are just what worked for me there maybe (are likely) better settings

Why end device settings if you cannot route or scan your network with end device settings?
These Xbee3 have a range up to 2 miles and are programable with micropython so in theory we might be able to program them and use them as a high powered arrival sensor for perhaps your vehicle.
I have not figured out micropython code yet and a DH would still have to be made.

You can display it as a graph like this

or a table like this

Xbee2 manual
Xbee3 manual
XCTU manual
micropython programming guide

surface mount (SMT) type
through hole (TH MT) type
Xbee usb THT vs SMT programmer


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#3

Sorry to ask this, but man, that early thread is hard to follow! :grin:

Has anyone tried a Xiaomi socket as a repeater? There is a post on reddit that suggests it's working, no idea what hub they're using though, and working how well, relative to an Xbee module is unknown. Does anyone already setup to test happen to know, or willing to buy one to compare to Xbee and one of the Sylvania plugs that @gavincampbell has tested?

[Edit] Previous posted link was wrong Here is the Zigbee version.


#4

I think the north american plug version was discontinued and likely not UL or CSA approved. But I think a few people tried them over on SmartThings. They should work with other Xiaomi devices but maybe not with non Xiaomi devices judging by the posts there.


#5

Good point and certification is most certainly important.


#6

I think xiaomi was going to make a big push in the US soon and release NA versions of some of their devices. I was originally going to wait and try those out but been having so much success with my sylvania plugs I don't want to introduce anything new.


#7

Did you buy from Amazon.ca?


#8

Ended up grabbing them from Canadian tire. Was more worried about the two different model numbers so act CanTire was able to verify they were the "working" model before buying.


#9

Were you ever able to get the Xbee to scan the sylvania plugs and see the end devices connected to them?
If so what did you change to to see them? Wondering what the issue was.
I can still see my end devices connected to my sylvania plug after a number of scans but never on every scan.
Hopefully Xiaomi comes to north america huge price difference will drive others to lower their prices.


#10

Yes. Eventually. It takes hours for some reason though. So I would turn on the scan and leave it and 4 hours later I would look and it would show. Anything connected directly to the xbee or hub showed up right away. The other strange thing is that it would not show the two way link quality on most of the devices. But in the end I got an idea of my network setup so I worked with it.


#11

what are these for?

thank you.


#12

my xbee install:


Further Xiaomi Pros and Cons
#13

only for future development if someone wants to try make something like a high powered arrival/presence sensor. You would not want router settings if the device was coming and going.
I am going to try if I have any free time (working 50 hours overtime at work this week)


#14

ahh ... got it. thank you.

what we need to do is convince @mike.maxwell to build a driver for the xbee. it would be good to be able to see which devices are routing through it or not.


#15

@NoWon I'm not in a rush. Would this XBee USB Adapter S2 2m with Bluetooth Bee FT232RL board work with this Xbee Zigbee module?


#16

never tried that but reading the description it says it will work as long as it's powered of course. Never used Bluetooth for much but pretty cheap to test out. If it doesn't work at the very least you would likely end up with a cheap USB power adapter for an Xbee.


#17

Made some changes based on another thread about xbee and it looks like my device is working much better now. Here is my device/settings info in case anybody else has the same one to work with. After about 20 minutes all of my devices, including anything attached to my sylvania plugs, are showing up properly. Hopefully this will help somebody else.

Product Family: XBP24C
Function set: Zigbee TH Pro
Firmware version: 4060

ZS=2
JV=Enabled [1]
NI=Device 1
NH=30
AR=0
DD=3000C
NO=3
EE=Enabled [1]
EO=1
KY=
BD=115200 [7]
AP=API enabled with escaping [2]
AO=Explicit+ZDO [7]
SP=130
SN=AF0
D8=Disabled [0]
D9=Disabled [0]

Links to my devices are below.

https://www.mouser.ca/ProductDetail/digi-international/xbp24cz7sit-004/?qs=3VJ0tGt%2bi1yuX178R0ovzA==&countrycode=CA&currencycode=CAD

https://www.mouser.ca/ProductDetail/digi-international/a24-hasm-450/?qs=YPg7lQ8MWSfg2uAoe%2F49%2FQ==&countrycode=CA&currencycode=CAD

https://www.mouser.ca/ProductDetail/dfrobot/dfr0050/?qs=Zcin8yvlhnNM90mtSqmV9A==&countrycode=CA&currencycode=CAD


#18

damn sorry my AO setting was 3 not 1
Not sure how I changed it to 1.
I originally had it set to 7 as other xbee users had and it worked but I could not find any documentation for setting it to 7.

from the manual:
AO (API Options)
Configure the serial output options for received API frames. The current options select the type of
receive API frame to send out the UART for received RF data packets.
Leave unused bits clear so future API options are not inadvertently enabled during a firmware update.
Bit field
Parameter Description
0 0 = Native API output (0x90 frame type).
1 = Explicit API output (0x91 frame type).
AT commands Serial interfacing commands
XBee3® Zigbee® RF Module User Guide 166
Parameter Description
1 Unsupported ZDO request pass-through.
2 Supported ZDO request pass-through.
3 Binding request pass-through.


#19

No worries. No idea what half the settings do, even after reading them, but I thought I would post my hardware configuration and software settings in case they are specific. All 54 of my nodes are showing up now and I even see them jump from one router to another every now and then. Got a clear visual of my mapping.

The only thing I don't see is the two way link quality. From the hub or the xbee I can see 1 way quality only and from the plugs I don't see either way link quality. But that is no big deal as they are all good anyways.


#20

Thanks. True, why not try it at that price?

Was just going to place and order for one of these for delivery (whenever), but will this non-pro version work? Is there an advantage I'll be missing or need with the pro version?

https://www.digikey.ca/products/en?keywords=XB3-24Z8ST-J


#21

I ordered a bluetooth usb board to try it out but will take awhile to get here. It looked interesting.

non pro version will work fine I believe the only difference is they are lower transmit power rating so not the 2 mile range but still plenty for a house and of course since it has a lower power rating it will use less power so if you use a battery to power it then it will last longer. If you just plug it into a house outlet then the power consumption will not matter.
The pro version is not allowed in Europe due to their high transmitting power.


Frustrated w/ Device Discovery So Far