Digi International manufactures a bewildering array of XBee-branded radios. All told there are at least 30 different combinations of component hardware, firmware protocols, transmission powers, and antenna options. We’ll first take a look at what’s out there, and then narrow that down to the devices we will be using in this book.
There are two basic varieties of XBee radio physical hardware:
These radios use a microchip made by Freescale to provide simple, standards-based point-to-point communications, as well as a proprietary implementation of mesh networking. We won’t use the Series 1 hardware at all in this book.
The sidebar Series 1 Radios takes a quick look at the Series 1, but remember that the examples in this book won’t work with Series 1 hardware.
The Series 2 uses a microchip from Ember Networks that enables several different flavors of standards-based ZigBee mesh networking. Mesh networking is the heart of creating robust sensor networks, the systems that can generate immensely rich data sets or support intricate human-scale interactions. Everything we do in this book from here on out will use the Series 2 hardware exclusively.
Digi has just released the newer Series 2B. Series 2B features include reduced power consumption, additional antenna options, and an optional programmable microprocessor. For the most part, Series 2 and 2B are interchangeable.
Both the Series 1 and ...