Did I just make a $37 mistake? (XBee)

I got four XBee Series 2 2mW (ZB) radios and one XBee Series 2 Pro 63mW (S2B) radio, thinking that the 63mW radio would make for a nice powerful coordinator node, but the S2B can’t see the ZB units. The ZB units can see all of the other ZB units of course, and I made one of those a coordinator, but I think I made a $37 mistake by buying an incompatible radio (I bet Digi makes a lot of money off mistakes like this - their product matrix is baffling … to me)

Can anyone confirm one way or the other : Should ZB and S2B radios be able to inter-operate?

@ mcalsyn - can you post the complete xbees family numbers can be seen thru xctu. If you connect them all and do a discovery in xctu do they all show up ?

I’ve got one pro as a connector and two as routers configured … at least they show in the xctu being all of the ZB family …


Did you check if they have the same panid. Added foto from Robert Faludi’s book (ISBN 978-0-596-80773-3) or here [url]O'Reilly Media - Technology and Business Training

Basically all series 2 xbee use the ZB Zigbee mesh. Did you check for latest firmware ?

I think if nothing else the pro can be flashed with non-pro firmware, but don’t take my word on it.

Found this as well … xbee with gadgeteer … I have the coordinator set to api mode and destination address to 0 (=zero)


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Same here. I have both and they work fine.

Check with XCTU that that are setup with the same network settings.

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Thanks for all the pointers folks. I got it resolved on the first try this morning. The ZB units find each other pretty easily with all the PAN IDs set to 0, but my S2B would only see the ZB units if the PAN ID was set to something non-zero. Once I set them all to the same non-zero ID, all is well. I now have a five-node mesh running.

PAN ID == 0 is supposed to mean ‘join any pan’ but it seems like having the coordinator use pan 0 only worked for firmware 23A7 on the ZB units. The S2B unit seemed to want to insist on a non-zero value for itself before it would associate with other units. That may not be the actual ‘rule’, but it’s my experience so far. I’m a Zigbee virgin and I am still working my way through the documents and the links provided here.

@ mcalsyn - cool stuff, xbee is not that difficult, just all the details must match and setup properly, after that, it’s easier…

… until you go api mode, that’s where it gets interresting … as far as I remember you need api mode to be able to use the power save features …

… it is recommended to write it all down, if you gonna get at it later it’ll help …

… plus I’d recommend not to use panid = 0

And yet, I would think you kind of have to use the ID=0 functionality when setting up a new network. The PAN ID is used to keep adjacent networks separate, as I understand it, so when a new coordinator is established and picks a PAN ID, there needs to be a way for new router and leaf nodes to discover that PAN and be provisioned/on-boarded.

Has anyone come across any references to the recommended procedure for zero-conf establishment of a network and zero-conf onboarding? I guess if ZB router and leaf nodes can use the ID=0 mode to discover existing PAN’s, then they could request onboarding that way…

And yes, api mode seems to be the way to go for maximum functionality. There’s a lot of stuff, it seems, that only works in api mode.

From memory I believe that there is something with the addressing of the modules that allows the Router and EndDevices to associate with a Coordinator of an unspecified PanID but I don’t have the details to hand.