XBee module


I’m playing around with XBee and I’m curious how the upcoming XBee module will work. Will I have direct access to the XBee through COM port and use my own library or a library like mftoolkit on codeplex? Or will it only be accessible through your SDK?


We will only provide the serial interface but this is open source so we are inviting everyone to add on to it.

Steven -

I’ve always wanted to create a netmf class to abstract the Xbee AT commands, but it has never percolated to the top of a long wish list. Making it gadgeteer friendly might be enough motivation. Finding the time is the trickiest part! I’ll take a look at implementing some basic functionality, and the community can add more esoteric commands as needed. Also, I’ll attempt to implement the commands that are common across protocols, but will defer to ZigBee where necessary, as that is what I have for hardware.

If anybody is interested in tackling a subset of commands like the WiFi stuff, speak up.

That’s perfect. The zigbee part of mftoolkit works very well and is easily extended with your own response handlers.


If your goal is to create a common AT driver for multiple devices then that is ok. If you however want to focus on XBee modules i suggest you look into API commands. The give you more options that aren’t possible in AT mode. Also it is a binary protocol with checksum so it’s faster and more secure.

I’ve been doing Xbees for a couple of years now and have had more than a few communications with Digi’s engineers.

API mode with escapes is HIGHLY recommended for anything beyond just setting things up once by hand and then using it as a wireless serial port in transparent mode.

If you are sending data and AT commands at run time, you definitely need API mode.

And yes, use API mode 2! Escapes will save your butt ( ask me how I know )

I just looked at the XBee code online and it looks pretty good at first glance. At least it uses API mode.
There are somethings I didn’t see that I do, disabling sending data until AP returns associated, reseting the Xbee when it stops responding and depending on the XBee, switching from transparent mode to API mode.

But that could be considered Application specific :slight_smile:

Where is there some good documentation on the API mode? I tried some code a few months back that I’d written for MFToolkit a couple years ago and it would no longer work because everything had changed to use API mode. I had a heck of a time trying to figure out how mftoolkit now works and couldn’t find any good examples. I’m switched to AT mode using the SerialPort class to get moving but I’ll eventually need to go to API mode.

@ ianlee:

Very similar threads have started up both here and in the USBIZI topic. You might want to look at:


We are discussing pretty much the same topic there.

In any case the XBEE WiFi module document is here:


I don’t know if it is good but at least it is offical


Here is a link to the Xbee reference manual, well One of many…
This one is for the 2.4ghz Digimesh module;

Look at section 6

To find the Docs for your particular device go here, then search around, it’s quite confusing…Sorry
Hint…Click show all models button…

Basically all communication tot he module has to be put into a SLIP style packet.
Yes it’s a little harder to communicate, but it works.
AT mode will fail miserably if you have any device sending broadcast messages as just one example.

I can expand on it after you read the doc and have specific questions

Does the AT mode can change the RF power, RF Channel dynamically?
For example, Base station can send a packet to sensor node to change its RF power or RF Channel.
The .NETMF seems good for some projects, but not for WSN, how do you think?
First, they lack complete wireless based class, most are AT command.
That is why many people asking Xbee related class.
Second, for WSN the power consumption is the key issue, some other companies like TI’s products can go to deep sleep mode when necessary. The NETMF hardware seems need more power to work.

I don’t find any company are working for WSN using NETMF device, if anyone know please let me know.

WSN = Wireless Sensor Network?

Hello guys,
Not to hijack the post or anything, but just in case you are looking for something that is not as expensive as XBee and can handle most of XBee’s functions please jump on in the following post and help Eric get this driver up and running…he is very close…


the modules he is working on are from http://jeelabs.com/products/jeenode

thank you.

Dear ransomhall:
Yes,wireless sensor networks.

@ Jay Jay I also recommend Nordic modules described here: [url]http://www.tinyclr.com/forum/1/3438/#/3/msg43808[/url]