by Corinthian on Tue May 08, 2012 12:55 pm

Hello. I recently purchased two XBee Adapters and two Series 1 XBees. I was able to use Moltosenso Iron on the mac (an easy to use program, I recommend it) to set both XBees to AP mode. Shortly thereafter, my ability to connect via the FTDI was spotty. I was able to connect to each adapter and XBee long enough to restore both to factory settings, but now I've lost the ability to connect to one of the XBees via FTDI. Even the one that works, I've been able to connect to only once in a while. I'm getting power to both the adapters and the XBees when the FTDI is plugged in, but I can't connect most times - no LED flashing, etc.

Is it the FTDI cable or the driver? Or the XBee and the adapter? It's hard to tell, and hard to diagnose when I can connect only some of the time. Any help would be awesome!
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by franklin97355 on Tue May 08, 2012 2:29 pm

Sounds like a loose connection somewhee. Have you checked all you connections and solde joints? Swap the chips and adaptes to see if you can isolate the poblem. Sorry about the spelling the "R key only woks if you push it HARD
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by adafruit_support_bill on Tue May 08, 2012 6:21 pm

As franklin97355 says, likely a loose connection. Check the connector on the FTDI cable. These are easily damaged with a little stress on the cable.
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by Corinthian on Tue May 08, 2012 11:03 pm

Thanks. I'm thinking that it might be the cable. The malfunction doesn't seem to be consistent amongst the adapters and XBees. What's the best way to check the FTDI cable connector? Sorry, I'm a newbie to XBees.
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by adafruit_support_bill on Wed May 09, 2012 4:46 am

Is the FTDI cable consistently recognized by the computer when you plug it in? If not, the problem is likely at the USB end. Connector contacts can wear with use. You may get better results plugging into a different USB port.

If the cable is consistently recognized, but fails to communicate, the problem could be with the TTL-Serial end. The individual thin wires can be stressed to the point of failure at the point where they enter the connector shell. Check each wire for breakage.
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by Corinthian on Fri May 11, 2012 11:51 pm

I went back and checked everything again. I checked the FTDI cable and the connections, and they all seem intact. So I moved on to the adapters and XBees again. I first connected the XBees and the adapters to the FTDI cable. One adapter and one XBee worked. When I connect the other adapter and XBee, it won't connect. I switched the "bad" XBee to the working adapter, no dice. I switched the working XBee to the "bad" adapter, no dice. So the conclusion is that I have one bad XBee, and one bad adapter.

I checked power on both the adapter pins, and the XBee pins on the "bad" adapter/XBee combo. Power is fine and reading correctly. I'm at a little loss as to what to check next to diagnose the problem.
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by adafruit_support_bill on Sat May 12, 2012 8:26 am

If you post photos, front & back of the adapter, we can take a look.
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by Corinthian on Sun May 13, 2012 12:03 am

Nothing looks incorrect to me, but I'm kind of a newbie at this. Thanks for taking the time to look.

Back of adapter
IMAG0287.jpg
IMAG0287.jpg (199.95 KiB) Viewed 2413 times


Front of adapter
IMAG0288.jpg
IMAG0288.jpg (193.81 KiB) Viewed 2413 times
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by adafruit_support_bill on Sun May 13, 2012 5:14 am

No obvious problems there. When you say "it won't connect", what do you mean? Is the FTDI cable recognized?
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by Corinthian on Sun May 13, 2012 8:51 am

Yes, I can see the FTDI cable as the list of connected devices on the USB bus, but when I use Moltosenso Iron to scan for available serial devices, nothing comes up. Also, neither LED flashes on the adapter when it's connected. If I use a multimeter, both the adapter and XBee shows that it's getting the appropriate power (5v on the adapter header pins, and 3.3v on the XBee pins).
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by adafruit_support_bill on Sun May 13, 2012 9:15 am

These adapters are pretty simple. All they do is level-shift between the 5v and 3.3v signals. I suppose it is possible that the level shifter chip got zapped somehow, but the intermittent operation symptoms seem more consistent with a bad connection somewhere. All you solder joints look good in the photos, but photos can be deceiving. Take a close look and re-touch any that are not smooth and shiny. A rough or frosted surface is an indication of a cold joint.

Also consider that wires can break from repeated flexing - but the surrounding insulation may still be intact. It sounds like you have good power and ground (red & black wires). Pay special attention to the yellow and orange ones (Rx & Tx)
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by Corinthian on Sun May 13, 2012 11:07 am

Thanks for your help. I'll go back and check all my solder joints and the Rx +Tx. And if all else fails, I may just grab another adapter.
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by bmco2n on Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:15 pm

Any thoughts? :?
Problem: The set up is a Xbee/computer to Xbee/Arduino with the latter reading a PIR sensor, sending data to the computer. The X-CTU terminal receives the data OK every three seconds, as (minutes, 0 or 1, depending on the PIR), for example, 1.43, 0. However, this data is dispersed within a series of nonsense lines, e.g., “ ------8------ 8 --------1.43,0 ------8----”. I’m using Arduino 0022, installed with Newsoftserial (with .h and .c files) in the library.
Each Xbee communicates with the FTDI cable OK. I double checked all the continuities on the adapters between the adapter chip and the outputs (I don’t trust my soldering). I’m using the same Xbee versions. The jumper was soldered on the computer Xbee and the reset wire soldered on the Arduino Xbee, as instructed. The device manager was set at 19200 for both ports and the same for the Xbees.
Arduino Xbee FTDI (Computer) Xbee
Pan ID 3137 3137
Destination Add H 13A200 13A200
Dest. Add. L 40708737 40708567
Serial # H 13A200 13A200
Serial # L 40708567 40708737
Data Rate 19,200 19,200
Com port rate 19200 19200
Sketch rate 19200 19200
Pack time out 10 10
API Enable Disabled Disabled
D3 Config DO HIGH DI
DIO Change detect FF FF
IO Line passing FFFF1A FFFF1A
Firmware Version 10E6Vr 10ED
IO Output enable Enabled Enabled
Hardware Vers 1744HV 1744HV
Rec. Sig. Strength 0DB 0DB
Com Port RTS Open Closed
Results:
1) The device mgr shows two COM ports, The Xbee/Arduino (COM 12) and the Xbee/computer, COM 15. Both are shown in the X-CTU, both are set to 19200. In the sketch, the serial.begin and myserial.begin have to be 19,200; otherwise the PIR data doesn’t appear on the CTU terminal with the garbled lines. If I switch to the Arduino/comp com port on X-CTU, I get, “Unable to open COM port”.
2) The Xbee/comp LED is on constantly, but not on Xbee/Ard. Green LEDs are blinking on both.
Apparently, the Xbee/comp isn’t sending to the Xbee/Ard so that the reset isn’t made. I’ve checked and re-checked the Ladyada tutorial capacitor/transistor circuit carefully and find that the (tested) npn trans base has << the required 0.6V. The same problem occurs with three other Xbee/comp on different adapters. At one time, all of these worked to send wireless data from a PIR, a Ping distance sensor and a temperature sensor.
Here’s the sketch:
Code: Select all
#include <NewSoftSerial.h>
•   NewSoftSerial mySerial =  NewSoftSerial(2, 3);
unsigned long time;
const int ledPin = 8;
const int inputPin = 7;
int pirState = LOW;
void setup()  {                            //10
  pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);
 pinMode(inputPin, INPUT);
  pinMode(13, OUTPUT);
  Serial.begin(19200);
  Serial.println("Goodnight moon!");
  // set the data rate for the SoftwareSerial port
  mySerial.begin(19200);
  mySerial.println("Hello, world?");
}                                           //20
void loop()                     // run over and over again
{
  delay(3000);
  float time = millis(); 
  pirState = digitalRead(inputPin);
  if (pirState == HIGH) {
    digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH);
    delay(500);
    digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW);   
     if (mySerial.available()) {
          mySerial.read();
  }
  if (Serial.available()) {                 //30
      mySerial.print((time/60000));
      Serial.read();
  }
    mySerial.print((" "));
    mySerial.print((time/60000));
    mySerial.print(", ");
    mySerial.println("1");
  }else {
    delay(2000);
    mySerial.print(" ");
    mySerial.print(time/60000);
    mySerial.print(", ");
    mySerial.println("0");
  }
  if (pirState == HIGH) {
    pirState = LOW;
  } 
 
 
 

}


Thanks for looking at this.
========================================================================
[Edit - moderator - Please use the 'code' button when submitting code]
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by franklin97355 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:58 pm

Any thoughts?

Yes bmco2n, start your own thread with your question rather than hijacking another persons thread and wrap your code in "code" tags so it will format correctly.
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by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:03 pm

Disable the IO line passing. That is likely the source of the random lines.
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