View Full Version : New XBee 5V/3.3V Adapter Board

Ron Czapala
03-06-2010, 09:39 PM
I see that Parallax is now selling a new XBee adapter board http://www.parallax.com/Store/Accessories/CommunicationRF/tabid/161/ProductID/664/List/0/Default.aspx

It is nice and compact and has 4 LED indicators, voltage regulator,·and a surface mount 74LVC244A to handle logic level shifting on the DIN and RTS lines.

Too bad that they only utilized 2 of the 8 buffer/line drivers on the 74LVC244A (the other 6 are grounded).

I was hoping they might include some jumpers that would allow you to use those for other analog/digital input/output lines.

That would let you use the XBee's "virtual wire" I/O line passing feature.

03-06-2010, 11:36 PM
Don't worry, with all the buzz about xbee somebody will make one soon.

- Stephen

Ron Czapala
03-12-2010, 03:18 AM
I ordered and received two of the new 5v/3.3v XBee adapter boards.

I noticed·that·the descriptions of LEDS D1 thru D4 in the schematic legend do match the actual circuit.
I contacted Tech Support and they are going to correct the document.

http://www.parallax.com/Portals/0/Downloads/docs/prod/rf/32401-XBee5V_3.3VAdapter_ASchematic.pdf (http://www.parallax.com/Portals/0/Downloads/docs/prod/rf/32401-XBee5V_3.3VAdapter_ASchematic.pdf)

Based on the schematic·the·legend should read:

D1 - Blue LED (power)···························· ·(connected to pin 1 on XBee VCC)
D2 - Red LED (RSSI)······························· (connected to pin 6 on XBee - RSSI)
D3 - Yellow LED (on / not in sleep mode)··· (connected to pin·13 on XBee - Sleep)
D4 - Green LED (Associate)······················ (connected to pin 15 on XBee - Associate)

NOTE: These color/function pairings are also·different from the USB board version.

Also, one of the boards was missing the surface mount diode on the RESET pin and Parallax is going to send me a new board.
>>>> You may want to check your boards before soldering the sockets and pins...

Chris Savage
03-12-2010, 05:09 AM

With multiple designs for the XBee adapters and multiple configurations of the radios available there are certainly places we could improve the design.· To that end this is being looked into with the hopes of also offering better protection from programming mistakes and support for additional XBee radio models.· A future revision should include any changes we make.

As for the schematic.· The error in the schematic regarding the functions of the individual colors was my mistake and that part has been corrected and the revised schematic uploaded to our website.· However, in handling this mistake it was discovered that approximately 25 XBee adapters have the LEDs in the wrong order, so they will not match the schematic.· We are in the process of correcting this issue and any customers who received a product with the LEDs in the wrong positions can contact our Tech Support Dept. for a replacement.· We're sorry for any incovenience.

Chris Savage

Parallax Engineering

Ron Czapala
03-12-2010, 06:26 AM

· Thanks for your quick response. I received an email from David Carrier explaining the situation.

··I am impressed with the·customer service·that Parallax employees provide!

Ken Gracey
03-12-2010, 06:51 AM

You and 24 others will receive a replacement XBee board of the same kind, free of charge automatically. No need to contact our tech support - it'll be taken care of by our sales department.

Ken Gracey
Parallax Inc.

Follow me at http://twitter.com/ParallaxKen for some insider news.

Tracy Allen
03-13-2010, 12:47 AM
I'm intrigued by the voltage regulator used on this board, the Fairchild FAN250033, for my own projects too. It is an SOT23 package, rated at 100mA nominal with 300mA peak, pmosfet output, and 220degC/Watt case to ambient. Okay with a 1mW XBee, but how about with an XBee Pro? When an XBee Pro is transmitting, it draws 250 mA,(average or a peak?), and the LED current is on top of that. Does the regulator get hot?

Tracy Allen
www.emesystems.com (http://www.emesystems.com)

Ron Czapala
03-13-2010, 01:20 AM

I just checked the current with a FLUKE 179 meter (using the min/max feature)·for a·XBee Pro transmitting 1 byte every 100 ms and it was only drawing 67 mA.·

You can't really get to the voltage regulator with the XBee in place but it was not warm to the touch after disconnecting the power and pulling the XBee.

Tracy Allen
03-13-2010, 04:06 AM
That's good. More of a challenge would be streaming transmission at the maximum data rate.

Tracy Allen
www.emesystems.com (http://www.emesystems.com)

Ron Czapala
03-25-2010, 09:43 PM
I have·a suggestion for the next release of the XBee 5v/3.3v adapter board.

It would be nice if the XBee Pin Sleep Control Line (pin 9) could be level shifted through the 74LVC244A buffer chip.

Since only two of the eight I/O buffer lines are being used in the current design, it would certainly be helpful.

- Ron