Xbee Explorer wiring to USB help

I am very new to Xbee and have limited knowledge so please excuse my ignorance. I have two xbee pro s2b's and one explorer to USB as well as another explorer which has pin spacing for a bread board as well as regulating 5v down to 3.3v. The breadboard friendly explorer is made by Parallax. Both xbee's work fine on the USB explorer but I need to wire the other explorer to USB to test its application as eventually it will need to be connected to ethernet output from an ECU. When I put 5v+ and gnd on the explorer it powers up the xbee but when i wire D+ and D- from the usb cable into the D+ and D- on the explorer the computer does not recognize the xbee. The explorer regulated the D+ and D- down to 3.3v also but I still cannot work out why it is not registering?

The USB explorer has D+ and D- pins on it which I connected to the Parallax explorer and managed to get the xbee to register, so I assume the explorer works correctly just its something im missing that stops it functioning correctly

Can someone help me with this?




  • Also, when I loop D+ and D- on the explorer, it repeats correctly when testing the xbees communicating with eachother
  • GenetixGenetix Posts: 1,477
    edited 2016-01-06 - 08:21:24

    XBee modules need a USB converter chip which is built into the XBee USB Adapter Board, so you will need a 2nd USB Adapter for that other module.

  • Thanks for clearing that up Genetix!

    Another question you may be able to help with, the intention is to wire the xbee module some how to transmit the ethernet signal that is output from the ECU to receive on a computer remotely. However the xbee module only had D+ and D- but ethernet uses RX+, RX-, TX+ and TX-. Would I need an adapter which converts this? or can this be wired directly to the xbee module somehow?


  • Ive just noticed you can buy ethernet shields for xbee's so I am assuming that that is what I should be using for this project!
  • mazza411,

    To use Ethernet with an XBee would require an Ethernet-to-Serial converter.
    Again, D+ and D- are USB data pins and they work completely different than data pins on an XBee.
    The XBee data pins are DIN and DOUT which will either input or output data with the XBee.
    Ethernet also uses Differential Pairs like USB but notice that one is for Transmit and the other is for Receive.
    USB is bi-directional, or it can move data in either direction, but not at the same time.

    What exactly are you trying to do because too many connection conversions can cause problems?
    It's best to make the most direct connection that you can so it's easier to solve problems.
  • I had read that a few teams that compete in our competition had used xbee's to transmit data from their ecu's over long range back to the laptop, but thinking about it now, they possibly were transmitting very basic information .
    Seeing as though it is an ethernet connection i'm guessing that it would be much simpler for me to just use a ptp link type thing instead of trying to get the xbees to work for us? I clearly dont know enough about what I am doing to make the xbee's work anyway!
  • mazza411,

    What is this competition?

    XBees are serial devices and very easy to use.
    On the PC side, your USB Explorer takes care of the connection for you.

    Are you sure the ECU only has Ethernet?
    Ethernet is used when devices are at fixed (non-moving) locations and it can span long distances using boosters.
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