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Xbee Firmware

Upgrading your XBee's firmware using X-CTU

It is often the case that the XBees you have bought or borrowed do not have the most recent firmware version. If the firmware of your Xbee is older than verison 10A1, you will not be able to use some useful AT commands. To check the firmware version of your radios, send the following command: ATVR\r. The radio will respond with the version (e.g. 10A2). If the number is 10A1 or above (remember, it's in Hexidecimal), you are good to go. If not, you will need to upgrade the Firmware on your radios using software called X-CTU.
X-CTU can be downloaded at http://www.maxstream.net/support/downloads.php. Unfortunately, it only runs on Windows (though can run it under Parallels). If you don't have a Windows machine, don't worry! There are three Windows machines in the A/V lab which have X-CTU already installed.

The following instructions will be for the lab machines, however the process is basically the same if you are running X-CTU on your own computer.


In Order to upgrade your XBee's firmware you will need to have the following:


new micros dongle

adafruit model

1. Log on to your Windows Computer

On one of the Windows Machines in the lab, log in to the XBee Account (you will need to sign out if the machine is in the ITP student account mode, and sign back in as Xbee).
the password for this account is T3db0t. That's a zero, not an o.

2. Connect your XBee to the computer

The easiest way to do this is using one of the serial to usb devices listed above.

the above image shows the XBee connected to one of the lab PC's via the New Micros XBee dongle

3. Open X-CTU

Look on the desktop for the X-CTU software icon. Launch the software.

You should see something like this:

4. Choose your Serial Port

On the PC Settings tab, you'll be able to select the serial port that your XBee radio is attached to. Pick a port, and leave the settings on this page at their defaults.

5. Update Firmware

Click the Modem Configuration Tab. This is where you will update the firmware. Follow the steps below:

  1. Click the Read button to read the current firmware on your radio. You'll get a screenful of settings similar to the one to the right.
  2. The firmware version is shown in the upper right hand corner. You can pull down that menu to see the latest versions available. Pick the latest one (anything after 10A1).
  3. Next, (still within the Modem Configuration tab) click the checkbox that says "Always Update Firmware".
  4. Leave the Function Set menu choice to XBEE 802.15.4.
  5. Then click the "Write" button. The software will download the new firmware to your radio and you are ready to go!

When you are done, don't forget to log out of the Xbee account on the lab computer, or Brian Kim will be sad.

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