Archive for November, 2011

Assembling the NKC Electronics XBee Shield V4.0 KIT

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Assembling the NKC Electronics XBee Shield V4.0 KIT

SCHEMATICS (click on images to enlarge)
xbee shield v4.0 schematics

The NKC Electronics XBee Shield V4.0 KIT is an enhanced version of the original Arduino XBee Shield. It is sold in a DIY kit format and it comes with all the components required to assemble a full XBee Shield that is pin-compatible with all Arduino format compliant boards (Arduino, Freeduino, Seeeduino, chipKIT, etc).

V4 includes some new features, like a switch to select XBEE or USB instead of jumpers. This switch, re-routes RX and TX at the same time, so if for some reason, you still need to switch RX to one position and TX to the same position, then solder a 2×3 male header instead of the provided switch, and use jumpers to select the position you need.

First, unpack the kit

Xbee Shield V4.0 KIT

and start with the PCB.

Let’s start with the power section and the switches of the schematic using the following parts:

IC1 LD1117-33 Voltage Regulator (TO-220 package)
C1 100nF ceramic capacitor
C2 10uF electrolytic capacitor
reset tactile switch (4 legs)
XBEE/USB DPDT micro switch (6 pins)

xbee shield v4.0 KIT

Next continue with the transistor, LEDs and resistors:

xbee shield v4.0 KIT

R1 10K resistor 
R2 15K resistor 
R3 1K resistor 
R4 330ohm resistor 
R5 18ohm resistor 
RSSI 3mm LED yellow
ASSOCIATE 3mm LED blue (transparent)
T1 BC547 transistor

Solder the sockets and pin headers:

xbee shield v4.0 KIT

Next step: Insert the jumpers and the board is completely assembled:

xbee shield v4.0 KIT

There are 2 jumpers. J1 and J2 are for upgrading the firmware on the XBee module. Leave open for normal operation (both J1 and J2 open).

The XBEE/USB switch is used to route the RX and TX signals from the XBEE module to the Arduino board.  Select XBEE position if you want to communicate the XBee module with the ATmega chip on the Arduino (or compatible) or PIC on the chipKIT board.  Select USB if the board does not have the microcontroller installed and you want to use the USB interface to communicate the PC directly to the XBee board.

And this is the final picture of the XBee Shield V4.0 assembled and ready to use. XBee module is not included in the kit and must be purchased separately.

xbee shield v4.0 KIT