Xbee Pro long range made affordable until end of February 2009

Looking for telemetry transmission hardware, I came across following offer made by Digi (ex-MaxStream):

XBee-PRO 868 OEM Development Kit w/ 2 XBee-PRO modules

Apparently, the kit is available for a promotional price of only 99 USD until end of February 2009.

The package contains following:
(1) XBee-PRO 868 w/ RPSMA Connector
(1) XBee-PRO 868 w/ Wire Whip antenna
(1) RS-232 Development Boards
(1) USB Development Board
(1) RS-232 serial Cable
(1) USB Cable
(1) 868 MHz RPSMA Antenna
(1) Power Adapter
(1) 9V Battery & Clip
Various Adapters

This 868 MHz short range device has software selectable transmission power (1 mW (0 dBm) to 315 mW (+25 dBm)).
RF data rate is 24 Kbps (10% of duty cycle).
Incredible Outdoor/RF Line-of-Sight Range up to 25 miles (40 km) with dipole antenna.
Serial data rate of 1.2 Kbps to 230.4 Kbps.
It needs 3.0 – 3.6 VDC power supply and transmitter burns 500 mA typical at 3.3V (800 mA max), receiver only 65 mA typical.

Apparently, for the moment it is ETSI approved for Europe (without special license), but no FCC approval yet for the US.

I think of it as a must have... Can't wait for the Swiss reseller to send me my quote to confirm my order.

More infos on Digi web site.

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I have the same issue, they do not ship to the netherlands either (Where DO they actually ship?!? :P).
Only option is ask for a quote or whatever which would be pointless as indicated by Dincer.

Oh well, I would only need the modules anyway (have carriers from SparkFun) so I'll just wait until they become available through some normal sales channel. Too bad tho, this offer would have gotten me 2 modules for the price of one, but you can't win them all...
The Xbee 868 development kit arrived just now from Digi. As soon as I find time to do some tests, I'll post them.
That was quick! Would you care to post pics?
I checked the digi website, and all other countries EXCEPT BeNeLux have a sales partner, we just do not :(.
I am going to try to see if I can get it through a friend who lives in germany since that is the closest.
What kind of USB adapter thing was with the kit?
Did you have Adafruit adapter for them also or something else?
One of you guys should apply to Digi to become the BeNeLux representative !!!

The kit content is published on Digi site. There are 2 different adapter boards for the 2 different Xbee 868 modules.
First adapter board is USB connected/powered, with supplied USB B/A cable.
Second adapter board is RS-232 connected with supplied cable, Null Modem RS-232 adapter and Loopback plug; this board is powered by 9V AC/DC power (adapter supplied with a set of 3 national AC plugs) or alternately with supplied 9V connector/cable (supplied, with 9V battery supplied too!).
First Xbee module comes with wire antenna (it's the one that will fly).
Second Xbee module is with antenna connector and supplied omni antenna (shall stay at ground station).
Moreover, a driver CD-Rom comes with the kit, as well as Getting Started sheet explaining basic software installation and hardware setup, as well as how to perform first settings and range checks.
There is really not much lacking, as you can see. I am very glad I ordered such a nice and complete kit, especially for such price, as you can imagine...
I rapidly made some pics, sorry, they're not so nice...

N-I-C-E! damn, I need to get this kit too! I think I can get it via germany so it seems ok.
I will prolly set my own business up (small hobbyish while keeping my dayjob) soon, but I doubt that would be enough for Digi :-).
But I am going to stock/make uav related stuff so it would be nice to have Digi also.
I've been thinking of making an ultralight up to 4 way video switcher for uav use, and I might end up selling it also if I start up the business. The switcher will be most likely be about the size of the ardupilot if not smaller with a mass of less than 10g and fully noiseless switching via I2C or PWM servo channel.
My first tests went smooth, especially after I could download the right firmware from Digi...
With the supplied X-CTU software:
1) I set Tx power to 25mW for testing (there are 4 levels to choose from between 1mW and 300mW). The 25mW level should be ok if modules are more than a few meters away. The lowest should be enough for testing 2 modules laying nearby. I programmed them at 25mW.
2) I programmed both module's serial to 38400 bauds

Then I set up the RS-232 adapter board with one module, the Null Modem adapter and the Lopp back adapter.
The second adapter board (USB) was in my PC on a newly created com port.
In X-CTU, I started the range test. I get 3 bad packets from 1200 good ones with the current setting. the Tx power is probably too much for the distance.
I shall try other settings later, but for now, basic testing is ok.
Next step shall be connecting a serial downlink (ArduPilot) to the Xbee and getting that down to on the laptop.
Ok, i slowly investigated my Xbees 868 a little further. I established the following connections:
1) GPS (LS20031) on FTDI to PC
2) Reading NMEA and parsing data in my experimental Python script (based on ArduPilot structure).
Original NMEA sentences and emulated NMEA sentences are sent out to my Inspire OSD (linked though another FTDI).
3) In every NMEA parsing loop, a string of groundstation data is created and written out to Xbee connected on RS-232 adapter board
4) Ground station data is parsed by my experimental Python ground station script reading from the "receiver" Xbee on USB adapter board. A simple console shows the ground station data.

The Xbees are set to work with the so-called "transparent transmission", not with AT controls.
I do not implement CTS/RTS because I think the RF Tx data flow of the sending Xbee (set to 38400 bauds) is lower than the RF Rx data flow of the receiver Xbee (set to 115200 bauds).

My problem is following. After a few minutes (about 1500 groundstation data strings consisting of about 120 bytes), the receiver Xbee stops receiving the RF stream. When I manually reset the adapter board of the sending Xbee, the data stream starts again. But stops again after about the same time as to first hanging.
I don't know if I am creating an overflow in the Xbee buffer, maybe on Tx side. And I do not know either if and how I could send a reset to the Xbee to avoid those hangings.
To see if the Xbees could handle the data fast enough, I tried to shut the GPS data during transfer and see if Xbees had to go on with buffered data for some time. It is not the case (groundstation data stops immediately when I cut the GPS data, and starts immediately upon plugging GPS data again).

If anybody experienced similar RF transfer hangings with their Xbee, I would be glad to know how they solved it.
I'm not sure if this helps but a quote I found somwhere else on this site may be the answer: " Permalink Reply by Jack Crossfire on February 11, 2009 at 3:32pm.....You have to flash configuration with an ATWR command or they'll randomly lock up. Lock up means they either stop sending or receiving until being power cycled. There's no explanation other than Digi couldn't figure out why they locked up & after months of experimenting, ATWR was the command that fixed it.".

I have bought the same xbee modules back in january but have not got round to testing them yet as I haven't finished the hardware and software development so I'm sticking with my lprs modules for bench testing. I'm keen to see how you go on with these Xbee modules.
Thanks for feedback, James.
I can't find the post you mention. Could you give me the url, please?
I configured my Xbees with the X-CTU software which wrote the settings to the modules. I think the programmed issued the ATWR (write command) during the process since my Xbees are keeping their configuration without problem.
Sorry but I can't seem to find the post again anywhere. I saw the quote and saved it to a text file because I thought it might be relevent for when I get round to using these modules. I also asked a question in the same post about SSC's but since I cannot find it again I don't know if anyone answered. I do remember someone asking how many times the ATWR command should be sent as if to suggest it needs using during operation but I haven't looked into what it actually does. sorry I can't be more usefull.
Thanks anyway. It seems this post was deleted. Google still references it, but the link is to the DIYdrones main page.
hi Reto, i have the same problem. do you found a solution to fix it?

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