The DIY Drones telemetry kit, which proved more popular than we were ready for and quickly went out of stock when we released it back in April, is now back in stock. It now offered at a lower price ($150, a savings of $15 from the previous price) and includes a cable to connect the airborne Xbee module to the APM board.


This kit works great with both APM and Arducopter. Both modules are pre-configured and ready to go, right out of the box. Orders placed now will ship on Monday.

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Comment by Kevin Hashawan on June 16, 2011 at 4:26pm
What about the PhoneDrone board, regarding which you seem to ignore all inquiries outright?
Comment by Bill Porter on June 16, 2011 at 5:48pm
That 'XtreamBee Board' isn't compatible with 5V micro-controllers, is it?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on June 16, 2011 at 7:27pm
Bill: yes, it is. APM is a 5v board.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on June 16, 2011 at 7:31pm
Kevin: we'll release it when it's ready, which I hope will be in weeks. We've only shipped to beta testers so far and have modified the design to incorporate their feedback. Please note that we get hundreds of questions here each day. I'm just one person and can only answer a tiny fraction of them; sorry I didn't see your earlier query.
Comment by Bill Porter on June 16, 2011 at 7:52pm

Does the board properly shift the logic levels, ie does it amplify the DOUT line of the Xbee to 5 V logic?


Many of us have had issues with Xbee regulated boards (especially the one from Sparkfun) that claim to convert between 3.3V logic and 5V logic when really all they do is drop the 5V to 3.3V one way and do nothing the other. Some people think that's ok, and it seems the majority of setups seem to handle that but it is a bad design because it does not take into account the logic level tolerances of the different devices. 


If you dive into the spec sheets you find that the MIN High output voltage for an Xbee is only 0.82*VCC or 2.7 V. The MIN High input voltage for a 5V AVR is 0.6VCC or exactly 3.00V. The 2.7 acceptable limit is not greater then 3.0, so not every Xbee will be able to talk to 5V AVRs with out proper level shifting.


It seems this leaves things up to lottery. The people who get Xbees that exceed tolerance levels are ok, the ones who fall in the .3V margin have issues.


I glanced at the eagle files for the 'XtreamBee Board', I didn't see up-converting logic shifting. Is that correct?

Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on June 17, 2011 at 4:24am

Last time that I checked, the voltage regulator on the Sparkfun USB Xbee adapter board could not handle the current required by a Xbee Pro. There have been complaints by users of drop-outs when using a Pro on this board.

Just a thought.



Comment by healthyfatboy on June 17, 2011 at 4:58am
I assume this is a Series 1 XBee right? How difficult would this be to reconfigure if I bought it, used it for a separate project, and then wanted to use it again later with an APM when I get a UAV going?

Comment by healthyfatboy on June 17, 2011 at 5:07am
I just looked through the APM manual and it looks like the only preconfiguring is just to change the baud rate and making sure the VID is set correctly. Did I miss anything else?
Comment by Bill Porter on June 17, 2011 at 5:51am


The people having problems over on SOR were not using the high power Xbees, and they solved their problem by adding their own level shifting to the DOUT line of the Xbee carrier board.


It's kinda of aggravating that these boards claim to be 5V logic compatible when they don't actually shift up and you're left hoping the Xbee exceeds spec. We're still hunting for an Xbee carrier board that is truly doing level shifting.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on June 17, 2011 at 5:53am
healthy: yes, you can reconfigure them just like any Xbee. They just have the correct firmware loaded (unlike the ones currently sold by Spakfun) and the baud and VID set.


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