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In today’s fast paced world, one can witness a significant need to transmit data rapidly without compromising its accuracy. In order to achieve this one needs to have access to the internet irrespective of the time and place. This can be achieved by using cable elimination technology called Xbee. It can provide communication service in such areas where wiring is not feasible. It can be helpful during emergency situations where one needs to be on one’s toes.
Xbee is a radio module which was introduced by the company Digi International. These radio modules are compatible with the form factor. The first Xbee radio was based on the IEEE802.15.4-2003 standard and it was launched in 2005 under the brand MaxStream.
Xbee is basically a small chip that is capable of communication without using wires. The data transfer rate of XBees is 250kbps. They generally operate at 2.4GHz frequency. XBee requires very less power as compared to Wi-Fi. XBee devices can be connected to build a mesh network. This type of network allows the XBee to perform the task of a node thereby sending and receiving data on its own.
The built-in components of the XBee include Analog to digital converter, input/output, indicator lines, flow control, etc. One of its versions was launched in 2010 and this version has extra processor required to support code provided by the user.
Micro Mount(MMT)Through-hole and Surface Mount(SMT) are the categories of form factors in which the XBee module is accessible. Nowadays the manufacturing cost of SMTs is decreasing and hence they are being used for applications requiring high volume.
The communication of XBees is governed by certain protocols. If the controlling protocol does not permit any alterations in the data being transmitted then the transparent mode of transmission is preferred.This mode allows to send data from the sender to the receiver without any modification. Another mode of transmission that can be used is Application Programming Interface(API) mode. In this method, the data being transmitted is wrapped into a packet.
Generally, XBee modules have adapters that can be associated with the sensors providing the data. The XBee is responsible to send data collected from sensors to the gateway. And by employing an IP network this data can be sent to the laptop or any other intended device.
The variety of XBee modules available in the market till date are ;
XBee –PRO 802.15.4
XBee –PRO DigiMesh 2.4
XBee -PRO ZB
XBee ZB SMT
XBee-PRO ZB SMT
XBee –PRO SE
XBee –PRO 900HP
XBee –PRO 900
XBee –PRO XSC
XBee –PRO DigiMesh 900
XBee –PRO 868
XBee –PRO ZigBee
XBee and XBee- PRO differ from each other due to the way they communicate. The XBee PRO has more power and is suitable for farther communications. The indoor range for XBee is 30m and that for XBee –PRO is 90m. The outdoor range for XBee is 90m whereas it is 1.6 km for XB-Pro. Power Output of XBee is 1mW and that for XBee –Pro is 10mW.XBee can accommodate upto 16 channels but XBee-PRO can accomodate only 12 channels. The filtration options available in both the cases are 64-bit addresses, Channel, PAN ID. The network topologies supported by both of them are Peer to Peer, Point to Point and Point to Multipoint. It can consist of a chip antenna or wired whip antenna.