Didier Stevens

Monday 15 June 2009

Quickpost: Arduino XBee Shield Series 2 Configuration

Filed under: Hardware,Quickpost — Didier Stevens @ 8:08

I couldn’t get my 2 Arduinos with an XBee shield to talk to each other, despite the instructions on the Arduino site.

The XBee shields I obtained use a XBee series 2 module, while the instructions on the Arduino site are for the older XBee module.


After configuring one of my XBee modules as coordinator, the XBee modules were able to communicate with each other.

You need the X-CTU configuration program to configure an XBee series 2 module as coordinator. To connect the XBee module to your PC, you’ve to:

1) remove the ATmega µp from the Arduino board (remember the orientation of the ATmega chip to put it back afterwards):


2: set the jumpers on the XBee shield to USB:


3) Connect the XBee shield to the Arduino, and then connect the Arduino via USB to your computer, run the X-CTU configuration program and read the configuration:


4) Select the coordinator function set and write it to the XBee module:


When the XBee module has restarted and if your other XBee module is powered on, you’ll see the LEDs of both modules starting to flash, indicating they formed a WPAN network.

After configuring the XBee module, revert to the original hardware configuration: disconnect the Arduino board from your PC, set the jumpers on the XBee shield back to XBee and reinsert your ATmega µp in the Arduino board (watch out for the polarity of the chip).

Now I’m able to run the simple example successfully.

Quickpost info


  1. […] 2″ radio’s, which meant the example code would not work right off the bat. But, a post on Didier Stevens’ website pointed me in the right direction and eventually I was able to get both boards running and […]

    Pingback by Twittering prototype offline — Monday 19 July 2010 @ 20:58

  2. Hi Didier,
    I’m trying to connect my XBee’s and I’m using the Adafruit XBee adapter kit together with 2 Xbee Pro Series 2 modules. I’m having trouble using X-CTU because i’m using a Windows 7 and I dont know where to find the “Serial Port” and the “HyperTerminal” on my computer to set up the X-CTU, and then I don’t know how to program the XBee, could you possibly help me in some way? The adapter I’m using with the XBee is the one on this link: http://www.ladyada.net/make/xbee/configure.html

    Thanks a million,

    Comment by Albert — Thursday 10 March 2011 @ 22:13

  3. @Albert Download and use putty.exe, select serial connection. But why don’t you ask LadyAda directly, she’s on Twitter?

    Comment by Didier Stevens — Thursday 10 March 2011 @ 22:36

  4. Is it possible to unbrick the x-bee ? My x-bee’s are not communicationg nor being read by X-CTU at any baud.

    Comment by NS — Monday 20 June 2011 @ 3:40

  5. @NS No idea, I suggest you read the data sheet for ideas.

    Comment by Didier Stevens — Monday 20 June 2011 @ 19:55

  6. In the picture where you have said “set the jumpers on the XBee shield to USB”, the jumpers are connected on the side marked XBee. Is it set to USB mode in this configuration or do the jumpers need to be switched to the side marked USB to be set to USB mode?

    Comment by vishweshrege — Tuesday 3 June 2014 @ 13:43

  7. In the picture, the jumpers are in Xbee mode. Change the jumpers for USB mode.

    Comment by Didier Stevens — Tuesday 3 June 2014 @ 15:18

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