Home > BrewzNET, Tech geeks > XBees talking to VB2008 via API

XBees talking to VB2008 via API

So little by little I’ve managed to get in some development time with my XBee wireless modems and have developed a basic framework for their API structure in VB2008. Turns out that the trickier part wasn’t really translating the technical details into byte stream structures in VB, but rather getting the serial communication to work reliably. I am still not really confident on how things are set up, but it is functional enough.


The screenshot shows several inbound packets to the XBee coordinator module. The first two (NodeIdentificationIndicator frames) are actually the other two “router” modems sending their identification information (“BEER2” and “BEER1”) to the coordinator module and establishing the network. The next few (ZigbeeReceive packets) Are the breadboard circuit hooked into my 14M sending its incrementing test message, and the last few (ATCommandResponse packets) are the modem responding to a few commands I sent to it using the ATCommand API packet structure – I asked it for its network identifier (command “NI”, which responded with “BEER0” in hex), its firmware version (command “VR”, response 2121 for API Coordinator), and its hardware version (command “HV”, response 1941). If I were really ambitious I could send outbound messages to the other modules.

I have alot more work to do with the serial communication class to abstract all the hexidecimal nonsense into useable methods like SendMessage(destination, text) or SendCommand(destination, command, parameters) but the basic framework is done, functional, and I’m excited with my progress. I also need to develop a packet monitoring screen that will show both inbound and outbound messages in a more meaningful fashion (Hexidecimal is great and all, but not all that easy to quickly scan for issues.)

All this stuff is the basic communication bridge between the machine (brew sculpture) and the user interface / historian that will display and capture all the data generated during a brew session. Now I just need to track down a good B&W laser printer I can print out my PCB artwork on and etch up a few 5V interface boards…. And I could even drop one in my pump skid control box.

Categories: BrewzNET, Tech geeks
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