Xbee Lora direct from Digikey

Hello everyone, for the base station/rover set up using LoRa, has anyone used an xbee from Digikey like the one here? XBP9B-XCST-021 Digi | RF and Wireless | DigiKey

It looks similar to the ones you can buy from Ardusimple, but the cost is half as much. I have been doing some reseach on digi international’s website, and the specs look similar. i also looked up the chips that ardusimple is selling. it looks like they are buying a pre-made chip, that soldering them to a custom adapter to plug into their boards. That being said i’m not sure if the one i linked has the same pin out. I was curious if anyone has tried it and had advise before digging deeper into this topic. I have a few other applications i am considered the linked chip for, such as sending arduino data from my custom bin management program to a base monitor in my house, so i was planning to buy a few to experiment with, but was wondering if they would also work for ag open gps on the ardusimple board.

Those radios are not lora radios. Lora radios use chirps for modulation and are quite slow but cheap and low power. Xbee radios are used by most and are what you linked. They are much faster but consume a lot more power and use a different modulation technique.

The ardusimple boards are based on the XB9X-DMRS-XXX or the XBP9X-DMRS-XXX modules. They are surface mount chips and you need an adapter board to get the SMA connector. You can also get a DMUS instead of DMRS which comes with an U.FL connector soldered on and then you only need a set of 2mm headers. The problem with that is that you may run into heat dissipation issues with the more powerful modules. Also make absolutely sure that you buy the ones for your correct area.

M_elias made an adapter board that can be soldered with just a soldering iron to get an SMA connector. He has them on this forum under the sales section. I will also be putting together some modules with my own adapter board sometime after Christmas.

I don’t think this is a Lora module. That being said, you can buy the same Digi SX (Pro) Xbee modules that arduSimple puts on their adapter/carrier board.

1W is the SX Pro (XLR) version and 20mW is the SX (LR) version. Pre pandemic they were even less then now and I have even tried to design a copy-cat carrier board after first just soldering pin headers directly to the side of the SX module (nested in the cascaded holes)

Looks like Guy1000 beat me to it, my message didn’t send at first

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I haven’t had very good success with my adapter PCB. Using the module with u.fl connector has worked the best for me. For the 1W base station radio on my tower I added a small heatsink to the bottom side.


I think i linked the wrong one. This one is the one i was originally looking at. XBP9B-XCST-021 Digi | RF and Wireless | DigiKey

Its 920mHz which is the north American open frequency.

That’s a different series of Xbee than what arduSimple uses.

Ok, Thanks for the info. I’m trying to learn more about these directly as I have many different projects that would be awesome to go wireless on. Of course there is always the fear of interfering signals, but it would be nice to use all the same series, that way if one fails I
could keep a few spares on the shelf.

You can charge the network ID to keep your groups separated but I don’t know how many networks can be in the same area without interfering.

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I didn’t want to start a new post, so hopefully you guys can help with past knowledge on your builds/research you have done. @m_elias @Guy1000. I will start by saying i’m growing more and more frustrated with Arduisimple, when I ask questions and they don’t give me direct answers or run me around in circles. Do either of you have their xbee config files for the LoRa moduals. I think I goofed in XCTU and cannot get my boards to communicate anymore. I sent adrusimple an email asking for their config files, but it has gone unanswered. I get the impression they don’t like it when people try to buy the board they have marked up $100 directly from mouser.

The other question I had was do either of you know what the pin out is on their xbee connection for the simple2kpro board? Again it frustrates me they don’t have a full pinout diagram available for their boards. I get that they want you to buy everything from them/no tinkering or reverse engineering which is why they limit so much information on their stuff, but good lord their target audience is the maker space, and maker space people like me like to tinker/improve designs.

arduSimple LR config backups.zip (199.2 KB)
I think these are mostly, if not completely, arduSimple’s default.

Haven’t they labelled the Xbee socket? I expect that’s the only pins they use.

In my opinion Ardusimple is doing a fine job in making RTK technology available for a wide public. To do this they have staff for engineering, marketing, support etc. These people need to be paid. If you want to imitate the radio solution they developed, that is your choice. But you shouldn’t blame Ardusimple if you fail to get it working. (as you’ve noticed by now, they don’t resell a standard Mouser part)

While I agree with you for the most part. Most of their boards are reasonably priced, and the engineering work they did is great. I completely think their mark up on the radio portion is unreasonable however, especially because that is the least amount of engineering put into any of it. If they were making 10% to 30% margin that is fine, but for the XLR they are marked up almost $100usd from the base board off mouser which is 89% margin.

Work on ardusimple board? which board exactly?
If you use direct on simplertk2b (F9P) board then make sure you set uart out on the pin for Xbee socket. Read about settings for F9P then, when using the xbee socket.
Also check Baud rate! on my xbee bluetooth device that I use on my ardusimple, baudrate should normally be 38400, but was set from Chinese factory at 9600. I did not change the xbee as it work fine. But did set 9600 in F9P on the correct uart out.