The Xbee ZB module from Digi international is a great wireless module to setup the Zigbee networks. With these modules, you don’t need to know too much about the Zigbee protocol itself. Once the modules are powered on, they will setup the network automatically.
The company has provided several Xbee modules for different usage purposes. Basically, there are three types: Xbee ZB, Xbee ZB Pro and Programmable Xbee ZB Pro. Comparatively, the Pro version has longer range and consumes more power consumption; the Programmable version means you have more flexibility and can change the program of it. Table 1 lists their main specifications.
Table 1 Specifications of Xbee ZB
Besides, the different kinds of antennas provide the user more options. Table 2 gives the picture and model number for the Xbee ZB Pro module with four kinds of antennas. The Xbee modules with wire or PCB antennas are ready to use while an external antenna is needed for the U.FL or RPSMA types.
Table 2 Xbee ZB pro module with different antennas
When using the U.FL or RPSM type, attention should be paid to the connector type. Whether it is a female or male type and you should choose a matched antenna. For the U.FL type, besides the RPSMA antenna, you need a U.FL to RP-SMA cable and they should match as well. One matched selection of the U.FL module is shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 1 (a) XBee-PRO module with U.FL connector (b) U.FL female to RP-SMA female connector (c) 2.4GHz male SMA antenna