- Paperback: 322 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (January 3, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596807732
- ISBN-13: 978-0596807733
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #344,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Building Wireless Sensor Networks: with ZigBee, XBee, Arduino, and Processing 1st Edition
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About the Author
Robert Faludi is an NYU Professor, SVA professor, and an expert consultant on commercial projects, including large-scale home energy monitoring. His work has appeared in The New York Times, CNet, Good Morning America, and elsewhere. He is a co-creator of the LilyPad XBee wearable radios, and Botanicalls, a system that allows thirsty plants to place phone calls for human help.
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately the real power of XBee radios is only realized when using API mode, which the book mentions but does not cover to a useful level.
Consider this book as a good starting point for classrooms and hackerspaces where XBees will mainly be used for fun and education. If you're actually needing to build a wireless sensor network then this book comes up a bit short on depth and detail.
One point of confusion that I still grasp with is the differentiation between series 1 and series 2 xbees. The book exclusively uses series 2 devices, while several of the more notable Arduino hobby sites (adafruit, etc) very vocally prefer the series 1 devices. To my way of thinking (perhaps influenced by the author's position), having sensors in a mesh network makes the most sense; I have yet to read a valid counter argument.
I would also recommend that if you are seriously considering implementing a solution with multiple XBees to go ahead and purchase a Digi XPort X2 - they are available via the Digi site (though their online store is terrible) as well as Sparkfun. Remote management of XBees (including remote firmware updates!) is a very, very nice feature, and the iDigi integration extends this capability to any location on the internet. Pretty sweet. If you're interested, I blog about most of my hobby exploits here: [...]
I have only two real complaints. First, the version of XCTU referred to in the book is outdated. There may be a little confusion between the details from the text and the reality of the more recent (and more flexible) XCTU program. Second, at the end of Chapter 2 is a trouble-shooting section. This is well and fine - but, the author really needs to add one more "fix." A worst-case scenario is that none of the methods suggested work... In that case, you may have to "Update the radio module firmware" from the configuration screen. Simply attempting to manually reset some offending parameter may not work. In my case, I had to do this because the Coordinator and Router refused to assign the same channel number, thus they could not communicate. After re-flashing the firmware, even though the latest version had already been installed, this fault went away.
The only suggest I would have for the author is to provide a chapter or two on capturing streaming data on the Com Ports to monitor the telemetry traffic. I was able to find some instructions and ideas on line to enhance the Arduino code to monitor the traffic and that helped me finally debug some of the projects.
I was happy with the examples and with a little imagination I was able to rework the examples to meet my needs for my particular application. I do wish the book went into more depth in regards to mesh networks and trouble shooting, but for someone that wants to two or more xbees talking, this book will really help you out!
In my particular application I started out with three S2B radios, but after finding they weren't going to have the range I needed I switched to 900mhz radios and I was still able to use the information in this book. The 900HP radios have a little bit different set up in X-CTU, but after figuring that out. everything went smooth.
If there was a second book that went further that would be excellent! But I do want to say this " Digi's tech support is excellent!!! They were very helpful and supper fast in their responce to my questions. I could email them two, three times a day and they replyed to my emails every time befor the end of the day. I was supper stoked with there costomer service."
I would recomend this book, Just be sure your working with series 2 radios, if your looking at this book.