0Setting up an XBee ZigBee repeater

As part of the gradu­al expan­sion of my smarthome (might as well do some­thing dur­ing lock­down right?) I decided to set up an XBee to improve the reach of my SmartTh­ings hub. Good inform­a­tion for total begin­ners is a bit of a mis­sion to find so I thought I’d put togeth­er a basic sum­mary to start with.

Useful sources of information

Why an XBee

I needed a Zig­Bee repeat­er. I have sev­er­al Xiaomi Zig­Bee devices which don’t work well with most repeat­ers due to them not quite fol­low­ing the stand­ards corectly. They do work with the Ikea Trad­fri plugs which only cost £10 (kudos to Ikea!) so if you just need a cheap repeat­er then a Trad­fri plug is a good way to do it. I have one and can con­firm it works well with Xiaomi kit. How­ever, I wanted a stronger repeat­er, and I also wanted to be able to see and mon­it­or my Zig­Bee mesh — both things that the XBee can do. The final reas­on in my case was that I don’t want to click-and-col­lect from Ikea dur­ing lock­down but noth­ing was avail­able for deliv­ery soon­er than 30 days, where­as the parts for an XBee were avail­able next day!

The kit you need…

You need an XBee board
You need a USB adapter to power (and pro­gram) the XBee
You need a USB cable to con­nect the adapter (the adapter should come with one)
You prob­ably want a case to keep the whole lot in

I got all of the above in 2 simple pur­chases for a com­bined total of £31.35…
I got the XB24CZ7WIT-004 Zig­Bee Mod­ule itself from RSCom­pon­ents in the UK for £18.36 (inc VAT and free deliv­ery). This came next day in a neat little plastic box which is per­fect for keep­ing the whole setup in.
I got the USB adapter with cable from Amazon UK for £12.99

to be con­tin­ued…

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