Orangutan and Xbee Shield?

Hello -
I’m new to Orangutan, Xbee, and Arduinos. I’ve searched the forums and Googled some before asking. If this has already been asked before, please point me on my way. Thanks.

I have an Orangutan LV-168 and have successfully hooked it up to a Hummer-like ex-RC car. I have the EZ1 sonar mounted on the front and am doing some basic maneuvering. The car has two motors that were dirt simple to interface so I’m pretty thrilled at my progress to date.

I want to use an Xbee on the car and considering an Arduino Xbee Shield, something like this:
nkcelectronics.com/freeduino … d-kit.html

The shield is intended to plug into the Arduino USB board and I’m unsure if this is a good choice to work with the Oranutan.

From the shield, what really needs to be connected to the Orangutan? The tx/rx lines and power/gnd?

Should I even mess with a shield? Would I be better off using a breakout board like:
sparkfun.com/commerce/produc … ts_id=8276"

I’m thinking that I’ll use the XBee 2mW Series 2.5 Chip Antenna. Any comments on this choice?

thanks much


I don’t have an experience using Orangutans with the XBee, so my ability to give you detailed advice is limited. Given that the Arduino shield is designed specifically to interface with Arduinos, my suggestion is that you use a more general-purpose breakout board such as the one you linked from Sparkfun. Note that the XBee appears to run at 3.3 V while the Orangutan logic runs at 5 V, so connecting the two might require some intermediate components. Sparkfun has some information about this on their XBee breakout board page:

kronosrobotics.com/Projects/ … rface3.pdf

If the Arduino XBee shield is designed to let a 5 V Arduino interface with the 3.3 V XBee, however, the shield might end up being the more attractive alternative when all is said and done.

The LV-168 gives you access to eight general-purpose digital I/O lines of the ATmega168 microcontroller. Two of these lines (PD0 and PD1, or pins 0 and 1 according to the Arduino pin mapping) connect to the mega168’s hardware UART and can be used for asynchronous TTL serial communication. The remaining six lines (PC0 - PC5) can be used as either digital I/Os or as analog inputs. I suggest you look into what it takes to interface with the XBee and see if what the LV-168 offers will be sufficient.

- Ben

Have you seen the V2.0 kit with signal-strength indicating LEDs? Again, it won’t “mate” with your Orangutan, but it will bring all the necessary lines out to pins so you can make wire connections. The XBees are supposedly 5V I/O tolerant (doesn’t seem to say so in the manual) so if you don’t care about flow control then yes, you would just need to connect power (through a 3.3V regulator!) ground, TX and RX.

No clue about antenna performance, I always just solder on a bit of wire to my radios (1/4 wavelength works nicely).

Also, have you thought about what’s going to be on the other side of your radio? I’m assuming you want another XBee connected to your computer, right? You could get the simple breakout board (and header sockets) and wire it up to a Pololu USB to Serial Adapter, which has 3.3V power available regulated down from the USB bus voltage (VDD, NOT VBUS). How convenient!

Good luck!