So it turns out the newest Digi Xbee3 network radios can do good ole 802.15.4 packets just like the older S1s and S2Cs. But one REALLY COOL thing they can do that the old ones can’t (ok there are two cool things, but I’ll get to the second) is they can talk Bluetooth BLE. At the same time as the regular Xbee network. And what is really neat about that is that the messages appear on the serial port, thus my application firmware can get these, interpret them and do STUFF. All sorts of stuff like actually control the throttle AND configure the module. Oh, and the second really cool thing is they have microPython built in too! Not that I know what to do with that now but it’s just really COOL 🙂
So, first pic is one of my Android phones (that I don’t have service on). It shows the connection to the Xbee3 via BLE on my little Android App. It was a bit of challenge to get the Xbee Library in there and there are still a few kinks that I need to work out (I have a love/hate relationship with Android Studio) but you can see on the second shot that I am getting valid Xbee Packets coming into my Receiver Firmware. Last pic is my setup (I have a Syren50 now)
So now I can have one receiver that talks to the Protothrottle and my phone at the same time. Sweet! I can configure parameters with the phone, or even drive the locomotive. I can also get data back to the phone (with the appropriate sensors), like speed, battery status, position, etc.