XBee 3 Module – PCB Antenna

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First came the XBee 1 and 2 modules, and now we have this new series of modules with PCB antennas offering a host of features to open up more communication options.

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XBee 3: an outdoor range exceeding 1 km

This module with its integrated antenna offers a transmit power of over 8 dBM at 40 mA. This means that 2 XBee modules with PCB antennas can communicate at a distance of up to 60 metres indoors, and over 1.2 km outdoors.

XBee 3 handles the 802.15.4 wireless communication protocol and the ZigBee 3.0 protocol. It is also BLE compatible and can communicate using a UART signal or SPI bus.

Programming the XBee 3 communication module

One great new feature of this series 3 module is that it includes a microcontroller programmable using MicroPython and XCTU. It is more usual to use XCTU for XBee 3 wireless communication configuration, so you are not required to use MicroPython to benefit from the module.

XBee 3 includes 15 digital input/output pins and four 10-bit ADC inputs. And it’s powerful enough to be used as a microcontroller if needed.

Technical specifications of the XBee Series 3 PCB module

  • RF 250 Kbps, serial 1 Mbps
  • Range: 60 metres (indoor) to 1.219 km (outdoor)
  • Transmit power: +8 dBM @ 40 mA
  • Receiver sensitivity: -103 dBM @ 15 mA
  • 4 x 10-bit ADC inputs
  • 15 digital I/Os
  • HCS08 CPU at up to 50.33 MHz
  • 128/256-bit AES encryption
  • Operating voltage: 2.1–3.6V
  • Power-down current: 1.7 µA
  • Built-in RS-485 support
  • AT command or API frame support
  • FCC/ETSI certified
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