It runs just fine with wine. Shame on the XBee manufacturer to only provide a windows binary of the initial necessary configuration and firmware update program. In this day and age with such wonderful cross platform development tools (like REALbasic, hello, port your VB code and compile for mac windows and linux!) it’s so annoying to see things that are absolutely necessary that I have to resort to this kind of mucking about. Especially with something like these otherwise terrific XBee radios that are so embraced by such a wide group of artists and makers. Enough whining ;)
Searching teh intertubes I found many people that were running the configuration program under windows emulation, and a few references to people who might be working on a Mac version of the program from scratch (the protocols for doing everything it does are documented, but are non-trivial to implement) but evidently everybody else who might have used wine to do it found the exercise so trivially easy for them that they didn’t feel the need to document it for anybody else ;)
First you need wine, it’s just a single binary app now, no problem. Go search and install it. The only catch is that you must also have the XWindows for mac system installed. This is an optional install on OSX, but you can find it on Apple’s site.
Once you have win and the X-CTU installer you can just open the one with the other. It will run the installer. I didn’t tell it where to put the installed app, just let it default. I still am not sure where it went, possibly into the .wine folder in my home folder but it wouldn’t show up in a search. No matter, it left a windows shortcut behind on my desktop which I can do an “open with” to pull up wine and run the program.
Some confusion exists over the installation of the drivers. If you have a XBee Programming Adaptor
like that then you need to install the serial drivers on the Mac side to talk to it. In that case it’s the FTDI drivers (which as far as I’m concerned are the best Mac usb/serial devices out there, their drivers have always worked and never caused me any grief when many others have) Once thats working on the Mac side then you can setup wine to see them.
So plug in the adaptor and now you have to do some work in the terminal. This is per the instructions of wine. In order to make something like this available to wine you have to create a symbolic link to the serial port in your /dev directory inside of the ~/.wine/dosdevices directory. You’ll find the proper entry for the device in /dev if you have many serial devices plugged in or if you have never seen one before it may be helpful to do one directory listing with the device unplugged, and then plug it in and do it again and see what has been added to the /dev directory. The FTDI drivers create 2 separate entries. It may not matter but I linked to the one that began with tty. and that worked. Mine is named “tty.usbserial-A600ezYy” to make it available to wine you need to put a link named “com1” or something similar inside the dosdevices directory like:
ln -s /dev/tty.usbserual-A600ezYy ~/.wine/dosdevices/com1
This is now where I ran up against my first and only problem with getting this to work. Perhaps I just didn’t read the instructions for the X-CTU program properly but even after doing the link nothing showed up in the list of ports in the app. It turns out you have to enter them manually.
So in typical genius, step 1 is listed after step 2 in the interface ;) In the second part of this window notice the “Add User Com Port” section. Enter the name that you used in the link command above, in my case com1 and click the add button. After doing that you can now select the port and it will work!
Can an XTension
driver for distributed IO and serial via XBee radio’s be far behind?
Has anybody seen a shield/breakout board that provides opti-isolated inputs for these things? Something like that would make these even more useful to peppering around for remote control...