Xbee with photon

I’m exploring the use of XBee Pro S2B for an application that needs to rely on battery power. As per the spec, Xbee uses around 200 mA while transmission. The main attraction is that it has a range of 2 miles outdoor. The application will use Xbee only on a need basis, turning on/off the module as required. I assume photon is better than core from a power consumption perspective.

I came across the remote door monitoring application posted by @krvarma, but I guess it uses line power.

My question is : Is it practical to use Xbee with photon in a battery powered scenario? Appreciate your view points. Thanks.

Ravi Subramanian

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@RaviS, I don’t know I understood your requirement correctly, but a search resulted in following links:


Also you have some battery powered XBee configured as Router/End Device that will act as sensors. These sensors will communicate to XBee Coordinator connected to Core/Photon. The Core/Photon may act as a hub. You can connect this hub to a line power. So you Xbee sensor runs on battery power and your hub (Core/Photon with XBee connected) runs on line power.

@krvarma, your understanding is mostly correct. The idea is to have some event (like intrusion or movement) sensed and communicated over XBee. The environment may not have any power supply, so the need for battery power. For example, one application we could see is to sensing animal or vehicle movements in a forest. We can consider any motion sensor for the sensing purpose.

As per your suggestion,

  1. connect the motion sensor to a low power micro controller. The controller keeps sensing at regular intervals
  2. When a movement is identified, controller wakes up the XBee and send the information to particle core or photon connected to the internet.

Here the particle acts as the hub. The sensing element must consume the lowest power possible so that the battery lasts longer. We thought in these lines, but however wondered if spark photon itself could be used as the sensing element. This will require photon to consume low power. I want to examine the feasibility of using photon for such low power applications.

Ravi Subramanian

@RaviS, in case of simple sensors, you don’t need any microcontroller. But if you are looking for I2C, SPI sensors and like, you need wither programmable XBee or an XBee attached to microcontroller. Otherwise you can configure to send out the sensor value (digital values) at specific interval and your Particle hub can interpret this.