Communicating with multiple boards nearby

I’m trying to decide what wireless communication board to use with many reactor relay controller boards in the same location. since they are all within 100 feet of each other, i need a comm method that can allow me to select which board to control. the bluetooth module seems ok, but i’m unsure how to distinguish between the different boards. the zigbee pro doesn’t like being around other devices. and i can’t seem to get the zigbee mesh network up and running with dozens of devices in the same area. wifi is out because of internal security concerns.
has anyone got multiple boards communicating in close proximity?

Hi Mark,

Honestly the 802.15.4 or ZigBee modules should be your best solution for such an application.

What problems are you running into with ZigBee?

Also do you know what ZigBee module you’re using as far as power and antenna type?

If the devices are less than 5 feet from each other you may run into an over-saturation issue. This can be lessened by using a lower power ZigBee module (300 foot range), but it may not be the issue.

i’m currently using this module:
802.15.4 XBee-Pro w/internal antenna

if there is another one of these modules turned on within 100 feet, then i get an error while trying to communicate with them. i have to have all the modules around me turned off in order to control one module.

this modules does not say mesh anywhere in the description. it does say point-to-point communication, so i’m assuming it cannot work in close proximity to other units.

i purchases some XBP24CZ7WIT-004 modules, which says ‘mesh’ in the description. i’m hoping that these work better when grouped in the same room. i was just asking on the forum to see if anyone has done multiple module control in the same close proximity and what modules they used.


I’ve done tests using multiple boards in close proximity and haven’t had an issue.

The original modules that you ordered should be more than capable of this. They have the capability to “broadcast” the data sent to the modem over the serial line which will go to every receiver in range or they can target specific receivers/modules.

The mesh capability of the other modules will basically allow you to increase the range and reliability of wireless devices close to the edge of the wireless transmission range by allowing devices in between to forward data to and from the modem when necessary.

What error are you running into when multiple modules are turned on?

Are you transmitting commands in broadcast mode or are you targeting specific remote modules?

What software are you using to test this?

i’m using the NCD configuration utility. i have a usb modem connected up to the PC and choose the serial port option when starting the software. when i choose the reactor board, it says unable to communicate with controller. if i turn off all the modules but one in the room, it works normally.

Unfortunately the NCD Base Station and the NCD Configuration Utility do not support specific device targeting for control or configuration.

It is possible to use X-CTU or a terminal to configure the modem to talk to a single device by changing the Destination Address Low (DL) on the modem. This would allow you to use Base Station and Configure specific devices when multiple are in range.

You can find out more about 802.15.4 and AT commands at|_____0

The DL commands can be found under Networking and security commands.

ok. so this just confirms my original question on this topic. is there a way to control and configure multiple modules in the same room. it appears the answer to that question is no…
unless i go into the modem and issue terminal commands to it to change destination addresses to match different devices.

That is correct.

The reactor series was built with the thought that you would configure them once and then use the communications for manual/programmatic overrides of the onboard logic.