Combatibility between Xadow line - Rephone line

How much combatible are these two product lines:

  • Rephone Kit and all related modules
  • Xadow Main Board and all related modules

I read in wiki that Xadow Main board uses 12 pin FFC cables while (Rephone) Xadow Ble + GSM uses 11 pin FFC.

Is it possible to mix thoses modules? Such as use a Xadow Ble, GSM + Xadow Barometer + Xadow Compass + Xadow Multichannel Gas Sensor etc?


I can’t find any mention on the internets from the Seeed folks providing a direct response to this question.

Closest I’ve found goes something like, “all Xadow expansion modules will be migrated to the 11 pin connector” (i.e. “V2” Xadow modules). The Xadow docs on the Seeed wiki still reference only the 12 pin line. That’s right, there’s not a single reference to 11 pin Xadow connectors in the Xadow category of the Seeed wiki. You have to go to the RePhone section (or the store) to find any info on the surprise obfuscation of all prior Xadow modules sold.

Despite packing capable tech in a diminutive footprint, the Xadow line hasn’t managed to gain traction. My guess is Seeed is using the hype behind RePhone as an opportunity to reintroduce Xadow, this time with “V2” connectors.

Seeed is banking on selling enough new Xadow modules that adoption numbers will justify their decision not to design a migration route for the few early adopters.

Unfortunately, they can’t make the above justification until it pans out. So instead of addressing questions about V1/V2 compatibility directly (if at all), Seeed’s response has been, “Yes, someday in the future, all Xadow modules will be available in an 11 pin ‘V2’ version. Have you seen the RePhone? It’s great! And it supports new 11 pin Xadow modules that we haven’t made yet!” Which doesn’t actually answer the question.

Here are a few questions Seeed can answer to help early Xadow adopters decide what to do next:

“Can I use 12 pin main/modules with 11 pin main/modules?”

“Will you be making adapters?”

“If not, what modifications are necessary {to module X} to make them compatible?”

“How do the two busses compare (eg. ‘Int’ vs ‘Data’ pins)?”

“Is Xadow 12 pin now obsolete?”

“When will you be updating the Wiki to mention the obsolescence of 12 pin modules?”

“When will you be updating the Xadow section in the Wiki to mention the existence of 11 pin Xadow modules?”

Here’s a link to a related post Seeed initially responded to with a non-answer, then went radio silent on the follow up: viewtopic.php?f=43&t=6447&p=22965&hilit=Xadow+12+pin#p22965

Ugh. Thanks for summarizing Seeed’s answers on this. I purchased over $400 (US) of Xadow parts for a project only to find that the I2C and power busses are so bad on the Edison board (which they’ve since discontinued) that the project won’t work. I came back to buy breakout boards to try to interface it to another micro controller with a stronger power supply (you can’t power the board on if you have both the OLED and the GPS hooked up at the same time, for instance, presumably due to a high inrush current in the OLED) and better I2C pull-ups. However, they’ve discontinued those too. Soldering a 0.5mm pitch connector by hand is, unfortunately, beyond my soldering ability.

Seeed, if you’re reading this: I had previously had good experiences with Seeed’s circuit board orders, but unfortunately, after this experience, I’m unlikely to ever deal with you again. I’ve now spent $400 on stuff I can’t use and it’s been so long, I can’t even return it. I guess I should’ve returned it immediately, but I thought Seeed was committed to Xadow and specifically to using it with Edison. Apparently not.

Hi all,

We’re sincerely sorry about the bad experience that brought from our products…
I regret to tell you, a lot of Xadow modules, have been discontinued, especially 12pin interface Xadow modules.

As you know, we have developed a new type of Xadow modules with 35pin or 6pin interface, and they have breakout holes. For example, Xadow GSM + BLE, Xadow Basic sensors, Xadow GPS v2 modules are used in the new interface.

I’m sure that we will continue to develop other functional modules.
It will be highly appreciated if you can tell us what you need, we will consider that seriously into development.

Thank you!

Well, I’m not sure what other people need, but what I need is a way to use the $400 of product I already purchased from you and for that, I just need the 12-pin breakout board. But, I can’t get it because it’s discontinued. And I can’t have your Fusion service make it for me, because the connector isn’t part of that service anymore. It’s nice you’ve developed new modules, but why would I buy them from you when the modules I have don’t work right and you discontinued the only way I had to fix them? What if the new modules don’t work right? Will those be discontinued too?

Why don’t you manufacture just the 12-pin breakout? That can’t be that expensive. Call it “Legacy Xadow Breakout” or something like that. That way, people like me, who believed in your product, will have a way to continue to use the modules easily. I suspect this would solve many other people’s problems as well as the items that seem to be missing (pull-up resistors, capacitors, etc) can easily be added and/or the module interfaced to other micro controllers.

At a bare minimum, add the 12-pin Xadow connector to the OPL or Fusion service so those of us who still need to use it can order one of our own.

That’s fantastic! Really, it’s great that you’ve continued to innovate and develop a second generation of improved Xadow modules. But while I know it’s more pleasant to fast forward straight to showing off the shiny new stuff, it’s important for you and your brand to begin at the beginning.

Those of us who have purchased v1 Xadow hardware are feeling as though we’ve been swindled. I have not read one single word addressing the obsolescence of old Xadow hardware, or how to make it work with newer modules. This, compounded by the fact that the old Xadow products continue to be sold under the same name without mention of obsolescence or incompatibility, raises the question of trust.

Seeed has not provided any meaningful reassurance that they care about the success of their customers. What would we buy from you again?