I'm a BLE beginner. Never developed anything for bluetooth®, let alone the low energy variant.

I received a Bluetooth Low Energy Pioneer Kit ( cy8ckit-042-BLE ) yesterday. This blog is my story with the kits after a half day of testing.

 

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What's Inside?

 

The kit contains four boards.

 

The USB Dongle

There's a USB dongle with a PRoC BLE chip. This is the part that you plug in your PC.

It's going to be one part of the BLE scenarios that you test out with this kit.

In the standard demo, it reacts on you poking the capacitive button on the Pioneer baseboard.

 

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You can also interrogate this board with the Cypress software tools, query the attributes it received via BLE and send info from it over BLE.

The dongle pairs with the two BLE modules I show a bit further on.

 

The Pioneer Baseboard

That's the development board. The funny thing is that there's no BLE device on it. You have to plug in one of the two BLE modules that come with the kit. More on those two modules a bit later.

The Baseboard has your typical peripherals: debug module, some leds and buttons, even the Arduino compatible out-of-grid headers. But it doesn't have a programmable device on it.

 

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The board acts as the host for the programmable modules, the:

 

Two BLE Modules

 

They are the focus of our exercises. We get two flavors:

PSoC: Programmable System-on-Chip

PRoC: Programmable Radio-on-Chip

Check this EE Times article for a quick-to-read background on them. http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1324607

 

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They can both be mounted on the Baseboard. That's when you get a fully functional development circuit.

 

 

The kit also includes some jumper wires, an USB cable, a battery and a quick start guide.

 

Software Install

 

Easy. I've chosen for the COMPLETE SETUP installation package,

That installs all the development tools, the kit info and examples, and the documentations.

After the install I updated all the packages to the latest version (there's an update wizard that helps with that.

As very last step, I made modifications to my Windows 8.1 setup, as explained in section 2.3: Windows 8.1 USB selective suspend setting of the KIT Guide.

Windows 8.1 default power profile makes USB go to sleep when idle. That powers off the dongle and your device stops working.

Following the few steps resolves that.

 

Out of the Box Demo

 

When you plug in the devices just like they are in the box, the dongle in one USB port, and the Baseboard with the PSoC BLE mounted, you get a working demo.

 

 

You pair the dongle and BLE module by pushing the Button 2 on both devices.

The blue LED on the dongle will light up when they are connected.

 

You can then change that blue LED's intensity by swiping over the capacitive sensor on the Baseboard.

 

The PSoC BLE module sends the sensor value to the dongle via bluetooth, and the BLE Module acts on that by adapting the power sent to the LED.

The short video above show how that works. Note that the Baseboard is not connected to anything in that video. It's powered from the single coin cell underneath the board.

 

First Project

 

Well, that was really simple. I followed all the steps for section 4.2: CapSense Slider and LED of that sam KIT Guide.

That learns you how to build, load and debug the example, and also introduces the message attributes.

When you follow the example, you can log the changes in the capacitive sensor to a console,

and you'll also be able to change attributes.

You can tell the dongle to update a particular  attribute and send it to the BLE Module. That module will then make the RGB LED on the Baseboard light up in a particular color.


Summary

 

Everything worked straight out of the box. Big kudo's for that. I didn't loose a minute of my life troubleshooting the installation or the examples.

I could go straight into testing, and learned my first baby steps about bluetooth.

I'm still a beginner, but my first step on the learning ramp has been set.