BL600 e-BoB, just the start of my IoT with Elektor Mag

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BL600 e-BoB, just the start of my IoT with Elektor Mag

Postby Ray Frost » Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:08 pm

I recently purchased the BL600 e-BoB and had a hard time trying to decide which way to solder on the module pin strip. I later found I could not insert a CR2032 button battery and also found that vertical jumper headers had been fitted for JP1 and JP2.

I shall now have to desolder the pin strip and solder on the other side, change JP1/2 headers to use right angled type and probably use multiple pin strip so that I can space the module off any mother board i.e. Prototyping strip-board. Well it was quite a job to desolder the pin strip, in fact I rather made a mess of it, nevertheless I did manage to swap it over and found that I didn't need to change JP1/2 after all. What I did find is that when you change the pin strip over the pin-out gets mirrored and I had to change my prototype strip-board wiring, luckily it wasn't a big job and I was able to insert the CR-2032 battery and try out the BL600 module OTA from my smart phone. I was pleasantly surprised that all went well, the BL600 popped up in the scanned items and I was able to select it and download the $autorun$ file which was my main goal for this week.

I shall add to this topic once I have proven the e-BOB is functional. I like the idea of this e-BOB for IoT linked to a smartphone or iPhone App and look forward to seeing it all working.

While I am waiting for the FT232 eBoB to arrive through the post I have downloaded the BL600 firmware 1.5.70.0 rev 5 and Notepad++ onto my laptop so I am all ready to try out some smartBASIC programming on the BL600.

The FT232R eBoB has now arrived and is fitted to my strip-board prototype ready for the communication excercise described in the very first part of the BL600 eBoB articles, thought I would like to start a the very beginning, can't wait to try it out.

Trying to get communications to work as per the first BL600 e-BoB article but alas only partially working at the moment, guess the problem will be in my strip-board wiring between the BL600 eBoB and the FT232 eBoB. I have rechecked all the serial interface connections once more and see no obvious error so what could be preventing the successful transfer of text, smart phone -> PC
and PC -> smart phone as shown on page 46/47 of the BL600-eBoB part 1 article. I wonder if anyone has tried to follow this article and had success?

Well I decided to try the comms out using my iphone 6+ instead of my HTC smartphone, low and behold it works at the first attempt.

Success at last - I found some problem solving information on the Laird website where VSP app has been found not to work on some Andriod phones, Anyway I went into the BLE settings on my smartphone and manually "unpaired" with the BL600 device then I re-paired once more in the settings menu before returning to the Laird toolkit where I scanned and connected to the BL600 e-BoB and hey presto I can now communicate in both directions with my smartphone.

BL600 e-BoB Article 2 - After building a small strip-board for the LedChaser hardware and plugging it onto my strip-board containing the BL600 e-BoB and FT232 e-BoB I was keen to enter the small LedChaser SmartBASIC program using Notepad++. Once the program was entered I used the UWterminal to Xcompile+Load+Run the LedChaser on the BL600 e-BoB which functioned at the first time of asking, so I will be moving on to BL600 e-BoB Article 3 next flush with my recent success.

A photo of my strip-board containing the two eBoB's and the LedChaser plugin and 8-pin socket for temperature sensor to be added later.
eBoBsWithLedChaser.jpg


BL600 e-BoB Article 3 - Well the later stages of this article are turning out to be a very poor experience indeed, with references to previous articles my attempts with the pgmRGB smartBASIC program have failed miserably. This could take a lot of time to find the right route to success, its not as simple as following the text in the article.

So, I have managed to get a Uwterminal screen similar to Figure 4 on page 62 at last, I had to download the pgmRGB as a $autorun$ file and switch the jumpers to OTA and Autorun modes before I could get the Laird Serial(VSP) app to send a message and be received with the data bytes received displayed as per the article. You really need to be clear headed when it comes to switching the jumpers depending on what you are trying to achieve and its not always enough to just follow the magazine article precisely.

At last I seem to have cracked it - I have the RGB demonstration program running as per article 3 using both the Laird Toolkit and BLE RGB Lite app from the Google Store. Now for Article 4 I guess.

A photo of my strip-board containing the two eBoB's and the RGB plugin with BLE Status Indicator(white)
BLE_RGBwithStatus.JPG


BL600 e-BoB Article 4 - It was all going extremely well until again the later stages of the article have sent me into problem solving mode. I really wanted to see the application operating OTA but unfortunately the final BL600 $autorun$.htss.ds1621.sb wouldn't compile due to a missing library file and I couldn't find it anywhere so again I'm going to need some help here. The library file expected by the program is "health.thermometer.service.sblib" as per line 83 when viewed in Notepad++, I have looked on the Laird website but cannot find it there and the same goes for the Elektor website. I wonder if Jennifer can help? - Jennifer where are you, please don't desert us now.

I have manage to run the Laird Tech Temperature App (HTS) in their Toolkit to obtain a display similar to Figure 5 on page 73 so this is good news. I have now taken a file downloaded from Laird called "hiss.health.thermometer.service.custom.sb" I then carried out the instructions from the bottom RH corner of page 74 and saved the new file as $autorun$.htss.ds1621.sb.

This new program compiles and runs on the BL600 and I can obtain a graphical display using the Temperature app on my smartphone. This app seems to only function if UwTerminal remains OPEN and displays the ds1621 register values repeatedly. I would have preferred the app to remain displaying temperature readings without needing UwTerminal OPEN all the time so that the BL600 can be disconnected from my PC and left running under battery power.

BL600 e-BoB Article 5 - I was looking forward to understanding how to put together a simple BL600 app on my smartphone but alas this article is really turning out to be a shocking experience I cannot begin to understand how to get off the ground from "Android application" (page 77) onwards. I had to download the Android Studio which required a further download of the java sdk(java development kit) after prompting during the Studio setup stage. The Android Studio setup did not complete smoothly but I believe its usable.

I have downloaded the supposedly "extremely simplified" source code for an application using the UART Service weblink[4] from the Elektor website. But now I am totally stuck from part way through page 78 and onwards....................any chance of a complete rewrite of this article?

The Elektor site download seems to contain a bunch of files & folders for the Android part and same for the BL600 part, a quick look around these doesnt really give me much insight unfortunately.

Extra exploration into the Android App creation - I have temporarily abandoned the Elektor BL600 e-BoB articles to learn a little bit about Android App creation. Getting set up to create an Android App is in itself quite a task but with the aid of the Androids Developers website I managed to install all the necessary software and start the learning process, after a lot of messing around and web searching I succeeded in getting a simple "Hello World!" App onto my HTC One M7 smartphone and I am feeling a great deal better now.

Getting Started with Android - Use Android Developers Web site.
Downloads you need -Depending on your base computer system (PC, MAC, etc) Download Java Development Kit (JDK) 7 as a minimum, Android Studio(complete with SDK Manager).
You will need to understand what these various downloads are used for so that you gather a basic understanding of the whole development system you will be using.

Smartphone attachment - Not all Smartphones can be simply plugged into your base computer system and become instantly recognised. My smartphone had to be enabled for "USB development use" and a further "USB debug" option had to be selected before Android Studio would find it. Then I was able to run the demo App on my target Android device(HTC One M7 smartphone). You can of course run your app in an emulation mode which is obviously very useful while you are developing an App prior to testing on the real device.

Getting back to BL600 e-BoB Part 5 - On the BL600 manufacturers website you can find the Laird Android Toolkit source code(as stated on page 77 of the Article) but I found that you cannot download it without some special Laird access (Advanced Access Credentials) - I have requested these but I don't know what the acceptance criteria is, guess I'll find out soon enough, 1 business day response time.

I have also downloaded the software reference http://www.elektor.magazine.com/150190. This contained 2-folders, BL600 files and the Android SERIAL folder. I was expecting that if I selected the Android serial folder for my Android project folder when launching Android Studio I would open the project for the Part 5 article but no such luck. I have been struggling for hours, maybe its because I am using a MBP instead of a windows PC. Amazingly going back to Android Studio while updating my forum topic I find I can now see the project files but I have gone through the process of making the .jar library files readable on my MBP recently so maybe that has made all the difference.

I'm excited again so I will go back to Android Studio to explore these project files in conjunction with reading through the Part 5 article and see where it leads me. Alas my excitement has taken a hammering, no joy getting the App up and running(spent all evening trying), seem to be having trouble with library paths, tried to understand where the laird_library should be situated but nothing I do seems to work, I shall go to bed disappointed again.

Some joy at last - I managed to get the BL600 e-BoB Part 5 app (SERIAL demo) downloaded onto my smartphone but I had to use my desktop windows PC instead of my MBP, I wonder what the problem is with my MBP development route??

New Approach
I have put a stop to all my messing around with the BL600 e-BoB magazine articles in favor of learning more about Android, Android Studio and what most believe to be a prerequisite - JAVA. I already have the Java(all-in-one) for Dummies book which should be very useful on the JAVA side of things but I have been tempted into buying a couple of other books i.e. My first experience with the visually intensive Head First books "Head First Android Development" and "Head First Java".
Last edited by Ray Frost on Fri May 19, 2017 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BL600 e-BoB, just the start of my IoT with Elektor Mag

Postby Nixies » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:24 pm

Hello Ray Frost,

I'm tring the same programs as you, part 4. I have the same problem than you, I cannot find the health.thermometer.service.sblib file. Did you get information about this form Jennifer ?
I continue to search,
Thank you,

Nixies
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Re: BL600 e-BoB, just the start of my IoT with Elektor Mag

Postby Nixies » Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:30 am

Hello,

I have done all modifications and it's working fine now. Just have to re analyse all that ;-)
Patrice
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Re: BL600 e-BoB, just the start of my IoT with Elektor Mag

Postby Ray Frost » Thu May 25, 2017 2:53 pm

BL600 part 5.jpg
Photo of the BL600 e-BoB running Part 5 Article App Code
After a long time I finally came back to try out the final parts of the BL600 e-BoB articles, in fact I have recently run through them all and found its very easy to believe that something is not working when its just the mobile phone's Bluetooth connection causing a problem. In the BL600 e-BoB part 5 article I spent a long time trying to get the Android App operating. Every time I tried to connect I would get a message that the VSP service is unavailable. I eventually, as is normally the case, find I have to play around with the BT pairing/unpairing before I can get the App(JA's Serial Demo App in this case) to connect and operate as expected. So, if you get a message similar to this one just check that your BT is enabled on your mobile but not paired with anything.

If your not sure what the BL600 part 5 article is about its just the serial transfer of data from a BT enabled mobile to set the LTC1655L digital-to-analogue converter's voltage output. The BL600 program uses a SPI(seial peripheral Interface) between the BL600 and the LTC1655L to transfer the appropriate 16-bit data value to the DAC.
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