I was a little quiet lately. I was not sleeping but working on a few hardware designs and another iOS BLE application.
After I created new versions of the BLE-Shield, the BLEBee is the another hardware that needs an update. The BLEBee v2.0.0 is now designed to use the BLE113-256k module which will enable OTA firmware updates without additional SPI flash. Moreover the power consumption will be slightly lower. Hot plate soldering the BLE113 works like a charm, so expect more designs in the future using the BLE113 or the BLE121LR 🙂
Due to the fact that the XBee form factor defines the size of the module, the outline has not been changed. See the following images comparing the v1.0.0 vs the v2.0.0 BLEBee:
The back of the new BLEBee is of course showing the new Micro-Labs logo:
The main differences in the hardware design currently is, that I removed the four digital pins I was using to control the Seeedstudio 4 channel relay shield. Since this shield is discontinued, I removed this functionality as well. The second worth mentioning changes is the change of the RX/TX characteristics to one Data characteristic.
This Data characteristic is comparable to the one used in Bluegiga’s Cable Replacement code sample. Using this new Characteristic it is easier in BLExplr to test communication without need to switch screens. RX and TX can be handled in on screen on one characteristic
And the most important thing might be the OTA firmware updated that is now possible. On my forum http://forum.mkroll.mobi there were a few people asking about the possibility to update the firmware and that it is somewhat difficult to achieve using the additional TagConnect adapter which is necessary to achieve the update.
What is currently missing in the initial working prototype is the working CTS signal which will be one missing thing that I will add now. Since there is some additional space on the PCB due to the smaller form factor of the BLE113 module there could be some solder pins be added to attach the CC-Debugger for advanced software developers. This would allow to connect the CC Debugger using a custom adapter. Please let my know in this forum thread about better access to connect the CC-Debugger: http://forum.mkroll.mobi/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=608.
Expect more details on the characteristics once the design is finished. If you like more features to be added please contact me on twitter, this blog or the forum.
Thanks for reading and your interest in my products,