A nRF52 Feather for the Bluetooth low energy project - a single chip for BLE module + microcontroler
The Feather nRF52 Bluefruit from Adafruit is yet another all-in-one Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) board.
Using the native Bluetooth chip nRF52832, this board is really easy to use!
It makes a great all-in-one Arduino-compatible Bluetooth Low Energy plateforme with built in Lipo Charger and microUSB connector. For sure, we have many other Feather board on the WebSite, please check this category.
The nRF52 chip is far more performant than the previous nRF51 generation. 2 times more RAM and Flash as well. As the nRF52 is supported by Arduino IDE, the chip can be programmed directly from your prefered Arduino development IDE!
The nRF52 is really awesome! He have:
- plenty of GPIO,
- analog inputs,
Having all of the stuff inside one unique microcontroler does lower the plateforme pricing, the plateforme consumption and the reduce the complexity (it is harder to make a Bluetooth module and separate microcontroler cooperating togheter).
The arduino code does run directly on the nRF52832 module. Using a single MCU offers better performance, lower the overall power consumption and reduce the costs if you need to create your own hardware from a Bluefruit nRF52 Feather project!
Adafruit Feather product line offers several Bluetooth based board (bluetooth is a popular protocol!).
Adafruit did pre-programed the chip with the bootloader (with auto-resetting capability) so you can quickly start with Arduino IDE. It is also possible to program the chip directly by using the command line tool and your favorite editor and toolchain.
A SWD box can be soldered for advanced SWD programming and debugging.
Adafruit did worked hard on the low level BLE stack to allow the customer to produce code from the first day! The example code are working great with existing iOS and Android app.
- ARM Cortex M4F
- Hardware floating point
- 512KB flash
- 64KB SRAM
- Built in USB Serial converter for fast and efficient programming and debugging
- Bluetooth Low Energy compatible 2.4GHz radio (Details available in the nRF52832 product specification)
- FCC / IC / TELEC certified module
- Up to +4dBm output power
- 1.7v to 3.3v operation with internal linear and DC/DC voltage regulators
- 19 GPIO,
- 8 x 12-bit ADC,
- up to 12 PWM outputs (3 PWM modules with 4 outputs each)
- RED Led on the pin #17 for general purpose blinking
- Power/enable pin
- Size: 51mm x 23mm x 8mm (without headers)
- Weight: 5.7 grams
- 4 mounting holes
- Reset button
- Optional SWD connector for debugging
- Works out of the box with just about all of our Adafruit FeatherWings! (Wings that require the UART like the GPS FeatherWing won't work)
About Bluetooth and Adafruit Apps
Bluetooth Low Energy is a low-power, 2.4GHz wireless protocol. It's the only wireless protocol that you can use with iOS (without need special certification) and supported by all modern smartphones.
This module is excellent to use in portable projects to use with iOS or Android phone or tablet. It also is supported in Mac OS X and Windows 8+.
Create easily a portable projects with the LiPo charger connector for any of our 3.7V Lithium polymer batteries (and built in battery charging). The battery is not necessary to run the feather straight from the micro USB connector. However, if you do have a battery, you can take it on the go, then plug in the USB to recharge the Lipo. The Feather will automatically switch over to USB power when it's available.
Adafruit did connect the battery to a analog pin thru a voltage divider resistors. Thank to the divider you can measure the battery voltage and inform the user when it need to be recharged.
The Power of Bluefruit LE
The nRF52832 chipset from Nordic used in the module act as main microcontroller and as bluetooth low energy interface. Most of user are very happy to use the standard Nordic UART RX/TX connection profile (see the provided code)! In this profile, the module acts as a data pipe, that 'transparently' transmit back and forth the data from your iOS or Android device. You can use the Adafruit's iOS App or Android App, or write your own to communicate with the UART service.
The board can do much than just sending strings over the air! The Arduino wrapper library offers a full control over how the device behaves, it is possible to define and manipulate your own GATT Services and Characteristics, or modify the way the device advertises itself to other BLE devices.
Use the Bluefruit App to get your project started
Using the Adafruit Bluefruit iOS App or Android App, you can quickly build a projet's prototype communicating with your iOS or Android phone/tablet as a controller. Adafruit did includes color picker, quaternion/accelerometer/gyro/magnetomete or location (GPS), and 8-button control game pad inside the App. This data can be read over BLE and processed directly by the nRF52 microcontroller.
You can do a lot more too with the app!
- The module can also act as HID Keyboard (for devices that support BLE HID)
- Or act as BLE Heart Rate Monitor (a standard profile for BLE) - you just need to add the pulse-detection circuitry
- Transform it as a Beacon device (the Google standard for Bluetooth LE beacons). Just power it and the 'Friend will bleep out a URL to any nearby devices with the nRF Beacon app installed.
- Built in over-the-air bootloading capability. Use any Android or iOS device to get updates and install them via the Nordic OTA app (or the Adafruit app). This will update the native code on the BLE module, and is an alternative to the USB-serial bootloader
The Feather nRF52 Bluefruit LE - nRF52832 comes fully assembled and tested. The product includes an USB bootloader to quickly starts with the Arduino IDE.
Some header is included with the module and can be solder it. Once soldered, the module can be plugged into a breadboard for easy prototyping.
Lipoly battery and MicroUSB cable not included but we have many of them available on the shop.