The Bluetooth Mate is very similar to our BlueSMiRF modem, but it is designed specifically to be used with our Arduino Pros and LilyPad Arduinos. These modems work as a serial (RX/TX) pipe, and are a great wireless replacement for serial cables. Any serial stream from 2400 to 115200bps can be passed seamlessly from your computer to your target.
Bluetooth Mate has the same pin out as the FTDI Basic, and is meant to plug directly into an Arduino Pro, Pro Mini, or LilyPad Mainboard. Because we've arranged the pins to do this, you cannot directly plug the Bluetooth Mate to an FTDI Basic board (you'll have to swap TX and RX).
The RN-42 is perfect for short range, battery powered applications. The RN-42 uses only 26uA in sleep mode while still being discoverable and connectable. Multiple user configurable power modes allow the user to dial in the lowest power profile for a given application. If you need longer range, check out the Bluetooth Mate Gold.
The Bluetooth Mate has on-board voltage regulators, so it can be powered from any 3.3 to 6VDC power supply. We've got level shifting all set up so the RX and TX pins on the remote unit are 3-6VDC tolerant. Do not attach this device directly to a serial port. You will need an RS232 to TTL converter circuit if you need to attach this to a computer.
Unit comes without a connector; if you want to connect it to an Arduino Pro, we'd suggest the 6-pin right-angle female header.
Note: If you are looking for the ability to use the FTDI directly with your Bluetooth Mate check out our Crossover Breakout for FTDI!
Note: The hardware reset pin of the RN-42 module is broken out on the bottom side of the board. This pin is mislabeled as
PIO6, it is actually
PIO4. Should you need to reset the Mate, pull this pin high upon power-up, and then toggle it 3 times.
This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.
Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Based on 12 ratings:
It took about 4 minutes to solder in a header, apply power, pair the device with my Galaxy S4, send data, and confirm using oscilloscope. It just simply works..... Could not ask for anything more.
If you wanna mess around with bluetooth, this board is great for it. I like the fact that it runs on 3.3v for those processors that are not 5v tolerant. I didn't dig into the datasheet for this, but it was easy to find. Improvements: Not sure, but tx and rx leds would be a nice addition.
Really easy to hook up once you read through the user manual.
I have been painfully frustrated trying many Bluettoth modules with my Arduino Uno, but so far this little Mate is the easiest to configure and use… I definitely recommend it… Can't wait to try the Mate Gold!
My only complaint would be that it would be immensely useful to have the GPIO pins individually terminated to ground with pull-down resistors and provide solder-bridge pads to strap them to a logic high. This would allow using the hardware control modes, which would greatly simplify reconfiguration once installed in a device. It is vitally important to have independent access to GPIO4 in order to be able to perform a factory reset of the device.
Otherwise, this device is nothing but GREAT!
Connects to the microcontroller with AT commands pretty easily. Bluetooth connection is stable. Cheap way to get bluetooth on your controller.
When combined with a RS-232 to TTL/Cmos Converter it is even more useful for building interfacing between Serial ports with differing Logic levels. So I am happy to have one of these available in the tool box. Combining these two functions on one breakout board and adding a small modular case and DB9 connector would be great.
I use this with a Samsung phone to control/steer an autopilot on a sailing vessel. An ASCII command sentence is passed via the bluetooth mate to the autopilot and the boat takes the appropriate action. Range is at least 30 ft. Data seems not to be corrupted in our testing to date.
It works perfectly with my Arduino board.
Easy to set up and use in conjunction with the Arduino Pro. Super easy to program.
This is a very useful bluetooth module that can be configured to act as a Bluetooth SPP device, connect as a client to an SPP device, along with other possibilities and many configuration options, but it also really wasted a lot of my time today...
All the docs say to simply send "$$$" to enter command mode, and while that works from the terminal, it never worked when sent from an Arduino program. I spent the better part of a day pulling my hair out while trying to debug everything that I could think of, even down to the UART logic levels with my oscilloscope, under the belief that it wasn't properly receiving what the Arudino was sending to it.
Turns out that there's an undocumented quirk: You need a slight delay between sending each '$' character. Doing three individual Serial.print("$") calls worked for me, while a single Serial.print("$$$") consistently failed. For good measure, I later threw a delay(20) between each one as well.
It would help if it could be ordered with a right angle female 6 pin connector