SparkFun Pro nRF52840 Mini - Bluetooth Development Board

The SparkFun Pro nRF52840 Mini is a breakout and development board for Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52840 – a powerful combination of ARM Cortex-M4 CPU and 2.4GHz Bluetooth radio. With the nRF52840 at the heart of your project, you’ll be presented with a seemingly endless list of project-possibilities in an incredibly small package.

Our mini development board for the nRF52840 breaks out most of the critical I/O pins including GPIO and those needed for power while maintaining a small footprint that nearly matches that of the Arduino Pro Mini (except those covered by the Qwiic Connector). It features a USB interface (using the nRF52840’s native USB support), which can be used to program, power, and communicate with the chip making it able to be used for any purpose (UART, I2C, SPI) that those of the Arduino Pro Mini could. The Pro nRF52840 Mini features a Raytac MDBT50Q-P1M module. This module connects the nRF52840 to a trace antenna, fits the IC into an FCC-approved footprint, and also includes a lot of the decoupling and timing mechanisms that would otherwise be required for a bare nRF52840 design. Also included onboard is a LiPo battery charger, a Qwiic connector, an on/off switch, a reset switch, and a user LED/button.

The board comes pre-programmed with a USB bootloader. You can develop programs for the nRF52840’s Cortex-M4 using either Arduino, Circuit Python, or C (using Nordic’s nRF5 SDK), and load that compiled code using a USB serial or mass-storage interface.

Get Started with the SparkFun Pro nRF52840 Mini Guide

  • ARM Cortex-M4 CPU with floating point unit (FPU)
    • 1MB internal Flash – For all of your program, SoftDevice, and file-storage needs!
    • 256kB internal RAM – For your stack and heap storage.
  • Integrated 2.4GHz radio with support for:
    • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) – With peripheral and/or central BLE device support
    • Bluetooth 5 – Mesh Bluetooth!
    • ANT – If you want to turn the device into a heart-rate or exercise monitor.
    • Nordic’s proprietary RF protocol – If you want to communicate, securely, with other Nordic devices.
  • Every I/O peripheral you could need
    • USB – Turn your nRF52840 into a USB mass-storage device, use a CDC (USB serial) interface, and more. This is a big add compared to the nRF52832!
    • UART – Serial interfaces with support for hardware flow-control if desired.
    • I2C – Everyone’s favorite 2-wire bi-directional bus interface
    • SPI – If you prefer the 3+-wire serial interface
    • Analog-to-digital converters (ADC) – Eight pins on the nRF52840 Mini Breakout support analog inputs
    • PWM – Timer support on any pin means PWM support for driving LEDs or servo motors.
    • Real-time clock (RTC) – Keep close track of seconds and milliseconds, also supports timed deep-sleep features.
  • Peripheral-multiplexing – (Nearly) any pin can support any of the above features.

SparkFun Pro nRF52840 Mini - Bluetooth Development Board Product Help and Resources

New!

nRF52840 Advanced Development With the nRF5 SDK

November 29, 2018

Take your nRF52840 development to the next level -- build your applications with the nRF5 C SDK. This tutorial explains how to set up a development environment based around the GNU Arm Embedded Toolchain.
New!

SparkFun Pro nRF52840 Mini Hookup Guide

November 29, 2018

A hardware overview and hookup guide for the SparkFun Pro nRF52840 Mini -- a breakout for Nordic's impossibly cool Bluetooth/ARM Cortex M4 SoC.
New!

nRF52840 Development with Arduino and CircuitPython

November 29, 2018

How to use Arduino or CircuitPython to develop applications for the nRF52840 Cortex-M4 Bluetooth SoC.

Core Skill: Soldering

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.

1 Soldering

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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Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

2 Programming

Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

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.

3 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
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Customer Comments

  • Worked really well; had it running the SF sketch in a matter of a half an hour. I only wish the Raytak module was available on it’s own. They don’t have any stock on any of the major distributor sites.

  • “Real-time clock” is a bit of a stretch – it’s actually a “Real-time counter” that counts pulses from the 32.768 kHz crystal, rather than a full-blown Real Time Clock Calendar which has hardware that translates the 32.768 kHz crystal oscillations into seconds-minutes-hours-days-months (and usually years), and usually a CPU chip that has a RTCC has provision for keeping power to the RTCC (and the 32.768 kHz oscillator) from something like a “watch battery” even when all other power is off.

    The Nordic Semiconductor data sheet (available here) (551 pages!) is really pretty clear about it being a “real-time counter”.

    Although it has modes that draw less than 20 uA, if you’re relying on a 500 mAh LiPo, how long the counter will “keep time” depends on the state of charge of the LiPo when it goes into “deep sleep” and can also be limited by the self-discharge of the LiPo.

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