SparkFun Thing Plus - NINA-B306

The SparkFun NINA-B306 Thing Plus offers a unique combination development platform in the Thing Plus form factor featuring the NINA-B306 from u-blox, the ISM330DHCX 6DoF IMU from STMicroelectronics and the BME280 atmospheric sensor from Bosch Sensortec.

The NINA-B306 is a combination Bluetooth® 5 compliant module with an Arm® Cortex®-M4 processor. The NINA-B306 features an integrated PCB antenna removing the need for any external antenna. It includes 1MB Flash and 250kB RAM.

The BME280 combined humidity and pressure sensor measures barometric pressure, humidity, and ambient temperature in a small package. The sensor measures pressure from 300 to 1100hPa and has a full temperature accuracy range from 0 to 65°C. The sensor communicates with the NINA-B306 over I2C.

The ISM330DHCX 6DoF IMU is a high-performance 3D digital accelerometer and 3D digital gyroscope tailored for Industry 4.0. The IMU has full-scale, user-selectable acceleration ranges of ±2/±4/±8/±16g and wide angular rate ranges of ±125/±250/±500/±1000/±2000/±4000dps. The ISM330DHCX has embedded features including Machine Learning Core, programmable FSM, FIFO, sensor hub, event decoding, and interrupts.

The NINA-B306 Thing Plus includes Qwiic and LiPo battery connectors, and a selection of GPIO, Analog, and communication pins (UART, SPI, and I2C) broken out to the PTH headers. The board also features the MCP73831 single-cell LiPo charger and the MAX17048 fuel gauge to charge and monitor a connected battery. Lastly, we've included a µSD card slot for external memory needs.

The SparkFun Qwiic Connect System is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong.

  • NINA-B306
    • Bluetooth 5 Compliant Low Energy module with integrated Arm Cortex-M4 processor
    • Supported 2.4 GHz radio modes
      • Bluetooth Low Energy
      • IEEE 802.15.4
      • Proprietary u-blox 2.4GHz modes
    • Internal PCB antenna
      • Max range: 1400m
    • 1MB Flash
    • 250kB RAM
  • BME280 Environmental Sensor
    • Temperature Range:
      • Full Accuracy: 0 to 65°C
      • Operational: -40 to +85°C
    • Humidity Range: 0 to 100% RH
    • Pressure Range: 300 to 1100hPa
    • I2C address: 0x76
    • 3D Accelerometer
      • Selectable full-scale ranges: ±2/±4/±8/±16g
    • 3D Gyroscope
      • Extended selectable full-scale ranges: ±125/±250/±500/±1000/±2000/±4000dps
    • Operating temperature range: -40 to +105°C
    • Embedded compensation for high stability over operating temperature range
    • Embedded smart FIFO up to 9kB
    • Programmable Finite State Machine to process data from accelerometer and gyroscope
      • External sensor data processing not supported on this board
    • Smart embedded functions and interrupts: tilt detection, free-fall, wakeup, 6D/4D orientation, click and double-click
    • Embedded pedometer, step detector and counter
    • Embedded temperature sensor
    • I2C address: 0x6B
  • Thing Plus Form-Factor (Feather-compatible):
    • Dimensions: 2.30in. x 0.9in.
    • Two mounting holes:
      • 4-40 screw compatible
    • 21 GPIO PTH breakouts
      • SPI, UART and I2C interfaces
      • Six analog
      • 8 digital I/O
    • USB-C Connector
    • 2-Pin JST LiPo Battery Connector for a LiPo battery (not included)
    • 4-Pin JST Qwiic Connector
    • MC73831 Single-Cell LiPo Charger
      • 500mA charge rate
    • MAX17048 Single-Cell LiPo Fuel Gauge
    • µSD Card Slot
  • LEDs:
    • PWR - Red Power LED
    • CHG - Yellow battery charging status LED
    • STAT - Blue status LED tied to IO41
1. Heads Up! The design of the Thing Plus configures the ISM330DHCX to operate only in Mode 1 as a peripheral I2C device to the NINA-B306. This limits the use of the ISM330DHCX's Machine Learning Core to just data taken from the IMU. Users who wish to take full advantage of the Machine Learning Core may want to purchase either the Qwiic 6DoF IMU or 9DoF IMU ISM330DHCX breakouts.

SparkFun Thing Plus - NINA-B306 Product Help and Resources

SparkFun Thing Plus - NINA-B306 Hookup Guide

March 23, 2023

A quick guide to get started using the SparkFun Thing Plus - NINA-B306. This Thing Plus is loaded with the Arm Cortex-M4 processor in the NINA-B306 along with on-board motion and environmental sensors in the ISM330DHCX 6DoF and BME280 pressure and temperature sensor.

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.

3 Programming

Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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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.

2 Electrical Prototyping

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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