SparkFun NanoBeacon Board - IN100

The SparkFun IN100 NanoBeacon Board offers a 2.4 GHz wireless low-energy BT beacon breakout with exceptionally low power consumption features and minimal programming required. The board features the IN100 NanoBeacon from InPlay that is compliant with several standard 2.4 GHz protocols and has several built-in configurable features for device behavior that can drastically reduce power consumption allowing for continuous operation in the field for multiple years even with a connected device. This board is a great option for wireless sensor monitoring, asset tracking, retail beacons or even making your own beacon tag for real-time location monitoring.

The IN100 can be powered by a single 3V coin cell battery so we've added a 12mm coin cell battery holder (CR1225 battery not included) to power the board. We've added a Qwiic connector to allow for easy integration into our ever-expanding Qwiic ecosystem. One side of the board breaks out the UART interface to a 0.1"-spaced through-hole header to connect a Serial Basic for serial communication. The other side breaks out four of the IN100's GPIO pins (4-7) as well as the two I/O power switch pins (SW0 and SW1). Lastly, we've included a "Notes" space on the back of the board for you to write any notes or labels to differentiate between different NanoBeacon boards at a glance.

This version is designed for applications requiring a rapid implementation with minimal assembly and modification. It includes male headers soldered to the 0.1"-spaced through-hole pins on the board and does not include the power LED or reset button as expected applications most likely will not need those two components. Users looking for a prototyping option for development on the IN100 before integrating it into a production environment may want to consider getting the SparkFun NanoBeacon Lite Board - IN100.

The InPlay NanoBeacon Config Tool allows for software-free programming of the IN100. This tool provides a graphical user interface (GUI) to select settings and configure the module removing any need to perform any tricky programming for advertising and pairing to send and receive data packets.

Important! When programming the IN100 with the InPlay NanoBeacon Config Tool, the "Burn/Program" option uploads the settings and locks the module. Before selecting this option make sure everything is set up and working as you intend as you cannot undo this step and you may brick your IN100.

The Config Tool offers a testing "Run in RAM" mode for many settings but I2C is not available in the RAM testing mode. Users connecting I2C devices to the board should ensure their code works before clicking the "Burn/Program" button.

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.

  • IN100 NanoBeacon
    • 2.4GHz BT Beacon module
    • Supply Voltage Range: 1.1-3.6V
    • Ultra Low Power: < 650nA in Sleep Mode
    • Beacon Modes: Proprietary, BT, Google Eddystone, and Apple® iBeacon® compliant
  • Through Hole Pins (Male headers pre-soldered):
    • 3.3V UART
    • 4 GPIO
    • 2 Switch Pins
  • Coin Cell Battery Holder
    • Fits a 3V CR1225 battery
  • 1x Vertical Qwiic Connector

SparkFun NanoBeacon Board - IN100 Product Help and Resources

SparkFun NanoBeacon Board - IN100 Hookup Guide

February 16, 2023

A quick guide to show how to configure and use your own 2.4Ghz wireless beacon with the SparkFun NanoBeacon Board - IN100.

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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Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #293792 / about 6 months ago * / 1

    I'd love to see a version of this with no headers, no reset button, no Qwiic connector (1mm shorter), and no led. Even better with just three breakouts: Rx, Tx and GND. Make it smaller and call it a PicoBeacon :-)

  • Member #500261 / about a year ago / 1

    Looks like data sheet says 0.625 uA while sleep with an RTC timer going, and ~10mA while radio is active. Curious what was seen during testing and if 1yr with a beacon every 5 minutes is reasonable?

    If my math is right with a 50mAh battery, 0.625uA for 365 days ( ~5500 uAh) leaves about 44,000 uAh from the battery or about 4 hours of broadcast a year. So providing the "awake" time is less than 150ms I think it's doable

    (100ms*10mA*12*24*365 = ~43000uAh).

    But not sure if that checks out or the awake time is realistic?

    • SparkFro / about a year ago / 2

      In my testing, I found the total board consumption to be around 650-700nA (not the most accurate meter, but close enough).You're correct that after 1 year, it will consume around 5500uAh in sleep mode (0.65uA * 365days * 24hr/day), or a bit more than 10% of the battery.

      The chip actually spends much less time awake than you suggest, it's on the order of ~1ms; I measured a total charge consumption of about 0.0035uAh per transmission. Assuming the battery has 44000uAh remaining, you could transmit over 12.5 million times in that same year (44000uAh / 0.0035uAh), or about once every 2.5 seconds (31.5 million sec/year / 12.5 million transmissions/year).

      Obviously this is not accounting for any losses (eg. battery leakage), or external sensor power consumption / measurement time. But these beacons can last for an incredibly long time!

  • KansasBot / about a year ago / 1

    Has anyone experimented with distances this board can transmit at?

    • SparkFro / about a year ago / 1

      I've been able to get up to 150ft line of sight, or 50-75ft going through a wall or two.

Customer Reviews

4 out of 5

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Low power

The board is very easy to use and the configuration tool is also one thing I don't understand is why SW1 at + 3.2 volts without any configuration