This is the RFduino DIP board, a finger-tip sized, Arduino compatible, wireless enabled microcontroller. What makes the RFduino great is the fact that it runs Arduino code and can do everything an Arduino can, plus much more. When used in conjunction with the RFduino USB shield, simply plug the RFduino into a USB port of any computer and use the Arduino IDE to load your Arduino sketch, which automatically begins running on the RFduino. Then you can detach the RFduino USB shield and plug the RFduino directly into your project. It's that easy!
The RFduino is a Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy BLE RF Module with Built-In ARM Cortex-M0 and RFD22301 SMT module for rapid development and prototyping projects. The RFduino operates at 3V and 18mA (4uA ULP), transmits of a 2.4 GHz band, and offers 128kb of flash memory with 8kb of ram. Via a Bluetooth connection with your iOS device you even run a series of free apps to control various shields through the RFduino DIP board.
Note: The RFduino DIP requires USB Shield for 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.
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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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: Noob - You don't need to reference a datasheet, but you will need to know basic power requirements.
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This idea holds a lot of promise for IoT projects. But the implementation leaves much to be desired. I want to develop on Linux, but it isn't supported by their tools. I also want direct access and full control of the bluetooth hardware, but that is not available either. Sounds like it is an issue with licensing by the company that actually manufactures the bluetooth chip, but the end-result is that this is NOT the open-source hardware solution it was advertised to be. Hoping it will improve in the future, but disappointed right now...
How do I edit the star rating? It does not deserve 4/5...