The SparkFun Simblee BLE Breakout board is a programmable board that allows you to add mobile app functionality via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE, or Bluetooth 4.0) to your embedded projects. Unlike other BLE solutions, the Simblee requires no specialized app development skills to realize the phone-side interface: all the necessary coding is done in the Arduino environment and then uploaded to a browser app on the phone.
The Simblee RFD77101 module, equipped to this board, is intended to make embedded devices using Bluetooth Low Energy connections easier for everyone: hardware hackers, app developers, students, makers, engineers, and anyone else who wants to leverage their smartphone via BLE. For more information on using the Simblee to create your own applications for embedded project, visit our Simblee Concepts tutorial found in the Documents section below.
With the Sparkfun Simblee BLE Breakout you gain access to all the Simblee pins (with the module end compatible with RFDuino/Simblee shields!), as well as a reset button, an LED and a user accessible button. This is a great development board to stick in a breadboard and start playing with. It is also small enough to fit inside many projects. The voltage regulator is extremely low current, so your low power applications won’t suffer too much for it being included. While you can use the RFduino Programmer Board with this Breakout, we’ve provided a standard 6-pin FTDI breakout programming header as well. This allows the profile of the board to remain low unless necessary. We recommend using the either the LilyPad FTDI Basic or the 5V FTDI Basic for programming the Simblee Breakout.
Note: Please do not use the 3.3V FTDI Basic with this board, as it may not be able to source enough current from the 3.3V rail.
It’s possible that if you’re running the device on an operating system that uses a different switch from / for navigational purposes to a different switch indicator (for example change your / into a ).
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 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: 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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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 4 ratings:
1 of 1 found this helpful:
I’ve been using Arduinos for years. This product was very easy to setup. I only had a 3.3V FTDI breakout board, so i had to use my old Diecimila (without the chip) to program the Simblee. Once I downloaded the Simblee libraries, I went to the “Temperature” example, uploaded it, and I could now read the Simblee temperature on my iPhone.
I have not drilled down into it, but the fact that this has built in encryption that you can use really opens up the possibilities for secure IoT applications.
If SparkFun could write up something on how to use the SimbleeAESCOM, I would really appreciate it.
A point-to-point link came together very quickly. Mesh is trickier.
Sparkfun’s breakout board for the Simblee chip works flawlessly, and has all the lines brought out for easy 0.1" header soldering. I programmed it using their FT231X breakout board, no problem. Simblee makes a BLE connection to my phone (Samsung Galaxy S5) instantly without any handshaking delays or pairing issues. The ability to create the smartphone app inside the Arduino IDE sketch is really handy. However, the things you can do inside their app are somewhat limited, like no access to the phone’s sensors or clock. And the screen widgets are limited but pretty easy to implement. I hope RFdigital will address these shortcomings soon.
The Simblee firmware is a great way to build easy user interfaces on a mobile device. A pity that it is discontinued.