RedBearLab BLE Nano Kit - nRF51822

The BLE Nano from RedBearLab is the smallest Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy (BLE) development board on the market. With the included MK20 USB in this kit, you'll be able to deploy firmware to BLE Nano even easier. At each BLE Nano's core is a Nordic nRF51822, an ARM Cortex-M0 System on Chip (SoC), plus BLE capable of running at 16MHz with ultra low power consumption. The RedBearLab BLE Nano also supports numerous different wireless devices running iOS 7/8, Android 4.3 or higher, and Windows Phone 8.1.

The DAPLink board functions as a USB dongle, accepting 5V from the USB port and regulating it to 3.3V via the onboard LDO, which can be used to power RedBearLab BLE Nano. When plugged into your computer, the USB board will appear as both a serial port and a removable mass storage disk.

Developing a Bluetooth Smart-enabled 'appcessory' (accessory device + companion application) is easier than ever. You can quickly produce prototypes and demos targeted for Internet of Things (IoT) and other interesting projects. The RedBearLab BLE Nano can operate under 1.8V to 3.3V, making it able to work in conjunction with a wide variety of electronic components.

It should be noted that the RedBearLab BLE Nano can accept 3.3V to 13V from the VIN pin; however, voltage will be regulated to 3.3V via the onboard LDO regulator, due in part to the nRF51822 IC. Since the RedBearLab BLE Nano can work as low as 1.8V, the MK20 USB board has been designed to run at 1.8V as well. All you need to do to get the USB board to run at 1.8V is short the switch S. Then the regulator will output 1.8V instead, allowing your Nano to work with applicable components.

  • 1x RedBearLab BLE Nano
  • 1x DAPLink USB Board
  • Smallest BLE development board, only 18.5mm x 21.0mm
  • Nordic nRF51822 ARM Cortex-M0 SoC supports both BLE Central and BLE Peripheral roles
  • 2.4GHz transceiver
  • Ultra low power consumption
  • Support voltage from 1.8V to 3.3V
  • Software development using mbed.org, GCC, Keil or Arduino
  • Lots of libraries and examples available
  • Easy firmware deployment with the DAPLink USB board
  • Works with our free Android App and iOS App

RedBearLab BLE Nano Kit - nRF51822 Product Help and Resources

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.
See all skill levels


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

Based on 4 ratings:

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3 of 3 found this helpful:

Worked right out of the box

I followed the tutorial guides using MBED and got the BLE Nano's demo programs working within about half an hour. One reason I gave this product 4 stars is that the instructions for loading the firmware onto the DAPLink (USB programmer) were not very clear and I'm still not sure if I did it correctly. Another reason for 4 stars is that MBED (the online IDE you can use) was often sluggish or unresponsive in my browser. I'm considering using one of the alternative IDEs. Programming the BLE Nano was very easy. Just drag and drop the generated hex files into the DAPLink and it immediately starts working.
Aside from those quirks, I was able to establish communication with my Raspberry Pi using Bluez and BluePy. When attempting to pair, be aware that this BLE module does not use the default public addressing for communication; it uses random addressing. Also be aware that BLE is Bluetooth 4.0, which is not meant to be compatible with earlier bluetooth versions.

EDIT: If you get tired of using the mbed IDE like me, I recommend using the Arduino plugin. Don't follow the dated instructions for setting up the arduino/GCC environments on RedBearLab's product page because they no longer work. Follow the instructions on their github page for the arduino addon (linked in getting started guide) I couldn't get anywhere with the GCC tutorial because I could not find the older version of the SDK they used.

0 of 2 found this helpful:

Nice service and products

I always buy my fun electronics from Sparkfun. I used them for years, never had a problem!

I like it

nice BLE module, especially for Arduino, simple, reliable and tiny.

Works great right out of the box

In less than an hour after opening the box, I programmed the BLE Nano using the Android IDE, and had the BLE successfully appear as a BLE Beacon detected by my Android phone. I love the number of detailed example Sketches, one of which is a BLE beacon.

A couple wishes: 1) long pin headers on the dev board so I can plug the Nano into the dev board and the dev board into a breadboard: as things are, I'll probably plug the dev board upside-down on a breadboard via long headers, and run wires to the Nano, plugged into the same breadboard). 2) Update the Arduino plugin installation instructions to match the github instructions, 3) add more complete instructions around installing the serial driver on Windows 10: I had to try a few times to get around the "I don't see a board" installer error and mysterious "error occurred" messages, 4) Mention that the board needs a USB extension cable (e.g., CAB-00517) rather than a mini or micro USB cable - luckily I had one lying around from programming my MicroView.

All in all, it looks perfect for all the BLE work I want to do, and I love how tiny it is!