Linux and Bluetooth Low-Energy
Although not strictly Linux, Android being a VM on top of a Linux kernel, and iOS being based on top of Darwin, the Unix-like OS from Apple, I just add for your convenience.
On Android you definitely need the nRF Master Control Panel. This is a great tool which you can even use to upload new firmware to a device. It is very often updated and seems to be used internally at Nordic as well. Bugs pop up so now and then, but they plet them at a fast rate.
A convenient tool on iOS is BLE Utility. It is graphical nice and clean and it shows all services and characteristics you need. You can easily set a characteristic that you have defined yourself on a custom BLE device.
There are plenty of BLE dongles you can buy if your laptop (or raspberry pi) does not support Bluetooth Low-Energy, Bluetooth 4, Bluetooth Smart, or iBeacon (whatever they call it nowadays) out of the box. We ordered a few at MiniInTheBox that have CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) as label.
hciconfig before and after you plug in the new dongle.
You probably see something along the lines:
hci1: Type: BR/EDR Bus: USB BD Address: 00:1A:7D:DA:71:13 ACL MTU: 310:10 SCO MTU: 64:8 UP RUNNING PSCAN RX bytes:33907 acl:14 sco:0 events:1406 errors:0 TX bytes:1524 acl:18 sco:0 commands:63 errors:0
And another device that represents your good old-fashioned standard Bluetooth radio.
We can reach all new fancy BLE functionality through an old, familiar tool,
hcitool with function that are now prepended with
✗ sudo hcitool -i hci1 lescan
With the output:
LE Scan ... CF:72:4E:70:A6:DB Crown CF:72:4E:70:A6:DB (unknown)
Here you see one of our Crownstones.
Connecting to it:
✗ sudo gatttool -i hci1 -b CF:72:4E:70:A6:DB -I [ ][CF:72:4E:70:A6:DB][LE]> connect Connecting... connect error: Connection refused (111)
Fails… And now you get a time saving command from me. You first tell that you don’t care about your own address, which can be random:
sudo hcitool -i hci1 lecc --random CF:72:4E:70:A6:DB Connection handle 70 ✗ sudo gatttool -i hci1 -b CF:72:4E:70:A6:DB --interactive [ ][CF:72:4E:70:A6:DB][LE]> connect
We can get the services:
[CON][CF:72:4E:70:A6:DB][LE]> primary attr handle: 0x0001, end grp handle: 0x0007 uuid: 00001800-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb attr handle: 0x0008, end grp handle: 0x000b uuid: 00001801-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb attr handle: 0x000c, end grp handle: 0xffff uuid: 00002220-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
It might happen that you still get a Connection refused (111) error. In that case, make sure you define that you use a random address for the gatttool itself.
✗ sudo gatttool -i hci1 -b CF:72:4E:70:A6:DB --interactive -t random [ ][CF:72:4E:70:A6:DB][LE]> connect
And the characteristics:
[CON][CF:72:4E:70:A6:DB][LE]> characteristics handle: 0x0002, char properties: 0x0a, char value handle: 0x0003, uuid: 00002a00-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb handle: 0x0004, char properties: 0x02, char value handle: 0x0005, uuid: 00002a01-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb handle: 0x0006, char properties: 0x02, char value handle: 0x0007, uuid: 00002a04-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb handle: 0x0009, char properties: 0x20, char value handle: 0x000a, uuid: 00002a05-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb handle: 0x000d, char properties: 0x0e, char value handle: 0x000e, uuid: 00002201-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb handle: 0x0011, char properties: 0x0e, char value handle: 0x0012, uuid: 00000125-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb handle: 0x0015, char properties: 0x0e, char value handle: 0x0016, uuid: 00000124-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
help works. Let us now try to turn on/off the Crownstone with the BlueNet software running. I know that it should be uuid 0x0124 for the characteristic, but let us figure out which handle that is:
[CON][CF:72:4E:70:A6:DB][LE]> char-desc 0x0015 handle: 0x0015, uuid: 2803 handle: 0x0016, uuid: 0124 handle: 0x0017, uuid: 2901 handle: 0x0018, uuid: 2904
Apparently handle 0x0016, it is empty on read:
[CON][CF:72:4E:70:A6:DB][LE]> char-read-hnd 0x0016 Characteristic value/descriptor:
However, we can write to it:
[CON][CF:72:4E:70:A6:DB][LE]> char-write-cmd 0x0016 0xFF
And the switch turns on!
23 July 2014