In the last post I briefly talked about different data formats and how I recommend keeping things as simple as possible. With this is mind for a first project let’s create a simple blinking LED. We will have one Arduino controlling an LED on a second Arduino. Controls to turn the LED on or off will be sent via serial from the first Arduino to the second Arduino. This is as basic as it gets. Arduino Blink by remote control. The LED has only two states so simple control codes can be used and to start I am using 1 of on and 0 for off.
In these examples I am using Arduino Nanos but any kind of Arduino can be used and for this series I am using Arduino to Arduino communication. The techniques are exactly the same for any UART to UART device. For example, in Arduino to Arduino by Bluetooth I use exactly the same serial communication techniques wirelessly over Bluetooth.
In the previous post I went through the basics of using serial on an Arduino and ran through the different commands. In this post I want to talk about different types of serial data and some of the things you should consider before starting to create code. The type of communication you use or can use will depend largely on the project but there are things that can be considered before starting.
- Type of communication? 1-way or 2-way
- Type of data? Values or strings? Simple or complex?
- How much data and how frequent? A couple of values every few seconds or a high rate continuous stream.
- Is the data critical? Must you be sure you receive all the data or can you afford to lose some of it.
Here we look at using serial communication on the Arduino. Serial UART is one of the various ways an Arduino can communicate with other devices. This includes a host PC and using the Arduino serial monitor is communicating with the PC using serial UART.
Arduino Serial Monitor
End Of Line Characters
How fast is serial
Different Arduino Serials
Using a software UART and usb adapter to talk to a PC
We have seen how to control one LED, here we add two more.
The RN4870/1 is a small (only 12mm wide) BLE module from Microchip. What makes this a little bit special (when compared to modules like the HM-10) are the advanced features that allow you to create your own services and characteristics. This opens up true BLE functionality. It has been available for a while now and I am surprised it is not more popular in the hobby area.
The RN4870 is very different to common hobbyist modules like the HM-10, AT-09, and BT05 and if this is all you have used you may need a refresher on BLE. Especially if you want to use your own services and characteristics.
This is a first look / getting started guide that I will add to as I get time.
Latest update: May 27, 2018
If you have followed the previous posts you will have a working, fairly robust, LED control. If you haven’t gone through the previous posts you can find links just below.
In the previous guides we connected the ESP8266 to a local network using hard coded credentials. It is fine for messing around with examples and when developing sketches but not very convenient or practicle for final projects.
What happens if you want to move the ESP8266 to another network or if you buy a new router? You need to change the sketch and re-upload. It would be better if we could pick the network to use at run time. This is exactly what WifiManager allows.
This post continues the Arduino, HM-10 and App Inventor 2 guide. A few people asked about adding a slider so here it is. Please beware; this is not a basic guide for using a slider in App Inventor 2. I am adding a slider to an existing app and have certain things (semi advanced) that I want to achieve.
In the previous guide we created a basic Android app to control 3 LEDs. The app was developed in such a way to make adapting it as easy as possible. So let’s see if that is true and add a slider to control the brightness of one of the LEDs. We start with extending the app and then update the Arduino sketch.
Using the same command method as before, we will create an ascii command and send it to the Arduino. The command will be in the form “[Snnn]”. Where S is used to denote slider and nnn is a value from 0 to 255, or more specifically “000” to “255”. The Arduino will read the command and set the LED brightness accordingly. Using ascii for this keeps things fairly simply but it is not the fastest way to do it. The slider value will be from 0 to 255, this is actually the same value range as an 8bit byte. Using the ascii command we need 6 characters (including the square brackets). To send the actual value only would require 1 character (2 with a label/marker character). If all you are using is a single slider then there is no reason to use ascii.
Here we create a basic Classic Bluetooth joypad for use on an Android device to control a microprocessor (Arduino) connected to a Bluetooth module. The app is fairly simply. There are 2 screens; the first is the main control panel and the second is a connection page.
When the CONNECT button on the main screen is clicked the second screen is opened to allow the user to connect to a Bluetooth device. The direction buttons, when clicked, transmit codes to the Arduino.
Hopefully this guide will give you a good introduction to using the HM-10 with App Inventor 2. I also hope that this takes you beyond the usual starter guides that do not go past very basic information.
Although I am using an Arduino the principles will be the same for any other microprocessor or indeed for using the HM-10 on its own. Warning: This is going to be a very long post.
To use this guide you should be somewhat familiar with App Inventor, have a BLE enabled Android device, and of course have an Arduino and a HM-10.
In the earlier parts we got the ESP8266’s IP address by displaying it in the serial monitor. This is OK for examples and development but not practical for real life projects. There are a few ways to get the IP address, here I look at mDNS. mDNS allows you use to connect to the ESP8266 using a name or url.
This sounds great, and it is unless you are an Android user. More on that later.
One of the first projects many people new to the Arduino do is blinking an LED and there many many guides on line. Unfortunately, many of the guides never go beyond the very basic first sketch. In this guide, I hope to help new users take the next step.
Besides the obvious fact that blinking an LED is cool in its own right it is a good exercise because switching an LED on and off is the same process for switching any digital device on and off. Once you can create the code to blink an LED you can create code to turn anything on and off. Of course, you do not need to control an LED, you can use the same methods to do almost anything that is controlled in the same way. For example, I use similar techniques when setting up remote controls using Bluetooth and wifi connections and instead of setting a pin state I send control codes.
Polling vs interrupts
Connecting Arduino pins directly to vcc
Polling. Example 01: Very simply press for on, release for off
Polling. Example 02: Press for on, release for off. Slightly refined
Polling. Example 03: Toggle switch
Polling. Example 04: Multiple states from a single push button switch
Polling. Example 05: Start and stop an action
Interrupt. Example 01: Turning an LED on and off
Interrupt. Example 02: Turning an LED on and off with debounce
There are now many cheap and no brand HC-05 modules that use the 2.0-20100601 firmware and rather than keep making the same post for different modules I will have a single main post which, as I update and add to it, will become a single point of reference.
The 2.0-20100601 firmware is originally by HC/Wavesen and as the version number may suggest it is from 2010. I am not sure if other manufacturers use it under license or simply copy it since the genuine HC/Wavesen modules now use version 2.1 firmware.
HC-05 with 2.0-20100601: AT Command Mode
HC-05 with 2.0-20100601: Connecting to an Arduino
HC-05 with 2.0-20100601: Initial Communications Test
HC-05 with 2.0-20100601: Main AT Commands
HC-05 with 2.0-20100601: AT Commands Dealing With Connections
HC-05 with 2.0-20100601: Making A Connection
Links to the most popular posts.
The HC-05 (ZG-B23090W) uses a regular Bluetooth smd module based on the csr BC417 with a MX 29LV800CBXBI-70G flash memory chip. It appears to be using the HC/Wavesen 2010 firmware and a Google search for “HC-05 2.0-20100601″ should give you plenty to read, including some of my older posts.
I have received a few comments about HC-06 and HC-05 modules that use a new breakout board (new to me at least). When I received the first comment I hadn’t seen these modules, by the time I had received the 4th or 5th comment the modules were all over Taobao so I decided to order a few (2 x HC-06 and 2 x HC05). I have no real use for these except to see if they are different to previous versions.
HC-05s are Bluetooth 2.0/2.1 EDR devices that have a serial UART layer on top of the Bluetooth. The UART layer makes them easy to use but hides the Bluetooth functions from the user. This is good if all you want is to make 2 things talk to each other. The HC-05 has two modes of operation; AT command mode and transmission mode. When in AT command mode all data received over the serial UART connection is treated as a command, and when in transmission mode, all data received over the serial UART connection is treated as data.
When in communication mode, if there is an active connection the data is broadcast to the connected device. If not connected, the data, disappears in to some mysterious void.
The HC-05 can operate as either a slave or master device. Slave devices cannot initiate connections, they can only accept them. Master devices can initiate and (depending on the actual module) sometimes accept them. If you want to use the module with a mobile device such as an Android phone, the phone will be the master device and so the HC-05 will need to be the slave. If you want to link two HC-05s, one will need to be a master and the other one a slave.