HC-06 (ZG-B23090W) Bluetooth 2.0 EDR modules

HC-06 - ZG 1643 - B23090W_001_800The HC-06 (ZG-B23090W) uses a regular smd Bluetooth module based on the csr BC417 chip with a MX 29LV800CBXBI-70G flash memory chip. The firmware is well documented and a Google search for “HC-06 linvor V1.8″ should get you more than a few hits.

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.

The HC-06 is a Bluetooth 2.0/2.1 EDR device that has a serial UART layer on top of the Bluetooth. The UART layer makes them extremely 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-06 has 2 modes of operation; AT mode and transmission mode. When the modules are first powered on they go in to AT mode. Here AT commands can be entered via the wired serial connection. After a connection has been made the modules go in to transmission mode. Here everything the modules receives via the wired serial connection is sent to the connected device. At commands cannot be entered again until the connection is broken.

HC-06s are slave only modules and require a master device to make a connection. Slave devices cannot initiate a connection which means you cannot link 2 HC-06s together. The master module is the HC-05 which can be either slave or master. Since the price for the HC-05 and the HC-06 is basically the same I would suggest buying HC-05s and not HC-06s.

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Arduino to Arduino by Bluetooth

Updated 12.06.2016: Added example 2

In the Connecting 2 Arduinos by Bluetooth using a HC-05 and a HC-06: Pair, Bind, and Link post I explained how to connect a HC-05 to a HC-06 so that when powered they automatically made a connection. Here we look at using that connection to get Arduinos talking over Bluetooth. Before continuing you need to have the Arduinos and BT modules set up as per the previous post. Here I am using 2 HC-05s. One in master mode the other in slave mode. The setup process for the slave mode HC-05 is the same as the HC-06 in the previous post.


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Updated on 06.08.2016

Controlling an Arduino over Bluetooth from Android using App Inventor 2

Here is an example of controlling the Arduino over Bluetooth using a HC-06 bluetooth module and an Android app. The example uses an Arduino Nano but other Arduinos will work just as well. A HC-05 module can be used stead of the HC-06.

arduinoBTcontrol - breadboard

The Android app was created in app inventor and the aia file can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.

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Connecting 2 Arduinos by Bluetooth using a HC-05 and a HC-06: Pair, Bind, and Link

In a previous post I showed how the HC-05 can auto connect to other Bluetooth devices by setting the HC-05 to pair with any device using CMODE=1. This is quick and easy but does not give any control over which other device the HC-05 connects to.

In this post I show how to set up the HC-05 to always connect to the same HC-06 (or HC-05 in Slave mode). For this we use PAIR, BIND, and LINK.

I am using 2 separate Arduino IDEs; version 1.6.3 which is installed, and version 1.0.5 which I run from a folder (it is the non install version). This allows me to use 2 IDEs at the same time, each connected to a different Arduino. It also gives me 2 serial monitors, one for each Arduino.

The modules used are the zs-040 versions of the HC-05 and the HC-06. The HC-05 has the Wavesen/HC firmware 2.0-20100601 and any any module running the same firmware will be the same.

The HC-05 has 2 AT command modes which I refer to as “mini” AT mode and “full” AT mode and some commands only work when in “full” AT mode. To enter “full” AT mode pin 34 needs to be HIGH and kept HIGH. To accomplish this I have made a connection from pin 34 to +3.3v. See the diagram below (or after the jump).

If you are not sure about At command mode take a look at Arduino with HC-05 (ZS-040) Bluetooth module – AT MODE

If you are not familiar with how the HC-06 and HC-05 work it may be worth while checking out some of the other posts:
HC-05 and HC-06 zs-040 Bluetooth modules
Arduino and HC-06 (ZS-040)
Arduino With HC-05 Bluetooth Module in Slave Mode
Connecting 2 Arduinos by Bluetooth using a HC-05 and a HC-06: Easy Method Using CMODE

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Connecting 2 Arduinos by Bluetooth using a HC-05 and a HC-06: Easy Method Using CMODE

Making a connection Between a HC-05 and a HC-06: Method 1

Using the CMODE command we have an easy way to connect the HC-05 and the HC-06 (or 2 HC05s). When the HC-O5 is configured to pair with any address (AT+CMODE=1) it should connect to a Slave module automatically. No binding etc is required.

I am using the zs-040 modules with firmware 2.0-20100601 and other modules with the same firmware will be the same. If you have issues check the data sheet for your module.

The Set Up

I am using 2 different Arduino IDEs; version 1.0.5 and version 1.6.3. This gives me 2 separate serial monitors. The Arduino connected to the HC-05 is on COM8 and the Arduino using the HC-06 is on COM17


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Arduino With HC-05 Bluetooth Module in Slave Mode

Arduino and HC-05 in communication mode

Updated on 18.07.2015.

Updated 01.12.2016
There are now newer HC-06s and HC-05s that use the zs-040 breakout boards. These new modules have a LED (usually blue) at the top left of the Bluetooth daughter board and have a different firmware to the below. See HC-06 hc01.comV2.0 for an introduction to the HC-06. I haven’t written up details on the HC-05 yet.

Here is the zs-040 version of the popular HC-05. The HC-05 is based on the EGBT-045MS Bluetooth module. It can operate as either a slave device or a master device. As a slave it can only accept connections. As a master it can initiate a connection.

HC-05 zs-040

The EGBT-045MS Bluetooth modules (the smaller daughter board) is a 3.3v device. The HC-05 break out board has a 3.3v regulator that allows an input voltage of 3.6v to 6v but the TX and RX pins are still 3.3v. This means you can use the 5V out from the Arduino to power the boards but you cannot connect the Arduino directly to the HC-05 RX pin.

For the HC-05 RX pin (data in) we need to convert the Arduinos 5V to 3.3v. A simple way to do this is by using a voltage divider made from a couple of resistors. In my case I use a 1K ohm resistor and a 2K ohm resistor.

As a quick guide to the voltage divider; 1K + 2K = 3K. 1K is a third of 3K so it reduces the voltage by a third.
One third of 5V is 1.66 and 5-1.66 = 3.33 which is what we want. Putting the resistors the other way would reduce the voltage by 2 thirds.
For more information on voltage dividers have a look at the Sparkfun tutorial

Since the Arduino will accept 3.3 volts as HIGH you can connect the HC-05 TX pin (data out) directly to the Arduino RX pin (The 5V Arduino takes a voltage of 3V or more as HIGH).

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Turning a LED on and off with an Arduino, a HC-06 and Android

Although I use a HC-06 in the below examples the HC-05 in slave mode can also be used.

Using MITs app inventor it is fairly easy to create an app that can turn a LED on and off from an Android device.

This is a fairly simply example of sending commands to the Arduino to turn a LED either on or off. The Android app sends ascii codes to the Arduino via the HC-06 BT module; “ON” for on and “OF” for off.

Load the app, connect to the HC-06 and then use the LED button to turn the LED on and off.


You can also open the serial monitor to see the commands as they are received

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HC-05 and HC-06 zs-040 Bluetooth modules. First Look

Update: If you have modules that have a blue LED in the top left hand corner then you have a newer model with a slightly different firmware although they should operate the same.

I recently bought some HC05s and HC-06 Bluetooth modules. These are pretty standard, especially when using with the Arduino and I was surprised at how easy it was to get basic serial communication working. There are several slightly different modules available. The ones I have are marked zs-040. The zs-040 boards differ from some of the other modules in that they have a EN pin rather than a KEY pin.

HC-05 & HC-06 - ZS-040
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