is arduino worth it


It is so easy to do that. I even created a Bluetooth firework igniter project and a standalone video about the HC 05 Bluetooth module in the past.. If you don’t remember this board, then let me say that it can be bought for just two dollars can be connected to your favorite microcontroller through a simple serial, RX and TX connection, and basically sends over all the text you sent to it from your phone to The Arduino and also the other way around this way you can edit your Arduino code in a way that it reacts to certain code words and Just like that, in round 3 minutes, you successfully created a Bluetooth, control project., Pretty awesome. I would say., But as time passed, other versions of this Bluetooth board got created., Which leads me to this HM 10 board, Which is super cheap as well, but, unlike its predecessor, is not built around a Bluetooth, 2.0 IC, but around the CC2541 IC., Which features Bluetooth. 4.0 and BLE aka Bluetooth, Low Energy, But what are the practical differences between those two Bluetooth boards and is an upgrade to bluetooth 4.0., Really worth it Let’s find out. This video is sponsored by JLC PCB one fact about them. Jlc PCB manufactures quick turn prototypes and small medium quality PCBs in four factories for about 10 years, Upload your Gerber files to order high quality PCBs for low prices. Now for a proper comparison, let’s start over with the HC 05 board.

To use it. We have to connect its 5 volt, pin to 5 volts its ground, pin to ground Its TX, pin to pin 8 and it’s RX pin to a 1 kilo, ohm2 kilo ohm voltage divider, which connects to pin 9 of the Aduino.. This way we convert the 4.5 volts voltage levels of the Arduino to 3 volts voltage levels Which are compatible with the HC 05 boards.. For the software we only need a simple sketch that uses pin 8 and 9 as serial communication pins.. In order to forward all data, we enter through the serial monitor, while also outputting sent data from the module through the serial monitor. So after uploading the codes, it was time for the smartphone part. There. I installed the application Serial Bluetooth Terminal because it’s interface is very well and intuitive, designed and best of all it functions with Bluetooth, classic and Bluetooth low energy devices.. That means, after pairing, with the HC 05 board, with the pairing code 1, 2, 3, 4, and connecting to it through the app I can send over ASCII text, which gets presented through the serial monitor., Which obviously also works. The other way around and just like I described it before this way, I can let the microcontroller react to different code words. And thus create all sorts of different projects.. And if we want to upgrade the HC 05 boards to the HM 10 board, then all we must do is to simply replace it.

, Since the pinout of the two breakout ports is exactly the same. Now, of course, you will need to pair with the new BLE Device called MLT BT05 with the pairing code, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, But afterwards it works exactly the same way as the old Bluetooth boards. So at this point you might be asking yourself what’s the point then, but as soon as I connect a multimeter in series to the 5 volt power connection of the board, we can see why this technology is called low energy. When the Bluetooth boards is not paired with device, It draws around 9 milliamps and during sending or receiving data. It draws around 9.1 milliamps. That is not really a low power. Yet if we consider that the old HC 05 boards draws around 20 milliamps unpaired Around 19 milliamps, while sending or receiving and drops down to only 2 milliamps after entering its low power modes after five seconds of doing nothing. But what we have not considered yet are all the available AT commands. The HM 10 offers. There we can find the AT sleep commands which, like the name, implies, puts the board into a sleep mode., Where it only draws around 120 micro amps, which is pretty low power and should be able to run off a coin cell. For quite a while, Those AT commands might only work when the board is not paired with your phone, But it is still a low power solution for projects that only need to send data.

Occasionally Such AT commands do also exist for the older HC 05 board, Which can be used, for example, turn one Bluetooth board into master device and the other into a slave device So that they can communicate with one another, Which also does work with the HM 10 Boards – but you cannot mix between the two Bluetooth versions., Also keep in mind that you must hold the push button, while powering up the HC 05 board to enter this AT mode. But I’m getting off topic here right now. We know that the BLE board can manually enter asleep modes and can get woken up by either connecting to it or sending along text to it through the serial monitor. What also seems possible is to activate an auto sleep mode through the AT command set.. But after recalling all available ones through AT help, it seems like this command is missing from my board.. The reason is probably my board version, Which, after doing a bit of research, seems to be a copy of a copy and thus misses this function. So always be careful what you buy. For the last tests, I edited the basic communication sketch So that it sends a response to the phone to measure the time difference between sending and receiving Afterwards, I sent data from all around my apartment with different distances and measured. The ping for both Bluetooth, 2.0 and 4.0 And concluded that both versions work flawlessly, no matter the distance and offered a similar ping.

The last mentionable difference for me was that Bluetooth 4.0. does pair a bit faster with the phone than Bluetooth 2.0. But overall, when it comes to simple microcontroller data transfer projects, I have to say that when you do not care about power., Then the upgrade is really not worth it at first sight., Of course, when we dig deeper, then Bluetooth 4.0 offers more security, better error, correction And communicates faster, But when it comes to simple Arduino Bluetooth projects, then the difference is pretty insignificant but feel free to. Let me know your opinion in the comment section below, As always: thanks for watching.


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Mon Apr 09 20:36:27 +0000 2012

I long for a real IDE for Arduino. I am not sure this is it but it’s worth a shot. I used Eclipse for some time to develop Arduino code and that was quite nice. But it was not easy to setup, impossible for a newbie, and prone to completely falling apart at the least update.

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  1. Also consider only BT 4.0 and newer devices can be connected to iOS devices. So if you want communication between iPhone and lamp switcher – HM10 is a way to go.

  2. You forgot range and robustness. BT4 has gained robustness functionality, similar to features found in Zigbee, so it will keep connection in harsher environments like thick walls, through floors and long distances.

  3. I need your help GretScott!,
    I bought the lb-bt5 module as in the video the only problem it came unsoldered without the pins! now I have 34 pins and I couldn’t find a spec sheet online that tells me how to connect them!

  4. What I know is the BT 4.0 shoul’d have much less power consumption. That’s the main “policy” of BT nowdays. Not the speed. You can use the wifi for speed. It is for the lowest power consumption. The BT4 devices will stay online for over 1 year just with the button cell battery.

  5. 40ms ping is quite a lot actually, is there a lighter weight option to get that down around 1ms? For example, for a mouse or keyboard.

    1. ​@Kingseeker BACKUP We’re not talking about a signal that has to go halfway around the world and back. Actual transit time is less than one microsecond, so why is latency of these modules tens of thousands of times that?

      Also, latency is cumulative(even unnoticeable amounts matter, because it adds up from several contributing factors), and 20ms is noticeable in an AB test of cursor movement. Latency well under 10ms is noticeable in an input device when you’re playing a rhythm game.


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