The DKBLE112 Bluetooth Smart module development kit comes with a number of components in the box and opens up many possibilities for projects you can create. All of the required hardware for development is included, but the SDK and most documentation is not, since these are updated frequently and are kept current online. This page explains how to get up and running in the most typical usage scenario with minimal effort.
Plugging devices in before installing the SDK will not break anything or cause any real problems, but you will get driver installation requests which have to be addressed later. The SDK setup process will install these drivers for you automatically, thereby eliminating a few steps.
Only want to see the actual instructions? For immediate gratification, jump down to the section titled "Step-by-step guide" below, or you can keep reading for an explanation of the contents and some helpful diagrams.
The DKBLE112 development kit includes the items pictured below:
What exactly are each of these items?
There are multiple ways of putting these parts together with (or without) a host PC, but there is a typical "first test" arrangement which will have you communicating over BLE in no time.
Here is the short summary of the typical "first test" arrangement:
It is also possible to use any BLE-capable smartphone or tablet instead of (or in addition to) the BLED112. Common BLE-capable devices are the iPhone 4S or newer, iPad 3 or newer, iPad mini, Android smartphone running Android 4.3 or later, or Windows 8 RT tablet.
Here is a visual representation of how all of the components in the development kit work together in this use case:
Now that you have a visual reference for the basic communication architecture above, we can move on to the actual usage instructions to make all the parts work together. Note that the following instructions assume that you are running a PC with Windows XP or newer (versions up through Windows 8.1 have been tested). It is also possible to run these tools inside a virtual machine if you are using a different platform such as Mac or Linux. Our development tools are currently only available on Windows.
These instructions also assume that you are using the DKBLE112 board for the first time and that it has not yet been reprogrammed with new firmware. The factory default firmware project for this board is the "dkble112" project which can be found in the /example folder in the BLE SDK installation directory. If the firmware has been modified, you can reflash this project back onto the board and still see the expected behavior in the steps below.
Now, to get started:
The Bluetooth Low Energy protocol is similar in many ways to the classic Bluetooth protocol, but it is also very different in other ways (including the connection process, as shown above). With BLE, you get to define your own profiles and data transfer permissions right inside your application, rather than being forced into a particular set of predefined profiles--although, some predefined profiles are officially adopted to encourage standard practices, such as the Health Thermometer profile and service implement in the "dkble112" project. Whether you use these or create your own is entirely up to you.
It is vital in any BLE design to understand how connections are established, what the master (central) and slave (peripheral) roles are, and how data may be transferred between devices. For a good overview, you should start with the following Knowledge Base article:
Once you understand these concepts, you can read about the different development technologies we provide (BGScript, BGAPI, and BGLib) for working with our BLE devices, and when and why to use each one:
After this, you can experiment with reflashing your DKBLE112 devkit using the CC debugger, with the following two articles:
For ready-made example projects you can use immediately for testing various functionality, you can look through the /example folder where you installed the BLE SDK, or download the archive of example projects from the BLE112 documentation and downloads page, or look through the online example forum here:
Generally, you can find many more helpful articles in our searchable Bluetooth Smart Knowledge Base area:
If you get stuck or have any questions, be sure to make use of our community forums:
Have fun, and build something great!