BLE Sensor Tag Demo Module for Android/iOS - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: BLE Sensor Tag Demo Module for Android/iOS

Author: omki12

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Test Equipment

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?:

What were the biggest problems encountered?: connecting sensor to demo software on android phone.

Detailed Review:

I am sorry first of all, for writing late.  In this review i am gonna focus more on technical perspective.

  • About Product :

Product i received was not with battery. i needed to buy it separately.

headers were not available to read current consumption.

Product is easy to use. Simple ON- OFF button is easy to operate.

LED blinking pattern is good way to know state of product. (When product is available to connect, it keeps blinking. When it connects, it stops blinking.)

   

  • About Sensor :

Temperature Sensor is bit accurate, with +- 1°C. If you want more accuracy in your application, i won't recommend it.

Humidity sensor is also not that much accurate. variable is more than +-3%.

Haven't check for pressure sensor, but i guess it also won't be much reliable for precise measurements.

But if you ok with this much deviation, or your system not need accurate readings, i guess it's the best thing you can go with.

 

  • About Demo Software :

I am android user, and tested demo software on Nokia 6.1 plus model.

App is good but have areas for improvement.

It would be good if user is able see battery percentage in app.

Sensor Connected easily with app for 1st time, But 2nd time onward it was having difficulty to find sensor. (Bluetooth of mobile and of sensor was turned on)

but once found, it's not difficult to take readings.

Graphical representation is good. very easy to understand and grasp.

as other reviewer have added screenshots, i won't be uploading again.

can find detail review about Demo software by on link BLE Sensor Tag Demo Module for Android/iOS - Review .

 

  • About Battery Life

They promised 1 year long battery life  (coin cell ) for BLE. i guess that must be theoretical value.

in real life, i guess 2-3 month is avg battery life for this product, which is actually bit disappointing, but hey, that's coin cell for 2 month. so not too bad.

 

  • Writing your own code to read value through sensor :

One should have at least protocol level knowledge of BLE to write code for BLE sensors. for total newbie in BLE, i recommend to learn protocol first.

I had windows 10 IoT Core installed on raspberry pi 3 model, and tested sensor on same.

Microsoft has provided sample code and is available on this link.

You need to make few changes but, to read from customized service and characteristic. this is not much hard as service and characteristic details for BLE and formula's to calculate temperature, humidity, pressure and battery are easily available in datasheet.

 

  • DEMO VIDEO

I have read temperature and humidity from HDC1010 sensor and from TESS WIRELESS SENSOR TAG at same time, and compared both.

Having BLE protocol level knowledge will ease to understand video briefly.

and apologies in advance for video quality, I am not good with camera.
https://youtu.be/DocUpIPHPL4

i was not able to add video on this page due to some error, hence YouTube link.

Anonymous
    1. App Suggestions :
    • Instead of graphics, % would have been good option.
    • Data logger dosen't work properly. Don't know where it saves data. There should be option to save data in custom file location.
    • When i click on Stop Data logging, app crashes.

     

         2. Here are my observations about Battery :

    • in first  24 hour, in continuous reading mode, with 1 sec interval, battery was drained from 73% to 53%
    • in next 48 hour, battery drained from 53% - 43%.
    • and when i disconnected module from raspberry pi, and reconnected, value i read was 53%.
    • so my interpretation was based on first 2 readings. my bad, i should have done more scenarios. But, from 3rd observation, (and i checked it again and again with same condition ) it's clear that battery percentage i am getting is not reliable. 
    • But still from observed values, it is definite that it won't last for a year. I'll keep it in reading mode only, and will update in same thread later.

     

         3. Code change is Sample code application :

    • BLE service from vendor is customized, so you need to add that "service id", "characteristic id", and what bit and how you should read, which is given in datasheet. it's not as hard as it sounds.
    • Find code here. -> Find page Scenario2_Client.xaml.cs -> Find Function FormatValueByPresentation(IBuffer buffer, GattPresentationFormat format) -> Add following else if condtions to read battery data:

     

    else if (selectedCharacteristic.Uuid.Equals("F0002A19-0451-4000-B000-000000000000")
    {
          return "Battery Level: " + data[0].ToString() + "%";
    }

    This value came from datasheet :

    Like wise you have to add characteristic id in if condition, and formula's to read those values. Formula for reading temperature is :

    Regards,

    Onkar Vidhate

  • App is good but have areas for improvement.

    Is good because? and which areas you think it needs improvement?. I'd be nice if we get your personal insight on this

     

    They promised 1 year long battery life  (coin cell ) for BLE. i guess that must be theoretical value.

    in real life, i guess 2-3 month is avg battery life for this product

    And how you came to this conclusion?. I think this is a part of the Road Test where you can show us the procedure, steps, equipment used to determine such 2-4 month avg battery life. IMO this is a bold statement against a manufacturer considering that is is advertised under which circumstances a 1 year battery life can be accomplished.... from the manual on page 1:

     

    You need to make few changes

    such as?

     

    Since you are acknowledging that video quality is not good enough, I think diagrams/picture approach to have this review expanded with the procedure, equipment used, how things were connected and more details could have been a nice addition.

     

    Luis