RoadTest: PAN1762 Bluetooth Evaluation Kit
Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools
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?: Most of the examples in the document are using two PAN1762 but we only have one for the review. It makes it a bit tougher to do the evaluation.
The package came in a big box, which contains another smaller package which houses the unit, sealed in a static-proof bag.
The device is interesting since it has a debugger and usb-uart built-in.It can operate in 2 modes, host and standalone. In host-mode, the device relies on the external cpu (the one from the computer it's attached to) to execute the code; in standalone, the embedded cpu is used (Cortex-M0). The header at the bottom contains VCC, GPIO pins 0-10 and GND and the one on top VCC, GPIO 11-17, and GND. You can set the working mode by changing the jumper on GPIO pin 1 (VCC for host, GND for standalone).
Testing the device proved to be a little more complicated since all examples that are mentioned in the SDK documentation are using 2 devices but we only got one for the review.
Using the beacon sample, the device performed as any ordinary beacon and the range was the same as another beacon (RuuviTag) that was transmitting next to the pan1762.
Bluetooth 5 enables higher speed transfer and longer distance; testing the transfer speed would ideally require 2 devices and the iPhone doesn't recognize the device so it was not going to be possible for me. As for the distance, a regular beacon application scanner on the phone showed the
An application for Android 5 comes with the SDK; unfortunately, the only android device I had on hands stopped at version 4.4. It would be nice if the sdk would come with an application for iOS devices as none are available at the moment.
As stated above, one of the examples is a simple beacon; it performs as an ordinary beacon, having a RSSI of -92 when being 1420 cm away from it.
I couldn't use my raspberry pi to make some tests as the SD card wouldn't reprogram properly under windows 10 and I couldn't find a linux box to put the proper image on the SD.
Programming the device can be done using an IDE like Visual Studio or Eclipse for the host-mode, and Keil or IAR Workbench for standalone. There's a learning curve with both approach, with the host-mode being the easiest. Needless to say, providing more examples using only one device would benefit the manufacturer as well as the end-user.
In conclusion, the device is a nice piece to have to experiment with the new bluetooth standard but it would be better to have 2 units to save from the hassle of finding the right driver/dongle/device to make full usage of the features available. One word of caution, it is not for the faint of heart as the learning required to program it requires some time and mostly patience.