Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Introducing the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) BoosterPack

I would like to introduce the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) BoosterPack for the LaunchPad, built around the BLE112 module from Blugiga. Lately, I have been too busy to post new material because I have been working on an easy to use BLE BoosterPack. I’m actually very proud of the result, and am finally ready to add the board to Hardware Breakout’s webstore. Be sure to check out the User Guide for detailed information on the board’s features and example code (on GitHub).

Bluetooth Low Energy

For those of you not familiar with BLE, it is a version of Bluetooth that was designed for ultra-low-power devices. While it has a reduced data rate, it is simpler to implement and consumes significantly less power. If you have a wireless project that needs to have the longest battery life possible, this is the BoosterPack for you!

Integrated Power Circuitry

While the BoosterPack system is great for having multiple boards, I often wanted multiple boards combined into one. This is why I included all the power circuitry necessary, including a Lithium battery connector, on the BLE BoosterPack. After all, almost every project I have used BLE in was battery powered. Another reason for integrating the power circuitry is that a special high-efficiency switching regulator (TPS62730) is needed in order to optimize power consumption.

The BLE112 Module

The BLE112 module from Blugiga is great, it allows for custom firmware development and programming without expensive tools. You can even update the firmware via the on-board USB connector, or use the device as a BLE dongle for a PC. This BoosterPack can even act as a stand-alone system, since the BLE112 module contains almost all you need for a simple project.

Python and Android Example Code

Having quality example code that can be easily modified for your own purposes is very important. I have release an open source Python module with example code and an Android application that allows you to easily get up and running with BLE. Stay tuned to the Hardware Breakout blog for more information on the example Android app and Python module in the coming days.


While the design is completely finished and verified, I have decided wait on shipping the first batch of orders till the end of May. This decision was made to keep costs down. The more orders I can group together during the initial assembly, the lower the overall prices will be. Be sure to stop by the Hardware Breakout Store and pre-order one today!