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Project #020: UART to Bluetooth Low Energy Bridge | Cypress Semiconductor

Project #020: UART to Bluetooth Low Energy Bridge

In today's project, we demonstrate a custom Profile to implement a UART-BLE bridge using the BLE Pioneer Kit.

When Bluetooth (classic) was released, it featured a Profile called SPP (Serial Port Profile) that allowed for easy cord-cutter designs that wanted to replace typical USB products with Bluetooth classic interfaces instead. With Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), no such standard Profile for serial ports is provided by the Bluetooth SIG. This is primarily due to the fact that Bluetooth Low Energy was not designed for high data-rate applications, and instead focuses on low-power sensor node applications. BLE's GATT Adopted Profiles are more application-centric, with Profiles for Heart Rate Monitors, Phone Notifcations, etc.

In this project, we implement a custom Profile to create a Bluetooth Low Energy to UART bridge, enabling the ease-of-use of the UART protocol, albeit not being a very sophisticated choice of design for Bluetooth Low Energy applications. However, engineers realize the usefulness of a quick-and-dirty solution for Bluetooth Low Energy over UART, which is useful for quick prototyping or adding Bluetooth Low Energy to replace legacy Bluetooth classic designs.

The Bluetooth Low Energy Pioneer Kit with the PSoC 4 BLE module implements a Bluetooth Low Energy GAP Central device running a custom Profile and a custom UART Service. This Profile contains two custom Characteristics - one called Receive Characteristic and another called Transmit Characteristic. The Transmit Characteristic supports Notifications

For the other end of the Bluetooth Low Energy communication, we will re-program the CySmart USB Dongle with a project implementing a GAP Peripheral. This project also implements the same custom Profile, Services and Characteristics.

Each device can be interfaced over UART using a serial terminal utility like TeraTerm or Putty to transmit/receive a byte or an entire data file.

You can download this PSoC Creator project along with a detailed PDF of instructions, here from GitHub: https://github.com/cypresssemiconductorco/PSoC-4-BLE/tree/master/100_Projects_in_100_Days/Day020_BLE_UART

 

USB_UART_Central Image

 

USB_UART_Peripheral USBcreen Image

Comments

fernnando28's picture

I wonder what would have to change in the code-BLE UART to measure with ADC and send the data right through UART-BLE

david.stamper_1542706's picture

have you been able to figure that out fernnando?

maurizio.brignoli_1571561's picture

I test it with PSoC creator 3.3.
It is not clear from documentation somethings... how to proceed .

1) Use PRoC module and not PSoC to program the UART_to_BLE_Central project.

2) Use PSoC for USART_to_BLE_peripheral

3) change the chip target into project UART_to_BLE_central

4) use hex file generate from PSoC Creator to program the BLE dongle

Finally after few adjustment it works!!

I have a 11,68 Kbytes/s during transfert file.

Unfortunatly this is a best condition between two module, and not real test with smartphone IoS or Android.

 

tasos bablas's picture

Hi Maurizio, could you plz share the "few adjustments" that you mentioned. I can't make BLE dongle (as a central) print anything in terraterm using your instructions in this app note. Thank you!

khan123_3074801's picture

Some genuinely interesting information, well written and broadly user pleasant. ourbus.com

mdenzin_1673916's picture

I have a CY8CKIT-042-BLE  Pioneer kit and am trying to get the UART example project #020 working.  

It does not work when using the files provided from GitHub.  Is there some kind of update or some other way to get this example working?  The blue LED on the Pioneer kit flashes blue which is supposed to indicate a connection between it and the dongle, but no data can be sent through the terminal programs I have opened.

ryan.konen_2538026's picture

same issue here

sean_2678131's picture

For those having UART connectivity issues make sure the KITPROG has the latest firmware: https://community.cypress.com/docs/DOC-10245 

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