Oct 25, 2013

iBeacons

      I was trying something new several weeks ago. There is a new implementation in iOS 7 called iBeacons. My dad had a plan of using this capability; but upon searching the internet, we found only 2 or 3 Bluetooth LE "beacons" that we could purchase. And they were all for pre-order. My dad wanted to exhibit his plan at an event very soon and the beacons would not arrive till several weeks after he needed them. So we decided to make our own. Much like the pre-order beacons, we had trouble finding plans for these beacons. But after much searching, we came across an interesting blog. (Blog) On it we found a schematic, board design, and firmware code for making this device. My grandfather came over and we put this device together. This video explains very clearly how to make a circuit board: Circuit Skills: Circuit Board Etching. Here is our almost finished device. (We made 2) 





Unfortunately, we did not finish making the devices in time for my dad's exhibition, but we plan to finish them soon. 

This is the materials list:
- Bluegiga BLE112 LE Module
- 5 pin header
- 1 layer photosensitive circuit board
- Ferric Chloride and Positive Type Developer (for etching)
- laser printer and a transparency sheet for printing out the circuit design
- ceramic capacitor
- diode
- CC Debugger from TI instruments

We ordered most of our parts from Mouser Electronics and they arrived in about a week. We had a problem with the header and the circuit though. We should've gotten a smaller header and with ten pins instead of five. The debugger had a 10 pin configuration that couldn't just plug right into the device. As we couldn't upload the firmware they have no ID's yet and don't show up. We'll hopefully get it working soon; and if we do, I'll show you all what we did. If you have any ideas of how we could fix it, leave your ideas in the comments below.