Spark Core Bluetooth Serial

Sorting through my toolbox I came across an HC-06 Bluetooth Serial Module and realized I could use it to get wireless access to the Core’s Serial1 UART. These modules can be had for about $10 on Amazon.

Hookup is simple, really. There’s four pins on the module: TX, RX, GND and VCC. Hook your VCC up to 3V3, RX to the Core’s TX and TX to the Core’s RX. (I left out GND, but if you don’t know where that goes what are you even doing here?!)

At startup the red LED on the module will be blinking, you can simply pair it with any Bluetooth 2.1 computer/device that supports SPP (Serial Port Profile) with the very creative PIN: 1234.

After that, it should show up just like any other serial port! Once you connect to it in your terminal program of choice (Win: PuTTY; Mac: Parley) the LED will turn solid and it should function like any other serial port!

So, if you need to access more data than a LCD can provide and want to use your Core wirelessly (like it was designed to be used) even while debugging, I think this is a great way to go!

Here’s the module, in the back left corner of the breadboard:

5 Likes

I have a Adafruit BlueFruit Bluetooth serial link and it works.

Its unique in that it will automatically setup the baud rate that your terminal is opened up and set to every time without the need for you to program it via software.

Alot of people like these because they just work without any hassle.

More info here: http://www.adafruit.com/products/1588

@timb Never thought about using it for wireless debugging with the Spark though, but I sure will now :smile:

1 Like

Nice! I found my old JY-MCU BT module when I saw that it could be used with my 3D printer board (but it’s pretty much useless for that). I originally purchased it to get an Arduino talking to an RPi over BT serial, and I see what you have there in the background!

Yeah that’s what I originally bought mine for as too! (Well, twofold really. 1) To access the Pi’s serial console from my MacBook Air for initial setup and then to access various UART devices with the Pi once WiFi and BT was setup.

There’s also an HC-05 module out there that can work in master mode as well as slave. (Meaning it can directly connect to another module without a computer, acting like a wireless UART, akin to two Xbees in UART mode!)

@RWB That Adafruit module is nice for the auto-baud feature! Though it’s expensive compared to the HC-06 here which costs $2 on Deal Extreme. (Compared to $10 at Amazon it’s not quite as pricey though.)

… and that’s the exact same place I got mine.

Depending on your urgency, $10.99 on Amazon isn’t terrible if you want it soonish. If you don’t wind waiting between 2-4 weeks, order from DX.

The other thought is getting a working unit. If you order from DE make sure to buy twice as many units as you need so you don’t have to wait for replacements when you get DOA units. That’s the nice thing about Amazon, you know you can get a replacement right away.