This video demonstrates how its possible to program a eBay $6 nRF51822 Bluetooth module using the Arduino IDE.
The module I used is one like this from eBay
As I described in the video, my module was listed as 16k RAM however it contained the nRF51822QFAC which is 32k RAM.
But this setup works equally well with the 16k RAM version, and I actually have my Arduino files set to only use 16k not the full 32k.
The board I used as a programmer is a STM32F103C8T.
This needs to be flashed with the Black Magic Probe firmware, and for this you need a USB to Serial adaptor.
Or anything similar will do, (there are various makes and models)
The firmware is a custom version of the Black Magic probe, customised by Rick Kimball, and the sources are available to download on his github repo.
The Arduino “core” I’m using was developed by RedBearLab for their own products, but I made some minor modifications to use the Black Magic Probe to upload (as their products have an on-board programmer)
Plus patches from
You also need the Nordic SDK v9.0.0 SoftDevice S130 hex file, which needs to be flashed to the module before you can use the Arduino IDE. This file only needs to be flashed once, and is retained in the flash memory.
The SoftDevice contains all the clever BLE code, which the Arduino sketch uses.
I will need to do another video to explain the complete setup that is required before you get to the point where you can just press the upload button.
This may seem complicated, but you only need to flash the Black magic probe onto the STM32 once, and you only need to flash the S130 Softdevice into the module once.
I will cover all this setup in another video and I will also write a complete set of instructions in my blog.
London’s Gatwick Airport presently has 2,000 beacons for indoor navigation
Complex indoor environments just like air-ports and department stores can be quite a bad dream to find your way around. Although Google is hunting mobile phones with 3D sensors as one potential solution for places GPS won’t accurately reach, another approach is to kit out an interior with lots of Bluetooth beacons – giving cell phone users located-locked pings to fix onto to figure out exactly where they’re.
The UK’s 2nd busiest airport, Gatwick, has went for the second method to power an indoor navigation system it’s launching as an element of a wider, multi-year transformation program.
It’s currently finished providing its two terminals with roughly 2,000 battery-powered beacons guaranteeing that digital map users will get a more precise blue dot as they move around. The beacon system will likewise be employed to power an augmented reality wayfinding tool – to make sure that mobile users will have the ability to be guided to particular locations within the terminals through on-screen arrows. The beacon system is scheduled as supporting positioning with +/-3m accuracy.
Gatwick is aiming to integrate indoor positioning into some of its applications, and says it’s in discussions with airlines to tap into it for their own applications and services – giving instance of them being able to send push notifications to warn travelers if they’re running late, or even make a decision on whether or not to wait or offload luggage so an aircraft can take off promptly.
Shops and other third parties will likewise be able to utilize the system for proximity detection of potential buyers and delivery marketing messages – at least to those who have opted in to receive them.
Gatwick says it certainly won’t be collecting any private information with the beacons but says “generic information on ‘people densities’ in different beacon zones” will be utilized to help improve airport operations – for example, queue measurement, streamlining passenger flows and eliminating congestion.
The airport has worked with UK start-up Pointr on the system. Along with developing software and managing the system on an ongoing basis, Pointr provides an SDK with support for 3D AR wayfinding for third parties to take advantage of the functionality.
Founded upon https://www.techcrunch.com/2017/05/25/gatwick-airport-now-has-2000-beacons-for-indoor-navigation/