Bluetooth 5 is the latest iteration of Bluetooth with up to four times the speed and twice the range of Bluetooth 4.0 LE, and so far apart from Puck.js and Nordic Semi nRF52840 devkit, I had not seen many Bluetooth 5 IoT modules or boards. Aconno, a German startup, has designed ACD-52832 Bluetooth 4.0 / Thread / ANT+ IoT development board based on their own nRF52832 module, and equipped with some goodies like a black & white e-Paper display, a joystick, sensors, I/Os, etc… They’ve also launched an updated module with Bluetooth 5 using nFR52840 SoC. I don’t have the full details about the new module, but the nRF52832 module and devkit is interesting to look at, especially features should be similar.
- Wireless Module – ACN52832 based on Nordic Semi nRF52832 ARM Cortex-M4 @ 64 MHz SoC with Bluetooth Smart, ANT+, Thread, NFC, and 2.4 GHz proprietary
- Display – e-Paper display with 200×200 resolution, 184 dpi pixel density
- ST iNEMO 9-DoF inertial module with a accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer
- Temperature sensor with -40°C to 125°C range and ± 4K accuracy
- Light sensitive sensor
- I/Os – Pin header with seven I/O ports; 2x potential free relay outputs; 2x PWM controlled servo outputs
- Debugging – micro USB port for J-Link or drag and drop flashing
- Misc – IR emitter; 5-way digital joystick; 2x LEDs; 2x tactile switches; potentiometer for ADC values; buzzer
- Power Supply
- 5V via micro USB port
- 1,200 mAh Li-Ion battery
- Texas Instruments USB Li-Ion battery charger with up to 0.5A charging devices.
- Dimensions – 105 x 65 mm (module is ~ 20 x 25 mm)
The board can be programmed and debugging via Segger J-Link OB through the micro USB interface, and Nordic toolchain using Keil, IAR and GCC. It’s also supported by mbed online compiler allowing drag & drop programing. The board and module supports Nordic’s SoftDevices to enable the wireless protocols needed for your project. Potential applications include IoT sensor nodes and hubs, rapid prototyping, desktop peripherals, remote controls, sports & medical wearables, smarthome sensors, beacons, toys, and NFC <-> BT tags.
Charbax interviewed the 4-person company at Embedded World 2017, where they showcase the old and new modules, the development board, as well as some other products based on the module such as soil moisture sensor, an e-Paper picture frame, an interesting tiny SMT prototyping board with traces made with conductive ink pen, a DIN rail box with e-Paper and so on..
The nRF52832 module is sold for 12 Euros + VAT, while the development board goes for 99 Euros + VAT on Amazon Germany. It’s also possible to buy directly on their own shop, and they have a 20% discount for a few more days. For more information, including manuals for both the module and devkit, and some other hardware kits, visit Aconno products page. Pricing and info about nRF52840 do not seem to have be posted to their website yet.
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