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Thread, Zigbee and Bluetooth!

  • Hi
    Some time ago I wrote about the nrf52840 form Nordic Semiconductor and that they would release the nRF52840 Dongle in end of june.
    Well they finally released the dongle you can buy it from Mouser.

    The idea is to make the Omega Thread, BT5 and ZigBee ready. I can't image a more compact gateway and server at the same time!

    The possibilities are endless, what do you want?
    With the implemenation of the nRF52840 DONGLE we can bring our omega projects a huge step further.

    I have already done some work with the nRF52840 DK and it works great.
    e.g. With an output power of +8dBm, I have a BT5 longrange signal of -90dBm, trought 2 reinforced concrete floors.

    Image you can controll your ZigBee lights with you Phone without a cloud and at the same time connect all your omegas in a Thread Network.

  • How will the Omega communicate to the BT LE module/chip? USB or something lower-level?

    I'm considering the Omega2 vs. ESP32 for a project and it may come down to built-in BLE support that the ESP32 has. The Omega2 currently requires a USB add-on for BLE and that's adding too much cost.

  • Mouser US store lists it as 11 weeks back order šŸ˜ž

  • @Paul-Abbott
    If you just want bluetooth 4, you won't need the nrf52840. It's just an feature of the chip.
    I recommend https://www.adafruit.com/product/3405 as a border router. As soon as you want a web interface and some automations going on in the background, you might consider the omega or a raspberry pi3. It's easier.

    The nrf52840 would be a overkill for you project. Especially because there's near 0 experience around and only 2 Development Kits. This is very experimental and time consuming.
    My goal is it to have the same hardware for everything. Sensors and Actors that changes depending on your need.

    • You want high throughput you change it to thread.
    • Long range with bt5
    • Compatibility with Zigbee
    • Access the network directly with your phone over bt4. No over cloud communication

    You can have up to 2 protocols running on one device. One is default and the other just for inputs.
    I already have some DKs working like that. But there's still the question how I connect them to the internet. The omega with an usb dongle would be 1 of many ways to do so. This is what I'm working on right now.

    I hope you get an idea what this chip is good for and if you like C and have some time get a DK or dongle and try it.

  • I am interested in BT 5.0 for the better range. But I'd be happy with 4.x for basic BLE.

    Here's a little about my project:
    I'm developing a lighting controller device with a HTML5/JS UI. The device will be on a private network and will not have internet access. The primary communication will be Ethernet/WiFi (to an industrial panel computer or tablet), but a future feature will be control via BLE.
    For the future feature, I'll compile an almost identical HTML UI into a Android+iOS app using EvoThings to enable the device to be controlled via BLE.

    So is there an inexpensive (~$2) add-on to the Omega2 which would enable BLE? I feel like using USB will add unnecessary cost. I would prefer to solder on a SMT module.
    Also, would a SPI, UART, etc. connected module be supported by the kernel, or does it require custom drivers/software?

  • @Paul-Abbott
    Unless you make something custom you won't be able get something ~2$. The cheapest solution that might work is to get a HC05 form aliexpress or take a look at https://www.nordicsemi.com/eng/Products/3rd-Party-Modules.

    Anyway I recommend an additional board or dongle for the omega. It's not worth to make something new in this case.

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