Saturday 7 November 2015

BlueFly_Bluetooth_v11 announced

Despite the paucity of posts, I have been feverishly working on the next version of the Bluetooth version of the BlueFly in every second of my diminishing spare time. It is almost a year since the v10 was released and it is time for an update. In this post I will preview some new features prior to the release, which I expect will occur in late November.

I am currently out-of-stock of the BlueFlyVario_Bluetooth_v10. Any orders between now and the release of the v11 will be filled with the new model. Please be patient as I get everything together.

What stays the same?
  • Pretty much every firmware feature of the v10 is available in the v11. All of the hardware settings and commands will be available in the v11. 
  • The PCB size, speaker, button location and LED colors are all the same. 
  • The prototype case and battery will not change. 
  • The price, at least for now. Some component prices have reduced, but the Australian dollar has also fallen. 
What is new?
  • The first big news is a new bluetooth module which will work with iOS. I have replaced the RN42 with Microchip's new RN4677. This is a dual mode module with both Bluetooth SPP and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Most devices will continue to use Bluetooth SPP, but BLE means that iOS devices can be supported. This should mean that FlySkyHy will support the new BlueFly if I can get a prototype to Rene and he can find time to alter his code. 
  • The new PCB layout also supports an add on shield for more features. The shield, which will be available separately, can be configured with either or both of a PA6H GPS or a MS5425DO differential pressure sensor. Much of my experimentation over the last few months has been to finally get reliable airspeed measurement with easy calibration and stable performance. I will post a lot more about that when I release the shield (which will be some weeks after the new v11 is released). 
  • I have updated the micro-controller and some other components. There will be more information about these on release of the v11. 
  • Also, there will be some new firmware features. Again, more on release. 
See the image below of the prototype being tested on the workbench; the headers help with development but they are not part of the final version. 

What needs to be done before release of the BlueFlyVario_Bluetooth_v11?
  • Manufacture the first production batch of hardware - I am waiting on some components. 
  • Finalise the updated boot-loader. The new bluetooth module and micro-controller meant I have had to make many updates to to. Now I need to finish testing. 
  • Finalise the updated firmware. Again, more testing. 
  • Update the BFVDesktop pc application with new hardware settings. 
  • Update the BlueFlyVario android application. 
  • Write another blog post. 

What about the TTL_GPS and USB models?

At some stage I think I will update the TTL_GPS model from v10 to v11 so it can support the new micro-controller, but probably not for many months and I am not sure if it will support the airspeed measurement. The update to the USB model will have to wait for the v12...