New Data Logger Beacon in Stock

We have the new iB004-PLUS SHT Logger beacon in stock. It stores up to 200 temperature and humidity data over a user defined period of 1 to 120 minutes.

As with the non-logging iB004-PLUS, it has a large battery and sends the battery level in the advertising data. The current temperature and humidity can also be extracted from the advertising data without connecting to the beacon.

How to Calibrate the iB003-SHT Sensor Beacon?

We have several clients using the iB003-SHT temperature/humidity beacon in industrial situations. A question we have had is how is the temperature/humidity calibrated? For scenarios that require monitored temperature/humidity, it’s often necessary to show the readings have been calibrated over time.

iB003N Sensor beacon

The long term drift of the sensor is <0.04C/yr and <0.5 RH/yr so in most applications it doesn’t usually need calibration. If you need accuracy better than this you will need to calibrate in the software of the phone/device that receives the beacon signal. That is, you will need to periodically measure the real temperature/humidity using another calibrated instrument and apply any offset to the read values.

How to Open the iB004N Case?

There’s a manufacturer-supplied video in our Ankhmaway technical information that shows how to open the iB004N. We haven’t been happy with this video for some time. Firstly, if you open the beacon as shown you are likely to crack the case. Secondly, it shows someone wielding what looks like a metal screwdriver that, given where it’s used, could easily short or damage the circuit board. Thirdly, if you snap it shut as shown, you will snap off the retaining lugs.

We have found that the best way to open the iB004N is with a plastic sharp edge such as a guitar pick. Push it down as shown, where there isn’t a retaining lug:

ib004n_open_case_smaller

Lever and the case top pops off. Use a plastic tool to lever up the printed circuit board and replace the battery.

To put the lid back on, first place the lid side with the two lugs into the corresponding two holes in the side. Push the lid down and use the plastic sharp edge, in the same position as you used to take the lid off, to widen the case slightly as you push the lid right down. This way, the lug won’t snap off.

What’s The Format of the AnkhMaway Advertising Acceleration Data?

The iB003N and its sensor variant the iB003N-SHT can send the acceleration value in Bluetooth advertising data every (configurable) 100ms to 10s without connecting. This mode is called AccBeacon and can be transmitted as well as the iBeacon and Eddystone channels.

The AnkhMaway documentation isn’t that clear as to the format of the AccBeacon advertising data. This is because the data format changes depending on the actual beacon capabilities and configured settings:

State value: byte
Mac address: 6 bytes
Acceleration value:6 bytes(x:2 bytes y:2 bytes z:2 bytes)
Temperature value: 2 bytes
Battery level: 1 byte
Position data: 1 byte

i.e. The ‘position data’ within the advertising data will be at a different point in the advertising data depending on whether the previous values are ‘on’ or not. The position data gives the orientation of the beacon (i.e. which way up it is).

For the iB003N-SHT (as opposed to the non temperature sensor iB003), the acceleration values aren’t on by default and you also have to also set 0xAA10->0xAA14. For example if change it to, for example, 0xFC0A, the acc data is shown in the Accbeacon advertising data. The format of the AccBeacon data is as per Table 6 of the user documentation. Also, for the Android eBeacon app you must specify the value, 0xFC0A in the above example, in lower case. i.e. 0xfc0a.

White iB003N-PA 300m Range in Stock

We now have the white version of the iB003N-PA in stock. The iB003-PA is our longest range beacon and can reach up to 300m in open space. Other features of this beacon include motion triggered broadcast, accelerometer sensor (in advertising data), the ability to send iBeacon & Eddystone simultaneously and waterproofing.

ib003n_photo_smaller

We check beacons as they come into stock because we invariably get a few that are dead on arrival. We had a faulty iB003N-PA this time so this gave us the opportunity to open one up. Here’s the pcb:

ib003n-pa-pcb_smaller

The largest chip is the N51822 SoC found in many beacons. At the very top is the PCB antenna. The thing on wires in the middle is the buzzer. The chip at the top is the RFAXIS X2401C 2.4GHz RF front end that gives this beacon its long range.

How to Read the AnkhMaway Sensor Data?

Since we have started selling the AKMW-iB003N-SHT  and AKMW-iB004N PLUS SHT we have been getting a few questions regarding accessing the temperature and humidity data.

You should first read the manufacturer’s SHT20 User Guide (username and password supplied with your beacon).

If you are connecting via GATT to read the sensor data then you will need to set the beacon to be always connectable. The way to do this is (for some strange reason) only shown in the iB001M user guide:

advertisementcontrol

So if you wish to transmit iBeacon and remain connectable, set the value to 0x82. Note that if you subsequently set the beacon ‘on’ or ‘off’ in the ‘simple’ configuration screen, accessed via the spanner icon (Android) or Configure option (on iOS), then this will overwrite your set value.

However, you might instead consider reading the sensor data from the advertising data which a) is much easier to program and b) uses much less beacon battery power and c) allows multiple apps to see the data at the same time.

UPDATE: There’s now an iOS example app in the BeaconZone AnkhMaway technical area.

Setting Up Eddystone-URL/Physical Web (with AnkhMaway Beacons)


Important: This web page is provided for historical purposes.

On 25 October 2018, Google announced they are discontinuing Nearby Notifications on Android. This mechanism should no longer be used.

Read about using Beacons for Marketing


We have had several customers trying to set up Eddystone-URL/Physical Web without reading around the subject and understanding how it works (and doesn’t work). This is something you are unlikely to make work without a little research and preparation.

First read our article on Eddystone and the Physical Web to gain a background on how it works.

Before you start, you need to decide whether you will be using a URL shortener. Alternatively, you might choose to use a ready-made solution that includes URL shortening or our free EddystoneCMS.

The next step is to make sure your final, pointed-to URL uses https:// rather than http:// web address otherwise your beacon won’t be seen.

Only the iOS configuration app, not Android, has an easy configure screen to set up Eddystone-UID or Eddystone-URL data. Hence, we recommend you use the iOS app. It’s possible to set up an Eddystone URL on Android but you have to set the Bluetooth Services/Characteristics directly which is much more involved.

Download the eBeacon iOS app from the App store.

Tap the beacon on a hard surface until it rings (press the button on the iB001M) . Run the eBeacon app and you will see something like this:

ebeacon_eddystone1

Tap on the Jaalee beacon and it will say ‘Discovering Characteristics’ followed by this:

ebeacon_eddystone2

Tap on the Service FFD0 and you will see the screen below:

ebeacon_eddystone3
Tap on ‘Configure’ at the top right and you will see this:

Enter the URL and Change the Active State to on. In this example we have used a shortened URL http://bzone.click/pc062 that points to https://www.beaconzone.co.uk. Put anything, for example -30, into the Measured Power Value edit box. Note that this isn’t the power output and whatever value you put in the box won’t affect the beacon transmission power. You can learn more about measured power in our article.

Tap on the ‘Configure’ button.

It will say ‘Trying to configure the beacon’ followed by ‘Configure Successfully’.

Exit the eBeacon app.

 

Install the Physical Web App on iOS and your beacon will be seen.

Troubleshooting

Why Doesn’t the Manufacturer’s Configuration App Connect?

Physical Web Getting Started Tips

Getting the AnkhMaway Battery Level from Advertising Data

One of the great things about AnkhMaway beacons is that they provide the battery level in the advertising data. This allows you to view or easily programatically determine the battery level without connecting. For example, here’s the output from the Android iBeaconDetector app:

batteryinadvertisingdata

The last two useful hex characters of the advertising data, ‘5E’ in this case, gives the level out of 100. You can use an online Hex to decimal converter to see the value in decimal that’s 94% in this case.

Note that the battery level in the advertising data is only present for recent firmware versions which might not be the case if you haven’t purchased the beacons from BeaconZone.