New 300m Long Range Beacon

We are one of the first suppliers of a new 300m beacon the iB003N-PA, based on the popular iB003N. This beacon can send iBeacon, Eddystone (UID or URL) and acceleration simultaneously and it also sends the battery level in the advertising data.

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We were curious as to the affect of the substantially increased range on battery life so we connected it up to our power analyser.

We set the beacon to just iBeacon transmission with 1sec 0dBm transmission. We measured the beacon battery should last about 44 months. That compares to a measured 67 months for the standard iB003N (the manufacturer quotes 58 months). At 600ms, we have measured the iB003N-PA battery should last about 24 months.

This beacon will be especially good for Eddystone transmission where a longer transmission period can be used that will substantially increase the battery life.

How To Configure Eddystone on the iB003N?

The iB003N can transmit up to three channels at one time. The first is the normal iBeacon channel, the second contains values from the accelerometer and the third is a custom channel that can transmit anything. This third channel is what you need to use for Eddystone.

Some of our customers seem to be trying to configure this via Service 0xFFD0 and rewriting characteristics 0xFFD1 (20-bytes), 0xFFD2 (8-bytes) and 0xFFD3 (1-byte length). You can configure these but there’s an easier way.

The first thing to know is that 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.

Tap the beacon on a hard surface and it will ring. Run the iOS eBeacon app and you will see the beacon. Tap on the beacon in the app and it will ask for a password which is “666666”. You will now see a list of Services. The Eddystone configuration screen is slightly hidden. Tap on the Service FFD0 and you will see the screen below:

serviceFFD0

Tap on ‘Configure’ in the top right and you will get to the Eddystone configuration screen:

eddystoneurl
If you only have an Android device and/or you wish to take the more manual approach, the Eddystone spec defines what to set as the advertising data. Note that 0xFFD3 is read only and doesn’t need to be set. It sets itself based on the data you place into 0xFFD1 and 0xFFD2.

iB004 PLUS Sensor Beacon Available

We now have a limited number of iB004 PLUS beacons in stock with an additional SHT20 temperature/humidity sensor. The iB004 is one of the most commonly used (and re-branded) beacons and the ‘PLUS’ part means it has a larger CR2477 battery rather than the CR2450 in the original iB004. The larger battery means there’s a longer 100m (vs 70m) range and longer battery life.

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The temperature/humidity version has a small hole in the top to allow the environment, external to the case, to be sensed.

Inside the iB001M

Here’s a look inside our smallest beacon, the iB001M. The circuit board measures only 2cm across and the height of the beacon is is only 2.6mm.

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The waterproof iB001M can transmit iBeacon and Eddystone at the same time. There’s also a press switch to turn on/off and a buzzer that’s found in the top side of the beacon (not shown) together with the waterproof ring. This beacon can be set up to only transmit advertising data when motion is detected.

It weighs only 4g so is great for wearable and pet-related applications.

AKMW-iB004N AA in Stock

We have started selling the twin AA battery AKMW-iB004N AA. It works the same way as other AnkhMaway beacons in that to configure it you tap it onto a table or something hard to make it ‘ring’.

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It’s also worth mentioning that this and all AnkhMaway beacons come with Panasonic rather than cheaper Chinese brand batteries.