New Minew F4 Tracker Beacon

We have the new Minew F4 Tracker Beacon in stock.

F4 Tracker Beacon

Tracker beacons are different from normal beacons in that they are designed to be connected to an app for the majority of the time. Normally beacons just advertise and aren’t connected except for setup or obtaining sensor data in realtime.

The F4 comes with iOS and Android SDKs that provide for bonding/pairing with a password, listening to events such as connecting, connected, disconnected, getting the MAC address and RSSI, ringing the tracker, receiving a button press event, receiving a notification n seconds after disconnect and disconnecting at a given distance (received signal power level, RSSI).

Configuring iBeacon with Minew BeaconSET+

Minew have a new video showing how easy it is to set iBeacon parameters with their BeaconSET+ app:

BeaconSET+ is the newer app that works with MiniBeacon Plus beacons. These are Minew beacons supporting both iBeacon and Eddystone as opposed to those only supporting iBeacon for which the older BeaconSET app should be used.

This new video is one of many new tutorials that show how to use BeaconSET+.

View Minew Beacons

Inspecting Data from Bluetooth Gateways

Bluetooth gateways scan for beacons and send detected data your server, BeaconServer™ or BeaconRTLS™. However, what if you don’t have a server yet or want to determine if a gateway is actually sending data?

Ubeac allows you to set up a hook to receive gateway data. What’s more, they have some informative setup videos for our INGICS, Minew, AnkhMaway and Aprilbrother gateways.

Ubeac INGICS Setup

Read about Beacon Proximity and Sensing for the Internet of Things (IoT)

View Bluetooth gateways

Minew IoT G1 Bluetooth Gateway Testing

If you want to quickly demonstrate or test IoT, the G1 gateway comes pre-setup to send data to beaconyun.com, Minew’s platform for testing.

The following video gives and overview of the platform and how it’s used:

The video mentions entering a beacon’s MAC address. Our article on Testing if a Beacon is Working explains how to find a MAC address.

More information:

Beacon Proximity and Sensing for the Internet of Things (IoT)

Inside a Beacon – Part 1 – The Physical Beacon

This is part 1 of a 3 part series that explains what’s inside a beacon. In this part we take a look at the physical beacon.

All beacons are similar inside because they are based on standard circuit designs from Nordic Semiconductor, Dialog Semiconductor or Texas Instruments. These semiconductor manufacturers produce a complete system on a chip (SoC) that requires minimal external components. The SoC is a small computer with memory that runs software created by the manufacturer of the beacon. We will take a deeper look at the SoC in part 2 and the software in part 3.

For this series of articles we going to take a deeper look at Minew’s i7 beacon. It’s based on Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52832 SoC.

Minew i7

Inside the case is a PCB with a CR2477 slide in battery at the rear.

Inside the i7

The main chip you can see is the mRF52832. At the top you can also see the antenna that’s created using a track in the printed circuit board. The holes at the bottom right are connections used to program the beacon.

To understand more, we need to look at the printed circuit board design and circuit schematic:

i7 design
Circuit diagram – click to see larger in new window

It can be seen that there aren’t many external components. Y1, the metal component at the top is the crystal used to maintain timing. The SoC has a number of programmable input/output (PIO) pins that are multi-purpose. In a beacon some are usually connected to LEDs and a switch as shown at the left hand side of the circuit diagram. There are also capacitors that need to be external to the SoC.

U2, U3 and U4 are optional for this beacon and missing from this variant of the i7. U2 is the KX022-1020 accelerometer. U3 is the SHT31 temperature/humidity sensor. U4 is the BH1721 light sensor.

In part 2 we take a closer look at the nRF52 SoC.

Inside the Minew E2

The Minew E2 is a waterproof beacon advertising iBeacon and Eddystone. It has a 10+ year battery life that comes through using the power efficient Nordic nRF52 SoC and 4 AA batteries. The in-use battery life will depend on settings. This beacon also has a power amplifier that provides for an exceptional range of up to 500m.

We have opened up the beacon to examine in more detail: