When in typical use, it’s not necessary to connect to a beacon. A beacon just advertises and is detected by a smartphone or Bluetooth gateway. However, to initially set up a beacon you usually connect via a smartphone app. The app might not connect for a number of reasons. Here are some tips:
- Most beacons need to be put into ‘connectable’ mode. For example, for most AnkhMaway beacons this means tapping them sharply on a table until they ring – they remain connectable for 45 secs and once connected remain so until you have configured the beacon. For Axaet and Meeblue beacons they stay connectable for a few minutes after turning them on.
- Make sure you are connecting to the correct beacon. This is especially important if you are seeing multiple Bluetooth devices in the list. For example, we had one customer who hadn’t removed the plastic battery slip and had been trying to connect to some other Bluetooth beacon/device.
- Connecting, via what is a wireless interface, might not work first time. While most connections do happen first time, there can be radio interference and radio signal reflections that can cause the connection to fail. Some configuration apps re-try if the first connect fails while others don’t. Make sure you have tried a few times before concluding a particular scenario doesn’t work.
- Some phones have a faulty Bluetooth beacon stack. That’s the Bluetooth software built into your phone. While you might be able to view the beacon, connecting to it to change settings uses more advanced functionality that’s sometimes faulty. Over time, we have discovered about 5% of our customers have such problems, more so on Android. It’s a much more common problem than a faulty beacon. You can isolate this possibility by trying a different phone and/or different phone OS type.
- Don’t try connecting from more than one phone at a time. When connected, that phone has exclusive access to the beacon and other phones won’t be able to see the beacon and connect.
- Try rebooting your phone to reset the internal Bluetooth software.
- Try resetting the beacon by removing and replacing the battery (where possible). This isn’t the same as turning off via a button press which usually only puts the beacon into hibernation and doesn’t restart the device.
- Some configuration apps have known bugs. Read the BeaconZone technical area for your particular beacon manufacturer where we document known problems and workarounds.
- The beacon could be faulty. This is actually a very rare occurrence and you should initially be considering other more likely possibilities (above). You can isolate this possibility if you have another similar beacon. Please contact us for replacement if you conclude you have a faulty beacon.