Comments: Simblee Concepts

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  • This is / (was?) a fantastically useful, unique product offering IMO. I experimented for months with ways to control small robots wirelessly, aiming toward phone app control. Tried wi-fi w/ various Arduino-based methods, ESP8266 boards like the Feather Huzzah, BT and BLE with various HC-## and HM-10 modules serially connecting to Arduino. All worked to some extent, but were exceedingly cumbersome to program and use; and phone apps would need custom programs (each) for iOS and Android! Tried to understand the variety of offerings of Nordic-based boards at the __fruit dealer – could never sort out the options or programming complexities despite hours of re-reading ‘Tutorials’.

    The Simblee platform and Sparkfun’s dev boards made this totally do-able. With the Arduino IDE, you can program the board to do all basic microcontroller operations, creating the phone app GUI in the process – which works identically on iOS and Android. Sadly, interest in the Simblee line seems to be fading. Rfduino company has apparently gone under; the present European ownership seems to have no interest in moving the product forward. The boards are still for sale, but meagre interest in the Simblee here, on Youtube, demise of product forum 6 mo. ago, lack of any new documentation or app development in ~ 2yrs – all bad signs. Will be a real loss for the hobbyist market if Simblee disappears.

    A company like Sparkfun, that already knows this product well, should really take it over. Correcting some fundamental mistakes, such as non-standard form-factor of dev boards, could / should make this a viable product line.

  • I’m aware that the documentation from Simblee is not that great. Most of the software information comes from the User Guide, Functions Reference, this tutorial, and the source code, but is there any more information on the hardware? The Datasheet has a bunch of features listed at the top, but very limited if any information on them or the inner workings of the Simblee. Seems like there should be a very large reference manual that would normally come with any chip/MCU…

  • Is to possible to read ibeacon data with the simblee ?

  • I’ve looked through all the web pages, docs, etc and still can’t figure it out. How can I send data from the Simblee to an Arduino board?

    I want a simple app that is basically a number pad 0-9 just like a phone to send number values to the Arduino. I just want to tap the numbers on a phone, then press a programmed Enter key(via Simblee app), this would go to the Simblee, from there to the Arduino, from there to my display.

    • I have example Simblee For Mobile KeyPAD that I think will show you how to do it. It is not well commented, but I think it is layed out clearly. I may comment it better later. As written you can enter up to 29 numeric characters that you can CLEAR or SEND. When it is sent I just Serial.print the value so you can connect the Simblee TX/RX pins to your Arduino RX/TX lines.

      example

  • I am not really sure, why this is called IoT ?
    (Slogan “IoT for connecting Everyone and Everything”),
    since you can not connect with BLE to the Internet (or at least e.g. to a home based router / AP) …

    another question for me is:
    how can I use the
    “Simblee COMM ad-hoc bi-directional communication between any number of devices” - mode,
    like it is described within their Datasheet v1.0 on page 7 ..
    (point to multipoint / mesh network).
    I can not find anything or any functions for that in their libraries… (?)

    • There are examples with the library. For now, we wanted to focus on the core functionality that we feel most of our customers will use, which is the SimbleeForMobile library.

      • Other than the examples within their libraries, do you know if there are alternative resources available?

        I’m trying to answer the somewhat simple question of “how can I get data from within a SimbleForMobile.drawTextField object so that i can do something with the data within the Simblee”? This seams like a simple question, but i cannot find additional information. Where do you go when you can’t find what you need from within Simblee’s examples?

        • TBH, a huge part of this tutorial was written by digging around in their source code to see how things work.

          There are a couple of additional docs on the “Resources and Going Further” page that I’ve found very useful, as well.

          Finally, to answer your actual question: the Simblee library deals with UI elements in a kind of odd way. They aren’t truly created as objects, so normal object-oriented concepts (“get data from…” for example) don’t really work. The trick is, you’ve got to grab that data when the ui_event() call declaring the posting of that data happens. After that time, there’s no way I know of to get that data.

          In other words, within ui_event(), check event.id to see if the event is caused by the text field you’re interested in, then check event.type to see if the type is EVENT_RELEASE (double check on this; I’m not 100% sure that’s the event type created by text entry), and then you can grab the text content by reading the event.text object.


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