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Frequently Asked Questions

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Answers:

PearlBlue

What is the power consumption of the PearlBlue?

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25 mA average (with peaks of 50mA) when pairing (pairing takes less than 5 seconds), 10mA average when transmitting data and less than 1 mA when paired but not transmitting data.

uIceBlue2

I noticed the circuit diagram on page 3 of the application note EAN0308. Do I have to hook all this up in order to use the PICDEM USB utility?

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A: The diagram on page 3 of the application note EAN0308 is just a circuit suggested to work with the template code. You can change it according with your application.

I was trying to write a simple code to toggle the ports on PORTD (I tried PORTB as well)... but I can't seem to get even something as simple as that to work. Here's my code:

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while(1){
PORTD=0x55;
DelayMs(500);
PORTD=0xAA;
DelayMs(500);
}

A: We use the MPLAB C18 compiler from microchip that uses its own library for delays in software. You can find information about the compiler HERE. Your code would be:

While(1){
//INSERT YOUR MAIN CODE HERE
PORTD=0x55;
Delay10KTCYx(0);// 1 delay = 0.25 sec
Delay10KTCYx(0);
Delay10KTCYx(0);
Delay10KTCYx(0);

PORTD=0xAA;
Delay10KTCYx(0);
Delay10KTCYx(0);
Delay10KTCYx(0);
Delay10KTCYx(0);
}

Can I use the SPI protocol with uIceBlue2?

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A: No. Pin 25 (RC7, SPI out) is used by the USART to communicate with PearlBlue. Unfortunately, the USART RX and SPI output are the same pin in PIC 18F4550, so you cannot use the HW SPI.

Are the +5V pin of the mini-USB connector and the pin 2 (Vcc) of the uIceBlue2 the same?

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A: They are the same PIN. You can even use pin 2 to power your circuit from the USB port (less than 100mA current draw) or supply the uIceBlue2 if not connected to the USB. (See page 20 of the manual).

How do I best incorporate the uIceBlu2 in a low power battery powered environment?

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A: Just connect a voltage between 3.6 and 7V to the +5V pin of the USB connector and the uIceBlue2 regulator will supply the PIC and the Bluetooth. Be careful not to put more than 7V or the regulator (and the rest of the things) will break. If you supply less than 3.6 nothing will break but the module will not work.

Is it possible to connect and reconfigure the Bluetooth chip from the uIceBlue2 module?

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A: To connect with the Bluetooth chip in command mode you must follow the next steps:

  1. Disconnect the uIceBlue2 module from power supply.
  2. Connect the pin PIO.7 in the uIceBlue2 module to +3.3V and power again the module (you can check the pin out of the module in the getting started manual). In this moment you can't reach the PIC through the bluetooth connection but you can connect with the bluetooth chip to configure it.
  3. If you have connected with the bluetooth module, now you should be able to send commands listed in the PearlBlue manual and get a response. Then you can change the baud rate with the proper command.
    Once the Bluetooth chip is configured you can work with the uIceBlue2 module again:
  4. Disconnect the pin PIO.7 from +3.3V and reset the uIceBlue2 module again. Now, you should be able to work with the uIceBlue2 as you had done till now.

Could I send data from another device to the PIC on the uIceBlue2 using the UART port?

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A: The BT module and the PIC are connected through their UARTs and the BT module cannot be disconnected from it. (The PIC can be disconnected if you program its UART ports as inputs).

Serial communication is a 1-to-1 device communication. You cannot connect the UART to three (or more) devices in parallel (line impedances will not match).

All I need to be able to do is connect differently WIRED devices to the uIceBlue2 via UART. These wired devices are to send information to the uIceBlue2 which then forwards that information via Bluetooth to a mobile phone. But it doesn't seem to work. I've gone over the manuals intensely and can't find the problem. They seem to be very general when it comes to procedure of how to do this kind of thing. Is there something I'm missing?

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A: You're trying to connect several devices to the uIceBlue2 to gain access to the Bluetooth chip. Please note that the BT module and PIC are both connected to the UART and therefore if you connect something else to the uIceBlue2 UART you cannot have the three devices communicating at the same time.

So, if you connect a device to the uIceBlue2 UART you have to configure the PIC UART as input ports (i.e., disconnect the PIC from the UART). Then you will be able to communicate your device with the BT chip. In order to change the BT chip baud rate proceed as is indicated in question 6. Then you may issue the commands to change the Baud rate.

If you want your devices to connect to the PIC and have the PIC sensing data through BT you will have to connect them to other ports and implement communication means at that pins.

For the uIceBlue2, I'm attempting to change the baud rate from 19200 to 9600... in the code template I've changed the following:

OpenUSART(USART_TX_INT_OFF & //Interruption on Transmission

USART_RX_INT_ON & //Interruption on Receipt

USART_ASYNCH_MODE & //USART Mode

USART_EIGHT_BIT & //Transmission Width

USART_CONT_RX & //Reception mode

USART_BRGH_HIGH, 312); //High Baud Rate Select bit, Baud rate at which the USART operates But when I do this I can no longer receive data via Bluetooth serial port on my computer or phone. Is there something else that must be changed for this to work? Thanks a lot.

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A: Changes of the baud rate of the uIceBlue2 implies that you have to change the baud rate of the Bluetooth chip. For the procedure to make this, please check question 6.

I was trying to program the device by following EAN0308 application note and my computer did not recognize the hardware when connecting via USB. My computer does make the Bluetooth connection, though. I looked around a bit and could not find any drivers for it either.

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A: When the uIceBlue2 device is plugged in to the computer, the 'Found New Hardware Wizard' should pop-up (if not, you can call the window from the Control Panel). If the driver has not been installed before on the computer, the Wizard will look for a *.inf file that can be found in the following directory:

'\Microchip Solutions\USB Tools\MCHPUSB Custom Driver\MCHPUSB Driver\Release'

The install wizard then will install the drivers and finally complet.

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