Arduino Programing using the Bluefruit LE UART Friend
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Arduino Programing using the Bluefruit LE UART Friend

by akalabeth on Mon Jun 14, 2021 5:18 pm

Hello Everyone!

I am designing an LED pushbutton controller based on the Arduino Mega 2560 R3. The device will be housed in a RF-compatible housing, so I would like to wirelessly upload sketches from my Windows 10 laptop to modify LED output. The concept of using a Bluetooth module for Arduino programming was nicely described in an Adafruit tutorial:

https://learn.adafruit.com/bluetooth-te ... troduction

Unfortunately, the tutorial’s design used the discontinued Bluefruit EZ-Link. For my design I considered the Bluefruit LE UART Friend. After assembly and wiring, I updated the firmware and tested the device using the Bluefruit Connect application with my iPhone. Although the device paired with my Windows 10 laptop, it was not assigned COM ports as was described for the EZ-Link. Are instructions available for proper COM port assignment in Windows 10? Thank you for your assistance.


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Re: Arduino Programing using the Bluefruit LE UART Friend

by adafruit_support_mike on Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:56 pm

You won't get COM ports for a BLE device.

'Bluetooth' is the generic name for a collection of mostly-incompatible wireless protocols managed by the same working group. The EZ-Link used the original protocol now known as Bluetooth Classic (BT-C).

BT-C has a data rate of about 1Mbit per second, but is tightly controlled by the Bluetooth Working Group. Devices have to conform to profiles defined in the spec, and are required to transmit a vendor ID that you can only get by paying a fee to the BT-WG. The tight control means OS developers can write a complete BT-C stack and integrate it into the OS, knowing that it will work with every compliant device.

BLE is a separate protocol formerly known as Wibree. Its maximum transmission rate is a few kilobytes per second. BLE is much more friendly to third-party developers though, and doesn't require any specific device profiles or a VID. The down side is that OS developers can't write generic BLE drivers. The best they can do is provide code to communicate with the radio and some support for the data formats. It's up to the device developers to write programs that locate BLE devices, connect to them, and handle whatever communication is necessary.

That means Windows won't create a COM port for any BLE device.

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