The Bluetooth Mate is really easy to use, but you have to know exactly how to configure Windows for it to work properly. Hopefully this quick guide will have you up and running in a few minutes, and will spare you from hours of wondering why you can't get the little green light to come on.
I am using:
- Bluetooth Mate (link)
- 3.3V FTDI USB programmer (link)
- Arduino Pro Mini 3.3V (link)
- Bluetooth USB dongle (link)
I initially only bought the Arduino and the Bluetooth Mate, thinking that I could program the Arduino over bluetooth. I have not had any success making this work, so I don't think it's possible. Buy the FTDI USB breakout board too, since it's inexpensive and guaranteed to work without any hassle.
Connecting the ModulesThe Arduino Pro Mini and the Bluetooth Mate are perfectly matched for each other. You can connect them directly to each other like so:
I chose to mount them on top of each other, using a right angle header like this:
Setting up the ArduinoBefore you get started with Bluetooth, you should set up the Arduino board to send something over the serial line, so you can make sure it's working. I made this quick program to test out send/receive:
Note that the serial speed is set to 115200, which is the default speed of the Bluetooth Mate.
This program spits out an increasing counter value on the serial line. It also accepts input from the user, in the form of typing the character 'R' which will reset this counter.
Program your Arduino board with this code, and make sure it's working over USB with the Serial Monitor (don't forget to set the serial monitor to 115200 as well!).
Setting up BluetoothI primarily use Windows 7, and have had no problems. These steps should be very similar for Windows XP. I haven't been able to get it running with a mac yet, but if I do I will post instructions on that too. I assume that you have already installed the Bluetooth Dongle (it should auto-install once you plug it in). Also make sure the Bluetooth Mate is connected to the Arduino and is powered (it should be flashing the red LED every second or so).
Step 1: Open the Bluetooth Menu on the TaskbarRight click on the Bluetooth icon and click on Show Bluetooth Devices.
Step 2: Click Add a Device
Step 3: Windows will discover the deviceThe device should appear as "FireFly-_____". Select the device and click Next. If the device does not show up, make sure it's powered and close to the Bluetooth dongle.
Step 4: Pair the deviceThe next window will ask how you want to pair the device. It is critical that you choose to pair without a passkey. This is where I messed up, and it took me a while to figure out what to do.
Step 5: Success! (hopefully)The device should be paired successfully! Click the Close button to continue.
Step 6: Open Device ManagerExpand the Ports section. You want to see which port names have been assigned to the device. Take note of the first one of the two (in my case it's COM10). We use this in the next section.
Sending/Receiving Serial DataI used a program called PuTTY because it's simple and free. Here is how I set it up:
I saved this information as "Bluetooth Mate" on the Session screen for easy access later. Click on the open button.
Windows may ask you for a pairing code at this point, as it connects to the device for the first time. If so, enter "1234" without the quotes and it will pair.
Now with any luck this screen will pop up, and you will see your code displaying in all its glory:
You're done! Try typing R to reset and verify the code is working correctly (if not, who cares, you're on to bigger and better things now anyway).