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November 27, 2017 AT 12:30 am

Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2017 – Internet of Things: Bluefruit Boards

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Welcome to Week 3 of Adafruit’s Holiday Gift Guides. This week we’ll be covering all things IoT. We’re so excited we’re up in the cloud(s). To kick Internet of Things week off right we’re focusing on Bluefruit Boards today – let’s go!


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Bluefruit EZ-Key – 12 Input Bluetooth HID Keyboard Controller – v1.2: Create your own wireless Bluetooth keyboard controller in an hour with the Bluefruit EZ-Key: it’s the fastest, easiest and bestest Bluetooth controller. We spent years learning how to develop our own custom Bluetooth firmware, and coupled with our own BT module hardware, we’ve created the most Maker-friendly wireless you can get!

This breakout acts just like a BT keyboard, and works great with any BT-capable device: Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. Power the module with 3-16VDC, and pair it to the computer, tablet or phone just as you would any other BT device. Now you can connect buttons from the 12 input pins, when a button is pressed, it sends a keypress to the computer. We pre-program the module to send the 4 arrow keys, return, space, ‘w’, ‘a’, ‘s’, ‘d’, ‘1’ and ‘2’ by default. Advanced users can reprogram the module’s keys using an FTDI or other Serial console cable, for any HID key report they desire.

You can pair multiple Bluefruit’s to a single device, each one has a unique identifier. These modules are FCC & CE certified and are RoHS-compliant so they are easy to integrate into your project.

If you want to have better control over the data sent, connect a microcontroller to the RX pin at 3-5V logic level, 9600 baud, and send ASCII data: it will be ‘typed out’ character by character. We also have support for various non-printable characters such as ESC, Shift, F1-F12, etc. as well as toggling the virtual keyboard on iOS.

Warning! Your computer/tablet/phone must have Bluetooth v2.1 or higher Many low-cost Bluetooth USB modules are v2.0 only (that’s why it was $5!) Anything built in the last 5 years with built-in BT is OK, including all Macs and iOS devices, but if you have to add BT to your desktop machine with a USB adapter, please make sure you have a v4.0 adapter, since that will definitely work! (read more)

Related Guides in the Adafruit Learning System:


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Bluefruit EZ-Link – Bluetooth Serial Link & Arduino Programmer – v1.3: We are excited to add another product to our growing Adafruit Bluefruit line, this time it’s the Bluefruit EZ-Link: the best Bluetooth Serial Link device ever made. Like you, we have purchased all sorts of Bluetooth serial link modules, with high expectations – we just wanted something that worked! But nothing ever did exactly what we wanted: there was always some configuration modes to wade through, and using one of those other modules to reprogram an Arduino is impossible.

So we did what we always do, we went in and engineered something better. Something that works!

The Bluefruit EZ-Link is a regular ‘SPP’ serial link client device, that can pair with any computer or tablet and appear as a serial/COM port (except iOS as iOS does not permit SPP pairing). But here is where it gets exciting: unlike any other BT module, the EZ-Link can automatically detect and change the serial baud rate. That means if you open up the COM port on your computer at 9600 baud, the output is 9600, 57600? 57600. Yep even 2400. All the most common baud rates are supported: 2400, 4800, 9600, 19200, 38400, 57600, 115200 and 230400. You never have to configure or customize the module by hand – it all happens completely automatically inside the RF module.

Now if we stopped there, you’d probably think “wow that is pretty nice” but we didn’t stop there! The EZ-Link has another impressive feature: the DTR/RTS/DSR flow control pins are automatically synced to the computer serial port. What this means is that if the computer sets the hardware flow control DTR or RTS pins high or low the pins on the bluetooth module will follow. If the DSR input pin is brought high or low on the EZ-Link, the computer can detect that as well. Every other Bluetooth SPP device we’ve ever seen, if they even have the RTS/DTR pins brought out, do not sync back to the computer, instead the flow control is for the module serial buffer itself.

Together, this creates something pretty amazing: a Bluetooth module that can change baud rates on the fly and toggle the DTR pin as desired. What we’ve got here now is a way to program an Arduino (or compatible) from 10 meters away, completely wirelessly, with no extra software, custom hardware, odd firmware hacks or modified firmware. In fact, you can use the Bluefruit as a sort of ‘wire free’ FTDI-like cable with any device that has an FTDI re-programming port. It works great, and you can use the serial console as well. This package includes the necessary 1uF capacitor between the DTR and reset pin.

Works great with Mac and Windows computers. Linux is not supported at this time.

To round out the design we also added two RX/TX indicator LEDs so you can tell when data is sent & received as well as a connection status pin. When the paired computer opens up a UART connection, the status pin goes high, letting the microcontroller know that it can now expect data to be sent and its also OK to send data to the computer.

Each order of this EZ-Link + Extras pack includes one ready to go and assembled EZ-Link board, with FCC/CE/RoHS certification. We also include a 6-pin right angle female header and a stick of 6-pin extra-long male header. Chances are you will want to solder the female header in to the center of the board so you can use it like an FTDI-cable but we left you the option of wires, or other kind of header. We also toss in a JST connector. The JST connector can be soldered on the back (optional) to connect a Lipoly battery for portable projects. If the JST is used, the battery can also power the microcontroller that the EZ-Link is plugged into. (read more)

Related Guides in the Adafruit Learning System:


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Bluefruit LE – Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE 4.0) – nRF8001 Breakout – v1.0: Our Adafruit Bluefruit LE (Bluetooth Smart, Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth 4.0) nRF8001 Breakout allows you to establish an easy to use wireless link between your Arduino and any compatible iOS or Android (4.3+) device. It works by simulating a UART device beneath the surface, sending ASCII data back and forth between the devices, letting you decide what data to send and what to do with it on either end of the connection.

Unlike classic Bluetooth, BLE has no big contracts to sign and no major hoops that you have to jump through to create iOS peripherals that you can legally design and distribute in the App Store, which makes it a great choice compared to classic Bluetooth which had (and still has) a lot of restrictions around it on the iOS platform.

And now that Android also officially supports Bluetooth Low Energy (as of Android 4.3), it’s also — finally! — a universal communication channel covering the main mobile operating systems people are using today. (read more)

Related Guides in the Adafruit Learning System:


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Flora Wearable Bluefruit LE Module: Would you like to add powerful and easy-to-use Bluetooth Low Energy to your wearable FLORA project? Heck yeah! With BLE now included in modern smart phones and tablets, its fun to add wireless connectivity. So what you really need is the new Adafruit Flora Bluefruit LE!

The Flora Bluefruit LE makes it easy to add Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity to your Flora. Sew 4 traces (or solder 4 wires) and BooM! Bluetooth Low Energy!

Using our Bluefruit iOS App or Android App, you can quickly get your interactive project prototyped by using your iOS or Android phone/tablet as a controller. We have a color picker, quaternion/accelerometer/gyro/magnetometer or location (GPS), and an 8-button control game pad. After you connect to the Bluefruit, you can send commands wirelessly in under 10 minutes. (read more)

Related Guides in the Adafruit Learning System:


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We’re excited for the Holiday Season here at Adafruit and we can’t wait to share that excitement with you! Tune into the Adafruit Blog for six weeks of hand picked Adafruit Holiday Gift Guides featuring Adafruit products, projects and more starting Monday November 13.

Still not sure if you’re on the right gift giving track? Gift Certificates are the perfect cyber-present for the electronics geek in your life and are available at any time. When in doubt contact us!


Free Deals

Adafruit offers exciting deals and free items when you shop with us.

As of October 9th, 2017 12:00 PM ET we are offering a number of free products for orders starting at $99 or more!

For orders of $99 or more – a free Adafruit Perma-proto half-size breadboard

For orders of $149 or more – a free Adafruit Trinket M0

For orders of $200 or more – free UPS ground shipping (*Continental USA only)

For orders of $249 or more – a free Adafruit Gemma M0

If you love CircuitPython, then you’ll love this promotion! The Trinket M0, and GEMMA M0are all great boards for getting going with CircuitPython.

Some restrictions apply


Adafruit Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2017

Here are your 2017 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.

The Adafruit Shipping Department works hard to get your orders out as quickly as we can, but once they’re in the hands of our carriers they’re out of our control. Carriers have been struggling to keep up with the sharp rise in online orders. UPS, FedEX, and USPS all experienced delivery delays over the last few years.

So all the Adafruit Shippers say: Please be sure you get your gifts early! Order as soon as you can! Once you place your order we’ll ship like the wind!

Please note: We do not offer Saturday or Sunday service for DHL, UPS or USPS.

Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, Christmas, no DHL, UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, no DHL, UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Domestic Orders

UPS Ground: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that UPS Ground packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.

UPS 3 Day: Place orders by Thursday 11 am ET – December 14, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017.

UPS 2 Day: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 15, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017

UPS Next Day: Place orders by Monday 11 am ET – December 18, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017.

USPS First Class and USPS Priority: Place orders by Friday– December 8, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner.

International Orders

USPS First Class Mail International: Place orders by Friday – November 18, 2017. Can take up to 30 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner, but not a trackable service and cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/22/2017.

USPS Express Mail International: Place orders by Friday – December 1, 2017. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner.

UPS WORLDWIDE EXPRESS, UPS WORLDWIDE EXPEDITED and UPS EXPRESS SAVER (UPS International orders): Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that international packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.

DHL EXPRESS WORLDWIDE: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that international packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.


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