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November 28, 2017 AT 12:30 am

Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2017 – Internet of Things: BLE Friends & Sniffers

Holiday Gift Guide Week 03 iOT Blog Banner ORIG

Today is day 2 of our Internet of Things gift guide and we’re featuring…BLE Friends & Sniffers! See day 1 Bluefruit Boards here and see all of our 2017 Gift Guides here!


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Adafruit Bluefruit LE UART Friend – Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE): Would you like to add powerful and easy-to-use Bluetooth Low Energy to your robot, art or other electronics 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 Bluefruit LE UART Friend!

The Bluefruit LE UART Friend makes it easy to add Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity to anything with a hardware or software serial port. We even have nice hardware flow control so you won’t have to think about losing data. Connect to your Arduino or other microcontroller or even just a standard FTDI cable for debugging and testing.

This multi-function module can do quite a lot! For most people, they’ll be very happy to use the standard Nordic UART RX/TX connection profile. In this profile, the Bluefruit acts as a data pipe, that can ‘transparently’ transmit back and forth from your iOS or Android device. You can use our iOS App or Android App, or write your own to communicate with the UART service.
You can do a lot more too!

There are plenty of BLE modules out there, with varying quality on the HW design as well as the firmware. So why should you go with this one?

One of the biggest advantages of the Adafruit Bluefruit LE family is that we wrote all of the firmware running on the devices ourselves from scratch. We control every line of code that runs on our modules … and so we aren’t at the mercy of any third party vendors who may or may not be interested in keeping their code up to date or catering to our customer’s needs. (read more)

Related Guides in the Adafruit Learning System:


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Adafruit Bluefruit LE SPI Friend – Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE): Would you like to add powerful and easy-to-use Bluetooth Low Energy to your robot, art or other electronics 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 Bluefruit LE SPI Friend!

The Bluefruit LE SPI Friend makes it easy to add Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity to anything with 4 or 5 GPIO pins. With SPI, you don’t have to worry about baud rates, flow control, or giving up a hardware UART port. Connect to your Arduino or other microcontroller using the common four-pin SPI interface (MISO, MOSI, SCK and CS) plus a 5th GPIO pin for interrupts (to let the Arduino know when data or a response is ready).

This multi-function module can do quite a lot! For most people, they’ll be very happy to use the standard Nordic UART RX/TX connection profile. In this profile, the Bluefruit acts as a data pipe, that can ‘transparently’ transmit back and forth from your iOS or Android device. You can use our iOS App or Android App, or write your own to communicate with the UART service. (read more)

Related Guides in the Adafruit Learning System:


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Bluefruit LE Friend – Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE 4.0) – nRF51822 – v3.0: The Bluefruit LE Friend is your new BLE BFF! This USB-to-BLE board makes it easy to get your computer talking to your BLE enabled phone or tablet using a standard serial/UART connection.

In it’s simplest form, it works on the same principle as a common USB/Serial adapter (the FTDI Friend, for example!). Any data that you enter via your favorite terminal emulator on your development machine will be transferred over the air to the connected phone or tablet, and vice versa, as a basic ‘UART’ connection

The short and sweet:

  • Completely transparent Data mode for USB to Bluetooth LE UART connectivity from computer to tablet/phone
  • Connect to any phone or tablet with BLE, great for debugging or developing BLE devices or apps
  • Works great with both Nordic (Android/iOS) or Adafruit (iOS) UART app, check out our source code if you want to create your own app!
  • Uses the fancy Nordic nRF51822 chipset with custom firmware
  • Optional Command mode to set GATT services/characteristics, advertising name/packet, Beacon capability, query status, RSSI, etc.
  • Comes with standard Over-the-Air DFU bootloader, reprogram firmware using any BLE-capable iOS or Android device
  • 4 LED indicators: blue connection status, red mode status, orange and green for RX/TX
  • Snap-off SWD connector for advanced JTAG re-programming

You might be asking, Hey my macbook already has Bluetooth and I can get a USB Bluetooth adapter, so why use this? Good question! You can get a Bluetooth 4.0 USB dongle from the store already, but Windows 7 doesn’t support Bluetooth Low Energy natively, and on Win8 or OS X you’ll have to sort through a huge pile of native Bluetooth APIs and development tools that often require an annual paid license and specific license terms to access. You can’t just connect wirelessly without a huge stack of software or firmware in the way because there isn’t a standard, open source, cross-platform way to talk BLE today.

The Bluefruit Friend is much more, it has a full BLE peripheral stack and interface software so that you can treat your BLE connection just like a UART connection – that makes it trivial to use with free Terminal software or scripting software like python (with pySerial). Using Bluefruit LE Friend, you can be up and running in under and hour on just about anything with a USB port, with easy migration across platforms and operating systems. (read more)

Related Guides in the Adafruit Learning System:


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Bluefruit LE Sniffer – Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE 4.0) – nRF51822 – v3.0: Interested in learning how Bluetooth Low Energy works down to the packet level? Debugging your own BLE hardware, and trying to spot where something is going wrong? Or maybe you’re writing a custom application for your phone or tablet that needs to talk to existing BLE hardware, but you don’t know how it works beneath the surface? We have the perfect tool for you!

This Bluefruit LE Friend is programmed with a special firmware image that turns it into an easy to use Bluetooth Low Energy sniffer. You can passively capture data exchanges between two BLE devices, pushing the data into Wireshark, the open source network analysis tool, where you can visualize things on a packet level, with useful descriptors to help you make sense of the values without having to crack open the 2000 page Bluetooth 4.0 Core Specification every time.

Plug it into your development machine, fire up the special sniffer bridge SW, select the device you want to sniff, and it will fire up Wireshark for you and start pushing data in via a live stream (using Nordic’s Windows software), or save to a pcap file that you can analyze with Wireshark later.

Please Note: You can only use this device to listen on Bluetooth Low Energy devices! It will not work on Bluetooth (classic) devices. The Nordic Wireshark-streaming sniffer software is currently Windows only. We have example code using the python API that will work on any OS to log the sniffed data to a pcap file for analysis so you can use this sniffer with any OS with python.

The sniffer firmware cannot be used with the the Nordic DFU bootloader firmware, which means that if you want to reprogram this devices you must use a J-Link (and, likely, a SWD adapter + SWD Breakout) You cannot over-the-air reprogram it. (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 M0 are 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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