Insane Hydraulics

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Bluetooth Monitor Project Update from 31/05/2020

The Corona pandemic has turned everything upside down, and a lot of stuff had to be "put on hold", so to speak, to accommodate the current reality, so the wireless monitor project is not in the "full steam ahead" mode as it used to be, although not "in the morgue" either.

As the prototypes have been clocking field hours, my opinion has been changing as well, which I guess is a normal process with any prototype... Some things that I considered essential seem to be not important now, and some stuff that I thought I could do without - is definitely needed.

The biggest issue that I see so far with the system is the absence of the screen. It's more of a matter of convenience, - the transmitters work as they should, but in certain situations it would be nice to be able to take the gauge out of the box, connect it to a system and see a nice big reading right away, bypassing the need to take your phone out and fire up an app.

I thought about this before, of course, but didn't invest in developing the visual display interface because I wanted fast results. However - now I see that adding a screen is surely needed.

Some other things need improving as well, and the more I thought about it, the more I got convinced that the current heart of my gadgets - the Silicon Labs BLE121LR module, which runs on an outdated 8-bit 8051 processor needs to be upgraded. And as much as I enjoyed developing in BG-Script, this is a dead-end, and I need to move to a 32-bit platform and a proper development environment.

So... I gave it some thought, and decided that since I am not seeing a line of angry customers at my doorstep, requesting immediate delivery terms of the wireless measuring system (and let us be honest - in these uncertain times wireless pressure gauges, flow-meters, and data loggers are probably the least searched for items in the world) I will indulge myself with some more development work, and put my bets on a newer BGM13P22 Blue Gecko module, still from Silicon Labs, which boasts a much faster ARM Cortex-M4 32 bit processor, Bluetooth 5.x features, and has a bigger bother BGM13P32 with a legal max Tx power of 19 dBm, which should be a real high-range wall-penetrating beast!

Which brings me to showing off my latest toy - a full blown Wireless Starter Kit directly from Silicon Labs!

I put together a small piece of code just to test the integrated ADC capability as well as the built in Sharp LCD - you can see the short video below.

It turns out that that both the CPU and the screen are pretty fast, and the RAM is big enough to contain all of the pixels (at least for such a small screen). The ADC is a lot faster too and has built-in (hardware based) oversampling, which is a huge deal if you ask me!

The module also has a much bigger non volatile memory, which makes storing information like reading profiles and what not a lot easier.

Am also continuing the work on the mobile App and the Web based back-end, doing all my best to keep up with current library changes.