Support

WARNING

This section refers to information that refers to first-generation firmware for BlueBeacon (iBeacon or Eddystone version).
For those who have beacons with second-generation firmware, please refer to Sections Configuration and settings, BlueBeacon Manager App for Android or BlueBeacon Manager App for iOS.


Configuration and settings (first-generation FW, iBeacon version)

How can I configure beacons with iBeacon technology?

Configuration can be easily performed through our iOS app BlueBeacon Tool, freely available on AppStore and Google Play. Configure Beacons option must be selected.
Main iBeacon advertising parameters can be configured: proximity UUID, major, minor, advertising interval, transmitted power. Additionally, it is possible to:
- set the device in connectable / non-connectable state (connectable by default);
- set the device in ON/OFF state (in OFF state power consumption is reduced by a factor 10; ON by default);
- read battery status also in non-connectable state.
- assign an alphanumeric identifier to the device;
- calibrate RSSI in-situ;
- set an optional access password (8 decimal digits), user modifiable (password-protected access not set by default).

What is the meaning of the Bluetooth icon color?

The color of the Bluetooth icon, under the image of the beacon, has the following meaning:
- blue: beacon in connectable state;
- grigio: beacon in non-connectable state.
To return the beacon in connectable mode, you must remove and replace the power supply.

Are beacons always connectable?

By default, beacons are shipped with connection option enabled ("connectable mode"). Connectable beacons are listed with the Bluetooth logo in the Configure Beacons view of the BlueBeacon Tool app. If the beacon is connectable, it is possible to access it and read/modify the configuration parameters. Among configuration parameters, you can modify the connection option, by setting the beacon in "non-connectable mode". Non-connectable beacons are listed with the iBeacon logo in the Configure Beacons view of the BlueBeacon Tool app.

BlueBeacon is in "non-connectable mode": can I modify its parameters?

If the beacon is in "non-connectable mode" (listed with iBeacon logo in Configure Beacons view), it works as a simple transmitter, that periodically broadcasts the iBeacon-formatted BLE advertising packet. Thus, you cannot connect to it and modify parameters. But, you can read, through the BlueBeacon Tool, beacon data and settings (model, serial number, proximity-UUID, major, minor, advertising interval, TX power), battery status and RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator) value. If you want to update beacon configuration, you have to remove and insert again the battery (for BlueBeacon USB you have to remove and insert it in the USB connector): for a limited period (15 seconds) after startup, the BlueBeacon is connectable, and you can modify the values of the parameters, including setting the beacon again in "connectable mode".

It is suggested to use the beacon in "connectable mode" or "non-connectable mode"?

It depends on your installation requirements. If beacon are in "connectable mode", every time you can access them and modify parameters. In this case, it is crucial to enable "secure access mode" with a different password on every beacon, in order to prevent beacon undesired access. If parameters modification is not required for your application, we strongly suggest to set the beacons in "non-connectable mode". This is a more secure option, since nobody can access beacon and modify parameters. Additionally, in "non-connectable mode" current consumption is up to 30% lower than that in "connectable mode", thus leading to a longer operating life for battery-powered beacons.

Which are default settings of BlueBeacon beacons?

BlueBeacons with iBeacon technology are shipped with the following default values:
proximity UUID: ACFD065E-C3C0-11E3-9BBE-1A514932AC01;
major number: 0;
minor number: 0;
TX power: -8dBm;
advertising interval: 400msec (Mini, Maxi, Forte), 100msec (USB);
operating state: on, connectable ("non-connectable mode"), password protection disabled ("free-access mode").

How can I configure BlueBeacon devices?

The following BlueBeacons settings can be configured Over-the-Air (OTA): proximity-UUID, major and minor numbers, advertising interval, TX power, power-on state (on/off), connectivity state (connectable/non-connectable), password protection, password value. The settings may be changed through our free iOS app BlueBeacon Tool, available on Apple Store. In order to configure your beacon, you need to insert the battery. In the main view of BlueBeacon Tool, select Configure Beacons option: a list of nearby BlueBeacon devices is provided. For each beacon, it is provided model, serial number, settings (proximity-UUID, major, minor, TX power, advertising interval), battery status, received power. The beacons that can be configured are those connectable (those with the Bluetooth logo). By selecting the beacon, it is possible to access to Device Information, modify Device Settings, access Device Battery status and modify Device Security settings.

Why I need to configure beacon UUID?

Beacon UUID (or proximity UUID) is a property that should be unique to your company (or to each of your iBeacon-based apps). For example, for a store-chain or a museum application, the same UUID should be given to all your beacons. Our BlueBeacon are all pre-configured and shipped with our BlueUp UUID (namely, ACFD065E-C3C0-11E3-9BBE-1A514932AC01). You are free to leave it unchanged for your tests but, for commercial applications, we strongly suggest to use your own UUID. In order to generate your own unique UUID, it is suggested to use UUID generators that are available online. UUID modification can be easily managed via our BlueBeacon Tool iOS app. Additionally, consider that our BlueBeacon comes with a unique non-modifiable serial number, that you can use for identification of the device.

Can you provide beacons with pre-programmed custom UUID?

Yes. We can supply our customers with beacons, with a pre-programmed custom UUID (provided by the customer). This service may be useful for large-scale deployment, in order to avoid to individually set the UUID of each beacon. A little overcharge is required for this service.

How can I use major and minor numbers?

The suggested use of major and minor numbers is the following. Major is the property used to specify a related set of beacons: for example a single store of a store-chain. Minor the property used to specify is a single installation, i.e. a single beacon.

Is there a password protection to access beacon?

Yes. Password is composed by 8 decimal digits, with default password 00000000. By default, beacons are shipped with access password disabled ("free-access mode"). This option has been adopted to simplify beacon management during test and configuration. But, you can simply enable password access ("secure-access mode") through our iOS app BlueBeacon Tool.

How "secure-access mode" is managed?

If "secure-access mode" is enabled (by enabling password access), once you connect to the beacon, you have 30 seconds to insert password. If password is not correct or password is not inserted within 30 seconds, beacon automatically disconnect and starts advertising in "non-connectable mode" for 1 hour. During this period, beacon works properly but it is not connectable. After one hour, beacon again becomes connectable.

Can I modify the password?

Yes. Once you connect to the beacon in "secure-access mode" (by inserting the password), you can modify the password. The password must be an 8 decimal digits number, from 00000000 to 99999999. Custom password (using a different password for each beacon) is strongly recommended in real-world installations, particularly is beacons operates in "connectable mode".

I forgot the password: how can I access the beacon?

If you forget the password, contact us and provide beacon model and serial number. We will provide you a reset password. By inserting the reset password, the beacon will reset to default values.

Can I monitor the battery status in "non-connectable mode"?

Yes. Thanks to our proprietary solution, battery status is accessible also in "non-connectable mode". You can verify battery status in Configure Beacons view: beacons in "non-connectable mode" are identified by iBeacon logo.

How battery status is expressed?

Battery status is expressed in percentage, and represents an estimate of the residual capacity of the battery.


Configuration and settings (first-generation FW, Eddystone version)

How can I configure beacons with Eddystone format?

Configuration can be easily performed through our iOS app BlueBeacon Tool, freely available on AppStore and Google Play. Configure Beacons option must be selected.
Eddystone-URL parameters (both mandatory and optional) can be configured: lock state, lock/unlock, URI data, URI flags, advertised TX power levels, TX power mode, beacon period, reset. Also Eddystone-UID namespace and instance ID's can be configured.
Additionally, it is possible to:
- set the device in connectable / non-connectable state (non-connectable by default). The beacon starts in Configuration Mode (connectable) after power-on, and automatically enters Advertising Mode (not connectable by default) after 30 seconds;
- set the advertising scheme: URL-TLM advertising (default), UID-TLM advertising, URL-UID-TLM advertising. In all cases, URL-frames and/or UID-frames are broadcast for 10 seconds, while TLM-frame is broadcast for 1 second.;

Beacons with full support to the new Eddystone specifications, including EID, are configurable with your app?

No. Beacons with support for the latest Eddystone specifications, including EID (available from Sep. 2016, version "New Eddystone - FULL"), can be configured with the free app from Nordic Semiconductors, nRF Beacon for Eddystone, available for Android.

What is the meaning of the Bluetooth icon color?

The color of the Bluetooth icon, under the image of the beacon, has the following meaning:
- blue: beacon in connectable state;
- grigio: beacon in non-connectable state.
To return the beacon in connectable mode, you must remove and replace the power supply.

Can BlueBeacon beacons broadcast all Eddystone format frames?

Yes. BlueBeacon beacons can be configured to work according to the following advertising schemes: URL-TLM scheme (default), UID-TLM scheme, URL-UID-TLM scheme. In all cases, URL-frames and/or UID-frames are broadcast for 10 seconds, while TLM-frame is broadcast for 1 second. The configuration can be set by writing the proper value on the 0x20b0 characteristic: 0x00 for URL-TLM scheme, 0x01 for UID-TLM scheme and 0x02 for URL-UID-TLM scheme.

Which are URL and UID default settings of BlueBeacon beacons?

BlueBeacons with Eddystone format are shipped with the following default values:
URL: http://www.blueupbeacons.com
namespace-ID: ACFD065E1A514932AC01;
instance-ID: a combination of model identifier and beacon unique serial number.

Is it possible modify URL and/or UID values?

Yes. Both URL and UID (both namespace-ID and instance-ID) are modifiable. Values are configurable with BlueBeacon Tool app for both iOS and Android. URL address configuration can be done also with the free app Physical Web, freely available for both iOS and Android.

What kind of data are contained in Eddystone-URL frame?

Eddystone-URL frame contains an URL (Uniform Resource Locator) using a compressed encoding format in order to fit more within the limited advertisement packet.

What kind of data are contained in Eddystone-UID frame?

Eddystone-UID frame broadcasts an opaque unique 16-byte beacon ID composed of a 10-byte namespace ID and a 6-byte instance ID. The namespace ID may be used to group a particular set of beacons, while the instance ID identifies individual devices in the group. The division of namespace and instance IDs may also be used to optimize BLE scanning strategies, e.g. by filtering only on the namespace.

What kind of data are contained in Eddystone-TLM frame?

Eddystone-TLM frame can theoretically broadcasts any kind of data from sensors or related to the operation of the beacon. The actual version of Eddystone-TLM frame (TLM version 0x00) contains the battery voltage (expressed in mV), the beacon temperature (expressed degrees Celsius), a first counter of advertisement frames of all types emitted by the beacon since power-up or reboot, and a second counter that represents time since beacon power-up or reboot (expressed in 0.1 seconds).

Which is the Eddystone beacon configuration for the Physical Web?

The Physical Web is built on top of beacons that broadcast over the Eddystone protocol, advertising the Eddystone-URL frame packet. Thus, it is required to configure BlueBeacon beacons according the default advertising scheme URL-TLM. You can find a tutorial on best practices for Eddystone beacons configuration (URL, TX power, advertising interval) and installation in the document Physical Web Getting Started Guide for Developers from Google.