piBeacon: 7- tested Beacons

Posted on
Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:42 pm
kw123 offline
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piBeacon: 7- tested Beacons

try: "nonda iHere Key Finder - gen 2" on amazon. $20,
works fine, has a rechargeable battery, charge last > 1 month

a little bigger than the xy, but you can recharge

have ordered a nonda iHere Key Finder gen 4 $13 and a nonda Aiko$16 Finder, for testing

Karl

Posted on
Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:11 am
kw123 offline
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piBeacon: 7- tested Beacons

feedback on nano ihere 3 and aiko

the nado- ihere version 3 works fine,

the nado aiko also, but needs a different iPhone app.

It seems they do not send any iBeacons signals when the iPhone app is active.

the nado aiko looks really slick. Will be WA!


all of them have the same UUID: 005b0200239be11102d1001c00000319-2-522

Karl

Posted on
Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:40 pm
kw123 offline
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Re: piBeacon: 7- tested Beacons

To calibrate the transmit power -- This process is true for iBeacons as well as BLEconnect:

It is important to get that number right in iBeacon device edit.
The meaning of TX-power data from the iBeacons varies. For some (eg xy,.. ) it is correct. Others show an indicator of the strength: 0-8 - not the dBm.
If the number is around -40--60 in txPower it is likely correct (for iBeacons not for BLEconnect they have much higher regular txPowers)

Do the following:
1. place the iBeacom 1 meter away from an RPI - direct line of sight
2. wait 1+ minute
3. check the RSSI value (signal) of the iBEacon for that RPI.
4. edit beacon device
5. enter the measured signal value @ 1m into the "== Set txPower, use number ... " field
6. save

Then the distance valuation will be (much) more accurate.

Karl

Posted on
Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:20 am
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piBeacon: 7- tested Beacons

Just to confirm. The ihere and aiko work fine.
They have been up for > 1 week without Interruption

Karl.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Posted on
Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:05 pm
johnpolasek offline
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Re: piBeacon: 7- tested Beacons

Just FYI, I looked around a bit on Amazon and found the Blue Charm https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FC5FMHW/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 for $16 and the Feasy Mini https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077FQ6HLV/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 for $18. Both about the same size as the XYs although a bit thicker. I had about $40 in reward points on my credit card, so I got one of each. Both showed up perfectly right out of the box and have continued to show as up when home and expired when not, so I haven't downloaded the configuration apps; The Charm seems to have a bit more powerful signal than the Feasy and of course I won't know if their 9 month to 1 year battery life claims are anywhere near true for a few months yet. But I figure that even if they all DO show up with the samw UUIDs or burn through a 3032 in a month, I supposedly can override signal strength, interval, and ID info in both of them so that'll give me something to fiddle with.

Posted on
Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:33 pm
johnfdl offline
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Re: piBeacon: 7- tested Beacons

So I've been playing with a few beacons.....

FitbitCharge 2: I previously could not seem to get this to work. Now it works, but only when I force stop on the fitbit app on my phone. And then it works for about 30 mins and the app auto-relaunches on my phone and it reports down again. So while it would be nice to have it work, it just doesn't seem to work if I am also to use it for activity tracking (which I do). The way I was able to detect it was via an Android App called BLE Scanner. I launched that and then force the stop of the fitbit app (from my phone's Settings-> Apps & Notifications->See All Apps->Fitbit->Force Stop). It then shows in the BLE Scanner app as Charge 2 (which is the model of my Fitbit). I then cross referenced the MAC address from the BLE Scanner to the Indigo piBeacon plug in. I had to delete all beacon history so it would show up (as default is for app to ignore any devices previously picked up but not defined). Once found in Indigo device list, I could then tell it would not work for me due to the fact that it goes down/expired after it reconnects with my phone. Even though it doesn't appear the Fitbit app is running, it is (and will auto-restart). So the only solution I can determine is to uninstall the app, which then makes the Fitbit rather useless,
Image
Image

Nonda ZUS
Image
So I ordered what was labelled on Amazon.com's product page as an Nonda iHere, but I got the Nonda ZUS. It looks the same (traingular) so I thought I'd see if I can find it in Indigo. I was able to do the same thing (using BLE Scanner to extrapolate the device from the name that appears in BLE Scanner). I first charged it up (as it has an internal battery with USB charging). As soon as it was plugged in for Charging, it popped into my BLE Scanner. Again, I knew it was the ZUS because it showed as a name beginning with ZUS. Again, then used the MAC in the app to find the device in my Indigo device list. It works fine as long as I don't have the ZUS Car Finder app running on the phone.....as soon as I start the app, the beacon goes down....and when I kill the app, it comes back up. The nice thing here is that the app doesn't auto-relaunch (like the fitbit app) so this makes it quite usable. You don't need to install the app if you don't want to....it's not needed to activate the device in the Indigo plugin. It had a good strong signal.
Here's the amazon product page from where I ordered: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075K7T8HZ

Itag
Image
Same deal as Nonda ZUS and Fitbit.....it shows up in Bluetooth app on phone with label ITAG, then found it in Indigo Plugin device using MAC. Worked just fine (though had lower signal than ZUS). To be honest, I am unsure where I got these from, but they show on Wal-Mart website for $7. Nice form factor but I prefer the rechargeable battery on the ZUS.

Nonda Aiko
I know Karl said this one works, but for me (without an iPhone), I can't get it to work. It does show up when I press the button, but then goes down later and doesn't come back unless/until I press the button again. I presume this needs to first be 'registered' with the app in order to continuously send a beacon signal (as long as the app is down as Karl points out). Once I get my hands on a friend's iPhone, I can confirm if this is the case.

Sidenote: BLE Scanner is a good little app. I like that I can add aliases to better name the devices so i know what they are. I can also favorite certain ones, and finally, i can log history of devices and export to spreadsheet. https://www.bluepixeltech.com/portfolio/ble-scanner/

Hope this helps folks.

Posted on
Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:42 pm
kw123 offline
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Re: piBeacon: 7- tested Beacons

John,
thanks for the write up..

In the early days you could get simple dumb iBeacon. They just were sending an iBeacon signal every 0.x secs. thats all .. perfect.

Now all new beacons have additional features. And they all require activation be an (i)phone app.
Once connected to the phone they change behavior. Wait for the iPhone to ask something etc.
Most fall back to the dumb mode send out iBeacon messages every x secs when the phone app shuts down. As the iBeacon thinks it lost its Mother (phone)
Those are perfect for piBeacon.
And some stay intelligent == looks like fitbit, the new tiles etc. They will NOT work with piBeacon as they stop broadcasting


=========
A general way to find out the MAC # of the beacons. iPhones do not share the MAC number with the apps anymore.
Or I have not found a single app that shows the MAC number. And piBeacon uses the MAC number as THE key to id the beacon.

Here the most efficient way to find / id a new beacon:
1. set accept new beacons to eg -60 in config. That will only add beacons that have a strong received signal and not the junk that drives by your home.
2. put your new beacon onto/next to an RPI. That RPI will see a STRONG signal > -60 dBm, hence create a new ibeacon device.
3. move the new beacon away from the RPI eg to another. The received signal RSSI should be much smaller eg -85 . Move it back and it should go up again.
===> now you have ID-ed the beacon, RENAME the device to something meaningful and move it you your good ibeacon folder
4. put the beacon 1m away from the RPI. Then the received signal (RSSI) = TXpower by definition. Put that rssi number into the iBeacon device edit for TX power.
==> now the distance calculation should be accurate (in vacuum with no walls)

All setup, now disable accept new beacons in config again.

Karl

Posted on
Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:52 pm
johnfdl offline
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Re: piBeacon: 7- tested Beacons

Thanks Karl....I didn't realize the iPhone didn't reveal the MAC....that's problematic. It is interesting that the beacon name (Charge 2, for example) shows up in the phone app, but not in the plug in. That would improve the experience in identifying which device aligns to a beacon. Is that possible to reveal in the Name Notes field perhaps for the device when it's first created?

Posted on
Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:05 pm
kw123 offline
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Re: piBeacon: 7- tested Beacons

I don't know how to get the name.. I GUESS there is a table MAC# --> device manufacturer

the RPI is ONLY listing to BC messages, does not actively send anything

Karl
ps

"BLE connect" does:
1. try to connect,
2. wait for response
3. if response : phone is up and we have RSSI;
4. then stop.

if no response wait x secs , redo #1-4

Posted on
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:36 pm
kw123 offline
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Re: piBeacon: 7- tested Beacons

tried the MAC to vendor list for all my iBeacons ( from: https://standards.ieee.org/develop/regauth/oui/ ...)
Code: Select all
   piBeacon                        MAC# 44:D1:FC:8A:36:2B   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# B8:27:EB:7F:13:8B   v name:Raspberry Pi Foundation
   piBeacon                        MAC# CC:17:DC:B2:DF:D4   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 5C:F3:70:6D:D9:6E   v name:CC&C Technologies
   piBeacon                        MAC# 5C:F3:70:6D:DA:7A   v name:CC&C Technologies
   piBeacon                        MAC# CB:4A:59:D7:C6:6B   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# B8:27:EB:42:9E:8B   v name:Raspberry Pi Foundation
   piBeacon                        MAC# 0E:0A:14:09:49:52   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 5C:F3:70:78:31:93   v name:CC&C Technologies
   piBeacon                        MAC# B8:27:EB:D4:E3:35   v name:Raspberry Pi Foundation
   piBeacon                        MAC# B8:27:EB:71:38:E7   v name:Raspberry Pi Foundation
   piBeacon                        MAC# 0C:F3:EE:00:83:40   v name:EM Microelectronic
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:EA:24:0C:11:28   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# B6:FB:E4:29:A4:E3   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 5C:F3:70:77:4A:A1   v name:CC&C Technologies
   piBeacon                        MAC# 1B:1C:EE:22:16:9E   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# F2:F9:57:1F:ED:97   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# CA:7A:66:53:54:04   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:19:F6:30:B4:C4   v name:Acconet (PTE) Ltd
   piBeacon                        MAC# 30:3F:5D:2F:EB:A2   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# B8:27:EB:D9:11:18   v name:Raspberry Pi Foundation
   piBeacon                        MAC# 0C:F3:EE:00:80:39   v name:EM Microelectronic
   piBeacon                        MAC# F5:19:E6:7F:DC:DE   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# E0:48:5B:9B:B5:5A   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:EA:23:0B:E2:57   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 65:65:27:D7:81:44   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# EC:FE:7E:10:9C:E7   v name:BlueRadios
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:15:83:E5:12:D5   v name:IVT corporation
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:1A:7D:DA:71:11   v name:cyber-blue(HK)Ltd
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:EA:24:02:EC:07   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 24:DA:11:21:2B:20   v name:NO NDA Inc
   piBeacon                        MAC# E8:D4:17:49:9C:6A   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 24:DA:11:26:3B:4D   v name:NO NDA Inc
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:EA:24:02:EC:08   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 24:DA:11:27:E5:D4   v name:NO NDA Inc
   piBeacon                        MAC# 0E:0A:14:09:3F:19   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 47:DD:A4:63:AB:77   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:EA:23:09:81:57   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:EA:23:09:81:54   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:EA:24:0C:11:24   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# D4:D4:36:86:9B:60   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:EA:24:0C:11:27   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# C1:33:62:A9:36:15   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# B8:27:EB:12:5A:C1   v name:Raspberry Pi Foundation
   piBeacon                        MAC# 70:28:95:45:F5:F8   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 7C:EC:79:CA:2D:5C   v name:Texas Instruments
   piBeacon                        MAC# AC:29:3A:EC:A9:9F   v name:Apple
   piBeacon                        MAC# B4:99:4C:80:8A:07   v name:Texas Instruments
   piBeacon                        MAC# 58:7D:9B:31:C1:E0   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 5C:F3:70:6D:DF:28   v name:CC&C Technologies
   piBeacon                        MAC# 44:1E:0F:4E:70:67   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 5C:F3:70:78:31:82   v name:CC&C Technologies
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:EA:24:20:D5:A4   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:EA:24:20:D5:A7   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# B8:27:EB:20:90:32   v name:Raspberry Pi Foundation
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:EA:23:11:2B:E7   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# D0:D2:B0:88:7B:76   v name:Apple
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:EA:23:11:2B:E4   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:EA:24:20:D5:A8   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# 40:CB:C0:D0:FF:C2   v name:Apple
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:1B:35:0E:9E:A6   v name:ChongQing JINOU Science & Technology Development CO.
   piBeacon                        MAC# 0C:F3:EE:00:66:15   v name:EM Microelectronic
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:07:80:C6:20:69   v name:Bluegiga Technologies OY
   piBeacon                        MAC# B8:27:EB:51:8B:C6   v name:Raspberry Pi Foundation
   piBeacon                        MAC# 00:EA:24:02:EC:04   v name:
   piBeacon                        MAC# A0:14:3D:CD:0C:16   v name:PARROT SA
looks like the original manufacturer, not the brand name (besides raspberry and Apple) and a lot of empty ones

"NO NDA Inc" = NODA = iHere
"EM Microelectronic" seems to be radius
the xy have no name in the DB
...

I can add this to a state " vendorName"

next release.

Karl

Posted on
Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:42 am
johnpolasek offline
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Location: Aggieland, Texas

Re: piBeacon: 7- tested Beacons

kw123 wrote:
John,
thanks for the write up..

In the early days you could get simple dumb iBeacon. They just were sending an iBeacon signal every 0.x secs. thats all .. perfect.

Now all new beacons have additional features. And they all require activation be an (i)phone app.
Once connected to the phone they change behavior. Wait for the iPhone to ask something etc.
Most fall back to the dumb mode send out iBeacon messages every x secs when the phone app shuts down. As the iBeacon thinks it lost its Mother (phone)
Those are perfect for piBeacon.
And some stay intelligent == looks like fitbit, the new tiles etc. They will NOT work with piBeacon as they stop broadcasting
Karl


Actually the charm and Feasy didn't require activation by an app; As soon as I pulled the paper tab on the Feasy keeping the battery from making contact and pushed the button on the Charm without ever even downloading the app for them, TWO new beacons appeared on the Pi sitting about 10 feet away. I immediately named them and waited.... after a few minutes, one of the new beacons expired and I deleted those; it looks like they have a "dumb" ping that runs continuously and all the smart behavior communicating with a home base is probably tied to the second ID. And also, when I tried some of the beacons in the ITAG format shown above (In bulk, you can get them for as little as $2=$3 apiece in 3 to 10 multipacks on Amazon, they had the opposite problem; unless the appropriate app was running on the IPhone, they would come up whey I pushed the button, then go "dormant" after about 4 minutes unless the app was in "anti-lost" mode, which caused the phone AND the tag to scream if I left my keys by my bed and went into the kitchen with my phone in my pocket. In "find me" mode, the tag didn't transmit, but would start pinging as well as beeping if the phone app requested it, and the phone would only beep if the app was running when I pressed the button on the tag... and since the app kept the phone's gps running an d sucked down the battery, I couldn't leave that live, so they were (are; I saw one in the junk drawer a few weeks ago) pretty much useless, I gave up on them. However, that was over a year ago; Wonder if it would be worth blowing another $10 to $15 to see if they have "evolved".

Posted on
Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:45 am
johnfdl offline
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Re: piBeacon: 7- tested Beacons

Thanks Karl. Seeing the name (if one exists) will make it a bit easier. I find it fascinating how many becaons there are (i live on a decent sized lot on a not-busy street).. I had cleared the ignore list and turned off auto-delete of non-defined beacons.....just to see what was out there.. About 800 have appeared and expired in the last 5 days. It would be interesting to see what they are (see the Manufacturer). A few came on and have not gone down since, so I assume they are something in my home (like Playstation, remote control, computer, headset, etc.). The crazy part of my brain wants to know what they are and define them (not sure why).

I particularly like the usb-charged Becaons like the Nonda ZUS as it means I can plug it into the USB on my car and never have to worry about charging it. The only drawback to that approach is when I don't take my car when I go somewhere.......Indigo will think I am home and not run my 'lockdown' action group (lock all doors, close garage, arm alarm, manage lights, etc.). But that is a rare case for me, so I can just do it from my phone after I leave, or grab the ZUS out of my car before I go.

Posted on
Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:02 am
johnpolasek offline
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Location: Aggieland, Texas

Re: piBeacon: 7- tested Beacons

johnfdl wrote:
I particularly like the usb-charged Becaons like the Nonda ZUS as it means I can plug it into the USB on my car and never have to worry about charging it. The only drawback to that approach is when I don't take my car when I go somewhere.......Indigo will think I am home and not run my 'lockdown' action group (lock all doors, close garage, arm alarm, manage lights, etc.). But that is a rare case for me, so I can just do it from my phone after I leave, or grab the ZUS out of my car before I go.


You can always put it in a different group than your "family" group (say make it an "Other1" beacon and then trigger the lockdown on Family -Home becomes 0 if you are also carrying a (family) tile on your keys... This is what I do since all our vehicles have tiles in them and usually at least one stays home. The "other1" group has it's own trigger that turns on the garage light for 5 minutes when the count increases IF conditions are it's dark and the garage light is off (meaning nobody's working in the workshop there already).

And I usually avoid rechargables because unless I'd be using them in a context where they were continuously charged, most of them don't run anywhere nearly as long as a 2032 based one; just long enough to let you forget that you haven't charged it in the past 2 or 3 weeks before it doesn't unlock the door and disarm the security system. And once you do have to drag out your phone and bring up touch to get in, you're stuck letting it charge for an hour or so once or twice a month, rather than just popping open the case and dropping in a new watch battery in a matter of seconds once or twice a year. If the darned new fitbits still worked like the old Flex I started with, I had another reason to charge that every week, or the #@*#%$ IPhone would stick with one UUID instead of making itself a new beacon every time it wakes up so I could use it as a beacon, I'd be a much bigger fan of those two rechargables.

Posted on
Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:24 am
johnfdl offline
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Re: piBeacon: 7- tested Beacons

Thanks for the input John. Fortunately, when the beacon battery would die, i only need to manually unlock the door (via the keypad) which then tells Indigo to tell the alarm to disable. So it's not so bad. But I guess there is no perfect solution (yet). Though I've been using the piBeacon for over a year now and I have to say it is super fast, reliable and has been completely hands off since I set it up (except now when I went to switch beacons)......essentially the goal of home automation.

Posted on
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:16 pm
johnpolasek offline
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Re: piBeacon: 7- tested Beacons

johnfdl wrote:
Thanks for the input John. Fortunately, when the beacon battery would die, i only need to manually unlock the door (via the keypad) which then tells Indigo to tell the alarm to disable. So it's not so bad. But I guess there is no perfect solution (yet). Though I've been using the piBeacon for over a year now and I have to say it is super fast, reliable and has been completely hands off since I set it up (except now when I went to switch beacons)......essentially the goal of home automation.


Point of philosophy, I guess. I prefer to get a Pushover alert on my phone if a door opens with 0 family beacons present whether a code is used or not unless I manually disarm it. and once I open Touch to hit disarm on the whole house control page after I bounce off the door, I might as well do one extra tap to unlock it. But you are right about Pibeacon (and all the rest of Indigo for that matter) making home automation easy; for the most part, the doors lock and unlock automatically, the garage light comes on by itself when I drive up at night, when we go on trips, the away schedule runs a random sequence of lights on and off in the house, all without me having to think about it past the original scheduling and trigger setup.

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