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Posts: 673
Registered: ‎09-04-2012

Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

[ Edited ]

BlueGecko contest.png

 

Bluetooth Smart allows for short bursts of long-range radio connections, making it ideal for applications that depend on long battery life and don’t need high throughput streaming data. To help users get familiar with our new EFR32 Blue Gecko family, we are inviting three community users who can create a project or a hands-on review based on the EFR32 Blue Gecko starter kit ($99.99) and share it with other members. 

 

How to participate:

If you are interested, submit up to two ideas for new projects or anything particular you want to test/evaluate with the kit by leaving a comment on this page by March 28th, 2016. 

 

Make sure to mention what features of the Blue Gecko family you would like to use in your project/review post and why. If you want to learn more about the family, check out these pages: 

 

Blue Gecko SoC product page

Blue Gecko start kit page

Blue Gecko Documentation

 

Judging: 

The submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria: 

  • Energy efficiency (50%)
  • Usefulness (30%)
  • Originality (20%)

and will be judged by Silicon Labs' Wireless team. 

 

Prize: 

Number of Winners: 3

Prize: 1 x EFR32™ Blue Gecko Bluetooth Smart Wireless SoC Starter Kit

 

Contest Period:

March 14, 2016 - March 28, 2016 11:59 pm PST
The winners will be announced on this page.

 

Requirements: 

  • The three winners are required to publish a project/review post in the community by 14th May 2016. We will send them a guideline and a template to fill in.
  • By entering the contest you acknowledge that you have read and agree to the Community Contest Terms and Conditions. Please review the Contest Rules below before entering the contest.

Nari | Community Manager | Silicon Labs
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-14-2016

Re: Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

I want to make a music making device that will send MIDI data over BLE. Something similar to this one I created with the Intel Curie: http://www.auxren.com/2016/02/intro-to-quill-by-tabor.html

I'd like to compare the two as far as ease of use/programming. If you guys would like to take it a step further and "sponsor" me, I'd love to lay out a PCB to make something smaller than the dev board. 

Posts: 34
Registered: ‎09-11-2012

Re: Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

Too bad. I would really like to test it, and even have a cool project to use the BlueGecko. But I know will never be finished until May Robot Sad So skip it for this time, and lets hope there will be another chance...

--
To err is human, to forgive is against company policy.
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-24-2014

Re: Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

to err is human - big faceless corp neither confirms nor denies any error was made, will be made, or that any of our "employees" are human.

Posts: 11
Registered: ‎08-28-2013

Re: Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

Sometimes a picture is worth a 1000 words Smiley Very Happy

Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-24-2014

Re: Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

If I were to receive the honor of evaluating this kit, I would put SI Labs hardware in the running for the following projects:

 

a) a HAZMAT supply chain security monitor/logging device which needs to operate for days in hibernation mode.

b) a safety and security monitor/logging device for certain supply chain fleet equipment.

 

Both solutions would implement things like super capacitors/energy harvesters and would be accessed by authorized personnel using smart phone apps.

Posts: 4
Registered: ‎08-04-2014

Re: Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

EFR32BG Blue Gecko is great choice for it to use in shopping malls as a beacon.
The EFR32BG will broadcast product info and help customer to find the product by show them the product distance so they can easily get there, the customer can also look for offer or find other near product or buy them directly as it support Ethernet. All we need will be an Mobile App supporting BLE to communicate. Cool isn't it! Smiley Wink

Administrator
Posts: 673
Registered: ‎09-04-2012

Re: Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

Hi, @hlipka 

 

If you are interested in testing it, I recommend creating an entry about your idea on what features you want to test and let our judges decide. 

 

We are looking for not only an EFR32 BG based project but also a hands-on review post. 


Nari | Community Manager | Silicon Labs
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎09-11-2012

Re: Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

OK, if you don't insist on a finished project: my project would be a soil moisture sensor for our garden. In parts of our garden we are using a stone granulate on top of the soil since this keeps the water in the soil (and the weeds away), but it means you don't see easily how wte/dry the soil actually is. So I want to build a solar-powered moisture sensor (using one of the Si70xx humidity sensors) and transmit the data to a Android tablet. This would use the radio board only, but not need to "get started" board with the display. I would like to check the actual energy consumption, maybe I can even skip the solar-power part and have it run on a battery only.
--
To err is human, to forgive is against company policy.
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎12-09-2015

Re: Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

I want to design a control system for conventional lighting bulbs. I will communicate to a Zigbee gateway, so it can be managed from an application.

Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-05-2015

Re: Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

Hello,

 

I want to use the Blue Gecko to realize two projects because of it´s low power consumption. Both projects shoud be powered by a single CR2032 coin cell battery.

 

1. Temperature/humidity-logger:

Temperature and humidity are recorded over a certain period and can be read with an app. The course of temperature and humidity can now be evaluated in a diagram .

 

 

 

 

2. Hight-logger for model rockets (or hiking)

A small PCB with the Blue Gecko and a barometer should log the pressure over a defined time. After the model rocket has landed, you can read the pressure (hight) via an app and can be displayed in a chart. Perhaps it is also possible to implement an acceleration sensor.

 

Posts: 63
Registered: ‎04-14-2015

Re: Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

 

I want to house your EFR32 Blue Gecko inside shoots of bamboo. You plant these bamboo stakes in the ground, solar power them, and hide them in your garden, where they serve as soft garden lights at night-- and also monitor your soil moisture and sunlight during the day:

 

Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuxX9EJtTn4

 

As you can see (above), I already have a functioning project—I just need to add wireless. And I believe the Blue Gecko is a good fit for that. I have a proven track record on these communities. If I get a Blue Gecko kit, I WILL complete the project and post my honest feedback here on these forums. I am also genuinely interested in evaluating the EFR32 and possibly purchasing it in quantity if/when I productize this (the sales channels are already in place).

 

 

The overall feature set of the EFR32-enabled bamboo, once I'm done:

 

      1. Decorate, demarcate, and label your garden with it.

      2. Solar lights.

      3. Biodegradable (a particularly desirable quality, in a garden).

      4. Individually track & record the soil moisture and sunlight data for all your plants throughout the day.

      5. Wireless light switch for your landscape lighting by pointing a laser pointer at it.

      6. Possibly the front-end to an irrigation system as well (although realistically I don't think this would be achieved by May 14th).

      7. Your garden gets its own web page.

      8. Cheap.

 

 

Test Plan

 

  • Set up 10 bamboo stakes as string lights, in a star configuration surrounding the Blue Gecko and the solar panel (since I would be constrained to having only one Blue Gecko—otherwise I would be testing 10 Bluetooth nodes communicating into a single hub).

  • The solar panel, at least initially, comes from the Energy Harvesting Kit from Wurth Electronik.

  • Probe the sensor readings via smart phone.

  • Use the Advanced Energy Monitor (AEM) to track the power usage of the entire system (MPU, lights, sensors, and all).

  • Test the GPIO drive strength in gpioOutputModeHighest, since I will be using those to drive the LED's. The fewer pins I need to drive them all, the better (should be about 20 mA total).

  • Find the optimal power-to-noise tradeoff for the ADC. I have a way I can reduce the power usage of the sensors, but it requires more precise ADC.

  • Test the new Bluetooth 4.2 privacy spec, since I can use that as a power-saving feature.

  • Test the new Bluetooth 4.2 spec which assigns IPv6 addresses to the nodes.

  • Test the impact of temperature on RF reception and power consumption, since this is outdoors (the bamboo is waterproofed, of course).

  • Test the impact to the RF range due to the Blue Gecko kit sitting only 5cm off of the ground (recommended height is 1.5m). I require 5cm for this application.

  • Test outdoor-to-outdoor vs. outdoor-to-indoor wireless communication.

 

  • Communicate wirelessly with a Raspberry Pi 3, which serves as the hub (even though there is only one BG node). The Pi 3 bridges BLE with Wifi and serves the web page.

    • This creates an interesting network routing topology, since I have a single hub (with a single IP address) bridging to BLE (with multiple IPv6 addresses).

  • The Pi 3 drives the relays to the landscape lighting.

  • The Pi 3, like the landscape lighting, runs off of wall power. The Blue Gecko runs off of solar.

     

  • If I had access to multiple BLE modules (preferably 15-30), I would challenge this idea that BLE can only handle up to 10 nodes efficiently. I think we can go much higher than 10—without a mesh—provided the hub knows what it is doing (which in this case is the Raspberry Pi 3). The would make the Blue Gecko perfectly viable for large star networks, provided the range requirements are all met.

     

     

     

 

Contest or no contest, I recommend that Silabs let me evaluate your Blue Gecko starter kit. This is an evaluation for possible inclusion into a consumer product.

 

 

 

 

 

Uploaded by Go Mapleleafs on 2016-03-22.
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-28-2016

Re: Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

I'm prototyping ECG measurements with AD8232. I'd like to use ERF32 Bluetooth module and its ADC in order to prototype personal ECG device. Together with AD8232 it can be very low power. I will evaluate power consumption with continuous measurement and in function of sleep time.

Because there is no standard ECG profile I will create dedicated one and optimize communication strategy in order to be low power.

 

Nice additional feature will be local analysis of ECG signal in order to extract hear rate. This can be used in  standard heart rate profile.

 

Tobiasz Dworak

Posts: 13
Registered: ‎09-27-2015

Re: Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

This is actually an idea that I've been meaning to build for a while: Small BLE digital tokens, useful for prototyping board or card games. The tokens are useful as health counters, information tokens, complex prototype cards with multiple images/states, or even just a cute updatable fridge magnet.

It's a relatively simple idea and the starter kit already has all the necessary peripherals to build it: Using BLE, a mobile app transmits a small image, graphic, or text, to be displayed on the token's memory LCD. The token then displays that image indefinitely until told to do otherwise by the app.

The idea is that these tokens are powered by a small coin cell battery, but can still maintain & update a static image for many months, making this an exercise in aggressive power optimization. The polarity inversion signal required for the memory LCD can be generated through a low power timer, like the TPL5000, allowing the CPU to stay in EM4-hibernate almost perpetually. CRYOTIMER will wake the CPU to refresh the image every two hours to prevent burn-in, and RFSENSE will wake the device in the case that a mobile device has an updated image or graphic to send to it.

It should be a fun exercise to do in the allotted 1.5 months and would make for a pretty decent blog post on energy efficiency and profiling with the kit.

 

BLE Digital Tokens

Posts: 38
Registered: ‎02-07-2014

Re: Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

Hey Community,

 

thanks for all the great ideas. A small team selected the winners, which was a challenging job given the number of attendees:

 

  1. BLE digital tokens - Cixelyn
  2. Bamboo logger - mapleleafs
  3. Temperature / humidity & Hight logger – h4x0r

 

Nari, our community manager will contact to the winners and make sure that they receive the EFR32 Blue Gecko starter kits! Please come back and post some pictures or a short video once the project is completed.

 

Have fun, stay tuned and visit our blog & community for future updates and contests!

 

Thx ...krisztian
Silicon Labs
Posts: 63
Registered: ‎04-14-2015

Re: Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

Thanks for the affirmation. I've got a lot of work to do. I will work on the Raspberry Pi 3 portion right away, while it ships. Should be interesting: the Pi 3 is BLE 4.0. BG is 4.2.
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎09-11-2012

Re: Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

As long as you stay with the BLE 4.0 feature set they should be compatible. Probably they figure this even out by themselves...

--
To err is human, to forgive is against company policy.
Posts: 63
Registered: ‎04-14-2015

Re: Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

It's more of an experiment of how they play together if they don't all speak 4.2. I want to give all of my peripherals IPv6 addresses, and I can't, because 4.0 uses MAC addresses. But I think it's going to end up not mattering, because of the way I bridge it to TCP/IP: the BLE process on the Pi talks to MySQL. As does Apache, which queries it.
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-05-2014

Re: Win an EFR32BG Blue Gecko Starter Kit!

Hi, my idea is a real project need. We have to develop a device that could take data from a mobile device (Smartphone, PC or PDA) vía Bluetooth and retransmit it through a Low power WSN using a transceiver. The real issue is that devices don't have connectivity (Neither WiFi nor Celular coverage) so the WSN is their only option to reach a Cloud-connected device.

For the contest, I would focus on highlight the usability and easy of use of the BG111. Also a sample application could be shared.