For a quick explanation on the use of Bluetooth in our device range and the applications that it enables - click here to view our news article


Summary

Digital Matter has included Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) as an important technology in its product range. We see BLE as an enabler for local communications between our devices and other tags, devices, sensors or mobile phones.


Current devices in the range are:

Introduction

The Remora2 can periodically scan for BLE tags nearby, and transmits this information over the cellular network. Using this functionality, the Remora2 can be attached to high value assets, or at a central location on-site, to track low-cost and compact BLE tags (like the Guppy Bluetooth). These can be attached to lower valued assets like pallets, stock or tools, to record where they are located, without the need for a more costly GPS or WiFi based tracking device.


After the scan is complete, any seen tags will be either marked as new (if was not seen in the last scan), or updated (if it was). If stationary mode is enabled, tags that were seen in the last scan, but not the latest, will be marked as lost (and will be deleted from the list after data has been logged). All tag data will be recorded, and sent up to the server. Depending on the type of tag, this may include:


The gateway device reports a collection of information about the tag:

  • Tag serial
  • Tag type
  • Battery level or voltage
  • Internal temperature
  • Transmit power level and received signal strength (used for distance estimates)


The current position of the Remora2, as well as tag signal strength information, can be used to determine the estimated distance away from the Remora2 is located. This will be a radius around the scanning device, as direction cannot be calculated. BLE tags are also perfect for managing multiple work sites, where employees, or assets, are frequently moving between locations.

Setting It Up

For details on how to get started with the Remora2, please visit the getting started guide here


Host Device Settings

1. Upgrade Firmware

To enable the Bluetooth settings first make sure your firmware is upgraded to the appropriate firmware version, which is version 1.2 or above. See Remora2 release notes here. Please note that there is a seperate version for the on-board BLE module, which may require updating (new version releases are much less frequent, so this will most likely not be required). Please view the article on how to update device firmware, and also the article on upgrading the BLE firmware.


2. System Parameters

After checking that the required firmware is on the device, open your system parameters (editing system parameters) and select BLE Global Settings. This must be enabled for any BLE functionality to work.

Further to this, the BLE Tag Scanning Tab must be added, and the device to set up to scan. 


The next tab to add is BLE Tag Scanning, which includes the following options, defaults are shown. Note it will not do any scans on default settings.

Set one of the settings highlighted in RED in the list below to Yes or something non 0 to have the device scan.



  • Device is Stationary - Set to Yes if the Remora2 will be set up in a permanent location
  • Scan on Trip Start
  • Trip Start Scan Offset (s) - Once a trip has started, how long to wait before doing a tag scan
  • Scan on Trip End
  • In-Trip Scan Period (m) -  Time between scans during a trip. Set to 0 to disable this functionality
  • Upload on In-Trip Scan - Upload tag data from the above scans. If disabled, tag data will be sent through on the next scheduled upload.
  • Out of Trip Scan period(m) - Period between scans when out of a trip
  • Upload on Out of Trip Scan - Upload data on an out of trip scan
  • Scan Length (s) -  Length of time in seconds to scan for tags. This may need to be increased in areas with a lot of Bluetooth traffic, or when tags are being missed
  • Minimum Tag RSSI (dBm) - Set minimum signal strength to qualify tag as 'In range'. This can be used to reduce the effective range of a scan, so that only very close tags are reported
  • Enable DM Tags - Scan for Digital Matter Guppy Bluetooth tags
  • Enable iBeacon Tags
  • Enable Eddystone Tags (UID)
  • Other Tag Types 1,2,3 - Scan for other tags (includes customer tags)