Bluetooth® Getting Started - Tags & Scanning

  digitalmatter.com

Visit our website for a quick explanation on the use of Bluetooth® in our device range and the applications that it enables

In regards to Bluetooth® firmware and devices, it is critical that you upgrade to the latest firmware version and the latest Bluetooth® version. Later releases of device firmware may not be compatible with all versions of Bluetooth® firmware, and vice versa.

DeviceFirmwareBluetooth® Firmware
Remora22.112.5
G1202.52.1
Eagle2.12.0
G2002.31.6


Firmware Version

See how to upgrade Bluetooth® firmware versions below, and device firmware versions here

Bluetooth® FirmwareChoosing Scan LengthPeriodic ScanningContinuous ScanningIntegrating tagsTags in TG Example
 Walk-throughs

Setting the Bluetooth® Firmware

If you have just booted the device for the first time, it is likely that it has a production level of Bluetooth® firmware installed and you'll need to upgrade the firmware.

  1. First select the device in the device grid, 
  2. open the Device Operations drop down menu 
  3. then select 'set Bluetooth® firmware'

  1. To check which hardware revision you have, consult the device grid under 'Product' column which will show a number and a decimal, the decimal is the hardware revision.
  2. I.e. 62.2 is revision 2
  3. Set the latest Bluetooth® firmware version.


Enabling Bluetooth® functions

If you intend on using any type of Bluetooth® functionality on your Digital Matter device, you will need to ensure that the system parameter 'BLE Global Settings' is enabled.

To work with the system parameters, select the device in the oemserver.com device grid, and click on 'Parameters' >> Set System Parameter (single device)


Choosing Scan Length

When choosing the scan length for your Bluetooth® device you are balancing the power usage and accuracy. If the scan is too short you may miss nearby tags but if it is too long you are wasting power.

Finding the Balance

The first thing you must consider is how often your Bluetooth® tags advertise their data. This is called the "advertisement interval" and can typically be configured or found in the device's datasheet. You should ensure that the Bluetooth® scan length is at a minimum the size of the longest advertising interval used by your devices. You may require a longer scan time than the longest advertising interval as interference from other devices could mean tags are missed.

The next thing you must consider is whether you are using multiple scanning technologies (see here). If you are using both long range and standard Bluetooth® then you should at least double the scan period.

Example

We have three different tag types:

  1. A Guppy which has an advertising interval of every 1 second
  2. An Eddystone tag which has an advertising interval of every 5 seconds
  3. An iBeacon which advertises every 100 milliseconds

Clearly the longest advertisement period is 5 seconds. We want to reduce the chance of missed data so should set the scan period as a multiple of 5 seconds. We test a scan period of 5, 10, 15 and 20 seconds, and find 5 and 10 seconds occasionally miss these Eddystone tags but 15 and 20 seconds work consistently. We therefore set the tag scan time to 15 seconds to reduce power consumption. 

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Periodic Scanning

Periodic scanning is for when you have either a static, or moving gateway that you need to scan for Bluetooth® tags upon conditions being met, for example, start/end of trips or specific time periods.

The device will get a GPS fix prior to conducting a periodic scan. 

Scanning Settings

Scan on Trip Start:
Yes/No to scan for Bluetooth® tags on movement
Trip Start Scan Offset(s):
Set period of time to elapse after trip started to scan
Scan on Trip End 
Yes/No to scan for Bluetooth® tags on end of movement
In-Trip Scan Period(mins):
Time period in minutes between Bluetooth® tag scans while in trip. set 0 to disable
Upload on in Trip Scan:
Yes/No to enable upload to server of tag data while moving.
Out of Trip Scan Period(mins):
time period to scan for Bluetooth® tags while not moving
Upload on out of Trip Scan:
Yes/No to upload scan data while not moving
Scan Length:
Set Scan length time. See Choosing Scan Length for more information
Scan Length units:
Seconds/Minutes
Minimum Tag RSSI(dBm):
Set a minimum strength of the signal to classify a tag as 'Found' or 'Lost'
Device is Stationary:
Yes/No to declare whether device is in a fixed location

Tag Settings

Enable DM Tags:
Enable the identfication/logging of the DM Guppy & SensorNode tag types
Enable iBeacon Tags:
Enable iBeacon Tag types
Enable Eddystone Tags:
Enable Eddystone Tag types
Other tag type 1,2,3:
See Integrating tag types here
Log Tag Lost (stationary mode):
Log a 'Tag Lost' record in telemetry when a consecutive scan does not renew a tag record.

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Continuous Scanning

The Continuous Tag Scanning parameters are more tuned towards logging when tags are found or lost, rather then whether they're present when a scan is executed. This option is currently only available on the G120 4G.

Enable Scanning:
Yes/No to enable Continuous Scanning, this will disable Period Scanning if enabled.
Upload on Tag Found:
Yes/No to upload upon finding a new tag
Upload on Tag Lost:
Yes/No to upload upon losing a tag
Upload on Update Log:
Yes/No to uploading upon consecutive tag scan
Update log Period(mins):
Period between logging tag list. Entering in 0 will disable
Tag Expiry Time(s):
Time to elapse until Tag is declared Lost
Device is Stationary:
Yes/No to declare whether device is in a fixed location
Fixed Lat(stationary mode):
Yes/No
Fixed Long(stationary mode):
Use this function to manually input gateway Longitude/Latitude
RSSI Threshold-Tag Find:
Strength of signal to determine whether a tag is considered found
RSSI Threshold-Tag Lost:
Strength of signal to determine whether a tag is considered lost

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Integrating Tags

If you require a tag to be integrated into Telematics Guru or require a complex device integration, then contact your local Digital Matter representative. However if you simply want to test a device on OEM, or want to integrate a device onto a platform other than Telematics Guru, then you can integrate the tag using the device's system parameters.

To read more about Integrating tags and the process, continue here

The following tags have been integrated into device Firmware and into Telematics Guru.

  • Digital Matter Tags (Guppy BT, SensorNode BT)
  • Apple iBeacon
  • Eddystone
  • Ingics iBS01 (Basic tag)
  • Ingics iBS01T (Temperature / Humidity)
  • Technoton DUT-E S7 Fuel Level Probe

Other tags can be integrated, contact Digital Matter for Support.


Using Tags in Telematics Guru

The flow of data from tag to TG is as follows:

Point 1
Bluetooth® Tag/Sensor
Point 2
DM Bluetooth® Gateway Device
Point 3
Gate way device transmits data to TG
Transmits a beacon every 2 seconds containing the tag or sensor dataScans for tags either periodically or continuously and maintains a list.
An update is sent to the server if the tag is 'Lost', 'Updated' or 'Found'.
Log reason 50 is used to indicate the upload is due to tag activity. These logs can be used to display the data meaningfully.

Adding Tags to Telematics Guru

To set up a tag in Telematics Guru, it is the same process as creating an asset. You can see the full guide here


Accessing Tag Locations and Telemetry

The new 'Tags' menu has been added into Telematics Guru, and contains two sections. Tagged Asset Status and Telemetry.

For this view to be visible the Organisation must have this functionality enabled. To check organisation functionality go to Admin -> Organisation -> Edit Organisation and ensure the Tags functionality is selected.


To access Tag information, there are three levels of Tag data displayed; Status, Map and Telemetry.

Status:

 This lists all of your tags in the one place, their location and the time they were last scanned and the gateway.

Map: 

This screen displays all of your tags on a map, with cluster view.

Telemetry: 

This screen lists all the previous scans and the status of each tag separately, and includes other statistics included in the tag's payload such as battery voltage, RSSI and Tx power.


How do I get a list of where my tags are? 

Tag Location Reports

If you want a easy to digest list of where your tagged assets were last reported, you can run the 'Asset Location' report. If you've set up an 'Asset Type' for all of your Bluetooth® tagged assets, you can filter the report to display only the tags, and no other devices.


Example 1

Remora2 scanning for DM Guppies only, every 30minutes, uploading every 4 hours out of trip.

First set up your OEM Server parameters and make sure to  upgrade your firmware and Bluetooth firmware.The first parameter tab to add to the System Parameters is the 'BLE Global Settings' tab.

Enable BLE
Yes, this will globally enable or disable BLE functionality

The second tab to add is BLE Tag Scanning. Here we can configure the scanning interval. The relevant parameters are highlighted, all others are left on defaults (left untouched)

Setting the In Trip Scan Period and Out of Trip Scan Period to both 30 mins means we scan every 30 mins always. Uploads on scans are disabled - but this just means that an upload won't occur specifically due to a tag scan. Heartbeats and uploads due to trips will still upload all the logs currently on the device. 

By default there is an upload every 30 min while in trip anyway, so no need to double up here. 

The final parameter needed is to set the heartbeat to 4hrs (240 min) under Basic Tracking.

We can see from this tab the In Trip Upload Period is 30 min as discussed.  


Example 2

G120 Continuous scanning and upload on tags found/lost.

Once again, we start by setting up your OEM Server parameters and make sure to upgrade your firmware and bluetooth firmware. The first parameter tab to add to the System Parameters is again the 'BLE Global Settings' tab.

Enable BLE
Yes, this will globally enable or disable BLE functionality

The tab to add for this example is 'BLE Continuous Tag Scanning'. This tab looks different to the Periodic and Tag Scanning tabs because you don't configure the time periods for the scanning, but rather the actions taken when tags are found or lost.

First we enable the scanning mode by selecting Yes, and turn on Upload on Tag Found and Upload on Tag Lost. To upload when a tag has been scanned for a set amount of time, enter the time desired in the 'Update log period' field, here we have used 60mins.

A Tag in this example will be considered lost if it is not scanned for 60 seconds.

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