BT832X, The Longest Range Bluetooth  5 Module

 

BT832X

 

BT832X, Bluetooth 5 Module with Power Amplifier

BT832X is a Nordic nRF52832 module with Skyworks SKY66112 power amplifier. With over 120 dB link budget, range is 1300 meters when antenna on BT832Xs is facing each other. When one antenna is rotated 30 degrees after each measurement, average range for 12 measurements is 1170 meters.

Sister module, BT832XE is with Power Amplifier and an u.FL Connector for external antenna. Range is 1350 meters with ANT060 antenna.

Procedures for Measuring Bluetooth Ranges

Evaluation board EV-BT832X/BT832XE is loaded with Master or  Slave firmware for range measurement. A Slave board can be connected to a smartphone and up to 4 Master boards. A smartphone is not required for measuring range between 2 Bluetooth modules.

Using Evaluation board with Master and Slave Firmware to measure Bluetooth range

Using Evaluation board with Master and Slave Firmware to measure Bluetooth range

A Slave board and a Master board are required for range measurement.

  1. Powering up both Master and Slave boards. Portable smartphone charger is recommended.
  2. LED 2 is ON to indicate connection between Master and Slave.
  3. Each board sends a command every second.
  4. LED 4 toggles ON/OFF when a valid Bluetooth command is received. A consistent toggling of LED light is an indication for almost error free data reception. When signal is weak or interference is high, some toggling is missed.
  5. Measure the range that LED 4 stops toggling for a few seconds.
  6. Rotate one board by 30 degrees and take 12 total measurements. 

Testing Conditions

We test ranges of BT832X and BT832XE in a farmland east of Scottsdale, Arizona USA. Testing conditions:

  1. One evaluation board on a long wood stick supporting by a ladder. Antenna is 7 feet or 2.1 meters above ground.
  2. A tester holds the short wood stick with the second evaluation board. Antenna is about 2.1 meters above ground during testing. The second evaluation board is rotated by 30 degree after each measurement.
  3. Wireless interference is relatively low in this area.
  4. A car or a truck can blow dust up and block Bluetooth signal.
  5. "Track Exercise" feature of Fitbit app on an iPhone 6 Plus is used to measure distance. Resolution is 10 meters. Human steps are used to measure distance with resolution to 1 meter in some cases.
Test site for BT832X and BT832XE in Scottsdale Arizona, USA.

Test site for BT832X and BT832XE in Scottsdale Arizona, USA.

Testing Results

We measure Bluetooth ranges with the following evaluation boards.

  1. 6 Master-Slave pairs of EV-BT832X boards
  2. 1 Master EV-BT832XE with a +6dBi external antenna and 2 Slave EV-BT832XE with a +6dBi external antenna.
  3. 1 Master EV-BT832XE with a +6 dBi external antenna and 3 Slave EV-BT832X.

The followings results are average of these measurements. In summaries:

  1. The external antenna is omni-directional. Range is 1350 meters for all angles between 2 BT832XEs with external antenna.
  2. Range between a BT832XE with an external antenna and a BT832X is almost omni directional. Range is more than 1345 meters for all angles.
  3. BT832X antenna is not omni directional. Range between 2 BT832X is from 1067 meters to 1322 meters. Or, range is  1174 meters on the average.
Bluetooth Line of Sight Range between BT832X and BT832XE.

Bluetooth Line of Sight Range between BT832X and BT832XE.

BT832X is usually installed inside a enclosure. Interference from other wireless sources, walls, and other physical objects will also reduce Bluetooth range. Bluetooth range in end user environment will be shorter.

Additional Testing Notes

  1. The antenna on the fixed wood stick is always 2.1 meters above ground. If the second antenna is lifted to about 3 meters, Bluetooth range is longer.
  2. We tested BT832XE with +9dBi and +12 dBi external antennal. The range is just a few meters longer. Multiple-paths interference can be the dominating limiting factor.
  3. If our theory is correct, Bluetooth range can be much longer if at least one antenna is high above ground. An example is drone application.
  4. BT832F ranges are measured on a 2-lanes road with grown trees on both sides forming a "green tunnel" in Shen Zhen, China. In this testing, one antenna is 0.9 meters above ground. The second one is 2 meters above ground.
  5. Average range of BT832X is 1170 meters in Scottsdale test site, is below 400 meters in the "green tunnel" in Shen Zhen. When we move testing 30 meters away to a bridge over a river. One antenna is about 12 meters above river and the second one is about 3 meters above ground, Bluetooth range increase from about 400 meters to about 1200 meters.
  6. When long range is required between 2 Bluetooth devices, avoid objects near line-of-sight. Bluetooth signal can bounce off multiple objects before reaching receiver and causing interference.

BT832X, the longest Range Bluetooth 5 module

  • nRF52832 QFAA with Cortex M4F at 64MHz
  • 512KB flash/64KBRAM
  • NFC-A tag interface
  • Bluetooth Line of Sight range: 1250 meters
  • Sizes: 15.0x28.0x1.9mm
  • Peak current 95 mA at +20 dBm TX.
  • Certification: passes FCC and IC testings. Waiting for certificates
  • Availability: sample 12/2017; production 1/2018.
  • Unit price: $9.98 each at 1K pcs

BT832XE with PA and a connector for external antenna

  • nRF52832 QFAA with Cortex M4F at 64MHz
  • 512KB flash/64KBRAM
  • NFC-A tag interface
  • Sizes: 15.0x28.0x1.9mm
  • Availability: sample

Specifications

  • Nordic nRF52832 QFAA with ARM Cortex M4F (M4 for nRF52810 module)
  • 512 KB flash, 64 KB RAM (192KB flash/64 KBRAM for nRF52810 module)
  • Complete RF solution with integrated antenna
  • NFC-A tag interface for Out Of Band pairing (not for nRF52810 module)
  • 128-bit AES HW encryption
  • Serial Wire Debug (SWD)
  • Nordic SoftDevice Ready
  • Over-The-Air (OTA) firmware update

32 GPIOs, firmware configurable and Peripherals

  • 12 bit/200KSps ADC, 8 configurable channels with programmable gain
  • Type 2 near field communication (NFC-A) tag
  • 64 level comparator
  • 15 level low power comparator with wake-up from system OFF mode
  • Temperature sensor
  • 3x 4-channel pulse width modulator (PWM) units with EasyDMA
  • Digital microphone interface (PDM)
  • 5x 32 bit timers with counter mode
  • Up to 3x SPI Master/Slave with Easy DMA
  • Up to 2x I2C compatible 2-wire master/slave
  • I2S with EasyDMA
  • UART (CTS/RTS) with EasyDMA
  • Programmable peripheral interconnect (PPI)
  • Quadrature Demodulator (QDEC)
  • AES HW encryption with EasyDMA
  • Autonomous peripheral operation without CPU intervention using PPI and Easy DMA
  • 3x real time counter (RTC)

Power:

  • Operation voltage: 1.7V to 3.6V
  • 0.4 uA OFF mode, 1.8 uA idle

Miscellaneous

  • Operation Temperature: -40°C to +85°C 
  • Integrated shield to resist EMI

Certifications:

  • FCC ID: BT832X Passes FCC and IC testings. Waiting for certificates.
  • IC (Industrial Canada) ID:
  • Europe: 

Datasheets, certificates, evaluation board schematics are available for download.

Evaluation Boards

Evaluation board is pre-loaded with BlueNor Mesh testing firmware. User manual can be downloaded from the section below.

Evaluation board with firmware supporting AT commands is available by special order. Please email Fanstel.

Order Products

BT832X passes FCC and IC testings. We will begin delivery of sample quantity in Dec. 2017 and production quantity in Jan. 2018. 

For volume discount and production lead time, please email Fanstel

BT832X, The longest range Bluetooth 5 module
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BT832X is the longest range Bluetooth 5 module, 1170 meters between 2 BT832X

$13.81 each at 10-pack

$11.05 each at 1K pcs

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EV-BT832X, Evaluation board for BT832X, the longest range Bluetooth 5 module
120.00

BT832X evaluation boards. 2-pack, one with Master firmware and one with Slave firmware for Bluetooth range measurement.

EV BT832X V3 has the same footprint as that of Arduino UNO R3. It is not a compatible board. Nordic development environment can be used to develop codes for many UNO R3 shields.

AT command firmware is available from Fanstel.

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