BL600 Series

Not Recommended for New Design (NRND)

Overview

NEW: Upgrade firmware from your host microcontroller!

The BL600 Series modules from Laird make it easy to add single-mode Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), or Bluetooth Smart, to small, portable, power-conscious devices, including those powered by AAA or coin cell batteries. The fully approved, programmable modules feature Laird's innovative, event-driven smartBASIC programming interface, which significantly simplifies BLE module integration. Available in BL600-SA, BL600-SC, BL600-ST variants. 

 

Now introducing the Bx600 breakout boards: The right hardware for your design requirement.  

Specifications

Bluetooth Version
4.0
4.2 Upgradeable
No
A2DP
No
ADC
Yes
Antenna Options
Integrated monopole chip antenna on BL600-SA
External dipole antenna connected with to IPEX MH4 RF connector on BL600-SC.
External dipole antenna connected to RSMA RF connector which then is connected with 50-Ohms RF track on host PCB to RF pad on BL600-ST.
AVRCP
No
BLE Connections
5
BT Class
2
Central Role
No
Certifications
FCC, IC, CE, MIC, NCC, SIG
Chipset
Nordic nRF51822
Dimension (Height - mm)
3 mm
Dimension (Length - mm)
19 mm
Dimension (Width - mm)
12.5 mm
Dual Mode
No
DUN
No
FTP Client
No
GATT
Yes
GPIO
Yes
HCI Interface
No
HFP
No
HID
No
HSP
No
I2C
Yes
I2S
No
NFC
No
Output Power
+4 dBm
PCM
No
Peripheral Role
Yes
Processor On Board
Cortex M0
Receive Sensitivity
-91dBm
SPI
Yes
SPP
No
Stack On Board
Yes
Temperature Range
-40°C to +85°C
UART
Yes
USB
No
Wi-Fi Coexistence
No
Antenna Options BLE Services Bluetooth Version Chipset (Wireless) Compliance Connector Type Data Rate Development Kit Contents Frequency Frequency Range (Max) Frequency Range (Min) Logical Interfaces Max Transmit Power Memory Protocols Range Software Weight Wireless Specification
BL600-ST Trace Pin Any that can be implemented with smartBASIC v4.0 Single Mode Nordic nRF51822 FCC/IC/CE/MIC SMT 1 Mbps (over the air) Development Board 2.4 GHz 2.480 MHz 2.402 MHz USB +4 dBm 16 kb for applications Any that can be implemented using smartBASIC Up to 100 m UwTerminalX terminal software .035 oz (< 1g) Bluetooth Version 4.0 Peripheral Mode
Antenna Options BLE Services Bluetooth Version Chipset (Wireless) Compliance Connector Type Data Rate Development Kit Contents Frequency Frequency Range (Max) Frequency Range (Min) Logical Interfaces Max Transmit Power Memory Protocols Range Software Weight Wireless Specification
DVK-BL600-SA Internal Antenna Any that can be implemented with smartBASIC v4.0 Single Mode Nordic nRF51822 FCC/IC/CE/MIC USB Pluggable 1 Mbps (over the air) Development Board 2.4 GHz 2.480 MHz 2.402 MHz USB +4 dBm 16 kb for applications Any that can be implemented using smartBASIC Up to 100 m UwTerminalX terminal software .035 oz (< 1g) Bluetooth Version 4.0 Peripheral Mode
Antenna Options BLE Services Bluetooth Version Chipset (Wireless) Compliance Connector Type Data Rate Development Kit Contents Frequency Frequency Range (Max) Frequency Range (Min) Logical Interfaces Max Transmit Power Memory Protocols Range Software Weight Wireless Specification
DVK-BL600-SC IPEX MHF4 Connector Any that can be implemented with smartBASIC v4.0 Single Mode Nordic nRF51822 FCC/IC/CE/MIC USB Pluggable 1 Mbps (over the air) Development Board 2.4 GHz 2.480 MHz 2.402 MHz USB +4 dBm 16 kb for applications Any that can be implemented using smartBASIC Up to 100 m UwTerminalX terminal software .035 oz (< 1g) Bluetooth Version 4.0 Peripheral Mode
Antenna Options BLE Services Bluetooth Version Chipset (Wireless) Compliance Connector Type Data Rate Development Kit Contents Frequency Frequency Range (Max) Frequency Range (Min) Logical Interfaces Max Transmit Power Memory Protocols Range Software Weight Wireless Specification
BL600-SA-32 Internal Antenna Any that can be implemented with smartBASIC v4.0 Single Mode Nordic nRF51822 FCC/IC/CE/MIC SMT 1 Mbps (over the air) Development Board 2.4 GHz 2.480 MHz 2.402 MHz USB +4 dBm 32 kb for applications Any that can be implemented using smartBASIC Up to 100 m UwTerminalX terminal software .035 oz (< 1g) Bluetooth Version 4.0 Peripheral Mode
Antenna Options BLE Services Bluetooth Version Chipset (Wireless) Compliance Connector Type Data Rate Development Kit Contents Frequency Frequency Range (Max) Frequency Range (Min) Logical Interfaces Max Transmit Power Memory Protocols Range Software Weight Wireless Specification
DVK-BL600-ST SMA Connector Any that can be implemented with smartBASIC v4.0 Single Mode Nordic nRF51822 FCC/IC/CE/MIC USB Pluggable 1 Mbps (over the air) Development Board 2.4 GHz 2.480 MHz 2.402 MHz USB +4 dBm 16 kb for applications Any that can be implemented using smartBASIC Up to 100 m UwTerminalX terminal software .035 oz (< 1g) Bluetooth Version 4.0 Peripheral Mode
Antenna Options BLE Services Bluetooth Version Chipset (Wireless) Compliance Connector Type Data Rate Development Kit Contents Frequency Frequency Range (Max) Frequency Range (Min) Logical Interfaces Max Transmit Power Memory Protocols Range Software Weight Wireless Specification
BL600-SC IPEX MHF4 Connector Any that can be implemented with smartBASIC v4.0 Single Mode Nordic nRF51822 FCC/IC/CE/MIC SMT 1 Mbps (over the air) Development Board 2.4 GHz 2.480 MHz 2.402 MHz USB +4 dBm 16 kb for applications Any that can be implemented using smartBASIC Up to 100 m UwTerminalX terminal software .035 oz (< 1g) Bluetooth Version 4.0 Peripheral Mode
Antenna Options BLE Services Bluetooth Version Chipset (Wireless) Compliance Connector Type Data Rate Development Kit Contents Frequency Frequency Range (Max) Frequency Range (Min) Logical Interfaces Max Transmit Power Memory Protocols Range Software Weight Wireless Specification
BL600-SA Internal Antenna Any that can be implemented with smartBASIC v4.0 Single Mode Nordic nRF51822 FCC/IC/CE/MIC SMT 1 Mbps (over the air) Development Board 2.4 GHz 2.480 MHz 2.402 MHz USB +4 dBm 16 kb for applications Any that can be implemented using smartBASIC Up to 100 m UwTerminalX terminal software .035 oz (< 1g) Bluetooth Version 4.0 Peripheral Mode

Documentation

Name Part Type Last Updated
Application Note - BL600 BT SIG Qualification v1.0.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - BL600 Cable Replacement Mode.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - BLE Recommended 128-bit Custom UUID Management.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - BL600 Using Textpad and Color Syntax Highlighting.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - BL600 Using UART Efficiently to Extend Battery Life.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - BL600 Whisper Mode.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - BL600 and BL620 Memory Map Overview.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - BL6x0 Over-the-Air Application Download.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - Default DVK-BL600 DIP Switch and Jumper Settings.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - Finding the BL600-Sx Revision Number.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - Flash Cloning for the BL600.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - Laird BL600 Range Testing.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - Upgrading BL600 Firmware via JTAG.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - Upgrading BL600 Firmware via UART.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - Using SPI Interface in smartBASIC with DotStar.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - iBeacon Sample App.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - smartBASIC App Download Protocol over UART.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - smartBASIC for BLE Modules.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Batch Application Notes for iOS.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
OTA Application Notes for iOS.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
UwTerminalX Quick Reference Guide All Application Note 02-28-19
Application Note - Bluetooth Latency and Data.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Serial Application Notes for iOS.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - Using VSP with smartBASIC.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Upgrading Firmware from your Host Microcontroller All Application Note 02-28-19
Using Notepad-plus-plus and Color Syntax Highlighting v1 1.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
BLE Regulation Test in Linux v1 0.pdf All Application Note 01-17-19
Maximum Permissible Exposure (for BT) BL600 and BL620.pdf All Certification 01-17-19
EU Declaration of Conformity - BL600.pdf All Certification 01-17-19
Radio Equipment Directive (RED) Updates - May 2017 All Certification 03-01-19
RoHSII - EU WEEE Compliance BT RAMP v1 8 All Certification 07-12-19
Release Note - BL600 Firmware v1.5.70.0.pdf All Documentation 01-17-19
Release Note - BL600 Firmware v1.8.88.0.pdf All Documentation 01-17-19
User Guide - BL600-DVK (Board Revision 4 or Below).pdf All Documentation 01-17-19
User Guide - BL600-DVK (Board Revision 5).pdf All Documentation 01-17-19
User Guide - Bx600 Breakout Boards.pdf All Documentation 01-17-19
User Guide - smartBASIC BL600 Extensions Release 1.5.70.0.pdf All Documentation 01-17-19
User Guide - smartBASIC BL600 Extensions Release 1.8.88.0.pdf All Documentation 01-17-19
Walkthrough - Applications in smartBASIC (BL600 and BL620).pdf All Documentation 01-17-19
Walkthrough - Beacons for smartBASIC (BL600 and BT900).pdf All Documentation 01-17-19
Product Brief - BL600.pdf All Brochure 03-05-19
Product Brief - Bx600 Breakout Boards and DVK-BL600.pdf All Brochure 03-05-19
User Guide - StringPlayer.pdf All Documentation 01-17-19
Datasheet-BL600 v3.9 All Datasheet 02-13-19
smartBASIC Core Functionality Guide v3.2 All Documentation 02-14-19
Quick Start Guide - BL600-DVK Heart Rate.pdf All Instructional 01-17-19
Quick Start Guide - BL600-DVK smartBASIC Proximity Profile.pdf All Instructional 01-17-19
Quick Start Guide - PPK-BL600 Programming jig for BL600 modules.pdf All Instructional 01-17-19
ITSE01020 14 BL600 Firmware v1 8 88 0-r2.zip All Software 01-17-19
laird toolkit source code v4.18.1.13.zip All Software 01-17-19
Laird Serial.zip All Software 01-17-19
Laird Batch.zip All Software 01-17-19
Laird OTA.zip All Software 01-17-19
Laird Library v.0.18.1.1.zip All Software 01-17-19
Heart Rate BLE Demo v5.18.1.0.zip All Software 01-17-19
ITSE01020 08 BL600 Firmware & Sample smartBASIC Apps v1 5 70 0-r5.zip All Software 01-17-19
BL600 iBeacon smartBASIC (r1.0).zip All Software 01-17-19
BL600 3D Models.zip All Software 01-17-19
BL600 Proximity App 12 4 2 iOS Source Code.zip All Software 01-17-19
BL600 iOS App Source Code.zip All Software 01-17-19
DVK-BL600-V2 SCHEMATICS 0.pdf All Software 01-17-19
DVK-BL600-Sx-05 00276 v5.pdf All Software 01-17-19
SCH-PCB CAD Drawings Download.zip All Software 01-17-19
Application Note - Laird Custom BLE Serial Port Service All Application Note 01-17-19
Application Note - Guidelines for Replacing Antennas v1.0 All Application Note 01-17-19
BL600 FCC Certifications All Certification 06-05-19
BL600 IC Certifications All Certification 06-05-19
BL600 CE Certifications All Certification 06-05-19
BL600 MIC Certifications All Certification 06-05-19
BL600 NCC Certification All Certification 06-05-19

FAQ

After many days of operation I am getting MALLOC_FAIL errors. How can I resolve?

A MALLOC_FAIL can occur for 2 reasons.

  1. There is no more space in RAM
  2. The heap is fragmented*

The latter can be resolved by calling reset() which will reset the module and defragment the heap. If there is enough contiguous memory freed up by the defragmentation, the issue is then resolved.

For the former, you will have to reconsider the use and scope of the variables and structures in your smartBASIC application.

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fragmentation_(computing)

Are there any API or interfacing documents available for the BT stack in case we want to write our own firmware?

If you decide to write your own application or firmware, you must register with Nordic to receive their tools and SDK. All on-going support, in that case, would also need to come from Nordic. Once Laird’s smartBASIC image is erased, we are no longer able to provide support for the module.

Can BL600 Firmware be upgrade over BLE?

I am using a BL600 Bluetooth module in my device and I was wondering if there is any way to upgrade the BL600 over BLE? Do you have open protocol to update firmware over BLE? Or maybe you have your own mobile application for upgrading?

Due to memory limitations the firmware (FW) updates cannot be loaded to the BL600 Over-the-Air (OTA) via BLE. Virtual Serial Port (vSP) only provides a serial connection, which streams the information one single bit at time. Additionally, the vSP buffers, located in the RAM only allocate 256 bytes for Rx buffer and 256 for the Tx buffer, which is not sufficient for transferring the firmware update, for subsequent processing of the upgrade on the module. Only smartBASIC applications can be loaded to the module OTA. Therefore, due to the memory limitations, it is not possible to load FW updates OTA. This would require having enough memory on the module for two copies of the FW, which the BL600 does not have. All firmware upgrades must be performed via a JTAG or UART connection as per the attached documents: BL600 Firmware Upgrade over JTAG

Can I use both top and bottom layers for ground planes on BL600?

Yes, you can have GND on bottom (or inner layer if the Host PCB is more than a 2 layer board) and top but please be aware that you must connect the two GNDs together by via (regularly placed). Also, solid (meaning less cuts in GND plane due vias going from top to bottom thus cutting area of the GND plane) continuous GND plane is good for EMC as return currents have smaller loop area (lower inductance). 

Can the BL600 be used as a hardware module for use with the Nordic soft device / SDK?

Yes. Laird Connectivity encourages all customers to utilize the smartBASIC implementation on-board every BL600 module for ease of use and fastest time to market. Our experts will assist customers on a case-by-case basis to support the Nordic SDK. Please note in these instances software and firmware technical support will need to be provided by Nordic, rather than Laird Connectivity.

Please contact support for further information.

Can you provide some iOS and Android sample source code to help us start developing our own application?

Any available source code for Laird's Andriod and iOS applications can be found on the BL600 product page under the "Software Downloads" tab.

Does Laird offer Android applications for communicating with the BL600 from an Android device?

Yes, the Laird Toolkit app contains the BPM, HRM, Proximity, HTM, Serial, OTA, and Batch apps in one easy download.

Does Laird offer iOS applications for communicating with the BL600 from an Apple device?

Yes, the Laird Toolkit app contains the BPM, HRM, Proximity, HTM, Serial, OTA, and Batch apps in one easy download.

How do I direct advert from BL600 to a specific BL620?

The following code will run on BL600 and direct advert to BL620 with specific MAC address: dim rc,addr$ addr$ = "\02\D4\F4\6F\CA\C8\E7" ?? ?? ?? //address of specific BL620 rc = BleAdvertStart(1,addr$,100,0,0) WaitEvent I tried direct advert with a smartphone instead of the BL620 but was unsuccessful, this is most likely because the MAC on smartphone changes.

How do I enable DCDC on the BL600(v1.8.88.0) in smartBasic?

BL600-07, which has the latest chip (Nordic HW Variant: nRF51822-QFAA-H0) and firmware (Firmware v1.8.88.0), that the DCDC is not enabled by default. Note: in older modules -06 and older, the DCDC is always forced OFF because Nordic advised us that there was a hardware level issue which got fixed in the latest chip which we deploy in the -07 To enable DCDC the smartBASIC application should have the following line: BleConfigDcDc( 1 ) It is safe to have this line even in older modules because based on the variant at runtime I will force to OFF if it is an older chip.

How do I perform a firmware upgrade for the BL600?

The BL600 firmware upgrade prodedure is documented in the following application notes, depending on whether you are upgrading via the UART or with the JTAG.

Upgrade over JTAG

Upgrade over UART

How is Pulse Width Modulation controlled on the BL600 via smartBASIC?

As of firmware v1.2.55.3, smartBASIC may control PWM and FREQUENCY output on up to two GPIO pins. These are implemented using the BL600’s on-board timers, GPIOTE, and PPI channels.

How to add data to advert with BL600?

DIM rc, s$, dn$ DIM ad$:ad$="\01\02\03\04" DIM prAddr$:prAddr$="" DIM advRpt$, scnRpt$ rc = BleScanRptInit(advRpt$) dn$ = BleGetDeviceName$() print "BleGetDeviceName$() : ";dn$ //Add device name to scan Report rc = BleAdvRptAppendAD(s$, 0x09, dn$) rc = BleAdvRptAppendAD(advRpt$,0x31,ad$) print "rc for BleAdvRptAppendAD : ";rc;"

" rc = BleAdvRptsCommit(advRpt$,scnRpt$)  print "rc for BleAdvRptsCommit(advRpt$,scnRpt$) : ";rc;"

" print "

Free space in advert report: ";BleAdvRptGetSpace(advRpt$);" bytes." print "

Free space in scan report: ";BleAdvRptGetSpace(scnRpt$);" bytes." rc = BleAdvertStart(2,prAddr$, 100, 0,0)  

I accidentally erased the flash/deleted my BL600 License Key and did not create a copy of it. How can I get my module to function properly again?

Please run the AT I 4 command in UwTerminal to retrieve the MAC address of the affected module and contact support asking for a license key to be generated and be sure to include the MAC address that you retrieved. You must include the MAC address for our software to generate a new license key.

Is it possible for the BL600 to download a smartBASIC program over the air?

Yes, BL600 smartBASIC programs can be loaded over the air by booting into VSP mode. Please refer to the Virtual Serial Port Service section of the smartBASIC  BL600 extensions document which can be found at this link.

Note the behaviour if a $autorun$ program exists, which may require you to include the ERASEFILESYTEM function in your smartBASIC program to erase any existing $autorun$ program prior to loading a new smartBASIC program.

Is Laird’s BL600 Firmware open source?

No, our firmware is not open source.

Is the whitelist manageable?

The whitelist is automatically populated. When the whitelist filter is enabled, the whitelist is populated from the bonding manager database.

Is there a way to load the Bx600 Breakout Boards with central role device firmware (BL620)?

The Bx600 Breakout Boards are intended for peripheral mode, BL600 firmware, only. The latest BL600 1.8.88.0 firmware supports UART Bootloader and all future firmware upgrades are done via UART. Unfortunately, BL620 firmware does NOT support UART Bootloader because the version of the Nordic softdevice used in the BL620 firmware doesn't support it. Therefore, BL620 firmware can only be loaded with a JLink. The Bx600 boards do not have a JTAG interface and are therefore designed for peripheral mode (BL600) only. For the central role side we recommend either the  BL620-US USB Dongle or the DVK-BL600.  The DVK-BL600 has a JTAG interface which supports switching between the BL600 and BL620 firmware, as well as the following additional hardware: a temperature sensor, voltage measurement circuit, programmable LED array and push button switches.

 

Is there a way to make the BL600 only detectable to an iPhone with a specific app installed?

No. This is not possible because you cannot hide ADV prior to a connection and you can only advertise with ADV_IND (connectable undirected advertising event) before a connection is made. Once connected, you can advertise with ADV_DIRECT_IND (connectable directed advertising event).

My BL600 DVK board won't respond for a firmware upgrade. What's wrong?

For full firmware upgrade instructions, please refer to one of the following firmware upgrade application notes:

Development Kit Firmware Upgrade Guide

Upgrading BL600 Firmware over UART

Please note that a common error is failing to prepare the board to the required settings.  Before a firmware upgrade, you should ensure the positions of the three power switches at the bottom-left of the board are set correctly:

SW4 must be set to "USB"

SW5 must be set to "3V3"

SW6 must be set to "3V3 / 1V8"

The BL600 module contains 256K of flash memory - how much flash memory is left in the end to hold my smartBASIC applications?

The 256K of flash is shared by the following components:

 

1) The BLE software stack from Nordic Semiconductor

2) Laird’s smartBASIC engine

3) File system to store users smartBASIC Application and data files.

4) Non-volatile data store for user to do as they please, see NvRecordSet(), NvRecordGet()

5) The trusted device database which contains thinks line LTK,IRK,CSRK etc

 

Item (3) is currently 32k bytes.

Item (4) is 4k bytes (but given headers etc, actual effective user data space is about 75% of that).

In our experience, the largest smartBASIC application we have seen is about 20K.

If item (4) is not big enough, Laird recommends that an external I2C or SPI based serial EEPROM be included in the customer design. In this case, you could have about 256kbytes and smartBASIC provides high level API to read/write from I2C or SPI ports. You will not need to write any low level drivers and sample code can be supplied on request.

What are the implications of flashing the BL600 Development Kit to bare metal?

It is possible to flash the BL600 DVK to bare metal and remove the smart­­BASIC firmware. However, you must provide firmware to support the board’s functionality and Laird is unable to provide support for this. You must go directly to Nordic for such services. Laird only supports Laird firmware and applications written in smart­­BASIC.

What encryption is used on the BT900 and BL6xx?

The BT900, BL620, and BL600 all support 128 bit encryption. The radio handles this automatically when you have an encrypted connection. The AesEncrypt function in smarBASIC utilizes 128 bit encryption. For more information regarding this function, please feel free to reference the following smartBASIC Core Guide.

What is the module license key and what is it used for?

The BL600 license key is a unique number assigned to each BL600 module. It is tied to the random MAC address which Nordic etches into the silicon of the Nordic chip. Laird’s firmware takes that random number and matches it with the license that we program at production time.

If the license key does not match or it does not exist, the firmware operates with reduced transmit power (~4 dBm) and the autorun program in the BL600 flash memory will not run.

For these reasons, it is extremely important that you restore the BL600’s license key after you upgrade the module firmware.

Where can I buy the BL600 and DVK-BL600?

To purchase the BL600 and DVK-BL600, you may contact sales directly or visit one of Laird’s distributors.

Where can I find detailed documentation on all aspects of the BL600 modules and associated DVK?

The documentation tab of the BL600 page provides the product brief, hardware integration guide, schematics, firmware updates, 3D models, quick start guides, and a collection of application notes for specific topics. It also provides the smart BASIC application library, BL600 utilities, and training videos.

Where do I register for access to the BL600 and BL600 DVK firmware, or the various schematics for the DVK?

Firmware, schematics and more are part of the Bluetooth Secure Download Center, available for Laird customers. You must register for access. When you have access, visit the BL600 product page and log into the software tab.

Note:  Please remember to FIRST note the module license key, as you will have to restore the license key after the upgrade.