Bluetooth Beacon Tracker leverages a set of Bluetooth Low Energy receivers (BLE Nodes) that need to be deployed in the area to monitor. The nodes are programmed to detect Bluetooth signals transmitted by nearby Bluetooth Low Energy beacons (BLE Beacons) and report this information to the Accuware server. To ensure proper communication with the Accuware server the entire area with the nodes must be covered by a 2.4 GHz b/g/n Wi-Fi Internet connection. Note that the BLE Nodes without our technology cannot be used to track and locate BLE beacons.
Accuware provides the nodes to be used with Bluetooth Beacon Tracker, which are manufactured by Aprilbrother, Accuware’s technology partner.
We have chosen the Aprilbrother Bluetooth Low Energy nodes for multiple reasons:
- They are very cheap, reliable and very easy to configure.
- They communicate via any 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network and this means that they don’t have to be connected to Internet using Ethernet cables.
- They are FCC, CE, RoHS certified devices.
|Dimensions||7,4 x 5,8 x 1,3 cm (antenna excluded)|
|Operating temperature||-20 C° to +65 C°|
|Power supply||-USB power supply 5V/1000 mA (NOT INCLUDED)
-Power supply cable: USB to mini-USB plug (INCLUDED)
|Wi-Fi connection||To communicate with the Accuware server (local or cloud) they need to connect to a 2.4 GHz b/g/n Wi-Fi network|
|Wi-Fi security||no password, WEP-Personal, WPA-Personal , WPA2-Personal, WPA-Enterprise|
|Wi-Fi connection range||50 meters|
|BLE detection range||30 meters|
|Configuration||Smartphone or PC required. It takes about 3 minutes to configure each BLE node|
|Price||Included in the pricing of Accuware Bluetooth Beacon Tracker|
Purchase the BLE nodes
Accuware provides directly the BLE Nodes, please fill this form to place your order.
The nodes can be powered using any power source with an output of 5 Volts and at least 1 Ampere (like USB power supplies and portable power banks). When purchasing USB power supplies please make sure to choose USB power supplies that meet the electricity standard of the country where the nodes will be installed (otherwise you might damage your nodes or the USB power supplies).
- Power supply cable: USB to mini-USB plug included in the package.
- USB power supply: not included in the package.
Detection radius of the nodes
The detection range depends on the physical location of the node. We have observed an average detection radius of up to 30 meters (in open spaces).
Meaning of the LED lights on the nodes
The LEDs (lights) on the nodes let you know what the device is currently doing. The node has four lights. When looking at the device from the side with the ports, the lights are (left to right) power, connection status, WiFi chip status, power.
Here is an overview about the different color states and their meanings.
- Red LED: On when the node is connected to the electricity.
- Yellow LED: On when the WiFi chip/network module is active.
- Green LED: On when the node is connected to a WiFi network and transmitting.
Requirements of the Wi-Fi Internet connection used by the Bluetooth nodes
In order to communicate with the Accuware server, the BLE nodes need to be able to connect to one (or multiple) permanent 2.4 GHz WiFi network that covers ENTIRELY the area in which the Bluetooth nodes will be installed. These are the network requirements that MUST be met by the permanent 2.4 GHz WiFi network:
- Accessible domain: its.accuware.com and navimote2.navizon.com
- Ports (opened outbound): 53/tcp (DNS), 80/tcp (HTTP), 443/tcp (HTTPS), 1883 and 8883
- Wi-Fi Security: no password, WEP-Personal, WPA-Personal , WPA2-Personal, WPA-Enterprise
- Wi-Fi frequency: 2.400 – 2.484 GHz (aka 2.4 GHz)
- Wi-Fi standard: b/g/n
- Wi-Fi bandwidth: 20 MHz
- Wi-Fi splash page/captive portals: there MUST not be a splash page/captive portal. If there is a splash page/captive portal then you should ask to the network administrator to add to a white list the MAC addresses of the BLE nodes.
- Proxies: the BLE nodes can’t works with proxies. If there is a proxy inside the WiFi network used by the BLE nodes it is necessary to ask to the IT department the company to add an exception to the proxy to allow the BLE nodes (identified by their MAC addresses) to connect without credentials to the domains listed above using the ports listed above.
The BLE nodes are able to connect to Wi-Fi Access Points away from up to 50 meters.
Interference with other Wi-Fi networks
The nodes operate in accordance to the IEEE 802.11 b/g/n protocol. In particular:
- do not interfere at all with the 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks because the nodes use only the 2.4 GHz frequencies.
- do not interfere with Wi-Fi networks that use channels that don’t overlap with the channels used by the permanent WiFi network. This means that if an existing Wi-Fi network uses channels from 1 to 6 and the permanent WiFi network is set to work on channel 11, there will be no interference between the 2 networks.
- the interference with other networks that share the same 2.4 GHz channel is minimal because the infrastructure is mostly passive (as explained in the next paragraph).
Bandwidth used by the nodes
The infrastructure of BLE nodes is mostly passive. The amount of traffic generated is very low and proportional to the amount of BLE devices detected in the environment. Each BLE node typically transmits on average about 2,8 MB/hour (assuming that the BLE node is detecting 80 BLE beacons constantly every 5 seconds). It is clear that the traffic produced by the BLE nodes has negligible impact on the bandwidth and on the channel capacity, especially at 802.11 n speed.