What is Bluetooth
Bluetooth is wireless communication standard which allows electronic devices to connect and interact with each other.
How does Bluetooth communicate
Bluetooth Radio Frequencies
Operating in the 2.4GHz unlicensed industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) frequency band, Bluetooth® technology supports multiple radio options that enable developers to build products meeting the unique connectivity requirements of their market.
Whether a product streams high-quality audio between a smartphone and speaker, transfers data between a tablet and medical device, or sends messages between thousands of nodes in a building automation solution, the Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) and Basic Rate/Enhanced Data Rate (BR/EDR) radios are designed to meet the unique needs of developers worldwide.
Bluetooth and its reliability
Bluetooth used in modern devices is better than it’s ever been. As disappointing as it can be, it’s much, much better than it was 2-3 years ago before the widespread adoption of Bluetooth 4, otherwise known as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Now, not all devices are using this. Mobile Android phones mostly Samsung and all versions of iPhones past the 4S do have Bluetooth 4 capability
Why has the experience of Bluetooth been frustrating – the 3 key factors
- Range: Bluetooth devices run on very little power, which makes them so good, but it also makes them susceptible to disconnecting or dropping. The amount of power a BLE chip takes is so low that we’re allowed to use things like smart watches or earphones that can run for hours or days without being charged again, even on miniscule batteries. This is an amazing technological feat: we get super high-bandwidth communication for a fraction of the power that a Wi-Fi chip would use, at a relatively high quality. BLE runs at an extremely high frequency (2.4GHz, same as Wi-Fi, but with extremely low power), so any obstruction has the potential to interfere. Unlike Wi-Fi, the signal isn’t strong enough to get through clothing or bounce off 4 walls and get back to your device. It really kind of needs line of sight.
- Pairing: BLE uses smart pairing, which makes it much easier to pair devices rather than Wi-Fi, which doesn’t have a reputable standard for doing this. With Wi-Fi devices, you still pretty much have to type in a username/password to authenticate one device to another. Sure, there are workarounds including some standards like Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) or other manufacturer-specific schemes, but nothing like BLE. But this pairing is so good it makes BLE prolific and therefore busy. So now everything you buy wants to use BLE, and these devices are mostly horrible at supporting multiple pairings. That’s because these manufacturers are mostly ignorant about this stuff and don’t understand that you may have several devices in your house. This is a horrible experience, and your phone and devices should have been smart enough to figure this out by now. But they’re all not very motivated to do this because it’s not seen as a critical advantage. But it will be. One thing that might make this easier to accept: it’s still better than any other protocol out there.
- Connecting. When two Bluetooth devices are paired, and one comes into range with another, you’d expect that they’d like, instantly be aware of each other and start talking. But not so, sometimes they take milliseconds, but sometimes they take actual seconds, and then occasionally you need to shut one or both down, boot backup, and attempt to re-connect.
Why is Elecbrakes Bluetooth more reliable.
Elecbrakes is using the latest in Bluetooth 4 BLE technology. Widely accepted in the field for its reliability Bluetooth 4 has been adopted by many major mobile phone companies for its Bluetooth capability.
What Bluetooth module do we use in Elecbrakes
Elecbrakes use a Bluetooth® Smart Long Range Module
World’s Longest Range Bluetooth Smart Module
The Bluetooth Smart Long Range module targeted for Bluetooth Smart applications where the best possible RF performance and range are required. At +8 dBm TX power and -98 dBm sensitivity has best-in-class RF performance and can provide Bluetooth Smart connectivity up to 450 meters. The module integrates all features required for a Bluetooth Smart application: Bluetooth radio, software stack and GATT based profiles, and it can also host end user applications, which means no external microcontroller is required in size, price or power constrained devices.
Bluetooth Smart module also has flexible hardware interfaces to connect to different peripherals or sensors. Although Bluetooth Smart Long Range Module is targeted for applications requiring high RF performance, it is still has relatively low power consumption and can be powered using a standard 3 V coin cell battery.
Bluetooth and Elecbrakes
Can you connect two phones to one Elecbrakes controller
The short answer is no. Elecbrakes is engineered to allow only 1 user interface. Once connected to the tow vehicle phone the unit will remain connected.
What happens if there are multiple trailers in the area with Elecbrakes when I try to connect to my Elecbrakes unit
Elecbrakes will pair with the first device that it finds. To ensure you connect to your device we suggest the following actions be taken. Connect the trailer plug to the tow vehicle. Power the Elecbrakes unit by turning your lights on. Stand at the rear of the vehicle and open the app. As your trailer is the closest it will connect to the unit.
If by chance your phone connects to another unit it will disconnect when that unit is out of range or the power to that unit is disconnected. At that point follow our recommended start up and you will be good to connect.
Can you use other Bluetooth options when connected to Elecbrakes?
Yes Bluetooth technology allows multiple interfaces by the user
Can someone interfere with my brake responses if they are in Bluetooth range whilst I’m driving?
Once you are connected another user cannot connect to the unit and change your responses. The Elecbrake unit only allows access to one interface.
If the Bluetooth drops out do I lose brake control on the trailer
Elecbrakes relies on Bluetooth for setting brake responses, not controlling the brakes on the trailer. Once the brake responses are set to satisfy the trailer/tow vehicle operation they are stored in the controller on the trailer. These settings remain and will do so until changed via the remote device application. Elecbrakes will always stay set on the last known or entered settings until it is changed. All 5 braking programs can be set and stored for multiple load options.