The bluz gateway shield is one of the special features of bluz. By pairing the shield with a Particle Photon or Electron (not provided), you can give bluz access to the cloud at all times using WiFi or cellular as the back-end connection. It is basically a bridge from Bluetooth LE to the internet. This allows you to place the most power-hungry portion of your deployment in a central location with a constant power source, then place many battery powered bluz boards wherever you may need.
The gateway shield works by using an nrf51822 in central mode, allowing up to 8 bluz boards to connect at once. The shield then uses SPI to talk to the provided Photon/Electron, which opens the TCP sockets to the Particle cloud.
The gateway shield can be programmed just like bluz, the nrf51822 central will show up as a separate device class in your Particle account. Breakout pins allow you to add sensors or other devices.
The following are the major components on the gateway shield along with their purpose:
- External SPI Flash: Used to store ID, keys, factory reset firmware, and OTA updates when they are downloaded.
- LED on D7: This is a user controllable LED, just set pin D7 to HIGH to turn it on.
- Reset Button: Will reboot bluz and the Photon/Electron.
- nrf51822 Module: Contains the nrf51822 along with the antenna.
- SWD Header: Used to program the nrf51822 with JTAG
- Power LED: Indicates the board is powered
- USB for Power: This provides power to the board, through the on-board linear regulator. This port does not provide USB communication to the Photon or nrf51