A beacon is a small, inexpensive, battery powered device. The beacon sends out an ID (Identification) number over a Bluetooth radio signal and repeats this regularly. The smartphone and the App, pics up this signal, recognize the ID number, and uses the signal strength to estimate the distance to the Beacon.
What is the benefit of using a Beacon?
- - Find lost equipment
- - See what equipment is in your storage or car.
- - Find gear that you have left in the field (depot, backpack, wildlife camera, data-logger,…)
When you register a new location or any type of gear, you may allocate a beacon to it. Attach the Beacon device to the gear. This will be a good help in finding the exact spot or equipment later. Or to check if it is near where you are currently. When used, the beacon ID number will appear on the details page of the registration. If not used, you see the text ‘No Beacon’.
Imagine that you have a lot of gear that you keep in your car. By using this App you can check if it is present in the car. Look on the list-page, and alle the registrations with Beacons within reach, have the txt ‘Nearby’.
Another example is finding tools, instruments, traps, wildlife-camera, and other stuff you have placed outdoor. By use of the map, GPS position and proximity beacon, it's easy to find. Even if you have hidden it to avoid misuse of the gear.
Where do I purchase a beacon?
All Bluetooth beacons with Eddystone and iBeacon formats can be used for this App, if the vendor provides an app for configuration. Most beacon work out of the box, but they are mostly delivered with the same UUID (identification number). So if you have two or more of the same beacon, you will need to set a new UUID. A Beacon can send of many types of data, and this app only uses the UUID. For some Beacon, you may need to change configuration, to transmit only UUID.
The following beacon have been tested with Breezepin app, and proven excellent:
|Vendor ||Purchase from|
|Blue Charm beacon, BC037S|| Amazon|
|Blue Charm beacon, BC063B|| Amazon|
|April Beacon (3 variants)|| eBay|
|Shenzhen Feasycom Technology (Long range) ||Amazon|
|Shenzhen Aoxingao iBeacon ||Alibaba |
|Shenzhen Minew iBeacon ||Alibaba|
How do I link the beacon to the App?
This is done when you register a new location. Tap on the ‘add beacon’ button and hold the beacon close to the smart-phone. Make sure the Beacon is turned on, and all other nearby beacons are turned off. If you connect you will get a checkmark.
Note the Beacon function is in the Premium ‘in-app-purchase' option, at a low cost. Support our product development and try it out. Your opinion is appreciated: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the battery life?
The lifetime of a Beacons battery depends on the size of the battery, the transmit power of the Bluetooth radio signal, and how often the signal is transmitted. The transmit power and frequency of the transmitting, can be change by setting parameters for the beacon. The Beacon-vendors app, that lets you change the ID number, can also be used to change these settings. Typical lifetime of the battery is between 1 and 4 years, dependent of these factors. For this app the power should be close to maximum, and the frequency low (1 – 2 seconds). Check also that the battery can be replaced, and that it is water resistant.