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Use HCI access to NimBLE controller
This tutorial explains how to use the example application ``blehci``
included in the NimBLE stack to talk to the Mynewt NimBLE controller via
the Host Controller Interface. You may build the Mynewt image using a
laptop running any OS of your choice - Mac, Linux, or Windows.
The host used in this specific example is the BlueZ Bluetooth stack.
Since BlueZ is a Bluetooth stack for Linux kernel-based family of
operating system, the tutorial expects a computer running Linux OS and
with BlueZ installed to talk to the board with the Mynewt image.
.. contents::
:depth: 2
Ensure that you meet the following prerequisites before continuing with
one of the tutorials.
- Have Internet connectivity to fetch remote Mynewt components.
- Have a board with BLE radio that is supported by Mynewt. We will use
an nRF52 Dev board in this tutorial.
- Have a USB TTL Serial Cable that supports hardware flow control such
as ones found at to establish
a serial USB connection between the board and the laptop.
- Install the newt tool and toolchains (See :doc:`Basic
Setup <../../get_started/index>`).
- Install a BLE host such as BlueZ on a Linux machine to talk to the
nRF52 board running Mynewt. Use ``sudo apt-get install bluez`` to
install it on your Linux machine.
Create a project
Use the newt tool to create a new project directory containing a
skeletal Mynewt framework. Change into the newly created directory.
$ newt new blehciproj
Downloading project skeleton from apache/mynewt-blinky...
Installing skeleton in blehciproj ...
Project blehciproj successfully created.
$ cd mblehciproj
$ newt upgrade
Downloading repository mynewt-core (commit: master) ...
apache-mynewt-core successfully upgraded to version 1.7.0
Create targets
You will create two targets - one for the bootloader, the other for the
application. Then you will add the definitions for them. Note that you
are using the example app ``blehci`` for the application target. Set the
bsp to nordic_pca10040.
**NOTE:** The preview version, nRF52PDK, is no longer supported. If you
do not see PCA100040 on the top of your board, you have a preview
version of the board and will need to upgrade your developer board
before continuing.
$ newt target create nrf52_boot
$ newt target set nrf52_boot app=@mcuboot/boot/mynewt
$ newt target set nrf52_boot bsp=@apache-mynewt-core/hw/bsp/nordic_pca10040
$ newt target set nrf52_boot build_profile=optimized
$ newt target create myble2
$ newt target set myble2 bsp=@apache-mynewt-core/hw/bsp/nordic_pca10040
$ newt target set myble2 app=@apache-mynewt-nimble/apps/blehci
$ newt target set myble2 build_profile=optimized
Check that the targets are defined correctly.
$ newt target show
Build targets
Then build the two targets.
.. code-block:: console
$ newt build nrf52_boot
Linking ~/dev/blehciproj/bin/targets/nrf52_boot/app/boot/mynewt/mynewt.elf
Target successfully built: targets/nrf52_boot
$ newt build myble2
Linking ~/dev/blehciproj/bin/targets/myble2/app/apps/blehci/blehci.elf
Target successfully built: targets/myble2
Create the app image
Generate a signed application image for the ``myble2`` target. The
version number is arbitrary.
.. code-block:: console
$ newt create-image myble2 1.0.0
App image succesfully generated: ~/dev/blehciproj/bin/targets/myble2/app/apps/blehci/blehci.img
Load the bootloader and the application image
Make sure the USB connector is in place and the power LED on the board
is lit. Use the Power ON/OFF switch to reset the board after loading the
Load the bootloader:
.. code-block:: console
$ newt load nrf52_boot
Loading bootloader
Load the application image:
.. code-block:: console
$ newt load myble2
Loading app image into slot 1
Establish serial connection
Attach a serial port to your board by connecting the USB TTL Serial
Cable. This should create /dev/ttyUSB0 (or similar) on your machine.
**Note** Certain Linux OS versions have been observed to detect the
nrf52 board as a mass storage device and the console access doesnt work
properly. In that case try powering the nrf52 board from your monitor or
something other than your Linux computer/laptop when you set up the
serial port for HCI communication.
Open Bluetooth monitor btmon
``btmon`` is a BlueZ test tool to display all HCI commands and events in
a human readable format. Start the btmon tool in a terminal window.
$ sudo btmon
[sudo] password for admin:
Bluetooth monitor ver 5.37
Attach the blehci device to BlueZ
In a different terminal, attach the blehci device to the BlueZ daemon
(substitute the correct /dev filename for ttyUSB0).
$ sudo btattach -B /dev/ttyUSB0 -S 1000000
Attaching BR/EDR controller to /dev/ttyUSB0
Switched line discipline from 0 to 15
Device index 1 attached
The baud rate used to connect to the controller may be changed by
overriding the default value of 1000000 in the
``net/nimble/transport/uart/syscfg.yml``. Settings in the serial
transport ``syscfg.yml`` file can be overridden by a higher priority
package such as the application. So, for example, you may set the
``BLE_HCI_UART_BAUD`` to a different value in
If there is no CTS/RTS lines present in the test environment, flow
control should be turned off. This can be done with -N option for
btattach. **Note:** -N option came with BlueZ ver 5.44.
Also, modify the value of ``BLE_HCI_UART_FLOW_CTRL`` in the
``nimble/transport/uart/syscfg.yml`` to ``HAL_UART_FLOW_CTL_NONE``.
Start btmgmt to send commands
In a third terminal, start btmgmt. This tool allows you to send commands
to the blehci controller. Use the index number that shows up when you
``btattach`` in the previous step.
$ sudo btmgmt --index 1
[sudo] password for admin:
Set your device address (you can substitute any static random address
[hci1]# static-addr cc:11:11:11:11:11
Static address successfully set
Initialize the controller.
[hci1]# power on
hci1 Set Powered complete, settings: powered le static-addr
Begin scanning.
[hci1]# find -l
Discovery started
hci1 type 6 discovering on
hci1 dev_found: 58:EF:77:C8:8D:17 type LE Random rssi -78 flags 0x0000
AD flags 0x06
eir_len 23