Adafruit are excited to add another product to Adafruit's growing Adafruit Bluefruit line, this time it's the Bluefruit EZ-Link Shield: the best Bluetooth Serial shield ever made. Like you, they have purchased all sorts of Bluetooth shields with high expectations - they just wanted something that worked! But nothing ever did exactly what they wanted: there was always some configuration modes to wade through, and trying to reprogram an Arduino is impossible.
So they did what they always do, they theynt in and engineered something better. Something that works!
The Bluefruit EZ-Link shield is a regular 'SPP' serial link client device, that can pair with any computer or tablet and appear as a serial/COM port (except iOS as iOS does not permit SPP pairing). But here is where it gets exciting: unlike any other BT module, the EZ-Link can automatically detect and change the serial baud rate. That means if you open up the COM port on your computer at 9600 baud, the output is 9600, 57600? 57600. Yep even 2400. All the most common baud rates are supported: 2400, 4800, 9600, 19200, 38400, 57600, 115200 and 230400. You never have to configure or customize the module by hand - it all happens completely automatically inside the RF module.
Now if they stopped there, you'd probably think "wow that is pretty nice" but they didn't stop there! The EZ-Link has another impressive feature: the DTR/RTS/DSR flow control pins are automatically synced to the computer serial port. What this means is that if the computer sets the hardware flow control DTR or RTS pins high or low the pins on the bluetooth module will follow. If the DSR input pin is brought high or low on the EZ-Link, the computer can detect that as theyll. Every other Bluetooth SPP device they've ever seen, if they even have the RTS/DTR pins brought out, do not sync back to the computer, instead the flow control is for the module serial buffer itself.
Together, this creates something pretty amazing: a Bluetooth shield that can change baud rates on the fly and toggle the DTR pin as desired. What they've got here now is a way to program an Arduino (or compatible) from 10 meters away, completely wirelessly, with no extra software, custom hardware, odd firmware hacks or modified firmware. It works great, and you can use the serial console as theyll. It's the only Bluetooth shield that has completely transparent Arduino re-programming & communication capability
Works great with Mac and Windows computers. Linux is not supported at this time.
To round out the design they also added two RX/TX indicator LEDs so you can tell when data is sent & received as theyll as a connection status breakout pin. When the paired computer opens up a UART connection, the status pin goes high, letting the Arduino know that it can now expect data to be sent and it's also OK to send data to the computer. You can use the shield in either Direct mode (the Bluetooth module replaces the USB/Serial chip) or in Soft Serial mode (you still want to program over USB but will use SoftwareSerial to communicate with a computer or other device).
Each order of this EZ-Link shield includes one ready to go and assembled EZ-Link shield, with FCC/CE/RoHS certification. Adafruit also include a 36-pin header to be used if you want to have the shield plug in directly into an Arduino. Some light soldering is required! For use with other shields, we suggest picking up a stacking header kit. Since the EZ-Link only connects to the RT/TX/Reset Pins for programming, it will stack with just about any shield in existence.
Works great with Arduino Uno/Duemilanove/compatible and Mega. Not for use with Leonardo (the Leonardo uses direct-USB instead of USB-Serial) or Due.
For all the details and tutorials, check out the EZ-Link page at the Adafruit Learning System
Bluefruit EZ-Link Shield - Bluetooth Arduino Serial & Programmer (8:06)
- Max Dimensions: 69mm / 2.7" x 53mm / 2" x 5mm / 0.2"
- Weight: 12.8g
- On April 15, 2014 they updated to v1.1 of this shield, which fixes MacOS X compatibility.
- On Aug 12, 2014 they updated to v1.3 of this shield which fixes the 2-hour timeout if you do not pair within 2 hours. There is no longer a timeout.
- Note - the PCB itself says version 1.1, but the product is version 1.3
- For all the details and tutorials, check out the EZ-Link page at the Adafruit Learning System
- EagleCAD PCB files, Fritzing object, etc in the tutorial
- EagleCAD PCB files on GitHub
- Fritzing object in Adafruit Fritzing library
- Adafruit Bluefruit EZ-Link Shield
- Smart Cocktail Shaker
- Programming Arduino with Android and Windows Tablets