Hot!RN4870/71 PICtail Plus Daughter Board as Com Link between two PC's (Transparent UART?)

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MTSPIKE
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2018/06/13 13:13:54 (permalink)
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RN4870/71 PICtail Plus Daughter Board as Com Link between two PC's (Transparent UART?)

Is it possible to use two RN4870/71 PICtail Plus Daughter Board to establish a serial communication link between two PC's, and if so where can I find a description of how to do so?
 
I have two RN4870/71 PICtail Plus Daughter boards, and each one is connected to a separate PC via the USB cables provided in box.  Following the RN4870/71 daughter board User Guide (DS50002547A), I'm able to go thru most of the CH3 Quick Start Guide.  Further, I've downloaded the Smart Discover AP to my Samsung cell phone, and I can discover / connect to both of the Daughter Boards.  The point of this is to convey that the two RN4870/71 units are functioning.
 
I infer from the RN4870/71 Bluetooth Low Energy Module User's Guide (DS50002466B) that such a serial link is possible, but have not figured out how to do it.  Specifically, the first paragraph of section 1.3 COMMAND MODE AND DATA MODE, implies in my mind that such a serial link is possible.  Specifically, ...... in Data mode, the RN4870/71 acts as a data pipe:  any serial data sent into RN4870/71 UART is transferred to the connected peer device via Transparent UART Bluetooth service.  I underlined the word connected as I suspect that is part of the issue.
 
As an aside, I'm using Putty for the terminal emulator and it seems to work fine from standpoint that I can do the tasks in the Quick Start Guide of document DS50002547A.
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    NKurzman
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    Re: RN4870/71 PICtail Plus Daughter Board as Com Link between two PC's (Transparent UART? 2018/06/13 15:20:13 (permalink)
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    Yes it is Possible. But how? and to what end?
    You can use command on on both units to establish a link. The USB to serial converter will make the links appear to be a serial Ports.
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    MTSPIKE
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    Re: RN4870/71 PICtail Plus Daughter Board as Com Link between two PC's (Transparent UART? 2018/06/14 08:42:36 (permalink)
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    NKurzman,
     
    Thank you for your response.  I'm new to Bluetooth communication in general, and the RN4870/71 in particular.  Trying to figure out how to use the RN4870/71 PICtail Plus Daughter Board so as to incorporate in an Embedded Systems Interfacing (ESI) Lab I'll be teaching.
     
    Not sure I understand your message.  What command(s) do I use to establish the serial link using the RN4870/71 PICtail Plus Daughter Boards?  
     
    Some Backgroung:
    As a starting point in a Bluetooth focused ESI Lab, even before interfacing to microcontroller (we use Explorer 16 boards), seems it would be interesting / instructive to establish serial-Bluetooth links from Student PC's.  The intention in this "starting point exercise" is to simply use the supplied USB cables to connect a PC to an RN4870/71 PICtail Plus Daughter Board, then have two student groups communicate with each other.  Hopefully multiple links can be established in lab of 12 PC's without collisions.  At this point in time, I'm simply attempting to establish one link between two PC's / PICtail Plus Daughter Boards.  As an aside, I am able to establish such a simple link using Xbee modules.
     
    Thanks again,
    MTSpike
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    NKurzman
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    Re: RN4870/71 PICtail Plus Daughter Board as Com Link between two PC's (Transparent UART? 2018/06/14 09:04:12 (permalink)
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    You Communicate with the Module in command Mode is Command Mode ("$$$" establish the link. Then exit command mode.  Then any data will go yo the other module.  You can do this with a terminal emulator on both PCs.
    The commands and response should be listed in the Modules data sheet.
    If you have not gotten all you H/W yet note that there are newer Modules.  But for you experiments it may not matter.
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    MTSPIKE
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    Re: RN4870/71 PICtail Plus Daughter Board as Com Link between two PC's (Transparent UART? 2018/06/14 09:26:36 (permalink)
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    NKurzman,
     
    Thank you again.
     
    Hopefully we have new RN4870/71 PICtail Daughter boards as we just received them last week, from Microchip.
     
    I do indeed have two PC's connected to two separate RN4870/71 PICtail Plus Daughter boards.  I'm using Putty for the terminal emulator on each PC.
     
    I suspect my problem is that I haven't figured out yet how to "Establish the link".  I'll keep working at it, but if you know the specific command to use to establish the link, I would appreciate if you could let me know.
     
    Thanks again,
    MTSpike
     
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    myZigbee
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    Re: RN4870/71 PICtail Plus Daughter Board as Com Link between two PC's (Transparent UART? 2018/06/14 11:17:55 (permalink)
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    MTSPIKE
     
    Assume that you have two RN4870/71 A and B, each connected to a PC via terminal emulator. I used TeraTerm, but you could use any. Following is the steps:
     
    1. By default, the device connect to PC with baud rate 115200. If connect correctly, if you press the reset button, "ReBoot" message should be displayed.
    2. From both devices, type $$$, a command prompt "CMD>" should be output. Type "D<Return>", then critical info should be displayed, including MAC address.
    3. From A, type command "F<Return>" to start scanning and you should be able to find B by its MAC address.
    4. From A, type command "C,0,<MAC address of B>" and if everything works, you should connect the two devices together. By default, they should get into data mode automatically.
    5. Type anything from TeraTerm connected to A, info should be displayed on TeraTerm connected to B, and vice versa. So now you have the serial pipe line over BLE.
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    MTSPIKE
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    Re: RN4870/71 PICtail Plus Daughter Board as Com Link between two PC's (Transparent UART? 2018/06/14 11:37:24 (permalink)
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    myZigbee,
     
    Thank you so much for the information.  Oddly enough, I just had it working, following steps similar to what you provided.  I tried to redo my steps, but for some reason I haven't gotten it to work a second time.  Hopefully I can get it working again.
     
    By the way, I did notice that there no Line Feed on the receiving unit when I hit Enter on the Transmitting PC.  Not much of an issue at this point.
     
    Thanks again, 
    MTSpike
     
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    MTSPIKE
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    Re: RN4870/71 PICtail Plus Daughter Board as Com Link between two PC's (Transparent UART? 2018/06/14 12:07:04 (permalink)
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    myZigbee,
    Your sequence seems to work, but it's different from what I did the first time.
    It seems the overall PC / PICtail Plus Daughter Board system is rather Persnickety from the standpoint of command sequence.  For example:
    after pressing Reset on both boards, I can "discover" each remote BLE using the F command.  
    If I stop using X then retry F command, I no longer see the remote BLE.
     
    At any rate, thank you so much for your help and I'll keep working with it.
     
    MTSpike
     
    PS:  How about use of work Persnickety, and thank heavens for spell check.
     
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