It is with mixed emotions that I purchased a Maplin N97DG Bluetooth Shield for the Arduino. I think its a good thing for Maplin and the Buildr community that Maplin are putting some high street umph behind Arduino and hobbyist electronics but I still reel at the whole mega corporations thing – can’t have everything I guess!
Anyway, the N97DG seems to be built by LinkSprite. Following the user guide online to set it up I started by downloading and installing the XCTU software used in the user guide from Digi International, which is thankfully available for the Mac! If you want to test this with an Android device then you need a Bluetooth Serial Port App like the Bluetooth Serial Controller. It seems that there are two ways to set this up – one requires two boards! and the other an Android device – thankfully I had an Android device to hand.
Well after much trying and googling I decided to return this shield because I just couldn’t get it to work. The documentation regarding XTC seemed to apply to a different version (or not Mac OSx at least) and the lack of detail in the instructions meant I could not make any progress. I will also add that the build quality seemed a bit lacking.
## UPDATE ## In frustration I ordered a Sparkfun BlueSmirf module from Proto-Pic. Admittedly is costs a few pence more but more importantly it works. I followed the Sparkfun BlueSmirf Tutorial and was up and running in five or so minutes. My only disappointment is that I didn’t order the gold version, which would have given me greater range.