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The battery life for the Sense with firmware version 1.3 is not very high. The battery goes weak after about 2 hours of use. Does Broadcom have any plans to address this?
[JT] - Correct. Broadcom does plan to address this.
- Where is the source code for firmware version 1.3? I would like to try my hand at tweaking it. I only see a post about firmware v1.2.
[JT] - Please use firmware v 1.2 - v 1.3 has not been released - Check links for possible updates.
- Can any firmware (custom) be installed on the Sense tag and is this a recommended practice? Does the firmware need to be signed?
[JT] - Please see links:
- SDK WICED Sense Project Creation Video
- WICED Sense Firmware Walk-Thru Video
- WICED Sense Recovery Procedure Video
- How much power is consumed when blinking LEDs and playing beeps? Can we increase battery life by reducing the blinks and the beeps?
[JT] - Power analysis has not been done in this scenario. Yes, however most battery power is consumed by the sensors and the RF Technology
- How much power is consumed when connected but not sending data?
[JT] - Depends on several factors - detailed measurements of this scenario have not been measured
- How much power is consumed when connected and sending data (from SENSE to GATT client)? Can we increase battery life significantly by reducing the number of transmissions?
[JT] - Power analysis has not been done on the WICED Sense Platform - This platform was designed to send sensor information as quickly as possible. Yes, reducing the number is transmissions will significantly increase battery power.
Thanks JT for your detailed response.
I have made my app's WICED integration public:
Many of my app's users have shown interest and couple of them have already ordered the WICED sense within one day! They are happy but complaining that the device eats through batteries.
What are the changes between firmware version 1.2 and 1.3, and is there an ETA for the source-code release of 1.3? If I have to create custom firmware, I would prefer basing it on the latest firmware from Broadcom, to avoid reinventing the wheel.
But the Play store app for WICED Sense allows me to update to version 1.3.
This is what it says on the Play store:
Fixed ANR/Crash issue after OTA update to 1.3.
NOTE: WICED Sense Tag MUST be upgraded to firmware version 1.3.
Have you tried to upgrade your WICED Sense Kit from the SDK 2.2 Download?
The version of the firmware is in the header file and is version 1.3:
#define WICED_SENSE_APP_ID 0x3A20
#define WICED_SENSE_APP_VERSION_MAJOR 1
#define WICED_SENSE_APP_VERSION_MINOR 3
Hope this helps,
Oh, cool. I hadn't tried that, good to know that firmware v1.3 code is already available.
Btw, there's some good news. My estimate of 2 hours of battery life was way off. I tried with a fresh battery and got 9 hours out of it. The two hour battery life was probably due to frequent connects / disconnects during development.
Details of the test here.
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> Can any firmware (custom) be installed on the Sense tag and is this a recommended practice? Does the firmware need to be signed?
Sure! You can use the SDK to develop your own apps for the Sense. Drivers for the ST sensors are included in the wiced_sense sample app.
> How much power is consumed when blinking LEDs and playing beeps? Can we increase battery life by reducing the blinks and the beeps?
The LEDs and the buzzer consume some power, especially if you connect/disconnect often. You can disable them (the app in the Sense will need to be changed).
> How much power is consumed when connected but not sending data?
Much of the current drain is due to the sensors. If you need to be idle and with a say, 1s connection interval, the average current draw is of the order of a couple of 100s of uA or less for the connection. The rest of it is the sensors. If your application knows exactly when the sensors are needed and when they are not, the app can put the sensors in deep sleep (hundreds of uA draw instead of many mA when awake) when not needed (while still remaining connected). The sample wiced_sense app turns on all sensors as soon as it connects to the client and puts them into low power mode when it disconnects.