Bus Mode Selection and Remote Control

Bus modes discussed in this document are defined in Serial Interface .

This tutorial demonstrates operation in the three operational states of the BGX: local COMMAND mode, STREAM mode, and remote COMMAND mode. The tutorial also demonstrates the following methods by which mode switches can be executed:

This demonstration uses two BGX13P EXP boards. It is similar to the procedure described in Getting Started , with variations to cover the various methods for bus mode selection.


Plug each of the BGX13P EXP boards into a separate USB port on a computer and open a terminal program to communicate with each board. See Getting Started, Evaluating BGX with a terminal program .

It is assumed both BGX EXP boards are in their factory default configuration. To revert a BGX13 to its factory default configuration, see the fac command definition .

Manual Bus Mode Selection Using the str_select GPIO

The BGX EXP devices boot up as BLE peripherals with advertising turned on, in local COMMAND_MODE , indicated by the output from the BGX:


The BGX EXP board offers two mechanical buttons: BTN0 connected to GPIO 2, and BTN1 connected to GPIO 3. Configure BTN0 to use str_select in 'edge' mode, which switches modes when BGX detects a rising edge on the configured input pin.

To configure GPIO 2 to str_select in edge mode, run the following in the terminal program:

> set bu s c edge
> gfu 2 str_select

Now when you touch and release BTN0, you will see the BGX switching between local command mode and stream mode:


In the next section, the str_select setting will be used. Note that this configuration is not saved to non-volatile memory, because save was not called. To revert back to defaults, click the 'reset' button on the EXP board, or call the reboot command.

Connecting BGX to BGX

BGX devices can operate in both central and peripheral roles. In a BGX-to-BGX connection, one BGX will serve as central and the other will operate as peripheral.

To connect to a peripheral BGX, that BGX must be advertising. Default configuration for the BGX device configures advertising to turn off after a few minutes. Press the Reset button on the device that hasn't been configured to use str_select.

Once the device resets, it will begin advertising again. You can also use the adv command to turn on advertising:

On peripheral BGX device's terminal:

> adv

On the other BGX device, enter the command scan high . Within a few seconds, the BGX will displays a list of BGX devices discovered. For example:

> scan high
!  # RSSI BD_ADDR           Device Name
\#  1  -58 20:73:7a:12:9a:42 BGX-8F18

Issue the con (connect) command on the device used as central, with the index number of the BGX board listed by the scan results.

> con 1

Automatic Mode Transitions

When the devices connect, the following will appear on the peripheral's terminal:


The peripheral's switch to stream mode upon connection is an example of automatic mode transition, which is default behavior meant to simplify the communication process. Automatic mode transitions function as follows:

Note that the central has remained in command mode and did not switch to stream mode automatically. If a BGX device has been configured to use str_select as an input pin, automatic mode transitions are disabled and the BGX allows mode transitions to be controlled manually.

Manual Bus Mode Selection Using the str Command

The central in command mode can be switched to stream mode by issuing the str command.

On the central's terminal:

> str

Now both devices enter STREAM_MODE upon connection, as this is the default configuration behavior. Data can be transmitted between the devices now, simply by inputting characters through the BGX device's RX pin. In one terminal, type a message. The other terminal will then display the received message, which has been transferred out the BGX device's TX pin. In the example below, one BGX transmitted "Hello!" to the other in the BLE link.


Transitioning from Stream Mode to Command Mode with a Breakout Sequence

A BGX device in stream mode can transition to command mode by sending an breakout sequence of characters through the BGX device's serial interface.

This breakout sequence can be configured or disabled using the bu s s variable.

Note that it can be difficult to send a breakout sequence in some terminal programs due to intra-byte latency. In order to distinguish between the breakout sequence and bytes meant to be transmitted during stream mode operation, the BGX requires minimal delay between bytes to validate a breakout sequence.

Transmitting the following to the central's serial interface will switch operation to command mode, using the default breakout sequence:

> $$$

Note that the breakout sequence is defined in hexadecimal, and so the data sent to the central BGX here is 0x24 0x24 0x24.

The breakout sequence must be transmitted within certain timing restraints to be recognized as a breakout sequence instead of regular data. For more information on the timing requirements, see bu s s .

After sending this breakout sequence, the BGX acknowledges entrance to command mode as follows:


Serial Data Rate Limitations of the Breakout Sequence

Due to timing limitations, the breakout sequence will not work reliably if your serial data rate is less that 5000 bits-per-second. If your application requires a serial data rate below 5000 bps then you must use GPIO Mode Selection in order to switch the bus mode from stream mode to command mode.

Remotely Controlling a BGX Device

To remote control a BGX module, it must be placed in remote COMMAND mode.

This demonstration assumes the two BGX devices are in the state configured in the previous steps:

The rbmode command works by setting the BLE mode characteristic for the peripheral BGX. Setting the BLE mode characteristic to remote COMMAND mode is the only way to place a BGX module in remote COMMAND mode.

Note that this configuration of the BLE mode characteristic is also how the BGXpress Framework for mobile apps remotely transitions a connected BGX to command mode.

Placing the Peripheral BGX in Remote COMMAND Mode

On the central BGX device's terminal, issue the rbmode (remote bus mode) command, with no argument. The device responds with the remote device bus mode:

> rbmode

On the central BGX device's terminal, issue the rbmode (remote bus mode) command with the remote argument:

> rbmode remote

The peripheral BGX switches to remote COMMAND mode:


Note that the central BGX is still in local COMMAND mode, and is not yet able to send commands to the peripheral BGX. The central BGX can continue executing commands in it's local command mode. For the central BGX to execute commands remotely on the peripheral BGX, the central BGX must switch to stream mode:

> str
> gfu 0 stdio
> gdi 0 olo

At this point, the peripheral BGX device's GPIO 0 has been configured to a Standard I/O pin in push-pull output, initialized as logic low.

Note that LED0 has turned on. The LED0 can now be controlled remotely by executing the gse command.

> gse 0 1
> gse 0 0