Anaren Bluetooth Smart Development Kit

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2019-02-21 Check Kevin Darrah's Remote Starter project for an example of using the board without Atmosphere.

2018-Sept This board is obsolete. Back around January, Anaren spun off its IOT group and now it's Atmosphere IOT. This board is useless unless I can get it to work outside of the Atmosphere cloud based SDK. (See the Cypress link)

Things look bleak for Atmosphere, they switched from the Anaren Cypress-based hardware to supporting Espressif ESP32 and Intel Curie modules, and Intel discontinued Curie in July. So that just leaves Espressif. Espressif makes that famous tiny ESP8266 WiFi module, the ESP32 is far more powerful.

Anaren still seems to list wireless products.

Frankly the cloud based GUI oriented development environment "Atmosphere" did not excite me so maybe I will just forget about this board. :-(

2016-Sep-14 Today the UPS truck pulled up unexpectedly and dropped off an "Anaren Bluetooth' Smart Development Kit."

Hey, it's a gift from Anaren! COOL. (I won it in the monthly drawing.)

The "MSDB" (= Multi-Sensor Development Board) includes these:

  • ARM Cortex M3 processor
  • 512M RAM
  • Bluetooth Smart AKA BLE
  • Accelerometer
  • IR sensor
  • IR emitter
  • IR non-contact temperature sensor
  • Buzzer
  • Joystick w button
  • Current sensor

First thoughts. Make it portable else no point in the compass and accelerometer. So it needs a box and a battery.

Hook up a GPS module so it knows where it is. Ordered one from Sparkfun $15, such a deal.

Now turn it all into a big fitness monitor. Phatbit

Cloud based developer page: Click on the IDE tab. Description is here:

Testing every feature

CyanogenMod problems

I had to upgrade to CM13 to get Anaren's Android app working. Now I want to write demo code to wring out the board.

I still can't use the Nexus 7, there is no CM13 for it.

Buzzer app

I built a simple app with the Buzzer in it, and then changed the void_setup() function by adding this line at the end:


Now when I send the app to the MSDB using the programmer, the light on the board blinks for a while and then it emits a constant tone. So I know the board works and it's just the Anaren android app that is failing.

Okay now, that constant tone is starting to wear on me. :-) Unplugging the MSDB... plugging back in... all still blissfully quiet. I can restart the embedded program by moving the UART switch to the left and hitting the tiny reset button. Then the lovely tone resumes. No need to reload it.

Output: RGB LED Input: Joystick

The program on this page will cycle through the colors

This code example illustrates the use of a function "interval" that apparently gets called about once per second.

My version is called rgb_cycle

I modified it to walk through 0..7 so that I get all seven colors, "black", red, green, orange, blue, magenta, cyan, and "white". All 3 LEDs on looks pink to me.

Then I pushed the color change code into a function and connected the function to the joystick "push" button.

To make the joystick work you must add the XRA1201 library, it's under "Tools"->"Element Library". Select the XRA1201 and click "Load". See The Exar XRA1201 is a GPIO expansion chip on the i2c bus.

Input: Accelerometer

Input: IR Temperature Sensor

There's a sample. The sensor output is not very interesting. It give you the temperature.

IR detector & IR emitter

To use the detector, you have to move a 0 ohm resistor (aka a solder jumper). Oh well, I don't really need it anyway.

This program show numbers from the detector but since the jumper is in the wrong position it's really just giving voltage readings at a pin. I have to assume the IR emitter option works, since I don't have a way to see it right this minute.


  • Current sensor



Cypress has a cool <$20 kit too based on the same BCM20737 PSoC but theirs is in a plastic case and includes a humidity sensor. You can get them from DigiKey.

Developer site

Cypress bought Broadcomm so now if you want to use the dedicated SDK instead of Atmosphere, go to

Best reference to hardware is here: