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Im searching for a very cheap/simple UART to Bluetooth (LE) module, but all I can find are modules like the BlueGiga BLE112, which seems like complete overkill (USB, GPIOs, ADCs, etc). I also came across the Nordic nRF8001, but it's only a chip, and not a complete module with shielding, antenna, etc.

So does anyone know of a cheap and simple module?

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Check these dealextreme modules.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm afraid these Chinese offerings will miss the necessary CE/FCC certifications to include them into a medical device, but I will certainly look into them. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – Muis Dec 11 '12 at 21:23
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I would have expected that more of the regular Bluetooth module makers would have started making some Bluetooth LE modules but now, but it appears most are still Bluetooth 2.0. These guys made a module for Bluetooth LE, but I don't see where to buy it. The BlueGiga one you mentioned may have more than you want, but I think the price will be par for the course. It looks like you can still use it as a dumb Bluetooth UART device if you want.

If you can get away with using one of the older versions, the RN-41 is a pretty simple complete module. You can get about the same functionality from some of the modules, as mentioned by Wouter van Ooijen, on the DealExtreme site for significantly lower cost. The difference is going to be in the PCB trace antenna vs the chip antenna on the RN-41. The chip antenna is superior, but I think most people wouldn't notice the difference in most cases.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I know I could use the BlueGiga as a dumb Bluetooth UART device, but it features a full micro-controller (which is even more advanced than the micro-controller im using to send the UART data in the first place), so Im worried about the power-usage. But my biggest turn-off is that it seems I have to flash firmware settings on each module, to make it behave like a dumb UART device, which will add extra steps to the production of the board. \$\endgroup\$ – Muis Dec 11 '12 at 21:21

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