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M852

DIY Bluetooth Interface for ProChrono Digital

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This thread is a carry-over from the one covering the DIY cable for the ProChrono Digital USB interface. I figured a new thread would be appropriate to keep the wired vs. wireless discussions organized.

The detailed instructions in the attached PDF file cover building a Bluetooth interface for the ProChrono Digital chronograph. In short, it describes how to build a Bluetooth receiver and use it to make a wireless connection between the ProChrono Digital and the PCRemote software on a PC.

Two warnings, though:

  • First, If you attempt this build there is a chance you could break any and all of the parts, including your chronograph. Do not attempt this if you are not comfortable installing Windows drivers & software, using a soldering iron, and guarding against electrostatic discharge (ESD). You alone are responsible for what happens to your equipment.
  • Second, getting serial devices working over Bluetooth in Windows is straight-up voodoo. Seriously. There's about a 50/50 chance the Bluetooth receiver will work on the first pass through the instructions, and it's entirely possible to do everything right and still end up with a receiver that doesn't work. YMMV, but just know this up front.

Having said that, here's a list of the components you'll need:

  1. Bluetooth-to-Serial Module ($7-18)
  2. CP2102 USB-to-Serial UART/TTL Module ($5-10)
  3. Switching Voltage Regulator ($5-6)
  4. Battery(ies) ($2-5)
  5. Battery Holder ($2-3)
  6. ⅛” (3.5mm) stereo cord and/or jack ($3-7)
  7. Power Switch (optional) ($1-2)
  8. 10kΩ Resistor ($1)
  9. Small Project Box/Enclosure ($3-7)

So, depending on what components you select and how particular you are, you can build the Bluetooth receiver for +/- $45.

I had a lot of fun working on this build. The majority of my electronics projects up to this point usually involved either a PC power supply or a 12V car battery. What you see in the instructions is a culmination of the lessons learned and the do-overs I worked through over the course of building the prototype. If you have any suggestions to add, please post them here or PM me. (I'm still looking for a 3.5mm stereo jack with an isolated SPDT switch that closes when the plug is inserted.)

On my wish list of future projects:

  1. Get the Bluetooth receiver integrated inside the ProChrono Digital housing.
  2. Find some enterprising coder(s) to write an Android equivalent of the PCRemote software now that we have a Bluetooth option.

Edit 6/9/13: I'll try to post some pics of the build once I clear the minimum post limit.

Thanks so much for all your hard work and posting this. I'm was gonna attempt to do it like you did, but I'm not familiar with the Kycon STX-3100-9C and I'm not sure how to wire it up. I kinda saw a schematic for it, but I don't have enough knowledge to interpret it. There are 6 pins grouped together that I don't know what is what, and 3 other (curvy looking pins) which I'm guessing are the RX, TX, and GRND though I'm not sure what's what on that either. Any light you can shed would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again!

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Thanks so much for all your hard work and posting this. I'm was gonna attempt to do it like you did, but I'm not familiar with the Kycon STX-3100-9C and I'm not sure how to wire it up. I kinda saw a schematic for it, but I don't have enough knowledge to interpret it. There are 6 pins grouped together that I don't know what is what, and 3 other (curvy looking pins) which I'm guessing are the RX, TX, and GRND though I'm not sure what's what on that either. Any light you can shed would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again!

The 3 bent pins are your tip, ring, and sleeve pins. The other 6 pins grouped together near the back are the switched pins. Here's how I wired mine (click the pic for a larger image):

post-47370-0-87144600-1377367563_thumb.p

Note: this view is looking at the bottom of the switch. The Battery connection goes to the positive terminal on the battery source; the VIN connection goes to the VIN pin on the voltage regulator. The way I have mine connected, the switch closes the connection between the battery and the VIN pin (i.e., turns the power on) when a cable is plugged into the jack.

For the curious, the schematic for the Kycon STX-3100-9C is located here.

Edited by M852

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Thanks to Doug G for explaining how the checksum is calculated!

I've been working on a project that communicates with the ProChrono to gather data that is integrated with other shot information. I've got most of the commands used by CE's PCRemote program working in my project including: Get Statistics, Get Velocities, and String Change.

Here's the function I'm using to append the checksum to the end of the command string. I work in MS Visual Studio using C++/MFC but you should be able to modify for regular C/C++ easily.

- Jeff59


void AddChecksum(CString& strCommand)
{
	// appends the checksum to the end of a command string
	// assumes that the first character is a ':'

	// calculate the total of the char values in the string
	int nChecksum = 0;
	for(int x = 1; x < strCommand.GetLength(); x++)
		nChecksum += (int)strCommand.GetAt(x);

	// get least significant byte and subtract from 256
	nChecksum = (256 - (nChecksum % 256));

	// add the checksum to the command string
	CString strTemp;
	strTemp.Format(_T("%02X"), nChecksum);
	strCommand = strCommand + strTemp;
}
Edited by jeff59

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Thanks so much for all your hard work and posting this. I'm was gonna attempt to do it like you did, but I'm not familiar with the Kycon STX-3100-9C and I'm not sure how to wire it up. I kinda saw a schematic for it, but I don't have enough knowledge to interpret it. There are 6 pins grouped together that I don't know what is what, and 3 other (curvy looking pins) which I'm guessing are the RX, TX, and GRND though I'm not sure what's what on that either. Any light you can shed would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again!

The 3 bent pins are your tip, ring, and sleeve pins. The other 6 pins grouped together near the back are the switched pins. Here's how I wired mine (click the pic for a larger image):

attachicon.gifSwitch Connections.png

Note: this view is looking at the bottom of the switch. The Battery connection goes to the positive terminal on the battery source; the VIN connection goes to the VIN pin on the voltage regulator. The way I have mine connected, the switch closes the connection between the battery and the VIN pin (i.e., turns the power on) when a cable is plugged into the jack.

For the curious, the schematic for the Kycon STX-3100-9C is located here.

Thanks again! I finally sat down and got it all together like you did. My soldering skills are severely lacking, but it works...for now... ^_^

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Thanks again! I finally sat down and got it all together like you did. My soldering skills are severely lacking, but it works...for now... ^_^

Glad you got it working! The soldering on mine was looking pretty sketchy by the time I got done with the prototype. The cheap Radio Shack perfoboard I used didn't help any, either. As long as you've got continuity between the parts you should be okay.

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FYI

I've manage to locate a nice Bluetooth adapter, the Parani-SD1000 by a company called SENA. The only issue is that it uses RS232 input voltages so there will need to be a conversion via MAX232 or similar chip to bring it too TTL levels for use with the Pro Chrono. The beauty of this unit is, one, it can be battery powered and two, it can communicate around 100m (line of site) with standard antenna or 1km with a higher gain antenna (over kill), of course you will need another unit connected to your PC to achieve these distances, as a standard phone or PC Bluetooth is only good for about 10m

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I've manage to locate a nice Bluetooth adapter, the Parani-SD1000 by a company called SENA. The only issue is that it uses RS232 input voltages so there will need to be a conversion via MAX232 or similar chip to bring it too TTL levels for use with the Pro Chrono. The beauty of this unit is, one, it can be battery powered and two, it can communicate around 100m (line of site) with standard antenna or 1km with a higher gain antenna (over kill), of course you will need another unit connected to your PC to achieve these distances, as a standard phone or PC Bluetooth is only good for about 10m

Good stuff. Those SENA products look very interesting. The SENA Bluetooth OEM modules may be a better option for an external enclosure since you can still get the range with an external patch antenna without having to deal with powering a separate RS232 module. The Parani-ESD210 in particular looks like a real good option as it has both an internal antenna and an external patch antenna option if you want the extended range. Not sure if you would have to pair it with a long-range receiver on the laptop since the module would be broadcasting strong enough with the patch antenna to make it to the laptop.

Edited by M852

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I've manage to locate a nice Bluetooth adapter, the Parani-SD1000 by a company called SENA. The only issue is that it uses RS232 input voltages so there will need to be a conversion via MAX232 or similar chip to bring it too TTL levels for use with the Pro Chrono. The beauty of this unit is, one, it can be battery powered and two, it can communicate around 100m (line of site) with standard antenna or 1km with a higher gain antenna (over kill), of course you will need another unit connected to your PC to achieve these distances, as a standard phone or PC Bluetooth is only good for about 10m

Good stuff. Those SENA products look very interesting. The SENA Bluetooth OEM modules may be a better option for an external enclosure since you can still get the range with an external patch antenna without having to deal with powering a separate RS232 module. The Parani-ESD210 in particular looks like a real good option as it has both an internal antenna and an external patch antenna option if you want the extended range. Not sure if you would have to pair it with a long-range receiver on the laptop since the module would be broadcasting strong enough with the patch antenna to make it to the laptop.

Yeh I'm on the assumption that you'll need two Bluetooth units if you wanted to use the PC as a remote control. Also I don't know the intricacies of Bluetooth communications but I'm also assuming there would be some handshaking protocols going on??

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Good stuff. Those SENA products look very interesting. The SENA Bluetooth OEM modules may be a better option for an external enclosure since you can still get the range with an external patch antenna without having to deal with powering a separate RS232 module. The Parani-ESD210 in particular looks like a real good option as it has both an internal antenna and an external patch antenna option if you want the extended range. Not sure if you would have to pair it with a long-range receiver on the laptop since the module would be broadcasting strong enough with the patch antenna to make it to the laptop.

Yeh I'm on the assumption that you'll need two Bluetooth units if you wanted to use the PC as a remote control. Also I don't know the intricacies of Bluetooth communications but I'm also assuming there would be some handshaking protocols going on??

You're right; it would be 2-way communication. In that case, you could use the Parani-UD100 USB Bluetooth adapter to pair with the Parani-ESD210, which would get you out to 30m minimum.

I'm kinda liking the Parani-ESD210 as an option for mounting the Bluetooth module in the ProChrono Digital case since you can mount the antenna externally and not have to worry about how much interference the case introduce.

Edited by M852

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Good stuff. Those SENA products look very interesting. The SENA Bluetooth OEM modules may be a better option for an external enclosure since you can still get the range with an external patch antenna without having to deal with powering a separate RS232 module. The Parani-ESD210 in particular looks like a real good option as it has both an internal antenna and an external patch antenna option if you want the extended range. Not sure if you would have to pair it with a long-range receiver on the laptop since the module would be broadcasting strong enough with the patch antenna to make it to the laptop.

Yeh I'm on the assumption that you'll need two Bluetooth units if you wanted to use the PC as a remote control. Also I don't know the intricacies of Bluetooth communications but I'm also assuming there would be some handshaking protocols going on??
You're right; it would be 2-way communication. In that case, you could use the Parani-UD100 USB Bluetooth adapter to pair with the Parani-ESD210, which would get you out to 30m minimum. I'm kinda liking the Parani-ESD210 as an option for mounting the Bluetooth module in the ProChrono Digital case since you can mount the antenna externally and not have to worry about how much interference the case introduce.

Yeh that would be a good setup as the ESD210 is TTL levels from what I have read, the only draw back is that it's a 3.3V unit, you could probably get away with powering it on 5V but not a wise move for longevity. The SD1000 can take up to 12V, ideally 5V is best though, as 12V can generate a fair bit of heat when working hard.

With regards to opening the Pro Chrono is there a trick to it as I have tried but it seems glued together. Am I missing something?

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Yeh that would be a good setup as the ESD210 is TTL levels from what I have read, the only draw back is that it's a 3.3V unit, you could probably get away with powering it on 5V but not a wise move for longevity.

The reason I used a 5V step-up/step-down regulator with the Virtuabox BT2S in the guide was because the BT2S would take a 5V input and that would - in theory - increase the effective range. If you used the Parani-ESD210 you wouldn't have to worry about using 5V to improve the range since it already hits 30m by default. You could just use a 3.3V step-up/step-down regulator instead, or even a more efficient 3.3V step-up regulator if your power source is less than 3.3V (e.g., AA/AAA x 2).

Regarding power consumption, I'd guess that the SENA ESD210/UD100 solution would go through the batteries faster than the BT2S/laptop receiver solution. At 5V the BT2S uses 10-30 mA while searching, around 5-8 mA once paired. At 3.3V the ESD210 uses 40mA nominally per mfr specs. I'm not a EE, but I'm pretty sure the ESD210 would use up an identical power source (e.g., AAA x 2) faster than the BT2S. I'm also assuming the difference between using the UD100 vs. a "regular" 10m Bluetooth receiver on the laptop would be negligible.

With regards to opening the Pro Chrono is there a trick to it as I have tried but it seems glued together. Am I missing something?

Haven't tried it yet. Integrating the Bluetooth receiver into the ProChrono Digital case was one of my long-term goals. Unfortunately, the internal power is a 9V battery, which is not optimal for a Bluetooth receiver. My concern is that it would drain the battery a lot faster. Exactly how much faster is the question. One option would be to install a second power source - like stuffing some AAA batteries in the "spare battery" compartment - and using that to power just the Bluetooth receiver internally. Decisions, decisions....

Might want to shoot an e-mail to CED and ask what the trick is to get it opened.

Edited by M852

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OK, so here's a question... We've got bluetooth working on the Prochrono, I've seen pictures of a smartphone app on here that will work with the bluetooth (and I'd love to get my hands on a copy to play with!!) But would it be worth the time/effort to build a wired or wireless remote for the ProChrono that doesn't rely on a phone or a laptop? I think it would be relatively easy to use an Arduino with either a wire or Bluetooth to communicate with the ProChrono and act as a remote display and control. Being relatively new to the whole Arduino platform I'm familiar enough to be dangerous with it but not knowledgeable enough to come up with something on my own. Anyone want to work on this idea? I'm going to try to mess around a bit on my own but I'm not real fluent in C so the going is slow. I think using the Arduino platform would allow a number of people who wanted a cheap remote to make one without getting too deep into bits and bytes, soldering and circuits. Anyway, it's something that I'm going to play with as time allows, but there's a lot more expertise on this board than I have, so what takes me weeks might take one of you a couple days or even hours. Or maybe someone's already done it but just not posted? Just throwing it out there...

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I've seen pictures of a smartphone app on here that will work with the bluetooth (and I'd love to get my hands on a copy to play with!!)

Ditto that. Anyone want to post their Android app(s)?

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The only reason I like a phone app is that your carry less hardware around, if you can get the Bluetooth unit in the ProChrono there isn't any extra 'stuff' to take along with you, especially at the range. Nowadays every one has a phone which they take everywhere so I thought it was just a natural progression. Having said that, there is nothing wrong with making a remote/display from and Arduino unit, you may also want to try with PICAXE as they are relatively easy to use and you can program in a basic language. They are essentially a PIC chip with a pre-programed boot loader, this allows you to use there proprietary Basic software.

FYI

I have emailed CED in regards to getting the case open, I'm waiting for a response. :D

Edited by BenOz

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The phone idea is a good one, don't get me wrong. In fact, I'd prefer it for exactly the reason you mentioned. However, no one has posted a phone app yet (that I'm aware of) although I have seen some pictures on here. But there are folks without smart phones, so a stand-alone remote might be useful to some. It's something I'll work on as time allows, but it'll be slow going for me. If someone would put the phone app out there I think many folks would find it useful. Heck, it's something I'd happily pay for if it worked reliably with the bluetooth adapter that's been posted in this thread. The CED wired remote is $90 without a remote display but I think an Arduino version could be made for under $30 -- WITH a remote display.

The only reason I like a phone app is that your carry less hardware around, if you can get the Bluetooth unit in the ProChrono there isn't any extra 'stuff' to take along with you, especially at the range. Nowadays every one has a phone which they take everywhere so I thought it was just a natural progression.



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If someone would put the phone app out there I think many folks would find it useful.

This.

The laptop is not ideal range gear.

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I'd be quiet happy to post a Lite version for people to test, of cause I'd also be happy with a little remuneration as well! :D

BUT THERE ARE A FEW PRECAUTIONS:

1. I'm not a software engineer, far from it. I do this in my own time as a hobby and its all self taught so it wont be perfect.

2. Its made for an Android OS only. I will not covert it to any other OS.

3. Its made for my phone, which is a HTC One XL - Resolutions are different on different phones, so no guarantees it will format correctly or even display at all. Hardware is different for different phones, no guarantees it will even boot.

4. A 'Lite Version' would only include speed, shot and string details. it will not save any information to the phone, one you exit the program, the data is gone from the phone, but it will still be on the ProChrono. It does not modify any data on the ProChrono. When installing the APK file it will ask to access certain hardware on your phone, this is out of my control.

5. Constructive criticism is welcomed - if your not sure, tell the hand brake (wife/gf/partner) and see if she appreciates it, if not, I'm sure i wont! I will help where I can.

6. Don't expect upgrades anytime soon

7. Bluetooth hardware is your responsibility

8. If your happy with the above then I'm happy to post the app once I have completed the Lite version - ETA unknown B)

P.S I received and email back from CED. Details below.

"Dear Sir,

You will have to break the glue seal from around the outer case (the seam that separate the 2 halves) with something very sharp, like an exacto knife or box cutter. Remove the screw in the battery hatch area. Then you can pull apart the two halves of the case. When you put the chronograph back together make sure all of the parts are in their proper place and the 2 black sensor cases are strait up and down. If they are tilted the chronograph will not work."

Edited by BenOz

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I've been monitoring this and not posting for awhile. Again.. I wonder because of the battery issues if Bluetooth is even a good idea.. but in the case of using a phone for a display.. it is one of the easier interfaces. I think when I go to do mine, I am going to run a 25' shielded cord with the Asyncronous Data to a remote box with the Bluetooth interface in it and then control it with Android. It's a big project, and I've had loads of more important things to do. There is a plant shutdown between Christmas and News Years... I have all of the parts, including those "cheap" bluetooth modules in my Arduino parts kit. A box with a 2x16 LCD display and the Bluetooth module would probably be killer and I agree the straight C needed for the Arduino would be trival-- more so than the Android app would be.

I'd write my app in native Java, even tho I hate it.. One can release code and still put it in the play store for a little bit of money.. that could be a way to thank the author.. I am a Software Engineer with a BSEE degree and an MBA, by the way so this is trivial in concept.. but it always takes time to implement even easy efforts. When I had time the damn checksum held me up...

I've not given it up.. I do want to do it.. it's just not a super high priority for me at the moment.

Oh and a suggestion for the 9V to 3ish V for an internal Bluetooth-- build or purchase a step-down (buck) switching convert to do this and the battery will be less killed. Some of these are 85% efficient. Mouser/Digi-Key, etc will have these "DC-DC Converters available built for about $10. E-bay might too.. If you can open the unit and then put this all inside it would be killer. If done right, may CED could sell it built that way...

Fred

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8. If your happy with the above then I'm happy to post the app once I have completed the Lite version - ETA unknown B)

I'm down with that.

P.S I received and email back from CED. Details below.

"You will have to break the glue seal from around the outer case (the seam that separate the 2 halves) with something very sharp, like an exacto knife or box cutter. Remove the screw in the battery hatch area. Then you can pull apart the two halves of the case. When you put the chronograph back together make sure all of the parts are in their proper place and the 2 black sensor cases are strait up and down. If they are tilted the chronograph will not work."

Man, I guess they were confident in the longevity of the parts in the case. It's good to know how they go about opening it back up. Versus how I would. Unintentionally. Will a bullet strike. :goof:

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Oh and a suggestion for the 9V to 3ish V for an internal Bluetooth-- build or purchase a step-down (buck) switching convert to do this and the battery will be less killed. Some of these are 85% efficient. Mouser/Digi-Key, etc will have these "DC-DC Converters available built for about $10. E-bay might too..

Thus, the links above and in the guide to the Pololu regulators (most in the $5-$6 range).

If you can open the unit and then put this all inside it would be killer. If done right, may CED could sell it built that way...

That's one of my long-term goals. Think I'm going to re-do the external module once more with a better enclosure first.

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I've been monitoring this and not posting for awhile. Again.. I wonder because of the battery issues if Bluetooth is even a good idea.. but in the case of using a phone for a display.. it is one of the easier interfaces. I think when I go to do mine, I am going to run a 25' shielded cord with the Asyncronous Data to a remote box with the Bluetooth interface in it and then control it with Android. It's a big project, and I've had loads of more important things to do. There is a plant shutdown between Christmas and News Years... I have all of the parts, including those "cheap" bluetooth modules in my Arduino parts kit. A box with a 2x16 LCD display and the Bluetooth module would probably be killer and I agree the straight C needed for the Arduino would be trival-- more so than the Android app would be.

I'm working on the Arduino side. So far I've converted the checksum code to "Arduino" C and have the Arduino talking to the proChrono through a serial cable (which I just got working this AM before my wife put me to work on the "Honeydo" list). My eventual goal is to have a remote control that duplicates the ProChrono LCD screen readout and provides basic functionality like Change String, Delete Shot, etc. When I get a basic sketch working reliably for the remote control I'll post it to a new thread (don't want to hijack this one). I have no plans to duplicate the ProChrono remotes printer interface as I don't have a need for that, but I would like to remotely control the proChrono without having to drag my laptop to the range. I'm happy to share whatever code I have with all interested parties; the more we work together the faster things get done.

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I've managed to get the lite version done and working on my phone, but before running the program you must pair your Bluetooth device using the phones own Bluetooth pairing feature, then run the program and select the paired item. Once selected, it should say 'Connected successfully' after a few seconds, then press the 'Start' button and you should see the last shot in that string displayed on the screen, if not, something is wrong either with the compatibility of the app on that phone or a Bluetooth hardware issue. From here each shot fired through the ProChrono should be displayed on the phone.

If any errors occur let me know and ill look at them in due course, also let me know your thoughts and any improvements you think would be good to add, this doesn't mean you'll get an upgrade anytime soon, but it will be something I'll work on slowly.

I've also added a little extra feature :D Enjoy!!!!

Main.zip

Edited by BenOz

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I've managed to get the lite version done and working on my phone, but before running the program you must pair your Bluetooth device using the phones own Bluetooth pairing feature, then run the program and select the paired item. Once selected, it should say 'Connected successfully' after a few seconds, then press the 'Start' button and you should see the last shot in that string displayed on the screen, if not, something is wrong either with the compatibility of the app on that phone or a Bluetooth hardware issue. From here each shot fired through the ProChrono should be displayed on the phone.

If any errors occur let me know and ill look at them in due course, also let me know your thoughts and any improvements you think would be good to add, this doesn't mean you'll get an upgrade anytime soon, but it will be something I'll work on slowly.

I've also added a little extra feature :D Enjoy!!!!

attachicon.gifMain.zip

Anyone got any feedback? Good? Bad? etc

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I've managed to get the lite version done and working on my phone, but before running the program you must pair your Bluetooth device using the phones own Bluetooth pairing feature, then run the program and select the paired item. Once selected, it should say 'Connected successfully' after a few seconds, then press the 'Start' button and you should see the last shot in that string displayed on the screen, if not, something is wrong either with the compatibility of the app on that phone or a Bluetooth hardware issue. From here each shot fired through the ProChrono should be displayed on the phone.

If any errors occur let me know and ill look at them in due course, also let me know your thoughts and any improvements you think would be good to add, this doesn't mean you'll get an upgrade anytime soon, but it will be something I'll work on slowly.

I've also added a little extra feature :D Enjoy!!!!

attachicon.gifMain.zip

Anyone got any feedback? Good? Bad? etc

I hope to test this before too long -- just ordered the rest of the stuff I need to build my BlueTooth interface for the ProChrono. I haven't been to the range since you posted the app, and I've been working on a wired Arduino remote controller for the ProChrono in my spare time. It'll be a while until I get everything I need built to use the app, but I'll give you some feedback once I do. Right now I'm fighting with getting the ProChrono to talk to my Arduino... I can send commands just fine, but am not able to get any valid response back. I think I need a 10K resistor on the RX line, at least I believe I read that somewhere on here. Gotta do a little more research...

EDIT: Yes, the 10k resistor between the ProChrono transmit (Arduino RX) and ground solved my problem. Yay!

Edited by Doug G

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I've managed to get the lite version done and working on my phone, but before running the program you must pair your Bluetooth device using the phones own Bluetooth pairing feature, then run the program and select the paired item. Once selected, it should say 'Connected successfully' after a few seconds, then press the 'Start' button and you should see the last shot in that string displayed on the screen, if not, something is wrong either with the compatibility of the app on that phone or a Bluetooth hardware issue. From here each shot fired through the ProChrono should be displayed on the phone.

If any errors occur let me know and ill look at them in due course, also let me know your thoughts and any improvements you think would be good to add, this doesn't mean you'll get an upgrade anytime soon, but it will be something I'll work on slowly.

I've also added a little extra feature :D Enjoy!!!!

attachicon.gifMain.zip

Anyone got any feedback? Good? Bad? etc

I've been meaning to circle back on this. Just need some time to get it installed and throw something over the chrono. Will try in the next couple of weeks.

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