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SparkFun Thing Plus module supports Bluetooth 5 Low Energy

Mar 24, 2023 — by Giorgio Mendoza 165 views

The SparkFun Thing Plus NINA-B306 is a compact embedded device optimized for portable and wireless applications. This product is enabled with BLE 5.0 connectivity and it features a MicroSD card slot, 6-DoF IMU, an Environmental sensor and LiPo battery management.

According to the datasheet, the NINA-B306 module integrates a Arm Cortex M4 with FPU, 1MB Flash and 256kB RAM. Additionally, the NINA-B306 features an internal PCB antenna from Proant AB with extensive range (~1400m).

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NINA-B306 block diagram (left) and features (right)
(click images to enlarge)

The 6-DoF IMU is a System-in-Package from STMicroelectronics featuring a 3D digital accelerometer, a 3D digital gyroscope and a temperature sensor (~40 to 105 °C). The SiP features the following event-detection interrupts: Free-fall, Wakeup, 6D orientation, Click and double-click sensing, Activity/inactivity recognition and Stationary/Motion detection.


Top view (left) and bottom view (right)
(click images to enlarge)

The BME280 is a temperature (0°C to 65°C, ±1.0°C), barometric (300 to 1100 hPa, ±1 hPa) and humidity sensor (0 to 100% RH, ±3%) from BOSCH. The BME280 sensor and the 6-DoF IMU can be interfaced using I2C communication.

The MAX17048 is described as a 3μA 1-cell fuel gauge with Maxim’s ModelGauge to track the relative State-of-Charge of the LiPo battery. The device features the following configurable alert indicators: Low SOC, 1% Change in SOC, Battery Undervoltage/Overvoltage and VRESET Alert.

SparkFun Thing Plus NINA-B306 introduction

The SparkFun’s GitHub repository includes documentation, schematics and Arduino libraries for the BME280 sensor, IS330DHCX sensor and the MAX17048 fuel gauge.


SparkFun Thing Plus NINA-B306
(click image to enlarge)

Specification listed for the SparkFun Thing Plus NINA-B306:

  • Storage:
    • 1x MicroSD card slot
  • I/O Interfaces:
    • Up to 21x GPIOs
    • 6x Analog pins
    • 8x Digital pins
    • 4-pin JST Qwicc connector
  • Sensors:
  • USB:
    • 1x USB Type-C
  • Other Features:
  • Power:
    • 3.3V DC (via USB Type-C)
  • Mechanical:
    • 58.42 x 22.86mm
    • 2x Mounting holes

Further information

The SparkFun Thing Plus NINA-B306 is available for $89.95 on their online store.

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