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Prepare Your imp006 Breakout Board

1. Create an Electric Imp Developer Account

If you already have an Electric Imp account, skip to the next stage.

  1. In your web browser, visit impCentral™.
  2. Enter your email address in the Sign Up section and then click the Sign Up button:
    Enter your email address into the Sign Up section
  3. You will shortly receive an email message which asks you to verify your email address:
    When you receive your welcome email, click on the Complete Signup link
  4. Click Complete Signup in the email. You’ll be taken back to impCentral to choose an account username and password, and to enter some basic information about yourself:
    Choose a username and password, then check that you agree to our terms of service
  5. Enter your chosen username and password. Your password must contain between eight and 20 characters. Your username must also contain 8-20 characters, and must not be your email address.
  6. Review the Electric Imp terms of service and privacy policy then check the By creating this account... box.
  7. Click Set to apply your choices.
  8. Your imp006 Breakout Board comes with a Twilio Super SIM ready for use. It includes a small amount of free data to use, but we strongly recommend that you register a payment card with your account to ensure that you are covered for ongoing data use. For more details, please see imp006 Cellular Billing.
    Set up account billing in impCentral
    1. To do so, click on My Account in the topmost toolbar.
    2. Select Profile from the menu.
    3. Click Account Billing in the left-hand side panel.
    4. Click Link your card.
    5. Enter your name and your card details, and check the I Agree to Terms of Service box.
    6. Click Link Payment Method.
  9. Leave impCentral open in your browser — you’ll be returning later to program your Breakout Board.

2. Activate Your Breakout Board

In this part of the guide, we’ll get your imp006 Breakout Board connected to the Cloud.

1. Connect up the imp006 Breakout Board

Your imp006 Breakout Board should be ready to use, but you should check that the cellular antenna has not detached in transit. Make sure it is tightly fitted to the connector marked CELL:

The imp006 Breakout Board cell antenna connector

You should also confirm that the switch next to the SIM slot is set to Onboard MFF2 Sim:

The imp006 Breakout Board SIM selection switch

That’s it. Your imp006 Breakout Board also comes with a USB cable for power, but don’t connect it to the Board just yet. You should connect the other end to a USB port on your computer or a spare AC adapter so that it’ll be ready when needed.

Note If you’re curious, the other antenna connector, marked GNSS, takes the large square antenna included with the KIt. This antenna is used for getting a GPS fix with Global Navigation Satellite Systems. It’s not required for this guide.

2. Get the Electric Imp app

You activate your imp006 Breakout Board using the free Electric Imp mobile app. Download it to your phone now from the iTunes App Store or from Google Play. When the app is installed, launch it and sign in using your account details:

Enter your username and password into the Electric Imp app

3. Ready your Breakout Board

Tap CONFIGURE A DEVICE and then select your connection type according to your use-case:

  • If you are using cellular and WiFi, or WiFi only:
    • Tap WiFi on the SETUP page. The app will walk you through the process: tap NEXT to move to from one step to the next. You will enter your local network’s WiFi credentials then power up your imp006 Breakout Board. Stop when you reach the BLINKUP screen.
  • If you are using cellular only:
    • Tap Cellular on the SETUP page. The app will walk you through the process: tap NEXT to move to from one step to the next. You will power up your imp006 Breakout Board. Stop when you reach the BLINKUP screen.

4. Perform BlinkUp

WARNING Always run BlinkUp with the screen facing away from you and towards the device being configured, especially if you suffer from a medical condition that makes you susceptible to strobing light. The app has a three-second countdown before BlinkUp starts, so you have time to place the phone and look away or close your eyes. The handset will vibrate when BlinkUp is done

At this point, he imp006 Breakout Board should be blinking orange:

An orange blink indicates the imp006 is not activated

If your board isn’t blinking orange — you might see red or green too — then it has been configured already, perhaps for a colleague’s account. Just continue anyway to move the device to your account.

In the app, tap START BLINKUP and then quickly but carefully hold your phone face down just above the Breakout Board’s BlinkUp sensor in the bottom right corner just under the USB connector. It’s marked below:

Place your phone screen down in this area for BlinkUp

The app has a three-second countdown before BlinkUp starts, so you have time to place the phone. Please look away or close your eyes during BlinkUp. The handset will vibrate when BlinkUp is done. You can now remove your phone and put it to one side.

5. Watch your Breakout Board connect

The imp006 Breakout Board’s LED will immediately go solid green for three seconds to show you that BlinkUp was successful. Next you’ll see the LED blink a mixture of red and orange as it attempts to connect to the Internet, then to the Electric Imp impCloud™, which will then activate the device.

A chart of the possible BlinkUp status LED patterns you may see

If you are connecting by cellular, this can take a couple of minutes when you first connect. You will see the board’s blue LED flash to indicate cellular activity. The mobile app will tell you when the board is ready to use, and the Board’s BlinkUp LED will blink green:

A green blink indicates the imp006 is connected and ready for use

If this is the case, you’re ready for the next step, programming your imp006 Breakout Board. If not, please read on and we’ll help you get connected.

Connected or not, after a short time the imp006 Breakout Board’s LED will turn off to save power. This is normal. BlinkUp is disabled at this point; if you still need to activate your board again, just press the Reset button on the board. A flashing LED tells you that your Breakout Board is ready for BlinkUp.

Troubleshooting

If the status LED doesn’t blink green, the imp006 Breakout Board has not been activated. Make a note of the LED color and pattern it is showing. For example, if the board is still blinking orange, it could not read the BlinkUp signal: perhaps you held your phone too far away or didn’t place the screen over the sensor quickly enough. Strong or flashing ambient light can be an issue: avoid direct sunlight and blinking fluorescent tubes. All the possible patterns are listed here.

The imp006 will go through many connection phases quickly, so you won’t see all of them signalled on the LED. When you can clearly see a pattern, it indicates the stage reached by the imp006 from which it can go no further. The ultimate stage is a successful activation: a slow, even green blink.

If you are having issues connecting to cellular, you might prefer to connect your Kit to a local WiFi network instead. This will get your Board added to your account quickly, and you can always connect by cellular later. By default, the Board will always connect to WiFi if it can, so if you do wish to use cellular in future, either turn off the configured WiFi network or reconfigure the Board for cellular only: use the app’s CLEAR A DEVICE’S SETTINGS option to erase the stored WiFi credentials and then perform a cellular BlinkUp as per Step 3, above.

impOS Updates

If the LED blinks green briefly and then goes solid green, it means that it’s downloading a new version of impOS™, the imp006’s on-board operating system. When the update has been installed, the imp006 will reconnect and you should shortly see the slow green blink again. The duration of the update process will depend on your cellular connection, but should only take a few seconds.

Has your imp006 Breakout Board connected? If it has, you can move on to the next step. If you’re not sure, check that it is blinking green, the signal for a successful connection. If that’s not the pattern on the LED, you need to troubleshoot.