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Configure Your Fieldbus Gateway with BlinkUp

Get your Gateway online

BlinkUp™ is a patented technique which optically transmits network configuration and Electric Imp impCloud™-enrollment credentials to an imp-enabled device. The source of the signal is typically a smartphone or tablet screen.

You can view a video of BlinkUp in action on YouTube. It shows an Electric Imp Development Kit being configured rather than the impAccelerator™ Fieldbus Gateway, but the principles are the same irrespective of which hardware you are working with.

So let’s use BlinkUp to get your Fieldbus Gateway online.

1. Download the Electric Imp BlinkUp App

The free Electric Imp app is the tool you’ll use to configure your Fieldbus Gateway for development. You should download it now from either the iTunes App Store or Google Play, depending on what kind of mobile device you use.

When the app has downloaded, launch it and sign in using your account credentials, which you set up in the previous section. Make sure Amazon AWS is selected as your impCloud™ — imp-enabled hardware which connects to the Microsoft Azure impCloud will be available shortly.

2. Enter Your Network Details

The Electric Imp app walks you through the process of configuring your Fieldbus Gateway. Tap Configure a Device. You can now choose whether to perform a Wireless BlinkUp or Ethernet only. The imp005 module that powers the Fieldbus Gateway can connect by wired or wireless. If you are only going to use the former, select Ethernet. If you plan to connect by Ethernet but would like to set up the Fieldbus Gateway for WiFi access too, select Wireless, which you should also select if you don’t plan to connect by Ethernet at all.

Assuming you’ve selected Wireless (otherwise go to Step 3), you can now enter your WiFi network’s details: its name (SSID) and password. Hint: tap on the eye icon in the Password field to view the password’s characters as you enter it:


The Electric Imp mobile app
 

You can save your network settings for future use. To retrieve them, tap on the triangle in the Network Name field: you’ll be presented with a list of stored networks — just tap the one you want to use.

The imp005 is capable of determining what kind of security — WEP, WPA or WPA2 — your WiFi network uses, so all you need to do is enter your WiFi password. If you are connecting to an unsecured network, just leave the password field blank. The imp005 can connect to both 2.5GHz and 5GHz networks.

Note imp modules don’t support enterprise-level WiFi authentication, which requires that you log in with a username as well as the customary SSID and password. It may be necessary for your to set up a local wireless network, either with a dedicated wireless router or a phone hotspot, if your company network has enterprise-level WiFi authentication.

You can also connect by the Fieldbus Gateway by Ethernet. If you have no wireless network, you can perform an Ethernet-only BlinkUp — make the appropriate selection in the Electric Imp app. If you perform a wireless BlinkUp, you can still connect the Fieldbus Gateway with an Ethernet cable: the hardware always attempts to connect by Ethernet before trying to connect wirelessly.

3. Perform a BlinkUp

Tap Next in the app. Now power up the Fieldbus Gateway and, if you have not done so already, connect the supplied external SMA antenna. The BlinkUp status LED on the front of the unit should now begin blinking orange if you have a brand new Gateway, or red or green if it has been used before:


 

Tap Next in the app again and then tap Send BlinkUp.

Now place the phone’s screen against the face of the Fieldbus Gateway to cover the unit’s BlinkUp sensor and status LED:


 

Because BlinkUp transmits data optically, it can be adversely affected by unusual lighting conditions, especially very bright lighting such as direct sunlight. For best results, we recommend that you:

  • Try to block out any direct bright lights, or BlinkUp in the shade.
  • Hold the device still during the process.

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. In the iOS app there are audio prompts both at the start and end, so you can close your eyes during the process.

4. Watch the Fieldbus Gateway Connect

When BlinkUp is done, your Fieldbus Gateway will use the information it received to communicate with your router and gain access to the Internet. It will then contact the Electric Imp impCloud.

The Fieldbus Gateway’s progress as it attempts to go online is indicated by the BlinkUp status LED. You’ll see a mix of green, red and orange colors as this takes place. If the process went smoothly, you’ll soon see the LED slowly flash green — it’s connected and ready to use:


 

You should now go to the next section of this Guide to learn how you manage your Fieldbus Gateway using impCentral™.

You may see the LED stop flashing green and go solid green. This indicates that the imp005 module is downloading and installing an impOS™ update. When the update has been installed, the device will restart — you’ll see the LED flash red, then orange and finally green when it’s connected. You should now go to the next section of this Guide to learn how you manage your Fieldbus Gateway using impCentral.

If the LED doesn’t flash green, the device is having a problem getting connected, and you should check out the troubleshooting tips below. Connected or not, after a short time the LED will turn off to save power. This is normal, and the Fieldbus Gateway is still operational. If you have not successfully performed BlinkUp when the Fieldbus Gateway switches off the status LED, just power-cycle the unit to try BlinkUp again.

Troubleshooting

Just as the LED will tell you if your Fieldbus Gateway has successfully connected to the Internet, it will also tell if you the connection could not be made. A fast flashing red LED, for example, indicates that the device wasn’t able to read the BlinkUp transmission — perhaps you held your phone too far away from the Fieldbus Gateway’s faceplate. Other color sequences indicate that it couldn’t get online with the credentials provided.

If this happens, check the network name and password that you entered, and try BlinkUp again. Keep an eye on the LED: the pattern of colors and flashes it shows will tell you where the problem is occurring. Here is a list of the BlinkUp status LED connection color codes which you can use to identify the cause of the issue.