RedBear --previously RedBearLab— is well known for its IoT-capable boards, with either BLE or WiFi communication. The new RedBear Duo board combines them both, after a successful campaign on Kickstarter completed last December 2015.
The RedBear Duo features a Cortex-M3 STM32F205 with 1 MB Flash and 128 KB RAM at 120 MHz. The Broadcom BCM43438 manages 2.4 GHz WiFi and Bluetooth. An additional SPI Flash brings 2 MB.
The Duo comes with an impressive list of partners:
The board is pin-compatible with the Particle Core and Photon, and uses the same RGB LED to provide feed-back.
As for the Particle boards, there are many colours and shades, still or blinking, and one can get lost. Fortunately, this Device Modes page provides a clear explanation for all of them.
Configuration was fast and easy thanks to the well explained procedures for Updating Firmware to 0.2.2, Setup WiFi, Claiming the Duo on Particle IDE.
The optional RedBear RBLink provides 8 connectors for the Grove system, of which 2 serial ports (UART1 and UART2), 2 connectors for I²C, 2 analog inputs/outputs, but also SPI and JTAG. The RedBear RBLink is compatible with ST-Link/V2 and acts as a USB hub with a virtual serial port and with a mass storage device for programming by drag-and-drop.
The installation of the Arduino IDE for the ReadBear Duo is very easy thanks to the Boards Manager. RedBear provides many examples for exploring the board, including WiFi, BLE and Grove.
Grove and Blynk are excellent choices for fast and easy prototyping, the former for hardware, the later of IoT applications. Blynk can even run on a local server.
I'm not a big fan of Particle, because it acts as a walled-garden and has failed to provide a truly Arduino-compatible environment for development so far. RedBear has done an excellent job on fulfilling the later.
The ReadBear Duo comes with examples for each go the main features.
The File > Examples menu includes sketches to demonstrate basic features, like the standard blinky, WiFi and BLE connections, and Grove sensors.
The RedBear Duo board comes with an impressive list of features, of which WiFi and Bluetooth, and also an impressive list of partners, including BlueKitchen BTstack, Blynk IoT solution, Particle infrastructure, Seeed Grove system and full Arduino compatibility.
Some of those features are easier to use than others. Bluetooth is said to be more complex than WiFi, and Blynk shines by its immediate results.
Posted: 07 Feb 2016
Updated: 31 Oct 2020
Updated: 31 Oct 2020