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espruino
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Description

A BLE -> MQTT bridge for Raspberry Pi and other Embedded devices

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EspruinoHub

A BLE -> MQTT bridge for Raspberry Pi and other Embedded devices for Espruino and Puck.js

Setting up

Ideally use a Raspberry Pi 3 or Zero W, as these have Bluetooth LE on them already. However the BLE USB dongles mentioned in the Puck.js Quick Start guide should work.

Get Raspbian running on your Raspberry Pi

  • Download Raspbian Lite from https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspbian/
  • Copy it to an SD card with
    sudo dd if=2017-11-29-raspbian-stretch-lite.img of=/dev/sdc status=progress bs=1M
    on Linux (or see the instructions on the Raspbian download page above for your platform)
  • Unplug and re-plug the SD card and add a file called
    ssh
    to the
    boot
    drive - this will enable SSH access to the Pi
  • If you're using WiFi rather than Ethernet, see this post on setting up WiFi via the SD card
  • Now put the SD card in the Pi, apply power, and wait a minute
  • ssh [email protected]
    (or use PuTTY on Windows) and use the password
    raspberry
  • Run
    sudo raspi-config
    and set the Pi up as you want (eg. hostname, password)

Installation of everything (EspruinoHub, Node-RED, Web IDE)

These instructions install up to date Node.js and Node-RED - however it can take a while! If you just want EspruinoHub and the IDE, see the next item.

sudo apt-get update
# OPTIONAL: Update everything to latest versions
sudo apt-get upgrade -y 
# Get required packages
sudo apt-get install -y build-essential python-rpi.gpio nodejs nodered git-core
# OPTIONAL: Install a modern version of nodejs and nodered
# Not recommended - The Pi's supplied Node.js version is more than good enough
# bash 

You can now type

./start.sh
to run EspruinoHub, but it's worth checking out the
Auto Start
section to see how to get it to run at boot.

Installation of EspruinoHub and Web IDE

# Install Node, Bluetooth, etc
sudo apt-get update
# OPTIONAL: Update everything to latest versions
sudo apt-get upgrade -y 
# Get required packages
sudo apt-get install -y git-core nodejs npm build-essential mosquitto mosquitto-clients bluetooth bluez libbluetooth-dev libudev-dev
# Now get EspruinoHub
git clone https://github.com/espruino/EspruinoHub
# Install EspruinoHub's required Node libraries
cd EspruinoHub
npm install

Give Node.js access to Bluetooth

sudo setcap cap_net_raw+eip $(eval readlink -f which node)

You may need to run the setcap line above again if you update Node.js

You can now type

./start.sh
to run EspruinoHub, but it's worth checking out the
Auto Start
section to see how to get it to run at boot.

Auto Start

There are a 2 main ways to run EspruinoHub on the Raspberry Pi.

Headless Startup

This is the normal way of running services - to configure them as a system start-up job using

systemd
:**
    sudo cp systemd-EspruinoHub.service /etc/systemd/system/EspruinoHub.service

and edit it as necessary to match your installation directory and user configuration. Then, to start it for testing:

    sudo systemctl start EspruinoHub.service && sudo journalctl -f -u EspruinoHub

If it works, Ctrl-C to break out and enable it to start on login:

    sudo systemctl enable EspruinoHub.service

Console Startup

If you have a video output on your Pi then you can run EspruinoHub at boot - on the main display - so that you can see what it's reporting.

  • Edit
    .bashrc
    and add the following right at the bottom:
if [ $(tty) == /dev/tty1 ]; then
  while true; do
    EspruinoHub/start.sh
    sleep 1s
  done
fi
  • Now run

    sudo raspi-config
    , choose
    Boot Options
    ,
    Desktop / CLI
    , and
    Console Autologin
  • Next time you reboot, the console will automatically run

    EspruinoHub

Notes

  • On non-Raspberry Pi devices, Mosquitto (the MQTT server) may default to not allowing anonymous (un-authenticated) connections to MQTT. To fix this edit
    /etc/mosquitto/conf.d/local.conf
    and set
    allow_anonymous
    to
    true
    .
  • By default the HTTP server in EspruinoHub is enabled, however it can be disabled by setting
    http_port
    to
    0
    in
    config.json
  • The HTTP Proxy service is disabled by default and needs some configuration - see HTTP Proxy below
  • You used to need a local copy of the Espruino Web IDE, however now EspruinoHub just serves up an IFRAME which points to the online IDE, ensuring it is always up to date.

Uninstalling

Assuming you followed the steps above (including for 'Headless Startup') you can uninstall EspruinoHub using the following commands:

sudo systemctl stop EspruinoHub.service
sudo systemctl disable EspruinoHub.service
sudo rm /etc/systemd/system/EspruinoHub.service
sudo rm -rf ~/EspruinoHub

Run with Docker

Build on Raspberry Pi Zero:

docker build -t espruino/espruinohub:armhf https://github.com/espruino/EspruinoHub.git

Run from the directory containing your

config.json
:
docker run -d -v $PWD/config.json:/EspruinoHub/config.json:ro --restart=always --net=host --name espruinohub espruino/espruinohub:armhf

Usage

Once started, you then have a few options...

Status / Websocket MQTT / Espruino Web IDE

By default EspruinoHub starts a web server at http://localhost:1888 that serves the contents of the

www
folder. You can disable this by setting
http_port
to 0 in
config.json
.

With that server, you can:

  • See the Intro page
  • See the status and log messages at http://localhost:1888/status
  • Access the Espruino Web IDE at http://localhost:1888/ide. You can then connect to any Bluetooth LE device within range of EspruinoHub.
  • View real-time Signal Strength data via WebSockets at http://localhost:1888/rssi.html
  • View real-time MQTT data via WebSockets at http://localhost:1888/mqtt.html
  • View any of your own pages that are written into the
    www
    folder. For instance you could use TinyDash with the code from
    www/mqtt.html
    to display the latest BLE data that you have received.

MQTT / Node-RED

If set up, you can access Node-RED using

http://localhost:1880

Once you add UI elements and click

Deploy
they'll be visible at
http://localhost:1880/ui

The easiest way to get data is to add an MQTT listener node that requests

/ble/advertise/#
(
#
is a wildcard). This will output all information received via advertising (see 'Advertising Data' below).

For more info on available MQTT commands see the 'MQTT Bridge' section below.

Check out http://www.espruino.com/Puck.js+Node-RED for a proper introduction on using Node-RED.

MQTT Command-line

You can use the Mosquitto command-line tools to send and receive MQTT data that will make

EspruinoHub
do things:
# listen to all, verbose
mosquitto_sub -h localhost -t "/#" -v

listen to any device advertising a 1809 temperature characteristic and

output just the temperature

mosquitto_sub -h localhost -t "/ble/advertise/+/temp"

Test publish

mosquitto_pub -h localhost -t test/topic -m "Hello world"

For more info on available MQTT commands see the 'MQTT Bridge' section below.

MQTT bridge

Advertising

Data that is received via bluetooth advertising will be relayed over MQTT in the following format:

  • /ble/presence/DEVICE
    - 1 or 0 depending on whether device has been seen or not
  • /ble/advertise/DEVICE
    - JSON for device's broadcast name, rssi and manufacturer-specific data (if
    mqtt_advertise=true
    in
    config.json
    - the default)
  • /ble/advertise/DEVICE/manufacturer/COMPANY
    - Manufacturer-specific data (without leading company code) encoded in base16. To decode use
    var data = Buffer.from(msg.payload, 'hex');
    (if
    mqtt_advertise_manufacturer_data=true
    in
    config.json
    - the default)
  • /ble/advertise/DEVICE/rssi
    - Device signal strength
  • /ble/advertise/DEVICE/SERVICE
    - Raw service data (as a JSON Array of bytes) (if
    mqtt_advertise_service_data=true
    in
    config.json
    )
  • /ble/advertise/DEVICE/PRETTY
    or
    /ble/PRETTY/DEVICE
    - Decoded service data based on the decoding in
    attributes.js
    • 1809
      decodes to
      temp
      (Temperature in C)
    • 180f
      decodes to
      battery
    • feaa
      decodes to
      url
      (Eddystone)
    • 2a6d
      decodes to
      pressure
      (Pressure in pa)
    • 2a6e
      decodes to
      temp
      (Temperature in C)
    • 2a6f
      decodes to
      humidity
      (Humidity in %)
    • ffff
      decodes to
      data
      (This is not a standard - however it's useful for debugging or quick tests)
  • /ble/json/DEVICE/UUID
    - Decoded service data (as above) as JSON, eg
    /ble/json/DEVICE/1809 => {"temp":16.5}
    (if
    mqtt_format_json=true
    in
    config.json
    - the default)
  • /ble/advertise/DEVICE/espruino
    - If manufacturer data is broadcast Espruino's manufacturer ID
    0x0590
    and it is valid JSON, it is rebroadcast. If an object like
    {"a":1,"b":2}
    is sent,
    /ble/advertise/DEVICE/a
    and
    /ble/advertise/DEVICE/b
    will also be sent. (A JSON5 parser is used, so the more compact
    {a:1,b:2}
    is also valid).

You can take advantage of Espruino's manufacturer ID

0x0590
to relay JSON over Bluetooth LE advertising using the following code on an Espruino board:
var data = {a:1,b:2};
NRF.setAdvertising({},{
  showName:false,
  manufacturer:0x0590,
  manufacturerData:E.toJS(data) 
});
// Note: JSON.stringify(data) can be used instead of
// E.toJS(data) to produce 'standard' JSON like {"a":1,"b":2}
// instead of E.toJS's more compact {a:1,b:2}

Assuming a device with an address of

ma:c_:_a:dd:re:ss
this will create the folling MQTT topics when
mqtt_advertise_manufacturer_data
is
true
in
config.json
:
  • /ble/advertise/ma:c_:_a:dd:re:ss/espruino
    ->
    {"a":1,"b":2}
  • /ble/advertise/ma:c_:_a:dd:re:ss/a
    ->
    1
  • /ble/advertise/ma:c_:_a:dd:re:ss/b
    ->
    2

Note that you only have 24 characters available for JSON, so try to use the shortest field names possible and avoid floating point values that can be very long when converted to a String.

Connections

You can also connect to a device using MQTT packets:

  • /ble/write/DEVICE/SERVICE/CHARACTERISTIC
    connects and writes to the charactertistic
  • /ble/read/DEVICE/SERVICE/CHARACTERISTIC
    connects and reads from the charactertistic, sending the result back as a topic
    /ble/data/DEVICE/SERVICE/CHARACTERISTIC
  • /ble/read/DEVICE
    connects and reads an array of services and charactertistics
  • /ble/notify/DEVICE/SERVICE/CHARACTERISTIC
    connects and starts notifications on the characteristic, which send data back on
    /ble/data/DEVICE/SERVICE/CHARACTERISTIC
  • /ble/ping/DEVICE
    connects, or maintains a connection to the device, and sends
    /ble/pong/DEVICE
    on success

SERVICE
and
CHARACTERISTIC
are either known names from attributes.js such as
nus
and
nus_tx
or are of the form
6e400001b5a3f393e0a9e50e24dcca9e
for 128 bit uuids or
abcd
for 16 bit UUIDs.

After connecting, EspruinoHub will stay connected for a few seconds unless there is any activity (eg a

write
or
ping
). So you can for instance evaluate something on a Puck.js BLE UART connection with:
=> /ble/notify/c7:f9:36:dd:b0:ca/nus/nus_rx
"\x10Bluetooth.println(E.getTemperature())\n" => /ble/write/c7:f9:36:dd:b0:ca/nus/nus_tx

/ble/data/c7:f9:36:dd:b0:ca/nus/nus_rx => "23\r\n"

Once a

/ble/write/DEVICE/SERVICE/CHARACTERISTIC
has been executed, a
/ble/written/DEVICE/SERVICE/CHARACTERISTIC
packet will be sent in response.

Payload can take the following values - object as json with type and data fields available values for

type
=
Buffer, buffer, hex
- boolean uint8 - integer uint8 - array will be loop-encoded in uint8 - string will be loop-encoded in uint8

History

EspruinoHub contains code (

libs/history.js
) that subscribes to any MQTT data beginning with
/ble/
and that then stores logs of the average value every minute, 10 minutes, hour and day (see
config.js:history_times
). The averages are broadcast over MQTT as the occur, but can also be queried by sending messages to
/hist/request
.

For example, an Espruino device with address

f5:47:c8:0b:49:04
may broadcast advertising data with UUID
1809
(Temperature) with the following code:
setInterval(function() {
  NRF.setAdvertising({
    0x1809 : [Math.round(E.getTemperature())]
  });
}, 30000);

This is decoded into

temp
by
attributes.js
, and it sends the following MQTT packets:
/ble/advertise/f5:47:c8:0b:49:04 {"rssi":-53,"name":"...","serviceUuids":["6e400001b5a3f393e0a9e50e24dcca9e"]}
/ble/advertise/f5:47:c8:0b:49:04/rssi -53
/ble/advertise/f5:47:c8:0b:49:04/1809 [22]
/ble/advertise/f5:47:c8:0b:49:04/temp 22
/ble/temp/f5:47:c8:0b:49:04 22

You can now subscribe with MQTT to

/hist/hour/ble/temp/f5:47:c8:0b:49:04
and every hour you will receive a packet containing the average temperature over that time.

However, you can also request historical data by sending the JSON:

{
  "topic" : "/hist/hour/ble/temp/f5:47:c8:0b:49:04",
  "interval" : "minute",
  "age" : 6  
}

to

/hist/request/a_unique_id
. EspruinoHub will then send a packet to
/hist/response/a_unique_id
containing:
{
  "interval":"minute",
  "from":1531227216903, // unix timestamp (msecs since 1970)
  "to":1531234416903,   // unix timestamp (msecs since 1970)
  "topic":"/hist/hour/ble/temp/f5:47:c8:0b:49:04",
  "times":[ array of unix timestamps ],
  "data":[ array of average data values ]
}

Requests can be of the form:

{
  topic : "/ble/advertise/...",
  "interval" : "minute" / "tenminutes" / "hour" / "day"
  // Then time period is either:
  "age" : 1, // hours
  // or:
  "from" : "1 July 2018",
  "to" : "5 July 2018"     (or anything that works in new Date(...))  
}

For a full example of usage see

www/rssi.html
.

HTTP Proxy

EspruinoHub implements the Bluetooth HTTP Proxy service

The HTTP Proxy is disabled by default as it can give any Bluetooth LE device in range access to your network. To fix this, edit the

http_proxy
and
http_whitelist
entries in
config.json
to enable the proxy and whitelist devices based on address (which you can find from EspruinoHub's status of MQTT advertising packets).

NOTE: Some Bluetooth adaptors (eg CSR /

0a12:0001
) will cause the error
Command Disallowed (0xc)
when attempting to connect to a device when
http_proxy
is enabled.

To allow Bluetooth to advertise services (for the HTTP proxy) you also need:

# Stop the bluetooth service
sudo service bluetooth stop
# Start Bluetooth but without bluetoothd
sudo hciconfig hci0 up

See https://github.com/sandeepmistry/bleno

Home Assistant Integration

Follow the instructions at https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/mqtt/ to enable Home Assistant to use an external MQTT broker. Assuming you're running on the same device as EspruinoHub, use

localhost
as the IP address for the MQTT server.

Ensure that

homeassistant
is set to
true
in EspruinoHub's
config.json
. It's currently the default.

Now, in the Home Assistant main page you should see new Sensors and Binary sensors which match any devices that EspruinoHub has found!

Troubleshooting

When using the HTTP Proxy I get
BLOCKED
returned in the HTTP body

Your BLE device isn't in the whitelist in

config.json
- because the HTTP Proxy exposes your internet connection to the world, only BLE devices with the addresses you have specified beforehand are allowed to connect.

TODO

  • Handle over-size reads and writes for HTTP Proxy

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