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ᛡᛒ BLE Scanner + Data persistence on SD Card for M5Stack, Odroid-Go, ESP32-Wrover-Kit and other models

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A BLE Scanner with persistence.

ESP32 BLECollector running on Wrover-Kit ESP32 BLECollector running on M5Stack

🎬 Demo video

BLECollector is just a passive BLE scanner with a fancy UI. All BLE data found by the BLE Scanner is collected into a sqlite3 format on the SD Card.

Public Mac addresses are compared against OUI list, while Vendor names are compared against BLE Device list.

Those two database files are provided in a db format (mac-oui-light.db and ble-oui.db).

On first run, a default

file is created, this is where BLE data will be stored. When a BLE device is found by the scanner, it is populated with the matching oui/vendor name (if any) and eventually inserted in the

⚠️ This sketch is big! Use the "No OTA (Large Apps)" or "Minimal SPIFFS (Large APPS with OTA)" partition scheme to compile it. The memory cost of using sqlite and BLE libraries is quite high.

⚠️ Builds using ESP32-Wrover can eventually choose the 3.6MB SPIFFS partition scheme, and have the BLECollector working without the SD Card. Experimental support only since SPIFFS tends to get slower and buggy when the partition becomes full.

Hardware requirements

  • [mandatory] ESP32-Wroom or ESP32-Wrover (Wrover is recommended)
  • [mandatory] SD Card (breakout or bundled in Wrover-Kit, M5Stack, Odroid-Go, LoLinD32 Pro)
  • [mandatory] Micro SD (FAT32 formatted, max 4GB)
  • [mandatory] mac-oui-light.db and ble-oui.db files copied on the Micro SD Card root
  • [mandatory] ST7789/ILI9341 320x240 TFT (or bundled in Wrover-Kit, M5Stack, Odroid-Go, LoLinD32 Pro, D-Duino32-XS)
  • optional I2C RTC Module (see
    #define HAS_EXTERNAL_RTC
    in Settings.h)
  • [optional] Serial GPS Module (see
    #define HAS_GPS
    in Settings.h)
  • [⚠ NEW][optional] XPad Buttons Shield from Radomir Dopieralski

Software requirements (updated)

Behaviours (auto-selected except for WiFi):

  • Hobo: when no TinyRTC module exists in your build, only uptime will be displayed
  • Rogue: TinyRTC module adjusted after flashing (build DateTime), shares time over BLE
  • Chronomaniac: TinyRTC module adjusts itself via GPS, shares time over BLE
  • With WiFi: Temporary dual BLE/WiFi mode to allow downloading or serving .db files, see
    #define WITH_WIFI

Optional I2C RTC Module requirements

  • Wire your TinyRTC to RTCSDA/RTCSCL (see
    to override)
  • Insert the SD Card
  • Set
    #define HAS_EXTERNAL_RTC true
    in Settings.h
  • Flash the ESP with partition scheme
    Minimal SPIFFS (Large APPS with OTA)

Optional Serial GPS Module requirements

  • Wire your GPS module to TX1/RX1 (edit
    in GPS.h
  • Set
    #define HAS_GPS true
    in Settings.h
  • Flash the ESP with partition scheme
    Minimal SPIFFS (Large APPS with OTA)
  • Wait for the GPS to find a fix
  • issue the command
    in the serial console

Optional XPad Buttons Shield requirements

  • Wire your XPad Buttons Shield to XPADSDA/XPADSCL (see
    to override)
  • Enable the module in
    #define hasXPaxShield() (bool) true
  • Controls are:
    • Down / Up : brightness
    • Right / Left : unassigned (yet)
    • A : start/stop scan
    • B / C : toggle mac filter
    • D : unassigned (yet)

Time Sharing

  • Once the time is set using RTC, GPS or NTP, the BLECollector may start the TimeSharing service and advertise a DateTime characteristic for other BLECollectors to sync with.
  • Builds with no RTC/GPS will try to identify this service during their scan duty cycle and subscribe for notifications.

File Downloading (still experimental)

Sending the

command will:
  • Stop BLE
  • Start WiFi
  • Synchronize time to a nearby NTP server
  • Download the latest oui/vendors database from github

Serial command interface

Available Commands:

01)             help : Print this list
02)             halp : Same as help except it doesn't print anything
03)            start : Start/resume scan
04)             stop : Stop scan
05)     toggleFilter : Toggle vendor filter on the TFT (persistent)
06)       toggleEcho : Toggle BLECards in the Serial Console (persistent)
07)      setTimeZone : Set the timezone for next NTP Sync (persistent)
08)    setSummerTime : Toggle CEST / CET for next NTP Sync (persistent)
09)             dump : Dump returning BLE devices to the display and updates DB
10)    setBrightness : Set brightness to [value] (0-255) (persistent)
11)               ls : Show [dir] Content on the SD
12)               rm : Delete [file] from the SD
13)          restart : Restart BLECollector ('restart now' to skip replication)
14)       screenshot : Make a screenshot and save it on the SD
15)       screenshow : Show screenshot
16)           toggle : toggle a bool value
17)          resetDB : Hard Reset DB + forced restart
18)          pruneDB : Soft Reset DB without restarting (hopefully)
19)         bleclock : Broadcast time to another BLE Device (implicit)
20)          bletime : Get time from another BLE Device (explicit)
21)          gpstime : Sync time from GPS
22)           latlng : Print the GPS lat/lng
23)          stopBLE : Stop BLE (use 'restart' command to re-enable)
24)        startWiFi : Start WiFi (will stop BLE)
25)      setPoolZone : Set NTP Pool Zone for next NTP Sync (persistent)
26)          NTPSync : Update time from NTP (will start WiFi)
27)       DownloadDB : Download or update db files (will start WiFi and update NTP first)
28)      setWiFiSSID : Set WiFi SSID
29)      setWiFiPASS : Set WiFi Password

Contributions are welcome :-)

Known issues / Roadmap

Implementing both LovyanGFX and Nimble-Arduino was such a huge optimization that none of the previous blockers exist any more!

Some ideas I'll try to implement in the upcoming changes:

  • Add GPS Coords to entries for better pruning as suggested by /u/playaspect
  • Better Analysis of ServiceData (see @reelyactive's advlib)
  • Extended logging (SDCard-less meshed builds)

Other ESP32 security related tools:



  • @Lovyan03 for integrating his LovyanGFX into the ESP32-Chimera-Core thus saving an enormous amount of sram and flash space
  • @h2zero for sharing NimBLE Library and brillantly proving that BLE can work with WiFi on Arduino without eating all sram/flash space
  • huge thanks to for maintaining the initial BLE library that made this project possible

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