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SBrick Android App

    • 3 posts
    December 27, 2014 2:53 PM CET

    Hi SBrick team

     

    I received my SBrick with delay - after Christmas... it's fine ;  )

     

    But connecting it to my Samsung galaxy S4 mini or S3 with android 4.3 ends on permanent "Discovering SBricks"

     

    I just realise that it is not only my problem...

    What next ? I can wait but kids are disapointed for second time,

     

    Greets & waiting for support

    Marcin

     

    • 10 posts
    December 27, 2014 2:45 PM CET

    I've been playing around with my 2 SBricks for a while. Well, play around, I tried to, but I'm having trouble getting them to work, the same with the App. I'm sorry to post this big pile of complaints, and I do expect a lot to be improved, but so far I'm underwhelmed.

    The build quality of the bricks is excellent, as is the packaging. The rest is a nice touch... althogh I'm missing the instructions to build it into 42009 (actually I'll like to try and do that myself) Note that this is the most important part, software can be fixed on the fly.

    So please bear with me while I spew out my complaints after playing around with the SBricks for about an hour, and the App for the past few verions.

    First of all my LG G2 won't pair with the SBricks, my wife's Moto G seems to work every now and then but I'm getting messages about the PIN being denied, even though I can only assume there is no PIN to enter. The LED only flashed for a fraction of a second on startup. I've tried everything with my LG G2, it can see the bricks but not pair with them, de SBrick App will keep searching forever. Really dissappointing but really not something I can pin on the SBricks, who knows maybe my LG G2 is at fault here. I did unpair the SBricks to re-Pair, and they seem to be instantly deny the connection. I'm hoping for a Lollipop Update soon and/or I'll factory reset my device somewhere in the next few months, so I'll check it then.

    So... Once I'm paired and SBrick will find the SBrick I can setup the controls, and all ports seem to function. I had to fumble around a lot to get anything to work. "All further steps will be explained through the SBrick app itself" is far from true. There's nothing in the App. Guessing and playing around with it will get you there...

    I'm sorry to say the App is just the worst. I realize it isn't finished, but it's in a state where I wouldn't even release it to Google Play. The Menu sometimes doesn't work, brings you to the wrong screen, or just doesn't to anything, the back button is showing some really unexpected behavior as well. Available profiles are really rushed and the accelerometer worked on the wrong axis for me. Edit and Delete icons on top mostly don't do anything. If there is nothing to delete, or the delete button does nothing, don't display it. The background is horrible, I'd rather have a grey/neutral backgorund than the blurry half-repeating image thay is there now.

    However, I like the structure of Sets and Profiles. Putting a title and an image in there is a nice touch.

    The input of the App is really laggy, my SBrick took 0,5 sec to 1 second to even respond to some commands. Don't know why, but this is really bad.

    I'm having doubts that the know-how is available to you for building a proper Android App, it seems that it was built by an inexperienced team. I'm sorry if that seems insulting, but that is how I feel about it's current state. The software is the key to the SBrick's usability and it's failing right now. You should consider bringing out an API as soon as possible, because there are a lot of Android Hobbyists out there that will blow this App away with something better in a matter of weeks. Get community support on this!

     

    I hope you see my rant as the constructive criticism that I meant it to be. I might find the time to get into detail about the App and post some more specific problems I found.

    • 24 posts
    December 27, 2014 2:24 PM CET

    I've just received my SBricks so I'm keen to try them out using my Samsung Galaxy S3 with Android 4.3 and the SBrick version 20.  However....

    The app opens OK but when I try to add a set I only have the option to Add a MOC - I don't even see any reference to a year to pick a set from.

    By going to Market in the SBrick menu I can see 7 different profiles so this one bit appears OK.  However whenever I edit a MOC and try to link a brick it just sits there "discovering".

    Similarly, if I try to Manage Bricks all I get is a permanent "Discovering Sbricks".

    In order to check the visibility of an SBrick I have installed the utility Nordic nRF Master Control Panel.  Using this  can discover an SBrick, connect to it and even Bond with it.

    Basically, I'm left with 2 useless Sbricks due to what appears to be faulty software which appears to have no user documentation.  I had hoped that with the understandable delays in SBrick delivery we would have had working software to use with them.

    Is there any realistic timescale for getting the Android app to work??

    • 26 posts
    December 27, 2014 1:35 PM CET

    The sBrick team wants to integrate support for some lower Android versions next year. But you will need an OTG cable and a special bluetooth dongle.

  • December 27, 2014 11:54 AM CET

    Hello,

     

    i receive my 2 sbricks today and i have a Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000 with 4.1.2 Android version (it's a last version available). It's over or a version for old Android version is prepared? Sorry for my English, i'm French.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/98395068@N03/


    This post was edited by Romuald Marechal at December 27, 2014 11:59 AM CET
    • 34 posts
    December 26, 2014 4:22 AM CET

    Installed the app today - fresh from Play store, 0.0.20 the app info says

    Victims - HTC One with 4.4.3 and Google Nexus 7 2nd gen with 4.4.4; Volvo 350F and Crawler

    here are my comments

    - "All further steps will be explained through the SBrick app itself" - Not. I know it's an early alpha, but there are probably hundreds SBrick on the way to users that will end up with puzzled expression as in "what to do now?" A simple numbered list on first screen would be good start or a help button.

    - Fortunately I could add my SBricks and test them without problems

    - Linking and unlinking profiles results in app crash - not consistent behavior, sometimes yes, sometimes no

    - After linking Sbrick there is no explanation what are the input types, or in the profiles ... there is no way to know which control is linked to which input name

    - How to invert input ? Is this the ON/OFF button next to channels ? Haven't found any impact of changing those ... and haven't found any invert

    - Out of the 7 profiles in 0.0.20 I found only the Gamepad 2 working close to expected. Gyro ones do not really work (calibration ?), joystick sensitivity is off,...

    - On HTC phone the controlls on Gamepad2 were quite good, although with smaller screen and non lockable controll positions, the control would eagerly center itself upon slight miss of focus.

    - the Nexus tablet was worse of, the controlls seemed more random and for some reason there was kind of lag to even basic inputs.

    Even with all this, it has some promise as I spent quite some time running the Volvo through the port tester sliders. The Crawler could be driven with that one profile and still can be fun.

    • 9 posts
    December 25, 2014 11:22 PM CET

    Hi guys, still no success - I tried that Nordic app also on my LG G-pad 8,3 with Android 4.4.2 - just once I also got this message in log when trying to bond it with SBrick:

    ERROR (0x85): Gatt error

    Got this topic om the web: https://devzone.nordicsemi.com/question/3492/service-discovery-fails-with-error-code-129-on-android-442/

    Any ideas?

    • 57 posts
    December 25, 2014 10:39 AM CET

    Maybe you're experiencing a similar problem to the one I described in my post from 24.Dec at iOS topic.

    https://social.sbrick.com/forums/topic/19/sbrick-i-os-app

    Check there for my solution - Switch BT off at you iPhone for awhile.

    • 2 posts
    December 25, 2014 8:07 AM CET

    Hello I am from Hong Kong and I received my SBrick yesterday.

    My observation

    Once the SBrick is connected with power, the LED just blinks once, NOT stay on!!!

    If I use my iPhone6 to control SBrick, it is okay to "control" it (of course some other problems but better not discuss here)

    However, if I use my LG gPad8.3 (android 4.4.2), I can only pair the SBrick. When I use the SBrick App and select manage SBrick, it just shows "discovering SBrick".... but nothing else.

    I know this is a project by LEGO fans but not really a commercial product.

    I guess most of the time and effort was used to develop the hardware....

    Please keep going and improve the SBrick for both Android and IOS...

     

    Just want to say Thank You  to the SBrick Team to deliver this amazing item for LEGO fans all around the world....


    This post was edited by Wai Kit at December 25, 2014 8:09 AM CET
    • 95 posts
    December 24, 2014 11:32 PM CET
    I tried to control 2 motors connected to 2 channels with the same sliders but only one is working (I tried all the channels pairs). Everything is working when I control them with 2 sliders.

    I also tried to change the rotation of one motor but I am not able to get it work on any channel.

    Thank you for your help

    Regards,

    Frederic
  • December 24, 2014 7:23 PM CET

    Hi!

    I read about a Function "Identify LED". What does this function do? Is this a kind of WeDo device identification? If yes, does it work even if the WeDo device identification (150kOhm from GND to C1) is not available?

    I'm asking because I rewired the 8870 a bit to alternate between LEDs depending on the PF cables polarity, and omitted the 150kOhm.

    Would I have to re-install the resistor in order to make the 8870 work with the SBrick? If the SBrick identifies a port as having an 8870, does it support both polarities or is it just one direction, 0 to 9V?

    Leg bedre & Merry Christmas,

    Christian Treczoks

    • 95 posts
    December 24, 2014 2:05 PM CET

    I have just received my Sbricks :-)

    Is there any profile with a dial (like the 8879 remote)?

    Or a slider not going back to zero when the finger is released?

     

    Thank you

     


    This post was edited by Frederic Ayrault at December 24, 2014 2:06 PM CET
    • 9 posts
    December 24, 2014 1:59 PM CET

    I am trying tp connect to my personal phone, no security apps on it. I can bond with other devices with no problem. I can't find a degub option in the nordic app, just "show log":

    After i choose to bond It goes:

    "Connected to ...MAC number or smth...

    Services discovered

    Bond information deleted

    Disconnected"

     

    +There is also time for each action but I didn't write that.

    I googled a bit (I don't now anything about BLE technology at all) and I have found something about a possible error of re-bond the devices, after the bond has been erased from one of the devices. I really am clueless about this so this is just a speculation...

    I'll wait a bit to check out the connection on my friends I-phone.

    Another idea - if I restore factory setings on my phone, do you think there is a chance to get a connection - if my above written speculation of rebonding might be true?

    Btw. and offtopic - together with 2pac of SBricks there are supposed to be instructions for integrating them into 42009 - what's up with that?

    Thx for assistance,

    regards and Merry Christmas

    Miha

     

     

     

     

    • 87 posts
    December 24, 2014 12:31 AM CET

    [blockquote]Majkl Spajkl said:

     It say STATUS: Connected NOT BONDED, as soon as I choose BOND option it disconets and log shows BOND INFORMATION DELETED and right after it DISCONECTED.[/blockquote]

     

    OK, it seems you have BT BLE working. But I can BOND to SBrick and it doesn't disconnect. That Nordic app has something at bottom left corner, like DEBUG or LOG, can't remember. Can you repeat the BOND and see the messages that appear after that? Not much use for me but might help Vengit.

    Other thing that ocurred to me... do you have some security app on your Android (like if your Android is for corporate use and your company has some Endpoint protection software installed on it)?

    • 9 posts
    December 23, 2014 11:44 PM CET

    Hi Jorge, I installed that app ypu mentioned on my phone and it can connect to the Sbrick. It say STATUS: Connected NOT BONDED, as soon as I choose BOND option it disconets and log shows BOND INFORMATION DELETED and right after it DISCONECTED.

    Does that tell you anything?

    I have tried the AAA battery box and a couple of AA regular OF battery boxes. I have conected the SBrick to them with PF extension cable s or even directly over the cable attachment (head, I dont know what to call it...)

     

     It seems something cuts the bonding protocol off the second it starts...

    • 87 posts
    December 23, 2014 10:57 PM CET

    [blockquote]Majkl Spajkl said:

    [blockquote]Jorge Pereira said:

    Happened at least once with me. Try to disable BT on the Android and power off the SBrick and on again to release all BT connections, then enable BT again. Killing the SBrick App also doesn't hurt :)

    v0.0.20 has just appeared at Google App, please update if you can.

    The LED should stay lit right after connecting power to the SBrick, even without BT connections. After some minutes, the SBrick will "reduce it's presence" and I think the LED be off and just blink once in a while [not sure] - but it will still appear to BT client devices when scanning for BT LE devices.

    [/blockquote]

    Nope - the LED just blinks once on both of my S bricks (changed BB and batteries) nothing...

    I tried again several times your proposed protocol - no success so far... Can anyone at least confirm that Sony Xperia is or is not BLE compatible?

    [/blockquote]

     

    Sorry to hear that. Can't do much more from my side (I'm not from Vengit).

    I have a Sony Xperia Z1. You also need Android 4.3, at minimum. Mine is 4.4.4, works fine (it worked fine with previous version, 4.3.x). Even without SBrick app I can test my beta SBrick, installed Nordic nRF Master Control Panel, it sees the SBrick and connects to it, list lots of BT BLE information not usefull for you but serves as a test tool (you need to close SBrick App to release BT, even if you don't have a connection to the SBrick).

    I'm using it now. The SBrick led is ON since at least 3 minutes ago when I turned it on. There seems to be a problem with yours, very strange to happen with both. What LEGO battery are you using, and how is it connected to the SBrick?

    • 1 posts
    December 23, 2014 8:26 PM CET

    Hello

    I can't download the app in my Fairphone android 4.2.2 ... 

    • 2 posts
    December 23, 2014 8:17 PM CET
    Hello, i have xperia Z, i can connect, and it works but my sbricks led not lit jusy blinks once
    • 9 posts
    December 23, 2014 8:14 PM CET

    [blockquote]Jorge Pereira said:

    Happened at least once with me. Try to disable BT on the Android and power off the SBrick and on again to release all BT connections, then enable BT again. Killing the SBrick App also doesn't hurt :)

    v0.0.20 has just appeared at Google App, please update if you can.

    The LED should stay lit right after connecting power to the SBrick, even without BT connections. After some minutes, the SBrick will "reduce it's presence" and I think the LED be off and just blink once in a while [not sure] - but it will still appear to BT client devices when scanning for BT LE devices.

    [/blockquote]

    Nope - the LED just blinks once on both of my S bricks (changed BB and batteries) nothing...

    I tried again several times your proposed protocol - no success so far... Can anyone at least confirm that Sony Xperia is or is not BLE compatible?

    • 87 posts
    December 23, 2014 7:42 PM CET

    Happened at least once with me. Try to disable BT on the Android and power off the SBrick and on again to release all BT connections, then enable BT again. Killing the SBrick App also doesn't hurt :)

    v0.0.20 has just appeared at Google App, please update if you can.

    The LED should stay lit right after connecting power to the SBrick, even without BT connections. After some minutes, the SBrick will "reduce it's presence" and I think the LED be off and just blink once in a while [not sure] - but it will still appear to BT client devices when scanning for BT LE devices.


    This post was edited by Jorge Pereira at December 23, 2014 7:42 PM CET
    • 9 posts
    December 23, 2014 7:11 PM CET

    [blockquote]Zoltan Tuskes said:

    Hi

    Few question and i try help to you?

    - Your battery have two ON position? (well three: ON Off ON)? If yes then try the the other way on and restart the application. Because sometimes just one way working normally.

    - I know stupid question but: the battery full charged or all AA battery ok? :) In my Battery inside 6 AA battery and if one of them bad then the SBrick not get enough energy for discovering..

    thx Zoltan

    [/blockquote]

    I have tried both positions on AA battery box - batteries are fresh, also tried with the AAA battery box - all the same - no success.

    My mobile devices see the SBrick, but now they wont even pair  with the SBrick. Previously they did. Now I tried all over again - I erased the SBrick from paired devices list, and now they won't even pair. When I click on the SBrick to start pairing it only lasts for a second and then nothing happens anymore...

    I hope you have some more Ideas :)

    What about hte LED light - should it stay lit or should it just blink once like mine?

    Thx, miha

    EDIT:

    Something new occurred - now my phone displays me a message, that it cannot connect to the SBrick, so that happened for the first time. I checked again online - XPERIA SP support Bluetooth 4.0 so there should be no problem with pairing.

    THX in advance for you assistance.


    This post was edited by Majkl Spajkl at December 23, 2014 7:39 PM CET
    • 3 posts
    December 23, 2014 5:52 PM CET

    Hi

    Few question and i try help to you?

    - Your battery have two ON position? (well three: ON Off ON)? If yes then try the the other way on and restart the application. Because sometimes just one way working normally.

    - I know stupid question but: the battery full charged or all AA battery ok? :) In my Battery inside 6 AA battery and if one of them bad then the SBrick not get enough energy for discovering..

    thx Zoltan

     

    [blockquote]Majkl Spajkl said:

    Hi I just received my two SBrick today.

    I tried to connect them to my phone and my tablet. They pair up ok, but when in SBrick application, the #Discovering Sbricks"  sign goes on forever

    Also, it says in the quick setup paper, that the LED light should light up, when it's connected to power source. Both of mine just blink once - is that what is it supposed to be, or is something wrong.

    About my mobile devices - I have Sony Xperia SP mobile phone running Android 4.3 and LG G-Tab running Android 4.4.2

    I couldn't find any actual data that they do or don't support BLE.

    Thanks for your answer.
    Best regards, miha

    [/blockquote]

    • 224 posts
    December 23, 2014 5:35 PM CET

    [blockquote]Jorge Pereira said:

    0.0.16, Sony Xperia Z1, Android 4.4.4

    First run, Manage bricks now shows my SBrick (previously nothing showed up). 3 actions available (Identify led, Port tester and OTA):

    Identify led (does nothing)

    Port tester shows 4 horizontal slides (A, B, C, D) and 4 buttons (reset A, reset B, reset C, reset D) like when editing My linked Sbricks

    but slides seem wrong:
     slide A controls port C
     slide B OK
     slide C controls D
     slide D does nothing but perhaps controls A (A is one of the ports I had problems since the beginning in my python tests)


    OTA: " function available soon"

    This was first run. Next runs and Manage bricks show nothing again. Don't wanto to clear all aplication data again to see if it works again.

    Edit: Powering off the SBrick and turning it on again seems to bring it again so perhaps it has something to do with BLE session.

     

    I now have "Joystick" profile. It gives two controls: Steering and Acceleration. With a motor on A and mapping Steering to A i can control the motor with the position of the phone (there is also a enable button on the display, On/Off, so this control works only when On).

    At the Linked Sbricks, SBrick channels still wrong: B and C are switched, A and D are OK. Strange because in "Manage bricks" B it's OK. More strange: A is working !? What a mess!
    And if tap the arrow it shows "SBrick Port tester", the same 4 slides and 4 reset buttons as above

     

    "Steering wheel 1" and "Steering wheel 2" profiles seem the same as "Joystick": two vailable controls (Steering and Acceleration) and one On/Off button on the display whem running, the only difference seems the location: sw1 in one corner of the display and sw2 in other corner.

     

    [/blockquote]

    Hi Jorge!

    We fixed the port issue in 0.20. Just pushed to google play!

     

     

    • 224 posts
    December 23, 2014 5:25 PM CET

    @Zoltan Tüskés Please help to Majkl in this problem!

    • 9 posts
    December 23, 2014 4:33 PM CET

    Hi I just received my two SBrick today.

    I tried to connect them to my phone and my tablet. They pair up ok, but when in SBrick application, the #Discovering Sbricks"  sign goes on forever

    Also, it says in the quick setup paper, that the LED light should light up, when it's connected to power source. Both of mine just blink once - is that what is it supposed to be, or is something wrong.

    About my mobile devices - I have Sony Xperia SP mobile phone running Android 4.3 and LG G-Tab running Android 4.4.2

    I couldn't find any actual data that they do or don't support BLE.

    Thanks for your answer.
    Best regards, miha