@joacim thanks for your reply. What you say makes sense since the smartphone manufacturer normally will not expect many concurrent Bluetooth connections to the phone. The RPi can support 10 concurrent connections so I will be using that.
Posts made by pdo.smith
RE: Can only enroll four Flics at one time
RE: Can only enroll four Flics at one time
It occurred to me that I had hit the limit on the number of Bluetooth connections on my phone and that this was four.
I tested this by using the Nordic app nRF Connect. It detected all six buttons simultaneously, showing the advertising interval and showing that they were all bonded. From this I conclude that my phone can support at least six Bluetooth connections.
I then activated three iBeacons and these also were detected at the same time, bringing the number of simultaneous connections to nine.
Can only enroll four Flics at one time
I have six Flic Location Singles.
I can initially connect all six Flics to the Flic app but I can only ever use four at one time.
If I reset the Bluetooth subsystem all six Flics will show as disconnected, which is to be expected. When I press the button on a Flic it will connect, once again as expected. But once I have pressed the fourth button the remaining two Flics will not connect and their red light flashes twice.
This behaviour is independent of which Flics are used. It is always the first four Flics which are connected and the remaining two Flics cannot be connected.
It seems the Flic app has a limit of four Flics which can be enrolled at the same time. This is a severe limitation for me, considering the intended use. I intend to use them as panic buttons, positioned in various rooms and will need eight in total(for the time being). The Flic will send messages, via smartphones, through the Artik cloud to alarm devices, alarm monitors and security personnel. The smartphone will be running the Flic app and a custom app using the Flic SDK.
I can get around this problem by using more than one smartphone in the facility but this increases the complexity of administration.
It is really important, to me, to be able to enrol more than four Flic buttons.
I hope that there is something quite simple that I can do to fix this problem otherwise I urge you to remove this quite arbitrary limit as soon as possible.
Next I will try out using a Raspberry Pi as a hub for my buttons.
RE: Double red blink on Flic
@proto732 A fourth measure that really works for me is to restart the Bluetooth subsystem.
I use this app:
and it invariably fixes the problem for me.
Flic as pure service, with no user interface(like a Linux daemon)
I want to make the provision of apps that use Flic buttons as simple as possible. It should work like this:
- download only one app, written to use an expanded SDK communicating with the Flic service and containing the Flic service daemon.
- on initial startup the app asks the user to press his button(s).
- he presses his button(s) and the button image vibrates.
- he taps the button image, confirming the selection and he is good to go.
- the app completes the start up, remembering the initial selection.
In this way the user need never download two apps or unnecessarily interact with the rather confusing Flic app. That is just unneeded extra work. All I want him to do is download my app, register his button with a press and he is ready to use my app. Quick, clean and simple. which is very much in the spirit of the Flic buttons.
For this to happen the present Flic app should be stripped of its user interface and made available for bundling with developer apps. The SDK be expanded to supply the important functions provided by the Flic app.
I want to emphasise again that the whole spirit of the Flic buttons is to provide an interface that is quick, clean and simple. The developer's apps should reflect this spirit by taking away all the pain and confusion of setting up buttons. Put this under the control of the app developer who understands his target market. For example, a Flic panic button for the elderly must be capable of setup with a single button press and a single click. There must be no fuss, no bother, no uncertainty and no confusion.
RE: Anyone else wish the flic app let you select sound for each button?
Yes, I very much wish the sounds could be changed individually for each button.
RE: The First Batch - A lesson learnt about hardware and early assumptions.
Congratulations on having the sincerity and transparency to make this honest though painful admission.
RE: Double red blink on Flic
The double red blink means that the button thinks your phone is out of range. This means that your phone is not replying to the advertising packets broadcast at 1800 msec intervals by the button.
A likely cause is that a task killer app on Android shut down background tasks, disabling the Flic service. Once disabled it cannot reply to the button's advertising packets and so the button thinks it is all alone in the world! This is often done to conserve memory and save on battery life. The fix is to place flic in the app's whitelist so that it is not shut down.
Another, related, possible cause is that your version of Android is not allowing flic to run as a background task. The fix is to change the settings so that flic is allowed to run as a background task.
A third, possible cause is that you are using an ad blocker like Adguard. This prevents the flic service from reporting back to HQ(naughty boys!). The fix is to put flic.io in the ad blocker's white list.
I found it necessary to use all three fixes.
Some user experiences with FlicLocation
My intention was to use FlicLocation as a panic button for vulnerable people. I have been mugged twice, I have fallen 20 m down a mountain slope, and I have fallen into a coma after being stung by bees. I could have greatly benefited from a panic button on each occasion. Many people need to summon help fast for a variety of reasons. With that background I have been testing FlicLocation as a means of summonsing help urgently. I chose FlicLocation because it supplies the victim's location, a vital factor in an emergency. With that background, I have been testing FlicLocation for its suitability. These are my preliminary findings.
- I ordered four buttons. One died after one day. That is not a good sign of reliability.
- Appearance is good and it seems robust and durable.
- The clip is nicely designed and effective.
- The button surface is scalloped which makes it easy to find the right side of the button in the darkness. Nice design feature.
- The button press has a strong tactile feel with a definite and unmistakable 'click'. Nice design feature.
- I cannot open it to change the battery. If the battery can't be changed it is useless for my needs.
- It cannot be activated with a short click. A long click must be used. This is a decidedly negative feature. My experience of real emergencies(see above) shows that one's mind is often clouded or confused. One should not have to remember to do a long click. This is especially true of young children and elderly people. Come on you guys, what were you thinking? A short click must be sufficient. Make a long click test the connection.
- A single click gives a double tone on the phone if there is a connection between phone and button. Nice feature for reassurance but this should be a long click, see 7, above.
9.The single click produces a flashing red light on button if there is no connection. Once again this is a good feature, but it should be activated with a long click instead.
- If the connection has been broken(no double tone and a flashing red light) it is necessary to hold the button down for about 7 seconds before a connection has been re-established. Why so long? This will never work in an emergency and is especially unsuitable for the young or elderly.. This is a killer failing.
- But there is an even bigger problem. If you notice the connection has been broken, before there is an emergency, you naturally try to re-establish the connection. But that triggers your emergency alert when there is no emergency. It is no good expecting the young or the elderly to remember not to do this. So there will be many false alarms, since the connection is so easily lost. This real killer failing.
- When a new FlicLocation is first registered with the Flic app one is confronted with a story about creating tasks. So one sets about doing just that, only to find that the tasks will not work with FlicLocation. It only performs one task so there is no need to create a task. But a newcomer does not know this. The Flic app should simply not present the tasks tab when a Flick Single is being used. This makes the button really unsuitable for my purposes since many users will lack the necessary sophistication to work it out for themselves. Really you guys, what were you thinking?
I love the button for its physical design and I think it is the best on the market. But its functionality is plagued by questionable design decisions of such severity that it is not really suitable for my purposes. But I really do want to use this button. My next step is to use the API and see if I can get a better result.
I must emphasise that, having had it in my hands and played with it, I love this button and really do want to use it. I hope I can achieve that through the API. I hope the developer team restores more functionality to the setup of Flic Singles.
Very importantly, why can't I open it to change the battery?
RE: Gobbling batteries
@totte.ul My flic Location has gone dead after one day's use. It is completely unresponsive. I have three other flic Locations that are still working. I presume that battery is drained and I want to check this by replacing the battery. Unfortunately I cannot open my flic. I have stuck it down on a flat surface and tried to unscrew the top housing by turning it counter-clockwise, but it won't budge. I simply cannot open the flick to check or change the battery.
Unable to change battery of flic location
After one day's use my flic location is unresponsive. The red light does not come on when the button is pressed and it is not bonded to my phone.
I suspect the battery might be faulty but I am unable to open it to change the battery. I have stuck it down on a flat surface and tried to unscrew the top piece by turning it counterclockwise but it simply will not budge.
What am I doing wrong? How can I open it to check the battery and change it if necessary?