Waking HM10 and HM11 BLE boards

Just a quick note on how to resolve serial connectivity issues with Bluetooth Low Energy boards (BLE) sold as iBeacons or iBeacon Sensors.

I’ve recently been evaluating various iBeacon modules, and bought a number of HM10 and HM11 based BLE beacons from various suppliers on eBay.

One of the BLE beacons I bought, consists of a small board aka HM11, containing a Ti CC2541, mounted onto a CR2032 button cell holder.

These BLE “sensor” beacons, are reconfigured to operate as an “iBeacon”, but they also have connections on the PCB to connect via RS232 (3.3V) to an Arduino or PC via a serial to USB adaptor.

The problem I encountered with the HM11 iBeacon boards, was that the boards are configured to go into hibernation / sleep mode between transmissions, which results in them not communicating via serial.

The normal method to wake up HM10 and HM11 devices, is to send a continuous stream of at least 80 fairly random characters to the module. However in the case of the HM11 “Sensor” firmware, it either doesn’t have this feature or it doesn’t appear to work.

After some research, I came across a reference to being able to wake the board by pulling pin 16 to Gnd.

So I have it a try and it worked !

I have not tested whether the same applies to HM10, but it can’t do much harm to try it, as long as you use a resistor to Gnd rather than shorting the pin – which would most likely case damage to pin 16 if it was not configured by the firmware as an input

5 Responses

  1. redshift1982


  2. Roger Clark

    Both of those products look like they use the nRF5x from Nordic Semi, so can be programmed using Sandeep Mistry’s Arduino_nRF5 SDK

    I had some custom beacons made by a the company that makes one of those 2 beacons.

    However if you want to build a smart bracelet, I think you should read my other posts and watch my youtube video’s, as the ID107HR and ID107HR Plus fitness trackers are a “smart bracelet” which use a nRF5x chipset so can both be programmed

  3. Dhaval


    I am looking to detect custom BLE data including the temperature etc, shall I use HM-10 or you propose to use something else for that?

    You had been great help to me (I do read your articles while troubleshooting).

  4. Roger Clark

    You need to use whatever suits the product your company is developing in relation to the devices it needs to interface with.