Wireless access to OLA terminal

I’m trying to figure out how to get wireless access to the OLA’s terminal.


It seems there are three ways this might be done:

  • - Use the built in BLE functionality,
  • - Find some way to attach a BT device to the USB-C port,
  • - Modify the firmware so that the RX and TX pins can be used for the terminal.
  • While #1 would be best, I need to deploy this in March, and built in BLE may not be ready by then.

    I’m no expert in USB-C, but I don’t think I’ll have any success finding a a BT module that’s also a USB-C host.

    That leaves me with #3 which might be a nice feature, but if I recall from past experiences, abstracting serial ports isn’t trivial.


    My device will be hard to get at, and often under water. When not under water, I’d like to stream live data (very low sample rate) and download previous data without opening up the sealed enclosure.

    Hi Ryan,

    We do still plan to implement BLE support on the OLA, but sadly not soon. We’ve got a bunch of other stuff to tackle first.

    Using the USB-C port directly would be tricky as the port is expecting to be connected to a host. To connect a USB-wireless device, you would need the Artemis to be the host. It might be easier to hack the board, remove the CH340E, and connect the RX0/TX0 to a wireless module? e.g. https://www.sparkfun.com/products/17255 But, if you do that, you would almost certainly have problems when uploading new firmware as that procedure needs access to the RTS pin too.

    Yes, you could change the code so that the menus etc. are accessed via the RX and TX pins, but you would need to disable the serial logging and analog read code first. Then replace all of the Serial calls with SerialLog.

    My advice would be to try option 3 first. Removing the CH340 is a bit drastic.

    Good luck!

    All the best,


    Hi, Wonder if you guys could comment: I need a wireless link from sensor to a terminal on a PC or mobile. Was hoping to use the BLE library with Artemis OLA, but I see that is not ready. (I was trying example here:tutorials/getting-started-with-the-artemis-development-kit/arduino-examples but code would not compile). But you seem to be saying I could use the OLA as the host/central? So perhaps I get what the Arduino ble library says it is compatible with - Arduino MKR WiFi 1010, Arduino Uno WiFi Rev2 board, Arduino Nano 33 IoT, Arduino Nano 33 BLE, or Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense board for the peripheral sensor node, and have it transmit to and be received by the OLA and then have it show data on the serial monitor? (I have used the NRF52 serial monitor before but don’t understand the programming required to get data on the screen…). Any inputs helpful. Jim

    Hi again Jim,

    We do plan to add BLE support on the OLA - but that means upgrading the OLA to use v2.0 of Apollo3 - which means changing to Mbed - and, all in, that’s a big job… We will do it, but not right now.

    I was suggesting to Ryan that - for now - it might be easier to hack the OLA code so it uses SerialLog (the TX and Rx breakout pins) instead of Serial via USB. Then you could add your own wireless link via the Tx/Rx pins.

    Best wishes,


    Got it. Thx!

    An update on BLE support on OLA:

    There are several reasons why we have not implemented BLE support on OLA, including: the extensive changes and restructuring of the OLA code required to add BLE support with Mbed; the level of effort required to implement those changes; new products - coming soon! - where it is much easier to add support for both WiFi and Bluetooth serial port profile (SPP) connectivity.

    It was our intention to add BLE support, and I’m sorry we have not done that, but here we are…

    Best wishes - and apologies,


    Thanks for the update Paul. We’ve been successfully using external BT modules. First the SparkFun BlueSMIRF, then when that was discontinued, the Adafruit Bluefruit LE UART Friend https://www.adafruit.com/product/2479.

    To save power we use the Qwiic bus to power the BT modules. It’s not ideal, but it works. We’re streaming data and doing file downloads via Bluetooth to a nearby RPi.

    Finally I found this discussion! Well, new products? So I have just wasted money for something that won’t actually be usable via its BT? I would have waited for the “new products” if I noticed this in good time… :frowning:

    Hi Pavel (@wanthalf),

    I’m sorry the OLA is not meeting your expectations.

    If you need to return it, the details are here:


    Best wishes,


    I have attached a RN-42 to the OLA board on the RX/TX pins and power it with the 3V3 pin. If I connect via the USB COM port, it successfully initiates a session (spits out the below). I can then also connect through the bluetooth COM port and through that terminal can also view the data output, and initiate commands. But, I cannot initiate through just the bluetooth connection. Is there a special port setting or something that I need to or something else I’m missing. I’ve been using mobaxterm but have also tried putty. Thanks!

    SD init failed (second attempt). Is card present? Formatted?

    Please ensure the SD card is formatted correctly using https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter/

    Config file read failed: SD offline

    Artemis OpenLog v2.4

    SD card offline

    Datalogging offline

    Serial logging offline

    IMU online

    Identifying Qwiic Muxes…

    Identifying Qwiic Devices…

    No Qwiic devices detected

    Content-Type: text/csv






    The OLA is a great development board and the range of sensors potentailly makes it ideal for research purposes, but we keep stumbling upon the comms issue. We really need to have a way of tansmitting the data - via the BLE or better still, a GSM/GPRS. If anyone has come up with any solutions we would like to know.

    Might consider connecting a raspberry pi to the USB port. You can remotely access the pi and then communicate with the OLA via USB serial.

    A pi zero would fo it for $10.00 and you have a ton of flexibility.

    Interesting solution. Will take a look.

    We used an external BT device on the OLA’s serial lines. Something like this:


    We’ve got the BT module powered off of the QWIIC bus, so it powers down when the OLA is asleep (which is most of the time).

    Works well communicating with a nearby Raspberry Pi.