Building a Bluetooth controller, Help and advice needed...

(Not intended to be a Arduino project)

I need this unit to include a analog stick, 5 buttons, it's Bluetooth, and about credit card size, well slightly wider and no more then a inch thick, no larger. If there's advice i can get it will be great and helpful. I actually want to have a 1000+ units made sooner then later. I'll honestly say that all I know at this point in time (besides very few external resources, and that I need to have a custom PCB Layout created) is that I'm using a 360/PS3 style analog stick, 4 buttons, silicon button pad, one more smaller center button, and what I want the case to be and look like. As far as the Bluetooth set up goes I'm lost, I think it needs to be 2.1 or better for compatibility with most smart phones, I know I don't want to use a Bluetooth unit from a PS3 cause I don't want a required root process to be mandatory for use. I'm not even sure yet where to find a open source Bluetooth device, or what will be compatible for my project that will also be cheap and highly available, not including Arduino products. So... If anyone would care to help me understand all the internals I need for making this device happen will be highly appreciated. Even if I anyone knows the best price and where to get parts that need be. I want to start with a prototype, work on software, then a housing. I'm trying to create a clear understanding of what the cost per unit will end up costing in the long run. Thanks!!!

(I may want to add a mini usb port for charging a rechargeable battery, depending if there is something out there that will fit well into the unit, pending the cost, also if the usb port may help if programing the unit is a need. It sucks that I don't even know the answer to that :~) I wish that these type of projects is what I could have grew up learning about!

Also looking for suggestions as far as what would be another good forum(s) I could post such a question with the hope to receive some solid advice. And if helpful members are near Madison, WI is a major plus :)

Have you seen this little guy?
Maybe use one of these on a custom board with a microcontroller to read your buttons & stuff and do the comm’s with the module.

RN41-ds-v3.3r.pdf (688 KB)

I have seen that while browsing, yet the cost is over $20- for that unit alone. Hoping to find out that there is a low cost, yet completable unit on the market. I'm not even sure that 2.1 or better is absolutely necessary for compatibly. If it's feasible to use the internals of a Bluetooth dongle then that defiantly seems to be the most cost effective solution. Also there are many types of micro controllers on the market, any suggestions as to whats best for this application. Keep in mind cost effective and that my goal is to have these mass produced. I'm ultimately looking for a complete breakdown from a engineers standpoint. There will be a manufacturer engineer involved in the mass production at the very least. I hoping to find some create a understanding of the project for myself. Hopefully a cost effective prototype can be made that will utilize the same software engineering and hardware compatibly. I know that my starting point is far fetched but in my heart I believe I have a wonderful Idea for a project that will become professionally built that can and will generate over 100k within a few weeks on Kickstarters generating sales. I am a beginners faze of a mission that I will not give up or turn back on!

Which bluetooth profiles are you intending to use? If you need the HID profile, that will limit your choice of module. Many (most?) bluetooth modules used with Arduinos only support SPP, as they are usually used to provide a wireless serial pipe.

Lower cost units will need antenna added also. Depends on how much fooling around you want to just getting the bluetooth working vs getting your application going.

I believe I'm in the same boat as OP. I was thinking about getting a dongle and messing around with that. Would that be feasible? Also, I'm from Madison, WI boosted, although I'm attending school up in Menomonie at this point in time.

Anything can be made to work eventually.

Hmm, okay. I think i'll start with this one