RSSI meter

Alright ladies and gentlemen, the time has come when I think I know which questions I need to ask. What I want to do is establish a BLE link between an Arduino board (I’m currently tinkering with an Uno) and an iOS based device. In future iterations, ideally I would have the link between two Arduino boards, but that’s a story for another day - I think. Once the devices are synched, I would like the Arduino to send RSSI data to the iOS device, at which point the iOS device would interpret the RSSI and convert it (for lack of a better term) to an inversely proportionate intensity of vibration, which would be sent back to the Arduino device, having on it some sort of small motor or buzzer.

So say the RSSI is rated on an incremental scale of 1-10. When the reading is at 10, the Arduino device is told to do nothing. When the reading is at 4, the Arduino is told to initiate a weak vibrating pulse. When the reading is at 3, the Arduino is told to initiate a stronger vibrating pulse. When the reading is at 2, even stronger, and at a reading of 1, the highest intensity. If the devices become disconnected I would ideally have the highest intensity vibration continue until they are connected again.

With this in mind, here are my questions:

  1. Is this a reasonable thing to attempt?
  2. If so, would using a BlueFruit LE UART Friend or a BlueFruit LE Breakout Board be more useful? Or is there another board I should be looking into?
  3. How huge of a leap would it be to attempt the same system using two Arduino boards instead of one Arduino and an iOS device?

Hopefully I’ll be able to ask some followup questions soon, naturally the collective knowledge of this forum far surpasses my own.


As just a few minutes of experimentation with show, the RSSI value is pretty much useless.

It depends more strongly on relative antenna orientation and interference from nearby reflecting and absorbing surfaces than it does on distance between transmitter and receiver.

What are your expectations as to what a change in an RSSI value indicates?

I was hoping to get a general distance reading based off of the RSSI value, which is how I'm assuming devices with Bluetooth tags that claim to track distance between a phone and the tagged object (like your keys or whatever) substantiate that claim. Although further research has shown that these systems, as was stated above, might not be very accurate at all. I didn't realize just how fickle RSSI values are

wifi signal strength project.