Measuring a beacon's signal strength

An intro to use the nRF Connect mobile app to measure beacon signals

1. nRF Connect Beacon Scanner App

Download the nRF Connect app for Android or iOS.

It shows all relevant data of Bluetooth beacon devices and contains a feature to chart RSSI signals of nearby beacons. It's recommended to use the filter functions to have a clear picture on a single beacon.

Filter devices by broadcasting name

Filter devices by broadcasting name

Advertising information of a single device, including iBeacon Proximity UUID, Major, Minor and Transmission Power

Advertising information of a single device, including iBeacon Proximity UUID, Major, Minor and Transmission Power

RSSI signal chart

RSSI signal chart

2. Track and evaluate RSSI signals.

The Received Signal Strengths Indication (RSSI) values can be quite bumpy and depend on a lot of influencing factors like the antenna, the used BLE chip, the rotation and mounting of the device but also on the environment and blocking objects. Especially shielding metal or water (e.g. human bodies) can have a huge negative impact on a stable RSSI signal.

The goal is to have a clear understanding how stable the signal is and how far it reaches in typical situations. It's recommended to use more than one smartphone for testing.

Template to track measured RSSI signals

Template to track measured RSSI signals

Adjust Beacon Configuration

Beacon devices can be configured with the manufacturer's configuration apps, e.g. Beacon Manager from Beaconinside. The biggest influencing factors are the transmission power (range), the advertising interval (how often signals are send out) and the advertising profile (what is sent).

Beacon Manager for Android

Beacon Manager for Android

Measuring a beacon's signal strength

An intro to use the nRF Connect mobile app to measure beacon signals