BLE, HC-05, ZS-040 Frustrations

Started out believing I could use the BLE widget to send control data from Blynk to my Arduino Nano project…

I have spent several hours trying to make a connection to all of these modules, with zero success !

First off… I have 2 of the ZS-040 Bluetooth modules (supposedly HC-05, but the two boards have different submodules on them (the top two in the photo), and a third labelled ZC1643 (the bottom one in the photo).

That last one is the only one that shows up in the Blynk BLE connection list, as “BLE4”. But it won’t Connect, the LED on the module goes solid red when it is being scanned by Blynk.

Lastly, I have dug through some .ino’s, and have read that BLE is not supported under iOS, only Android… is this the truth, as of today ?

Where can I go from here ? Has anyone successfully used Blynk BLE on iOS, and what BT module did you use on your project. ?

Could’ve saved you a few hours if your read the docs:

Widget to enable Bluetooth support. At the moment Bluetooth widget is supported only on Android and requires internet connection to login and to load your profile. This will be fixed soon. Alsom some Blynk widgets do not work within the Bluetooth connection.

Yeah, thanks for the wise words, we have a saying “RTFM” - I’ll leave it to you to work out what it stands for…

I know what it stands for… it’s just documented clearly that there is no BLE support for iOS at this moment…

Thought I’d get it “connected” first, then worry about the coding - guess I’m working “AAF” - there’s another for you, lol

HC-05 is not a BLE module, it’a s serial Bluetooth module, and on iOs there is no support for them, and would not be as old Bluetooth communication is not supported on it. If you will try to use it with Android devices - use Bluetooth Serial sketch.

1 Like

The only way I’ll go out and buy an Android device is when the project is up and running for iOS, then I can test on Android. I want this project to work with both platforms.

It can’t be difficult to get an iPhone to control a remote Bluetooth device, my son had a cheap quadcopter costing less than 30GBP over 3 years ago, and it had a camera with picture displayed on the iPhone…

Is there a compelling reason why you need to use an Arduino Nano?
An Esp8288/NodeMCU device such as a Wemos D1 Mini would make your life much easier.


1 Like

iOs app supports BLE modules, but not Serial Bluetooth ones, so HC-05/HC-06 could not be supported:

@PeteKnight The project has 4 SERVO outputs, 1 PWM output, 2 Digital Outputs, and 1 Ana log Input for battery level monitoring, plus I need to interface the “receiver” (but if that’s “built-in” to a Wemos…).

Does the Wemos D1 stack up to that output capability ? - just about squeezed it into a Nano - at first glance it looks like it might, but do we have the same problem with iOS not able to communicate with it. The project will nearly always be used in locations where there is no Internet connection, so commands sent to it would have to be direct WiFi, or Bluetooth, distance from the operator to the boat will be a maximum of 30 metres, in open air, above water.

What do I need to program for the ESP8288/Wemos ?


Good Link, now I’m nearer to buying a compatible BLE device, although the one I have is a BLE4, but Blynk can’t connect to it on iOS.

HC-05 devices are not BLE ones.

1 Like

You should just about manage to do that with a Node MCU. This link gives info about the pins that could be used:

The Node MCU has built-in Wi-Fi.
I’d very much doubt if you’d get reliable Bluetooth communications over a 30m range. It should be more do-able with Wi-Fi, especially if you use a portable router - maybe with an external antenna - to give you a decent signal.


Thanks for your suggestions, I think you may be right, Bluetooth probably won’t do the distance - I’d like to get 30m or better.

I’m convinced that should be achievable in a non-noisy (RF) environment, outdoors, over water. I haven’t a clue how you would set up or use a “portable router” on a river-bank, or lake-side, at night, freezing cold, lol

Top and Bottom of it, the user should just be able to pick up his iOS or Android phone, call up the app. and be able to drive this boat out to where he wants it, without a ton of gear to set up.

I’m going to look at using a Wemos D1 Mini, I am assuming you can program this through the Arduino IDE ?

Yes, you can program the ESP8266/NodeMCU with the Arduino IDE, once you’ve installed the ESP Core in the IDE.

You don’t need a portable router, you can simply use the phone in access point mode (Personal Hotspot in iOS). I’m not sure how much range you’d get from an iPhone in that mode and whether it would remain stable regardless of how the handset was being held or orientated.

If you have a device (phone, tablet, laptop) that you could use to connect to the personal hotspot then you could do some tests.


Blynk is an IoT application… and while it most certainly can be used as a GUI for just about anything, that anything needs to accommodate Blynk’s component functionality.

AppnetworkServernetworkMCU Device

Even BT/BLE still requires the AppnetworkServer connection

By using a “portable” server one can setup a system that should work… even without cellular connection, since the Server is Local…but range will still be an issue.

There have been a few topics about that already… but it does get into the advanced user levels.

Yes, once setup properly…

These guys are claiming 50m range with WiFi - direct from phone to drone

I bought a battery once that claimed to be 3000mAH… it wasn’t :slight_smile: And my ISP claims to offer a service that is not possible due to the local wiring infrastructure they can’t control.

Only you will be able to determine the final results… just plan for the inevitable DRT recovery :stuck_out_tongue:

PS, Blynk is not just a simple point to point control link, it is a bit more complex form of bidirectional communication… and that can affect range (along with equipment, atmospheric conditions, interference, materials, signal reflections, e.g. water absorbs not reflects WiFi signals)…

1 Like

Do you know the exact product name of the module with the wires plugged into it? I was given one as part of a project, and I cannot, for the life of me, find documentation or a data sheet on it because I don’t know what it is besides a zs-040. When I look for that, the only thing that comes up is the one next to it.

If you’re hoping to use this with Blynk IoT then you’ll be disappointed because BT is no longer supported in Blynk.