v3.0 Software Requirements

The cost-optimized v3.0 board uses the less expensive CP2104 USB to Serial bridge, which requires that you install the Silicon Labs VCP drivers on your system before using the board.

v1.0 and v2.0 Software Requirements

Setting up the BLEFriend is super easy.  All you need to start talking to the device is a standard FTDI driver for the FT231x located on the device.

Find the appropriate FTDI VCP installer on the FTDI Driver Download Page, install it on you system, and then insert the BLEFriend in any USB port on your system.

HW Layout

There are a few items on the BLEFriend you should be familiar with before you start working with it. To help you get started quickly, we've highlighted them in the image below:

This image applies to v2.0. The latest cost-optimized v3.0 release drops the SWD connector, and leaving the SWD pins on available on the bottom of the PCB.

Mode Selection Switch

This switch can be moved between 'CMD' (Command Mode) and 'UART' (Data Mode), which will change the way that the device behaves in your terminal emulator.

For more information on these two operating modes, see the Operating Modes page in this learning guide.


These two LEDs are provided primarily for debug purposes to help you visualise the incoming and outgoing characters over the USB CDC interface.

DFU Mode Switch

Holding this switch down when you insert the device into the USB port will cause the device to enter a special 'DFU' mode, which allows you to update the firmware over the air.

For more information on DFU mode see the Field Updates page.

Mode Indicator LED

This LED is used to indicate the mode that the device is currently operating in (Data, Command or DFU).

Connection Status LED

This LED will be enabled when the BLEFriend has successfully established a connection with another BLE device, and it useful for debugging purposes.

This guide was first published on Nov 19, 2014. It was last updated on Jan 26, 2017.

This page (HW Setup) was last updated on Nov 05, 2014.

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