Can this be done with bluetooth?

i am looking at getting a small motorized dolly for a camera (model is Neewer DL300).. it uses bluetooth to connect to an app on the phone where the user can set its movement direction (either left or right) and also speed/distance..

it appears the controls are fairly limited on this app, so I am wondering would there be anyway to use a raspberry pi with node red and "listen" to the commands the app is sending to the dolly and then use a node red flow to create custom movements and add more variation ?

appreciate any insight.

It is theoretically possible. But BT is notoriously complex and there is no guarantee that the dolly publishes anything you could work with without having to reverse engineer the protocols. Also no guarantee that it even has more protocols than are exposed in the app.

ok thanks.. it sounds like it might be a try it and see thing.. If it possible to listen to the data i would just need left/right movement and speed control, from there i could create enough variety in a flow.. im a novice at this stuff but in the past i managed to decode the output of the PTZ plugin from OBS, that success gave me hope it could be possible with bluetooth also..

I dont have node red nearby at the moment but if i want to try and give it a go would this node be the right place to start ?

i thought i could maybe try some other bluetooth devices before i buy the dolly to get an idea..

1000% * what Julian said on how tricky it is to use Bluetooth

indeed - BLE != "old" Bluetooth - so for a start it depends which version your device actually speaks...

it says it uses bluetooth 5.. i dont use bluetooth often but isnt it supposed to be backwards compatible ? if so would the BLE node work with a bluetooth 5 device or would something else be better ? i saw some others nodes with bluetooth in their descriptions but that BLE one seemed the most likely ?

there is also another dolly which that company sells which uses a small key ring IR remote instead of bluetooth.. its has less speed settings and few other things making it more limited but it might still be OK as a plan B option..

with that in mind, does anyone have any thoughts on how easy/hard it would be to connect an IR sensor to a RPi, then learn the codes from the dolly IR remote and using them in a flow ? same idea as the bluetooth just using IR instead, would that be easier ?

i thought about opening up the IR remote and trying to connect GPIO pins from the RPI to its buttons to simulate pressing them.. i suspect that might work and not be too hard (for my brain) but if i decide to go this route id rather not open up the IR remote so it continues work as its own device and just add an IR sensor to the RPi..

i did a quick search and it looks like the IR thing might be fairly straightforward i'll look at the info further tonight when i have time but if anyone has any wisdom id be keen to hear :slight_smile: just trying to get an idea what i might realistically be capable of getting to work before i begin..

BT is mostly, I think (I'm no expert on it) backwards compatible. But it isn't necessarily forwards compatible.

IR is going to be a lot easier because it is a well trodden path to be able to capture output from a remote. But, it won't necessarily help you do things that the app can't do?

yeah im starting to lean towards the dolly that has the IR remote rather than the one that uses the app... it seems more likely i'll get IR to work..

the main reason id like to use node red is so it can run without me needing to watch it and i can be using another camera on something else.. with a flow i can also set some random variation in speed and direction so its bit dynamic rather than just back and forth at one speed..

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