This page is part of my Model Remodel series of articles.

DISCLAIMER: If you choose to attempt any of these modifications, you assume all risks thereof. I just wanted to share my experiences here. Neither Fanhome, nor myself, are responsible for any damages that may occur.

Since the Model Remodel version of my 1:900 scale U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D partwork model is designed to primarily be controlled via Bluetooth (BT), we needed some way to connect to it and send it the appropriate commands. I tried many of the free apps on the various App stores, but could not find something that did exactly what I wanted. Then, I found the fantastic (and free) MIT App Inventor website.

This site allows you to create and test an Android-based ‘mobile’ app that includes graphics, sounds, functions, and other goodies. After weeks of learning and testing, I was able to design my own LCARS-type interface that actually works!

Behind the scenes, the App Inventor uses a block-style programming interface which quickly becomes intuitive and easy to navigate. This is the entire ‘code’ of my app in block form:

A closer view of some of these blocks looks like this:

There is plenty of documentation online on how the App Inventor works, so I will not get into it here. In the end, it is best just to share the .APK file of the app itself. This can be installed on Android phones (running later than v4.0) only and you will have to allow third-party app installs in your mobile device’s settings control panel.

NOTE: While it is possible to build, package, and install iOS apps using App Inventor, the current process is costly and complex because of Apple’s strict developer requirements. If you saw the video on my YouTube channel where I did have a basic Bluetooth remote control app running on my iOS device, that was based on a service that is no longer available – and it also was not free. Perhaps some Apple dev out there can create one for us!

Download The App

I put the latest copy of my Ent D Control application up on my Dropbox. I designed it to work my my personal phone and did not expect to be sharing it, so there is no guarantee it will fit on your own device’s screen or model. But, it is worth a try!

ENT D CONTROL Remote Bluetooth Application APK

Making Your Own

If you would like to create your own remote control, it simply needs to be able to connect to the HM-10 Bluetooth LE 4.0 module we installed into the Battle Section. If you are following my guides, we already named this module as ‘ENTERPRISE-D’. Then, send it these commands to activate the various functions.

NOTE: These are the same commands sent by my IR Remote Control and just made writing the main sketch code easier:

0x45:Main Power ON/OFF
0x4A:Demo Mode ON/OFF
0x0C:Window Lights ON/OFF
0x18:Formation Lights ON/OFF
0x5E:Beacon Lights ON/OFF
0x16:Cycle Impulse Engines Style (Battle Section/Saucer Section/Both/OFF)
0x08:Warp Nacelles STARTUP/SHUTDOWN
0x09:Windows/Nacelles Dimmer UP
0x07:Windows/Nacelles Dimmer DOWN
0x1C:Trigger Go To Warp sequence
0x5A:Fire Photon Torpedo sequence
0x19:Play Phaser Firing sound
0x0D:Play Red Alert! sound
0x42:Play Bridge Ambient sound (loop)
0x52:Play Engine Hum sound (loop)
0x44:Play previous sound on DFPlayer SD Card
0x47:Stop playing all sounds
0x43:Play next sound on DFPlayer SD Card
0x46:Increase audio volume
0x15:Decrease audio volume

I hope all of this helps you get on your way to controlling your own Arduino-based Bluetooth-enabled creations. I know I had a great time figuring it all out and creating something special.

Next Up

The Final Code – The Arduino sketches that make it all work!