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Vera Presence Sensor Bluetooth Scanner

This program is a Python script that will perform both Bluetooth and iBeacon searches for devices that have been configured using the Vera Presence Sensor plugin. The compatible Vera device code and instructions are found at:


Install Jessie on the RPi. Each RPi on the network must have a unique hostname so if there is more than one RPi on the network, you must change the defaultset hostname to something unique. To do this, use the RPI GUI configuration utility. Google how to startup with RPi if you are unfamiliar with how to do this.

Next install the bluetooth library from a shell as follows:

$ sudo apt-get install python-bluez

Now install the scanner s/w:

$ cd /srv
$ sudo git clone scanner
$ cd scanner

Finally, set it to autostart as a service

$ sudo cp bluetooth-scanner.service /etc/systemd/system
$ sudo systemctl enable bluetooth-scanner


To upgrade to the lastest version:

$ cd /srv/scanner
$ sudo git pull
$ sudo cp bluetooth-scanner.service /etc/systemd/system
$ sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Configuring Scanner

After installing or upgrading you must configure the scanner.

$ sudo nano /srv/scanner/

Now edit the scanner name and the Vera IP address. In addition you can edit the timers to optimize the scanning.

When finished, press ^x|y|Enter to save your changes then

$ sudo systemctl restart bluetooth-scanner

Usage Tips

The scanner gets a list of Presence devices from Vera and updates that list at a configurable period. These devices can be beacons or bluetooth devices (phones, tablets etc.).

Beacon devices transmit continually. Periodically (configurable period), the scanner listens for beacon transmissions. It listens until it gets a maximum number of reports or until it times out waiting for a report. All reports received are each processed as mentioned below.

Bluetooth devices must be polled for a reply. One device at a time is polled. This is far less efficient than the Beacon polling and can affect performance as each device out of range will timeout, slowing down all processing (including beacon scanning). Also, the polling of a bluetooth device can cause faster discharge of the device as it must reply to the poll. To mitigate this, there are two pollperiods for bluetooth devices. Live devices are polled at one rate (typically slow) and dead ones are polled at another rate (typically faster). If a reply for a given device is received, it is processed as mentioned below.

When a live device is detected AND it has been at least the minimum report time since the last report, a report is sent to Vera identifying the scanner's hold time (time until a present device becomes absent), the scanner name and the RSSI.

Known Problems and Troubleshooting

No known problems!

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