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SDR to locate cochlear implants

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:56 pm
by novice_here
Hi All,

I am new to SDR and also a parent of a young child with Cochlear America (Nucleus 6) implants. I am looking to use SDR and a directional antenna to find a lost processor in the future. These processors cost several thousand dollars to replace. Right now the tags from companies like Tile are too big to install.

Cochlear America came out with a new processor that is "trackable" but only with an iPhone and their app. The App is only working with the version 7 processors. We cannot buy this new model due to the costs. I looked through whitepapers and their website to find they use bluetooth on the processor to communicate with a basic remote. The remote only reports which processor is not connected, the program for sound levels, and the current battery status. I was told that the frequency shifts within a spectrum for bluetooth.

Has anyone looked into this already?

Thanks, Brian

Re: SDR to locate cochlear implants

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:31 am
by rtlsdrblog
Do the old processors have bluetooth tracking too? Sounds like this is a feature only added in their new products. If they don't emit any sort of trackable signal then i'm not sure how you want to track them.

Also the RTL-SDR won't be of much help since they don't tune high enough to reach bluetooth frequencies.

Re: SDR to locate cochlear implants

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:29 pm
by hotpaw2
You can't sniff for iBeacons with arbitrary identifiers with an iOS device, but there are reportedly apps for Android mobile phones (perhaps you can borrow one) that will allow one to search for any advertising iBeacon using any identifier.

The 2.4 GHz ISM band that BLE uses is too high for generic RTL-SDR dongles.

Re: SDR to locate cochlear implants

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:58 pm
by novice_here
To my best knowledge the current processor communicates with a remote handheld we have to inform the handheld that the battery status of each ear and if it is currently connected to our child.

Re: SDR to locate cochlear implants

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:15 pm
by rtlsdrblog
If you can find out how the current processor communicates with the handheld (frequency, interval etc), then you might be able to track that signal. Assuming that it's a fairly regular communication and that it's strong enough to be received over a distance.

You could simply use a directional antenna to get a bearing to the signal source.