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Getting Started with Base Dock

This tutorial shows how to set up the Base Dock with an nRF52832-MDK or nRF52840-MDK development board in just a few minutes.

Hardware Requirements

Assemble the hardware

  1. Place the nRF52832-MDK or nRF52840-MDK board onto the Base Dock

  2. Connect Grove-Button to Port#1 on Base Dock

  3. Attach the four plastic spacers supplied in your box to act as legs for the Base Dock

  4. Insert the AA battery into the holder the right way around as marked on the board

Clone the repository

To clone the base-dock source code repository from GitHub:

git clone --recursive

Download the nRF5 SDK

Download the SDK package from

The current version we are using is 15.2.0, it can be downloaded directly here:

Extract the zip file into the base-dock/nrf_sdks/ directory. This should give you the following folder structure:

├── config
├── docs
├── examples
├── external
├── material
├── mkdocs.yml
└── nrf_sdks
    └── nRF5_SDK_15.2.0_9412b96

Install GNU Arm Embedded Toolchain

Download and install a GNU ARM Embedded build for your operating system and extract it on your file system.


The current version we are using is 6-2017-q2-update.

Config the toolchain path in or makefile.posix depending on platform you are using. That is, the .posix should be edited if your are working on either Linux or macOS. These files are located in:

<nRF5 SDK>/components/toolchain/gcc

Open the file in a text editor and make sure that the GNU_INSTALL_ROOT variable is pointing to your GNU Arm Embedded Toolchain install directory. For example:

GNU_INSTALL_ROOT := $(HOME)/gcc-arm-none-eabi/gcc-arm-none-eabi-6-2017-q2-update/bin/
GNU_VERSION := 6.3.1
GNU_PREFIX := arm-none-eabi

Build and Run an Example

Next, you can build the examples provided with the base-dock repo. The following steps show how to build and run the ble_app_blinky example:

  1. Navigate to the example directory:

    # For nRF52832-MDK board
    $ cd ./base-dock/examples/ble_app_blinky/nrf52832_mdk/armgcc
    # For nRF52840-MDK board
    $ cd ./base-dock/examples/ble_app_blinky/nrf52840_mdk/armgcc
  2. Connect nRF52832-MDK or nRF52840-MDK to your PC

  3. Build the example and flash to the board

    $ make flash_all
  4. Open nRF Connect App and start scanning, a device called Nordic_Blinky will be found!

  5. Connect Nordic_Blinky device, and start to test the LED and Button service.

  6. The device can be powered by the AA battery after removing the USB cable!

More Tutorials

Please visit Tutorials page for more examples. If you don't see what you're looking for, you can Request a tutorial. We'd love to see your feedback!

Create an Issue

Interested in contributing to this project? Want to report a bug? Feel free to click here: