Saturday, January 14, 2006

Bluetooth USB adapter on Linux

What a pain that the Bluetooth SIG have claimed that is illegal to list bluetooth devices that work under linux! Marcel Holtmann maintained a list.

Sounds like Bluetooth protocol shooting itself in the foot. Anyway I am about to buy a bluetooth USB adapter to connect my Sony Vaio PCG V505 CP to my new Treo 650 smart phone. But thanks to the Way Back Machine the censors have been thwarted an I can see the March 2005 list of working devices on the Way Back Machine, and take this list with me when I go shopping.

Later, so I went shopping to Maplin and ended up buying the cheapest unbranded USB bluetooth dongle in the shop. The point was that none of the range of bluetooth dongles they had had any indication of their make or model on them, but the advantage of going to a real shop is that I could plug it in to the computer. I had kbluetoothd running and a shell open with


tail -f /var/log/syslog


running. Plugged it in an a helpful little message box poped up near the bluetooth icon in the system tray telling me it had been recognised.

Pleased with my new toy I went next door for a cup of coffee and to try it out. It has a very bright blue (appropriately) LED on it that flashes. I was able to get a list of at least a dozen bluetooth devices nearby. Mostly NOKIA phones. I was rather surprised so many people leave their phones with bluetooth enabled and discoverable. Tentatively, and feeling rather as though I was being naughty I clicked on the first device. It was a Nokia 7200 and it came up with a list of services it offered including folders with virtual modem to connect to the internet at someone else's expense! I wonder if I had got any further if it would have flashed a warning message on the phone, or asked for a pass word. I didnt try. A student at the next table had just reaached in her handbag and looked quisickly at her phone. I wonder what a Nokia 7200 looks like?

Anyway the verdict is a generic bluetooth dongle worked fine with Mandriva 2006's bluez driver and like most things linux these days you plug it in and it just works. I can now happily send files to my Palm Treo and the next job is get the Treo working as a modem.

The details I have of the dongle are the description on the reciept


A84CT B/Tooth Dong Clvl.2 W002


It is listed at the time of writing on the Maplin web site
and the FCC ID RU5AWBC1U which the FCC data base indicates as being made by Asia Pacific Microsystems, Inc, Taiwan, The Maplin page lists its features as

  • Class I (up to 100m range)
  • High efficiency chip antenna
  • Bluetooth v1.2 for improved features
  • Plug-and-play installation and easy configuration
  • USB 2.0 Interface and compliant with USB 1.1
  • Full piconet connectivity with support up 7 active and 8 parked slaves
  • Satternet compatible with Microsoft HID devices
  • Runs under Windows 98SE/2000/ME/XP
Well they can add runs under Mandriva linux 2006!

I wonder if bluetooth USB devices, ulike for example USB to serial converters, mp3 players and USB flash drives, Bluetooth USB dongles are sufficiently standard that they all work. I have not heard any reports of ones that don't work.

3 Comments:

Blogger Mr Pellie said...

Well, try the Belkin F8T012v1 which uses a Broadcom chip. I know about the 'Broadcom firmware tricks', but the last time I checked the Linux USB stack halts when detecting the device. Here are the detailed specs:

Warranty Period : Lifetime Warranty
Dimensions : 58mm (L) x 18mm (W) x 8mm (H)
Weight : 0.2 oz (7g)
Antenna Type : Integrated 0+/- 1 dBi
Compliant Standard : Bluetooth Version 2.0 (Backwards compliant with Bluetooth v1.1 and v1.2)
Hardware Interface Type : USB UHCI/OHCI 2.0 Compliant
LED Indicators : Power On/Data Traffic
Modulation Type : GFSK (Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying)
Operating Temperature : 0 - 70 degrees Celsius
Output Power : 4~20 dBm, Class I
Power Consumption : Typical Tx: 150mA, RX 80mA
Power Supply Specifications : 5.0 V DC (drawn from USB socket)
Radio Frequency Band : 2.4 to 2.4835 GHz
Storage Temperature : -30 to 80 degrees Celsius
Humidity : 5% to 90% (non-condensing)
Regulatory : FCC, CE, ICES, C-Tick, BQB, WHQL for XP
Receiver Sensitivity : <0.1% BER @ -80 dBm
Max. Operating Range : Up to 100m radius indoor
Max. Data Transfer Rate : 3 Mbps (effective throughput of 2.2 Mbps)
Miscellaneous Information : Average Pair Time 3.5-5 seconds, Bit Error Rate (BER) for improved performance
Frequency Stability : +/- 10PPM
Nominal Current : 100mA
Spread Spectrum : FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum)
Network Topology : Point-To-Multipoint
Packet Support : 1/3/5 Slots Packet
Operating Systems Supported : Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP Mac OS X 10.3 or higher (Driver and Software provided by Apple)
Package Contents : Bluetooth USB Adapter, CD-ROM, User Manual (on CD), QIG
Profiles Supported : Generic Access, SPP, DUN, OPP Server File Put, OPP Client File Put, HCRP, HID Host, PAN, BIP Image Push, A2DP*, AVRCP*, Sync, Headset, Fax GW/DT, FtP
Chipset Information : Broadcom BCM2045

-

PelliX

7:51 AM  
Blogger Mr Pellie said...

Well, try the Belkin F8T012v1 which uses a Broadcom chip. I know about the 'Broadcom firmware tricks', but the last time I checked the Linux USB stack halts when detecting the device. Here are the detailed specs:

Warranty Period : Lifetime Warranty
Dimensions : 58mm (L) x 18mm (W) x 8mm (H)
Weight : 0.2 oz (7g)
Antenna Type : Integrated 0+/- 1 dBi
Compliant Standard : Bluetooth Version 2.0 (Backwards compliant with Bluetooth v1.1 and v1.2)
Hardware Interface Type : USB UHCI/OHCI 2.0 Compliant
LED Indicators : Power On/Data Traffic
Modulation Type : GFSK (Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying)
Operating Temperature : 0 - 70 degrees Celsius
Output Power : 4~20 dBm, Class I
Power Consumption : Typical Tx: 150mA, RX 80mA
Power Supply Specifications : 5.0 V DC (drawn from USB socket)
Radio Frequency Band : 2.4 to 2.4835 GHz
Storage Temperature : -30 to 80 degrees Celsius
Humidity : 5% to 90% (non-condensing)
Regulatory : FCC, CE, ICES, C-Tick, BQB, WHQL for XP
Receiver Sensitivity : <0.1% BER @ -80 dBm
Max. Operating Range : Up to 100m radius indoor
Max. Data Transfer Rate : 3 Mbps (effective throughput of 2.2 Mbps)
Miscellaneous Information : Average Pair Time 3.5-5 seconds, Bit Error Rate (BER) for improved performance
Frequency Stability : +/- 10PPM
Nominal Current : 100mA
Spread Spectrum : FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum)
Network Topology : Point-To-Multipoint
Packet Support : 1/3/5 Slots Packet
Operating Systems Supported : Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP Mac OS X 10.3 or higher (Driver and Software provided by Apple)
Package Contents : Bluetooth USB Adapter, CD-ROM, User Manual (on CD), QIG
Profiles Supported : Generic Access, SPP, DUN, OPP Server File Put, OPP Client File Put, HCRP, HID Host, PAN, BIP Image Push, A2DP*, AVRCP*, Sync, Headset, Fax GW/DT, FtP
Chipset Information : Broadcom BCM2045

-

PelliX

7:52 AM  
Blogger DeS said...

You can get a good usb bluetooth adapter for linux from thinkpenguin.com. I bought one which works great. Most bluetooth cards are not great. They are problematic and not worth the effort. These adapters are so cheap and actually work with free software systems.

11:54 PM  

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