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Bluetooth on my Tablet PC
Posted on 16-Dec-2004 22:22 by M Freitas | Tags Filed under: Blog


Bluetooth on my Tablet PC
I was a little bit worried when I bought my Tablet PC: very good looking, not so heavy for a convertible, fast and now with 1GB RAM it's even better. But it didn't have Bluetooth built-in, and I wanted to use it with my other Bluetooth devices around here.

At first I've used the Bluetake BT009-M. It's my second Bluetooth dongle around here (the other one is a TDK). The BT009-M is a USB 2.0 Bluetooth adapter with 128MB flash memory. But it sticks out from the side of the Tablet PC when inserted on the USB, making it not the best option for this use.

I found that Dick Smith Electronics (an Australian and New Zealand shop, pretty much like Radio Shack) lists a Bluetooth CF card with PC Card adapter (pictured). I checked the specs and found out it's based on a CSR chipset, but alas the website lists the driver as Widcomm 1.3. If you don't know, Widcomm drivers support HID (mouse and keyboard devices) from version 1.4. But for the sake of it I decided to buy and test it with the standard Microsoft Windows XP SP2 Bluetooth stack.

I didn't have much hope, and sure enough it didn't work. Although the Microsoft Bluetooth stack is designed to work with CSR based Bluetooth devices, it's for USB only, not CF. I was ready to return the Bluetooth CF card to the store, when I noticed a file with a version stamp on the CD. To my surprise, the drivers on the CD are actually newer than the download available from the DSE website! The driver is 1.4.2, which fully supports HID and other profiles (including LAP and PAN for network access over Bluetooth).

I quickly installed the driver, rebooted the Tablet PC, and it's Bluetooth enabled again without the USB adapter sticking out from the side! Now I can have the CF card always inserted since I don't have other PC Card devices, and use my Bluetooth mouse with the Tablet PC, ActiveSync my Pocket PC, connect to GPRS (Smartphone) or CDMA EV-DO (Harrier Pocket PC), copy files, etc.

I suggest Dick Smith update their site. I almost skipped this card because of the wrong information. Now I'm glad I didn't.

If you have more than one Bluetooth device and want to get the most out of it, check our Bluetooth Guides. We have been writing them for the last two years, and we cover a lot of stuff with them.

PS1. Last count around here: 17 Bluetooth devices, not counting the Bluetooth headsets.
PS2. The CD also contains drivers for Pocket PC devices - though I think they're for Pocket PC OS 2002 only. Not sure.



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