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BlueSMiRF Changes - Please Read!

Recent changes in the BlueSMiRF Bluetooth module will affect the way CTR programs interface with your radio. Please review the following information if you have problems connecting to, or controlling your radio.

NOTE: There are now three BlueSMiRF modules and none of them are compatible with each other.

BlueSMiRF Original: BlueRadios Bluetooth Radio

The original BlueSMiRF from SparkFun was based on the BlueRadios Bluetooth radio. All BlueLync units sold with BlueSMiRF modules prior to December 2007 used this module. On BlueRadios modules the off-line blinking LED is green. These units have an FCC ID # of P00WME-C40.

If you have this unit, select the Comm...Port Properties...Bluetooth Options menu then select BlueRadios as the BT Type.

NOTE: This module will allow you to dynamically set the baud rate on its serial port (connected to the radio). You change the baud rate at any time by selecting a new rate in the Comm...Baud= menu.

SparkFun recently changed the Bluetooth radio used on the BlueSMiRF module. They now offer the two options:

BlueSMiRF-Gold: Roving Networks Bluetooth Radio

Since late 2007, SparkFun has been using the Roving Networks Bluetooth radio in their BlueSMiRF module. They recently renamed this module to BlueSMiRF-Gold to avoid confusion with the older unit. On Roving Networks modules the off-line blinking LED is red. These units have an FCC ID # of T9JRN41.

If you have this unit, select the Comm...Port Properties...Bluetooth Options menu then select Roving Networks as the BT Type.

NOTE: This module cannot dynamically set the baud rate on the serial port. You must set the baud rate in FLASH memory by using the Comm...Port Properties...Bluetooth Options...Baud menu. Once you have selected the baud for your radio, click the Save to Flash button.

BlueSMiRF-Silver: SparkFun Bluetooth Radio

This is the cheaper of the two new BlueSMiRF modules. It has one distinct disadvantage: the name and baud rate of the unit cannot be set over the Bluetooth link. They must be set via its serial port. For this reason, this unit is not recommended for use with CTR-BlueLync.

If you decide to use this unit you'll need to build an RS-232 converter to connect to the unit's serial port, set its name and baud, then select the Comm...Port Properties...Bluetooth Options menu in CTR-Remote/CTR-PC and select Generic BT Device as the BT Type.

My Pocket PC will not connect to CTR-BlueLync

If you get a connection error when trying to connect to CTR-BlueLync, try these suggestions...

  • Is CTR-BlueLync powered up? One LED should be blinking indicating that it is powered up and listening for a connect request.
     

  • Have you selected the correct COM port on your PPC or PC? Click here for PPC configuration instructions or here for PC configuration instructions.
     

  • Do you have another program running that has a COM port accessed? Many times I find that I can't connect with one CTR program only to find I have another CTR program already connected.

    NOTE: The PPC can only support one serial connection at a time. You must close any other connection before connecting to CTR-BlueLync. 
     

  • Do you have any other programs installed on your PPC that may be locking the Bluetooth COM port?

    Some programs seize the port and don't release it even when they are not running. Early Bluetooth GPS drivers can do this. Click here for instructions on resolving these issues.
     

  • If you can't connect with an i-Mate or XDAii PDA (and others having problems with the Microsoft Bluetooth stack)...

    There is a problem with how these devices configure the Bluetooth serial port. For further information and to download a free patch for this problem, visit
    http://bluetooth.i-networx.de/index_e.html 

Why can't I connect to my radio using CTR-BlueLync?

If you can establish a connection between your PPC/PC and CTR-BlueLync but cannot communicate with your radio, check the following...

  • Verify that the baud rate selected in your CTR program matches the baud rate setting for your radio. Kenwood and K2 radios usually run at 4800 baud. Icoms are usually programmable for 9600 or 19200, and Yaesu radios can be set for 4800, 9600, or 38400.

     

  • CTR-BlueLync will not work with PC based programs for the Icom PCR1000 computer controlled receiver. This is because these programs automatically ramp up the baud rate from 9600 to 38400 baud after they connect. The radio's baud rate will change but CTR-BlueLync's serial port will remain at 9600 baud and the connection will fail. CTR-BlueLync works fine with CTR-Rcvr because it does not ramp up the baud rate.

Will CTR-BlueLync work with PC based programs?

Yes, with some exceptions...

  • Many older PC based radio control programs do not support Bluetooth connections. If you have problems connecting to CTR-BlueLync, contact the program vendor for an updated program.
     

  • When using CTR-BlueLync with PC based programs such as CTR-PC, you must establish the Bluetooth connection before going on-line with the program. This is opposite from the PPC where the CTR program must establish the connection.
     

  • Beware! If you purchase a Bluetooth USB dongle it may or may not be a legitimate device (i.e. a cheap rip-off). If your device has an address of 11:11:11:11:11:11, or uses alpha characters in its address, 01:23:45:67:89:AB, you have a rip-off an may not be able to register it with legitimate Bluetooth PC software. I found this out the hard way. I bought a device from a reputable vendor and it turned out to be a rip-off.

See our PC Configuration page for details.

 

 

 

 
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