Posts filed under ‘Bluetooth’

Sending/Receiving pictures from a cellphone using bluetooth on Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

I recently purchased an aftermarket bluetooth module for my Acer 3680. The only bluetooth device in my house is actually my cellphone. I figure I’ll try to send pictures to and from my cellphone. After a few hours of playing around, I got really frustrated.

The problem is that bluetooth have changed rapidly over the years in both architecture and interface. The documentation on the net tend to be a chaotic collection of old and new stuff. Most of the instructions are severely outdated. I even read an article recently on one of the Linux magazine on the newsstand which suggested that you enter gnome-bluetooth-admin to enable the gnome bluetooth integration. This feature has been implemented differently for quite some time even though the magazine just came out this month. Here’s a summary of what seemed to have worked.

What Needs to be installed

Ubuntu 7.04 seems to come with bluez integration built-in. BlueZ is the bluetooth protocol stack. The Gnome applet appears to be installed as well because as soon as I press the bluetooth button in front, the gnome-applet appeared. If I select the applet preference, I can see bluetooth connection options and my computer’s name. However, I can’t seemed to send and receive files. On the computer side, there seemed to be no program to send the file to the phone. The phone can see the computer, but when I send a picture, I get a “service not supported” message.

The package you need to install is gnome-bluetooth. There are two ways you can install this package:

  • Method 1: Select the menu item System->Administration->Synaptic Package Manager. Now, press the search button and enter “gnome-bluetooth” and press search. In the list return is “gnome-bluetooth”. Click on it and select “Mark for Installation” and then press the Apply button.
  • Method 2: Open a terminal window and type: sudo apt-get install gnome-bluetooth

If the software is install properly, you should see a “Bluetooth File Sharing” under the accessories menu.
Sending a picture from the phone to the computer

To receive a file from the phone, you need to turn on the Bluetooth File Sharing. Bluetooth must be working on both the phone and the computer.

  1. On the computer, select the menu Accessories->Bluetooth File Sharing. You should see a Bluetooth File Sharing applet on the menu.
  2. Send the picture from your phone. On the Motorola Razr, press the center button and select “Fun and Apps” icon. Go to the pictures icon and press OK. Select a picture and press the middle button. In the list of menu, there should be a copy option. Select the copy option. Your computer should be in the list. Press Select.
  3. On the computer, you will receive an option to accept the file. Press OK. The file is copied to your computer.

Sending a picture to the phone

This is actually easier since you don’t even need Bluetooth File sharing running. What you do need is to have bluetooth running on your phone and computer.

  1. On the computer, right-click on the picture you want to send and select “Send to…”.
  2. Set the Send as option as “Bluetooth (Obex Push)”. The send to should list your cell phone. If it does not, check to make sure that its bluetooth is active on the phone.
  3. Press the Send button.
  4. On the cellphone, you’ll be prompted if you want to accept the picture. Press Accept.

Keep in mind that these instructions are for the standard Gnome on Ubuntu 7.04. Users on KDE will probably have an entirely different set of tools.

August 26, 2007 at 10:14 am 2 comments

Installing an Aftermarket Internal Bluetooth Module on Acer 3680

All Acer 3680 have a bluetooth button on the front, but only some models of Acer 3680 actually have the internal bluetooth module. This has led people to spend hours trying to get bluetooth to work, only to discover that they don’t have bluetooth. This does mean that all or most model of Acer 3680 probably have a connector for the internal bluetooth module and an internal antenna. All we need to do is to find a compatible module to connect to the connector.

Acer does not sell the bluetooth module as a part. Since the connector is essentially a USB connector, I could have rewire a USB dongle if I can figure out the pin outs. However, I am not a hardware person and don’t really have the time to mess with solder and wires. I managed to acquired an aftermarket bluetooth module from a ebay vendor OldEgg Wireless. OldEgg mentioned that the part was not an original Acer part, but it was only about $34 with shipping. If it worked, the it was a much better option than USB dongle or PCMCIA cards. There are a few other vendors offering the part, but OldEgg at least was offering reasonable prices (one vendor wanted $150, why would I spend that much money for an accessory for a $400 laptop?)

The module arrived in a few days. The module is a tiny box size of a fingertip with a cable terminating in a 6-pin connector. There’s some double sided tape in the back of the box. I have no idea who the vendor is since the label on the box is in Chinese.

Internal Bluetooth Module

Installation is actually pretty easy for the Acer 3680. All you need to do is to remove the memory door panel, exposing a white 6 pin socket. All you need to do is plug the connector into the socket (it only goes in one way). You can remove the backing of the double-sided tape and stick it on some part of the motherboard. In my case, I just tucked into a crevice of the case.

Acer 3680 Memory Panel

To test it, I boot the laptop up and press the bluetooth button and the blue light lit up, indicating that it was working. After installing gnome-bluetooth under Ubuntu, I was able to scan and connect to my Motorola Razr from across the room. I assume that it probably works under XP and Vista, but I don’t have either OS on the machine to try it.

I assume that this trick will work on all models of Acer 3680, but you should open up your memory panel to make sure there is a 6-pin connector. I did notice that there seemed to be several models of Acer 3680, so there’s a small chance that this may not work with every model.

August 24, 2007 at 7:46 pm 75 comments


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