I bought a few Arduino bluetooth serial connectors a few years ago, thinking they were a cool idea and could possibly help avoid having a slew of serial cables connected to the pile of various gear I have here.
I screwed around with them on a number of devices, but the one where I where I was connecting to a header on the board was a Belkin F5D8230-4 v1002
(scroll down, there's pictures and everything!) with the Broadcom processor was the main one I tested with. Serial worked with a cable -- why not try a BT adapter?
I like that particular platform as it has a regular miniPCI slot so you can put whatever you want in it. It's old, like 2003 old, but they work well if you're not looking for gigabit speeds on the switch in it and can live with 'G' wireless. Originally the Belkin was a pre-N AP, but I installed an Atheros card and some 9dB antennas on it so it's not exactly stock. It's running OpenWRT which I compile custom for whatever card I chose. I see a spontaneous reboot periodically, perhaps once every 60-80 days on average. Nothing to be concerned about. I recall an uptime of roughly a half year at one point.
I made a number of attempts to get the bluetooth adapters to work with that damn board though the 2 years since I bought them. They were marathon kinds of experiences, where I'd spend several hours and not come up with any sort of a reason why it wasn't working. I could connect properly with the adapters through bluetooth, but never saw a thing on minicom. I dunno, I probably tried five or six times, after buying a few more of the adapters thinking I'd damaged them or they were defective.
Today, I dug out a Ubiquiti NanoStation2 AP that I don't use (a _fantastic_ piece of gear), and noticed a serial port header on it. Figured 'what the hell', and after thinking about it last night, set out to create a connector for the board. I bought some 10 pin two row connectors a few years ago, along with the inserts and LOTS of other crap for the various projects I dig into. As long as it's not too far off the beaten track, I can probably fabricate a custom connector for what I need. I use what I think are called patch wires, so that if I were to come across a need for a different pinout, I can merely juggle the wires to the connector and I'm good.
Got up this morning and spent the better part of two hours making the cable. It's tedious. Stripping the wire is slow work, as is crimping the inserts on them. They're small, and I mean *really* small. Twenty years ago I could have seen these well enough, but even then, it would have been challenging. The spacing on the pins on the header is about .06". Now it's a matter of squinting though reading glasses and using a magnifying glass to confirm what I've done is what it should be.
I take my time, otherwise I end up throwing out inserts. Quality is better when I do as well.
Got the connector done, connected the Arduino BT adapter to the NanoStation2 and fired it up. Immediately I got a console after connecting to the BT adapter.
I was stunned. I couldn't believe that I'd been testing with the Belkin, which just was NOT going to work for whatever reason, for all that time. Had I tested with the NanoStation2 originally, I'd have been up and running in a few hours.
Eh, that's the way it goes. Live an learn. I'm glad to see that what I was originally doing was actually correct.
Something I'm trying to figure out now is if standard DB9 connectors you find on computers have a 5V pin. I just checked a USB-serial adapter I have with a voltmeter, and I'm not seeing one pin that is 5V. I can get 3.3V (which works with the Arduino BT adapters) or 5V off a header depending on the device, but the DB9 connectors don't seem to have it. Need to do more research.
I might see if I can get a few pictures of the connectors. Everyone knows what a standard 10-pin two row connector looks like, but when you see what the inserts look like that go in them, well, it's a wonder that I don't throw 80% of them out.
hah. I created a picture of the evil inserts, the connector and adapter I'm using. It's a cellphone picture, so the quality is crap -- but you can get an idea of just how small those inserts are. I used a paper plate for a background for contrast.
The inserts from hell.