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Old 08-21-2006, 12:20 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Distribution: Ubuntu 12.04
Posts: 145

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Acer Bluetooth PC card (BT-100); can it work?

Hi all. I don't know whether to put this in Hardware or Networking, since it's sort of both.

I was walking around one of the many electronics malls here in Shenzhen, when I came across this booth. At said booth I purchased an OEM Intel ipw2195 miniPCI card, which is great because the PCMCIA slots on my lappie are going, going, gone... Ok, the're not really gone, just unreliable, and I can't really afford a new laptop just yet. Among other things I also bought a replacement keyboard to a Toshiba Satellite 1005 that's currently set up as my wireless router. Well, the guy must have been feeling generous, or really wanted to get rid of this thing, but long story short, he just gave me an Acer Bluetooth PCMCIA card, free.

It's marked BT-100 in the front, Acer Shuttle Bluetooth card. I can't find anything on the web about this card. It's as if it doesn't even exist. In fact, I can't even find Windows drivers for the thing. According to pccardctl it's an "Acer Communications & Multimedia Inc.", "Bluetooth Demo Card v1.0", with function Serial. When I plug the card in, dmesg states that it's been recognized and the PC loads serial_cs, leaving the card accessible through /dev/ttyS3. I'm thinking, great! I can use it. However, I've checked every single howto on the web, and they all say I have to check out bluetooth devices with hciconfig, hcitool, etc. The problem is these programs don't find any available interfaces on my laptop. I should also say that "cat /dev/ttyS3" as root doesn't do much, which just means there is no data stream coming in, which makes sense since there is nothing connected to it.

What am I missing? Is this the wrong driver? Is there another way of getting this card to talk to other bluetooth devices given that it's been mapped directly to /dev/ttyS3? Ultimately I'd like my bluetooth GPS to connect to the laptop through this bluetooth card, so I can use it with gpsdrive. It seems to me there shouldn't have to be anything too magical necessary since the card appears to be communicating with the rest of the hardware through /dev/ttyS3. Isn't hciconfig just a way of mapping hardware to a particular tty, or am I misunderstanding the role of hci-utils? I know I'm probably better off buying a USB dongle, but that's not really the point. I didn't need or want a bluetooth receiver until I was given this one (like they say, first one's free...).

Old 01-29-2007, 11:06 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Distribution: Ubuntu 12.04
Posts: 145

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16

Addtl info:

uname -a: Linux schoenberg 2.6.18-suspend2 #1 PREEMPT Sun Oct 22 22:46:17 CST 2006 i686 Intel(R) Pentium(R) III Mobile CPU 1200MHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux

dmesg (relevant):
pccard: PCMCIA card inserted into slot 0
cs: memory probe 0xe2800000-0xe6ffffff: excluding 0xe2800000-0xe30fffff 0xe3e80000-0xe627ffff 0xe6700000-0xe6b7ffff
pcmcia: registering new device pcmcia0.0
0.0: ttyS3 at I/O 0x2e8 (irq = 5) is a 16550A

finally pccardctl info:
PRODID_1="Acer Communications & Multimedia Inc."
PRODID_2="Bluetooth Demo Card v1.0"

Thanks again.


acer, bluetooth, driver, hardware, pcmcia

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