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Old 07-15-2010, 09:32 PM   #1
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Distribution: SuSE, RedHat, Slack,CentOS
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iBlue Bluetooth GPS Unit on openSUSE

Recently got a little Bluetooth GPS receiver, an iBlue GPS unit. Cheap (under $100), and does nothing but GPS. No 'brains' like a nav unit, but ready to use with a PC.

GPS is essentially serial data...and this how-to assumes you've already GOT Bluetooth up and running on your flavor of Linux. This was done on openSUSE 11.2, but should be portable to pretty much any flavor of Linux.
  1. Identify the device. Turn it on, and run "hcitool scan" at a command prompt. This will return something like:
    00:11:22:33:44:55       i-Blue GPS
    You'll need this 'MAC' address for the next step.
  2. To get the serial port going, run "sdptool browse 00:11:22:33:44:55". We want to get the CHANNEL number. In my case, it's 1.
  3. Create an entry in rfcomm.conf (usually in /etc/bluetooth), like this:
    rfcomm4 {
            bind no;
            device 00:11:22:33:44:55;
            channel 1;
            comment "i-Blue GPS";
    The "rfcomm4" is an example. If you don't have any other devices, feel free to use 0, 1, etc.
  4. To get the serial device created, run "rfcomm connect 4" You should now see an entry in /dev, such as "/dev/rfcomm0", etc. That's your serial device.
  5. Install gpsd if you haven't already got it. When you run gpsd, specify the serial device name you created above.
  6. Run GPS software, like GPSDrive, xgps, etc. Or, run NTPD, and enjoy having your very own stratum-1 reference clock, for under $100.


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