Anycom Printer Module and Bluetooth CompactFlash card
(with PC Card adapter
By Lisa Gade, Editor in Chief
a good selection of BT products, including a PC card, CF card, printer
module, access point and a USB adapter. With that large product selection,
you get the feeling these guys know Bluetooth!
the Bluetooth Printing Kit that includes the Printer Module and the
type II CF card with PC card adapter. You'll get drivers for both Pocket
PC/Pocket PC 2002 PDAs and Windows notebooks in the box, and you'll
be able to use the card both with your Pocket PC and notebook. The
printer module uses a parallel port connector, and works with most
popular printers (ink jet, laser and dot matrix). Just plug it into
the parallel port, and plug its power plug in and you're set— nothing
you run the CD installer, you'll be greeted with options to
install software for your notebook, Pocket PC and bundled Pocket
PC applications. I installed everything, and I appreciated
that I didn't have to run separate installers for the notebook
(a Compaq Presario with AMD 1.1 GHz processor and PC Card slot
running Windows ME) and Pocket PC (a Toshiba e740 and an NEC
seemed a little odd that you have to soft reset the Pocket
PC twice, according to the instructions, before using the card.
The notebook required the standard single restart .
You'll see a lot of new icons on your Pocket PC. There's a Dialer app
for use with a BT-enabled cell phone, PrintPocketCE (branded as Anycom,
but from Field Software), Conduits Pocket Slides, Bluetooth File Transfer,
Pocket Messanger, Anycom's own BlueCard Printing Manager, and the Bluetooth
PC: Bluetooth Wizard, Printing Config and File Transfer applications.
The Wizard allows you to set up serial port connections (BT emulates
serial ports connections), DialUp Networking (use with a BT phone),
Pairing (aka Bonding in BT-speak), Local Configuration and LAN Access.
The Printing Config allows you to set up and print to a printer, such
as a printer with Anycom's Bluetooth Printer Module.
to do with it all!
like to ActiveSync your PDA to your notebook or another
machine, you should first run the Bluetooth Wizard and set up a serial
port connection to your PC (Compaq and Belkin Bluetooth require that
you do NOT try and set up a serial port connection). The software will
find your PC and you can assign it to the BT virtual serial port on
your Pocket PC. Then run ActiveSync on your Pocket PC and use the drop
down to select the "BT ActiveSync (COM6)" selection under
the Enable synchronization when cradled option at the top of the screen.
Note: your COM port number may be different. Set ActiveSync to use
the BT connection on your PC and you're set! I connected both a Toshiba
e740 and an NEC MobilePro P300 using the Anycom card to my desktop
Windows 2000 machine which has a Belkin Bluetooth USB adapter and it
like a charm with Pocket PCs and PrintPocketCE. I fell in love with
it because it works from distances and doesn't require line-of-sight
as does IR printing. I tried the Printer Module with an Epson Photo
870 printer. You can print Pocket Word, Excel and Notes files in your
choice of four system fonts. If you've got a color printer and your
doc uses colors, those will print. Anycom provides a Printing Manager
that is supposed to increase the speed and reliability of jobs printed
from your Pocket PC. It works in conjunction with PrintPocketCE. You
should use PrintPocketCE however to actually handle proper formatting
and rendering of your document. The Anycom package comes with a 30
day eval version, and you can buy it from Field
Software or from Handango
been around for a few years and is an excellent printing app for
the Pocket PC. It supports Epson, HP PCL printers, Canon BJ, the
popular portable printers, various dot matrix generic standards,
Citizen and even the Seiko LabelWriter. Not only does it do BT,
but also, IR, Network shared and IP printers, and iPAQ built-in
Bluetooth. You can specify color or mono printing, portrait vs.
landscape, custom paper sizes, margins and more. If you need to
print from your Pocket PC, this is a killer app! You can purchase
it from Handango for $39.95.
find printing from our notebook to yield good results. The printer
occassionally hung during print jobs and printed out control characters
in Word documents. This may be due to the Epson driver not understanding
how to manage serial print jobs to a printer that has only USB and
for Data and your Contacts
connections you'll use the Pocket PC Connection Manager
(found under "Settings" on the Start Menu) to create
a new dialup account, or you can edit an existing dialup account
to use the Bluetooth Modem. I won't go into all the details
about how to setup your BT cell phone to bond with your PDA
since each phone is somewhat different. In general your phone
is discoverable when first turned on for a period of 1 to 3
minutes depending on brand, and is also discoverable for 1
to 3 minutes after turning BT on in the phone settings. You
must have BT active on the cell phone before you can use it
as your PDA's modem.
The Dialer program
is quite nice and can pull any contact from your address book.
While your phone is connected to your PDA, simply launch Dialer
and select your contact from the address book to have the phone
Messanger also integrates into your contacts list,
and allows you to send SMS messages to anyone in your address
book. You can also enter a new recipient if the person you're
sending a message to isn't in your address book.
Printer Module and CF card make a very nice pair! Printing
from the Pocket PC works beautifully and I tested up to a distance
of 40 feet and 1 story.
bundled software selection is excellent, but unfortunately
some of these are not registered versions and you will have
to purchase and register them separately after the demo period
has expired. It'd be more intuitive if the various BT apps
could be integrated into one launcher app on the Pocket PC
so that you don't have to go icon-hunting to find the feature
Anycom Printer Module is simply awesome, and it also works
well with iPAQs that have built-in BT (3870, 3970/3975 models).
Interoperability with other brand BT cards and adapters is
good. Cell phone model support is strong (not that there are
so many BT cell phones out there!). For a full list of compatible
PDAs and devices, check out Anycom's compatability matrix here.
included PC card adapter and drivers for Windows machines is
a money-saving bonus for notebook owners.
for Printer Module + CF Card with PC card adapter $150 for CF
Card alone, $150 for Printer Module alone, PC Card (not tested) $139
and Pocket Messanger integrate into your Contacts on the