Networking for your Palm, Pocket PC and Computer by Lisa Gade,
Bluetooth CF Adapter Card and Bluetooth USB Adapter
If you've ever used BT on an iPAQ, the
Belkin Bluetooth CF Adapter card software will look familar to you
because it's the same! The type II CF card works with Pocket PCs and
Pocket PC 2002 PDAs, and transfers data at a maximum of 721kbps. As
of Feb. 2004, there are no Pocket PC 2003 (Windows Mobile 2003) drivers
for this card.
The USB adapter supports Microsoft® Windows® 98
SE, Me, 2000, and XP, comes with a 5 foot extension cable and has a
range of 100 meters. You can use it on a notebook or desktop computer.
is straight forward: run the setup program on the CD and it'll
install the driver onto your PDA. I tested it with an iPAQ
3835, and soft reset the PDA after installation was complete.
To use the software, simply launch the Bluetooth Manager in
your Start Menu.
you won't see the myriad icons that you get with the Anycom
CF card, rest assured you haven't been shorted. Most all things
you need to do are integrated into the Bluetooth Manager, and
resident icon in the system tray making for easy "one
stop shopping". You can turn the radio on, set its power
level, get status (a list of current connections and signal
strength), start ActiveSync, and discover and configure your
connection to BT devices in range.
One thing to note is that unlike the Anycom card, you should
not configure your PDA to use a serial port assignment for
ActiveSync-ing to your desktop computer. If you do, then you
won't be able to connect via ActiveSync until you remove the
serial port assignment. Once you've bonded with or connected
to your desktop and checked the "ActiveSync Partner" checkbox,
you need only start ActiveSync from the Bluetooth icon in the
system tray on your Pocket PC to ActiveSync. Do not use the
regular ActiveSync app to connect!
first time you launch Bluetooth Manager, and thereafter until
you save discovered BT devices, it'll ask you if you want to
search for devices. You can let it find all available devices,
or filter categories such as LAN access points, headsets, cell
phones and etc (the list is quite long). You should save discovered
devices that you plan to use now or in the future. These will
show up in your BT Manager window, and you can think of them
as your BT favorites. You can save devices into groups, such
as home and work, and delete devices that you no longer use.
also set a passkey (PIN) if you like and whether or not permission
is required for a device to connect to your Pocket PC. For
each device, you'll be able to setup file sharing, PIM and
business card transfer, LAN access and dialing. If you wish
to print to a BT printer, you'll need to get yourself a copy
of PocketPrintCE if you wish to print (see
our mini-review of the software if you haven't yet read
Unlike the Anycom, you don't get
drivers for Windows machines or a PC card adapter. However,
it is one of the least expensive CF BT cards, priced at $89.90
Bluetooth CF card and USB adapter
Deals and Shopping!
USB Adapter model F8T001
don't know about you, but I already have way too many USB devices
connected to my PC: a few PDAs, a printer, graphics tablet, GameShark
for GameBoy Advance (I need all the help I can get with games,
and wish I were our game guru JadeDragon!), and a 5-in-1 memory
card reader. I was worried that one more complex USB device would
break the bank. But the software and driver for the Belkin USB
adapter installed and worked without a problem! Yeehah! It's a
small unit that plugs either directly into your USB port or can
be used with the included 5 foot extension cable. The shark fin
antenna swivels up for use, and flat beside the unit for storage
and transport. For those of you who run Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar),
you'll be happy to know the Belkin USB adapter works fine using
Jaguar's Bluetooth driver.
is complete, you'll see a "My Bluetooth Places" icon on your
desktop and a Bluetooth icon in your system tray. Right-click on the
system tray icon to Explore BT devices, configure your setup and start
BT communications with devices you'e already discovered. The configuration
program is a multi-tabbed interface that allows to set security, filter
which devices can communicate with your desktop/notebook, setup fax
and dial-up networking services, file sharing and assign serial ports
to legacy devices.
discovered your devices, you can right-click on the system tray icon
and use the "Services" hierarchical menu to quickly start
LAN Networking (if you have a BT access point), file transfer, fax,
dialup networking and etc.. The "My Bluetooth Places" on
the desktop works like Network Neighborhood, but instead shows you
BT devices in range, allows you to explore for new devices and add
them to your "neighborhood". These tools are some of the
most user-friendly I've seen so far for desktop BT. You'll also notice
that the Belkin software creates a new LAN connection with the network
card listed as Bluetooth LAN Access Server Driver. It runs the same
protocols as most commonly configured Ethernet cards: Client for MS
Networks, File and Printer Sharing, TCP/IP and NetBUI.