Bluetooth Dongle

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Usage Information

What is the purpose?

If you have Bluetooth in the computer that you will use as a LinuxMCE Media Director, this device turns your mobile phone into a remote control and gives you "follow-me" capabilities--your lighting preferences, media and more can follow you around the house.

Requirements and Compatibility

Runs on both Linux, using the Bluez library, and Windows, using the standard Windows/Widcom drivers. Although it should work with all Bluetooth devices, we always use USB Bluetooth dongles with the CSR chipset for both Windows and Linux. The D-Link DBT-120 and TDK are some of the more common models.

Turning off automatic discovery

To prevent LinuxMCE from finding bluetooth devices outside of your home the autodetection (of any BT device) can be turned off as followed: [1]

  1. Login in Web Admin
  2. Go to Advanced -> Configuration -> Devices
  3. Open the CORE
  4. Open DCERouter and click on Orbiter Plugin
  5. Check the Ignore check box under "Device data".

Turn it back on again to autodetect new devices you're adding to the network, after which you can turn it off again once they're added.

Things to Consider When Purchasing an Adapter

  • A single Class 1 adapter (range 100m, 330 ft) will provide Bluetooth service to your whole house. With this setup, the system will not be able to detect which room you are in (ie: no follow-me functionality), but it will be able to detect when you arrive home. This adapter is best placed on the Core for always-on functionality.
  • A Class 2 adapter (range 10m, 33 ft) is good for Media Directors that are quite far apart (ie: on opposite sides of a large house). If the Bluetooth ranges don't overlap, then the system will be able to distinguish your location by room. If the Bluetooth ranges do overlap, the system may hop you back & forth between rooms rapidly.
  • A Class 3 adapter (range 1m, 3 ft) can be used for a setup with multiple Media Directors that are too close to use Class 2 adapters. The downside is that you must be fairly close to the Media Director to be detected. You might consider using a USB extension cord to move this adapter towards the middle of the room for better detection. A USB extension cord is also useful if two Media Directors are too close to each other (ie: opposite sides of an adjoining wall). Having said all of that, Class 3 adapters are not common for the simple reason that their range makes them practically useless except for true PANs, which is not an LinuxMCE use-case. While it is true that many devices can achieve 3m, many will only achieve the specified 1m, especially with local environment considerations, and this renders it useless for LinuxMCE.[2]

Remember, Bluetooth is two-way communication, so the effective range will be the shorter of the two devices that are communicating. If you put Class 2 adapters on all of your Media Directors, but your Orbiter has a Class 3 adapter, then you will be limited to the Class 3 range.