Grid Connect

Get answers to our most frequently asked questions about our Bluetooth Products.

  • 1. Bluetooth Product Comparison

    The Firefly is a Bluetooth class 1 Serial device with a db9 connector. It has 4 switches on the outside and 10 jumper pins on the inside for configuration. It can be connected to most serial devices and supports RX, TX, RTS, CTS, and GND. Power can come from the serial port, a standard wall adapter, or a usb port. It is available with a male or female DB9 connector.
    BluePort XP
    The BluePort XP is very much like the Firefly but it has a rechargeable battery. You can get 24 to 30 hours of continuous connection and transfer of data on a single charge. It supports the same serial signals and is configured mostly the same way as the Firefly. Power can come from the internal battery, a wall supply, or a usb port. It is available with a male DB9 connector.
    BluePlug - Discontinued
    The BluePlug is also a class 1 bluetooth device which attaches to a host computers' USB port. It installs as a bluetooth device and usually installs automatically with Windows. There are drivers on the included CD that will install it as well. Since it needs drivers to run, it cannot be installed on devices that aren't computers or that don't have some means of installing software.
    FirePlug - Discontinued
    The FirePlug is like the BluePlug, however it installs as a serial port instead of a bluetooth device. It can also be set to pair with another bluetooth device, such as a Firefly or BluePort XP upon power up automatically. There are more features on the FirePlug product page.
  • 2. Installing the BluePlug with Windows drivers and Discovering a Firefly, BluePort, or BluePort XP.

    On a Windows computer, the BluePlug drivers should install automatically in most cases. If it does not, you can direct Windows to search for the drivers. If this also does not work, use the Toshiba software found on the included CD under\BU2073J\Toshiba XP,2K,ME,98SE V3.03.06\setup.exe and see the instructions below for installing with the Toshiba drivers.

    After installing with Windows drivers, confirm that it has installed correctly by making sure the BluePlug is listed in device manager. It should be listed on the top of the installed devices list under the Bluetooth Radios. To discover a Firefly or BluePort XP with your BluePlug, go to start -> control panel -> network connections. Here you should see your "Bluetooth Network Connection". Right click the icon and select "view Bluetooth Network Devices". Click the add button. This will start the "Add Bluetooth Device Wizard". Click "My device is set up and ready to be found". Alternatively, your BluePlug could also appear in your system tray, as a Bluetooth icon. You can right click this icon, and then click "add a Bluetooth device".

    Set the switches on the outside of the Firefly or BluePort to match the settings below. Make sure the power is off while you do this, and that you turn the power back on after. Switches changed while the power is on will not take effect. The switches are usually labeled. If they are not, consult the manuals on the CD for diagrams.

    Factory Defaults: OFF
    Baud Rate: 9600
    Auto Master: OFF
    Auto Discover: ON

    If you have a Bluetooth enabled phone with its Bluetooth capability turned on and in range, your phone and BluePlug should be discovered by each other as well.

    Upon discovery of your BluePort or Firefly, there should be a window that tells you the BluePlug has found a device, listed in the form of "Firefly-xxxx", or "BluePort-xxx" where xxxx can be any alphanumeric string. This is the name of the Firefly or BluePort.

    If prompted at any time, enter the passkey 1234 to connect. Now the Firefly will be installed on two virtual Com ports on your machine. One will be labeled outgoing, and the other incoming. Connect to the outgoing. Use a terminal emulator, such as Hyperterminal, set to;9600,8,n,1, vt100 to connect to the Firefly or Blueport. You can also use the Teraterm Emulator supplied on the CD located under \Teraterm\setup.exe. When you type data in the terminal window, you should see the amber data light flash on the Firefly or BluePort. This will verify that it is correctly installed and communication to it is occurring.
  • 3. Installing the BluePlug with the Toshiba drivers and Discovering a Firefly, BluePort, or Blueport XP.

    Browse the Bluetooth CD and navigate to \BU2073J\Toshiba XP,2K,ME,98SE V3.03.06\setup.exe. This will bring up the Toshiba Bluetooth stack for Windows setup screen. Click "Install" Navigate through the prompts, including the EULA. The software will prompt you to insert your Bluetooth device. Insert the BluePlug. Let the software finish installing. When it is done you will be prompted to restart your computer.

    After restarting, you should see a Bluetooth icon in your task bar. Double clicking this icon brings you to the "Bluetooth Settings" screen. This is your main point of reference for anything Bluetooth on your computer. The main window displays all of your currently installed remote Bluetooth devices, such as a Firefly or Blueport XP. You can double click on a device pictured in this window to connect to it, or you can view its properties by clicking the detail button. You can also remove and uninstall the device by clicking the delete button.

    To install your Firefly, BluePlug, or any other bluetooth device, click on the "New Connection" button. You will be presented with two choices, express mode or custom mode. In custom mode you can change the port number that you will use to connect to your Firefly or Bluetooth device. You will also be prompted to ensure your devices are discoverable. This is important. If you are installing a Firefly or Blueport XP, set the switches on the outside to match the settings below. Make sure the power is off while you do this, and that you turn the power back on after. Switches changed while the power is on will not take effect. The switches are usually labeled. If they are not, consult the manuals on the CD for diagrams.

    Factory Defaults: OFF
    Baud Rate: 9600
    Auto Master: OFF
    Auto Discover: ON

    Once you have set your device to be discoverable, select either custom or express install and click next. Your BluePlug will begin to search for devices and a list of discovered devices will appear. If you have a Bluetooth enabled phone with its Bluetooth capability turned on and in range, your phone and BluePlug should be discovered by each other as well. Select which device you want to connect to and click next. The BluePlug will attempt to connect to the device. If prompted, enter the passkey 1234 for the Firefly or Blueport XP.

    The next screen will prompt you to select which service of the device to use when connecting to a Firefly or Blueport XP. SPP will be the only option and is the serial port profile. Click next.
    When in custom mode, you can now select which Com port to assign to the device. Click next. Your setup is now complete. 
    On the next screen is the opportunity to name the connection to this device and change the icon for it. Make your selections. Congratulations! You're Done! Now you can connect to your Firefly or BluePort in Hyperterminal or the Teraterm emulator included on the CD.
  • 4. Installing the FirePlug and Discovering a Firefly, BluePort or Blueport XP with Windows.

    The FirePlug will install automatically under normal conditions when you insert it into a USB port on a computer running most versions of Windows. You should see an indicator that your computer has "found new hardware", a USB serial device. After a brief moment, you will see another message that your device is now ready to use.

    If you look under device manager, you will see the device listed under Ports (Com & LPT) as a USB Serial Port along with a port number listed for the device. It is this port that you want to connect to for both configuring the Fireplug and connecting to a Firefly or Blueport XP.

    Use a program such as Hyperterminal or the Teraterm emulator found on the CD to connect to this COM port. NOTE: Many of our customers experience connectivity problems when using Hyperterminal. For some reason this program does not always perform as it should and you may receive errors stating you cannot connect to your desired COM port. This is why we include another free terminal program on the product CD, Teraterm. It is located under \Teraterm\setup.exe when you browse the CD. This is a more robust emulator that should set up easily. Just follow the instructions for installation and connecting to your desired COM port.

    When connecting to the Fireplug (by connecting to the USB serial port under device manager) you want to make sure your port settings are as follows:

    Baudrate: 115200
    Data Bits: 8
    Parity: None
    Stop Bit: 1
    Flow Control: None

    The Fireplug ships with a default baud rate of 115200. After you connect, you will want to enter configuration mode by holding down the dollar sign. After a second or two you will see a CMD pop up on your terminal window. This indicates you have successfully entered configuration mode. Hit enter. You will see a question mark. Now the Fireplug is ready to accept commands or:

    Enter "D" for displaying the basic settings of the Fireplug
    Enter "E" for displaying the extended settings of the Fireplug
    Enter "H" for displaying a list of commands

    The "I" command tells the device to perform an inquiry of discoverable Bluetooth devices. If you run this command and have your Firefly or BluePort discoverable, you will see the Fireplug return a line stating it has found this device and show you the Bluetooth address and name of the device.

    Enter "C, addr" where C is the command and addr is the address of the device to which you want to connect. The Fireplug will attempt to connect to it. When it does, it will take itself out of configuration mode and into normal connect mode. The green light on both Bluetooth devices should be solid.

    Installing the Firefly or Blueport XP - Step by Step

    See below the pictures for step by step instructions. This scenario assumes you already have the Blueplug USB Bluetooth dongle installed on your computer.

    After installing your Bluetooth USB dongle, you will see the Bluetooth icon in your systray as shown.  Right click the icon and click "add a Bluetooth device"

    Now you will see the "Add Bluetooth Device Wizard".  Click "My device is ready to be found", and click "next"

    The wizard will return any devices found.  As you can see here, there is a new device, and a device already discovered.  Select the new device and continue.  If the wizard has not found your device, try searching again, sometimes it takes more than once.  Also, having the unit too close to your usb dongle can cause problems.  Try moving it at least a few feet away.

    Select  "Let me choose my own passkey" as shown above, and enter the value "1234".  Click next.

    You will then see the screen above as Windows negotiates with and installs your remote Bluetooth device.

    Congratulations!  You have now installed your remote Firefly or Blueport XP.  The Windows Bluetooth stack will assign two COM ports to your remote unit.  One for outgoing and one for incoming, as shown here.  USE THE OUTGOING PORT when connecting to your remote unit.

    To configure your Firefly or Blueport XP once installed, you will need to make a connection to it from your PC. You can do this with a virtual terminal. Windows XP includes a terminal called Hyperterminal, as shown above. Vista does not, so you can use the Teraterm terminal found on the CD.  To start your connection in Hyperterminal, click File > New Connection.  Name your connection if desired.

    Now connect using the outgoing port specified when Windows installed your remote unit, in this case, COM 58.

    Set the terminal session properties as shown above.

    If having problems connecting with Hyperterminal, disconnect and select the properties tab as shown above.  Select VT100 for emulation type.

    This picture shows an example of making a connection with the included Teraterm emulator on the CD.  It also shows you what it looks like when you enter configuration mode.  You get into config mode by holding down the $ sign after repowering the Firefly or Blueport XP.  When successful, you will see the CMD returned to you as shown above.  (Most terminals default to not echoing the characters you type back to you).

    Finally, this shows an example display of the Bluetooth unit's configuration settings.  Display the unit's settings by pressing "d".  The complete command set is in the manual on the CD.  The "END" at the bottom indicates that we have ended config mode by holding down the dash key (-).

  • 5. Configuring Our Bluetooth Products

    One of the ways you can configure all of our Bluetooth products is software based and is done by putting the device into configuration mode. This is done by making a connection to the COM port the device is installed on or it can be done remotely.

    For entering configuration mode of a locally attached device, make a connection to it with a terminal emulator and hold down the dollar sign. This will return a "CMD" verifying that you have entered configuration mode. This is a command line interface similar to those found in many networking devices.

    Pressing d will display the basic settings currently configured in the device.
    Pressing e will show you the extended settings of the device.
    Pressing h will return a list of available commands.

    A remote configuration is a method of configuring one of our Bluetooth products that is not locally attached to your computer. You do, however, send the configuration commands through the device locally attached to your computer to the remote device.

    With the Firefly and BluePort XP, there are a couple of other ways to configure some general settings. These devices come with external switches and internal jumpers. The external switches are used to configure baud rate, auto master, auto discover, and to enable factory defaults, as well as reset the device. These switches can be in one of two positions, and you slide them to one position or another to enable its associated setting. For the settings to take effect, power has to be cycled if power was on when you set a switch, Switch functions are listed in the manual.

    The internal jumpers are located on the inside of the device. To get to them, remove the outside cover. You will notice 10 small metal poles inserted vertically into the circuitry of the unit. These are the jumper pins. Inserting the black U shaped jumper over a set of two pins completes an associated circuit, and that's called jumpering. You may have to change the configuration of these jumpers in order to get a Firefly or BluePort to work with your serial port. Serial ports come in a variety of configurations. All of the configurations and their associated settings are listed in the manual on the CD that came with your purchase.

  • 6. What is discovery and how do I do it?

    Discovery is a mode or setting of a device in which other devices can find it and attempt to connect to it. When using our Bluetooth devices there will almost always be a time where you will want the device to be discoverable, and where you will want another device to go look for it. Consider the following scenario:

    You have a Bluetooth enabled computer. It has Bluetooth built into it already, and you want to use it to connect to one of our Firefly or BluePort XP units. In order for this to happen, you will have to make sure the Firefly or BluePort XP is discoverable. Turn the auto discover switch to on to enable this setting.

    Different bluetooth devices have different ways of being set to discoverable. Consult the documentation of your device for details on its configuration.

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