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'[AD] BTDongles.com is live (Bluetooth modules and '
2008\07\19@030919 by Vitaliy

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www.BTDongles.com

Some of you may remember the mention of STM4100 on this list a while back,
which we developed and started using in our scan tools last year:

http://www.scantool.net/files/pdf/stm4100/stm4100.pdf

The STM4100 module has a number of advantages over Sparkfun's module,
including smaller size, low profile, and the ability to coexist with a wired
UART (automatic switching):

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8550

It is now available from the BTDongles.com web store. By the way, another
module with a pinout identical to that of Sparkfun's is in the works,
expected to be in full production by the end of August.

An FCC compliant, Class 1 USB/Bluetooth dongle is also available
(surprisingly difficult to find elsewhere). Both the module and the dongle
have been tested and reliably communicated at distances of up to 330 feet
(100 m).

More products will be added soon. Significant quantity discounts (up to 50%)
are available on all products.

Your comments regarding the website and the products are welcome.

Vitaliy

2008\07\19@091826 by olin piclist

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Vitaliy wrote:
> http://www.BTDongles.com
>
> Some of you may remember the mention of STM4100 on this list a while
> back, which we developed and started using in our scan tools last
> year:
>
> ...
>
> Your comments regarding the website and the products are welcome.

I'm a bit confused.  I thought you were making automotive products?  This
not only seems like a departure, it doesn't seem to be your company either.

What market are you generally in and what is the web site for your company?


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\07\19@204547 by Vitaliy

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Olin Lathrop wrote:
>> http://www.BTDongles.com
>>
>> ...
>>
>> Your comments regarding the website and the products are welcome.
>
> I'm a bit confused.  I thought you were making automotive products?  This
> not only seems like a departure, it doesn't seem to be your company
> either.
>
> What market are you generally in and what is the web site for your
> company?

Sorry for the confusion, Olin.

The company name is ScanTool.net, LLC. Our core business is PC-based
automotive diagnostic scan tools, and our main website is
http://www.ScanTool.net.


In 2006, we felt that there may be a market for a short-range (~100 m)
wireless scan tool. After testing the waters with external adapters
(AIRCable, FireFly, etc) we realized that we need something that is easier
to use, costs significantly less, and can be built into the scan tool.
Besides being bulky, the external adapters were routinely destroyed by
customers plugging them into the wrong cable (car battery voltage across
data pins).

Much effort was spent looking for an off-the-shelf Bluetooth module,
unfortunately the options available at the time were few, cost more than the
external adapters, and did not have all of the features we needed. In order
to meet the requirements (cost, size, features), our only choice was to
build the module ourselves. The result was the STM4100.


Along the way, we found that the cheap USB to Bluetooth dongles have several
major flaws:

   * They are not FCC compliant
   * They rely on the BlueSoleil software for operation
   * BlueSoleil software supplied with the dongles is pirated

BlueSoleil was a support nightmare -- it doesn't work reliably, installs two
dozen virtual COM ports, and is next to impossible to uninstall. So after
much searching, we found a Class 1 FCC certified dongle that is based on the
CSR chipset, supported natively by Windows XP and Vista, and is super easy
to install. The downside is higher cost and MOQ.

Since we are forced to buy/build more dongles and modules than we need for
the short-term, it made sense to offer them for sale. ScanTool.net website
is not the best vehicle to sell Bluetooth products, therefore it was decided
that a new website was necessary, http://www.BTdongles.com. As an added
bonus, it is being used as a test bed for a new shopping cart and content
management system that all of our websites will soon be migrating to.


To add to the confusion, we also run another website,
http://www.OBD2Cables.com. The story is similar to BTdongles.com: we needed
OBD cables, could not find a good source, and were forced to have them
custom built in large quantities. So in 2004 we built a website and offered
the surplus cables to engineers and hobbyists. Single cable orders were soon
followed by orders for 10,000 cables, and eventually the sales grew to
account for almost half of our total revenue.


I'm sorry for the long post, but I hope it helped to clear things up.

Vitaliy

2008\07\19@210818 by Cedric Chang

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Do you have support ( or know of support ) for your dongles if OS X  
or Linux is the desired operating system ?
cc

{Quote hidden}

2008\07\20@013418 by Vitaliy

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Cedric Chang wrote:
> Do you have support ( or know of support ) for your dongles if OS X
> or Linux is the desired operating system ?

No, but if you're willing to test one we'd be happy to send you a sample.
Please email me your shipping address (offline), if interested.

Vitaliy

2008\07\20@084854 by olin piclist

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Vitaliy wrote:
> I'm sorry for the long post, but I hope it helped to clear things up.

Yes it does.  Thanks.

********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

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