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Words and Pictures by Dorothy "Dotchie" Blankenship, RPR, HTML by G.D. Warner

Easy RN-USB-X Serial Bluetooth Dongle for Realtime

A Guide to Setting Up the RN-USB-X Serial Bluetooth Dongle

 

As a companion piece to her Create Your Own Bluetooth Realtime System, Dotchie sent me this guide to setting up the RN-USB-X Serial Bluetooth dongle, in case you experience any issues with setting it up. If you're reading this, you may have run into trouble!

Hopefully this companion piece will get you up and running with your realtime system!

-o0o-

Serial dongles are far easier to use in the field than file sharing dongles. For this reason, it makes more sense for Eclipse users to use serial dongles than file sharing dongles. Bridge refresh is available with both types of dongles. Also, it is more difficult to find serial dongles than it is to find file sharing dongles. The RN-USB-X is one exception. It is strictly a serial dongle. When looking for serial dongles, look for certain features such as "driverless" and "SPP."

Each RN-USB-X dongle must go through an initialization process before being put to use in the field. After the initial setup, the dongle is then permanently in the court reporter's computer memory. From that point on, the following four steps are all that is necessary to connect an attorney:

1. Attach the dongle to the attorney's USB port, and the following message appears:

Device driver installation

Device Driver Installation

NOTE: No installation disk is necessary.

2. Once installation is complete, open up the receiving computer's Device Manager to determine what COM port is being utilized by the dongle.

Device Manager

Device Manager

3. Next, open the attorney's realtime viewer, input the appropriate COM port, and choose 9600 baud rate, the appropriate output type (Bridge or CaseView), then press connect.

4. Start the CAT realtime session.

A successful connection looks like the following picture on the BlueSoleil 6 program, a green icon and a dotted line to the golden globe. This image means that the reporter computer has successfully connected to the serial dongle:

BlueSoliel Connection:  Success!

BlueSoliel Connection: Success!

Initial Setup of the RN-USB-X

The following instructions assume BlueSoleil 6 is set up on the court reporter computer and that the court reporter computer has either an internal Bluetooth device or an external Bluetooth device. This setup need only be done once, and from then on, the device will automatically be recognized by the court reporter computer regardless which receiving computer installs the dongle.

(Bluesoleil 6 Setup Instructions if needed):

1. Upon receiving the Totally Wireless dongles, a small setup is required. There are exposed dip switches on the dongle:

Totally Wireless Dongle Setup

Totally Wireless Dongle Setup

A safety pin is the best tool to use in this process. Position the dongle as shown. The top dip switch (Number 4) is to be flipped away from the USB connector end. The remaining dip switches (3, 2, 1) need to be flipped towards the USB connector end (or when ordering, request Totally Wireless personnel perform these services before shipping.)

2. Plug the dongle into the receiving computer. You will see an automatic installation take place.

3. Once installation is complete, open up the receiving computer's Device Manager to determine what COM port is being utilized by the dongle.

Device Manager: COM Ports

Device Manager: COM Ports

NOTE: When you see the COM port, the dongle was installed successfully.

4. Next, open the receiving computer's realtime viewer, input the appropriate COM port, and choose 9600 baud rate, the appropriate output type -- i.e., Bridge or CaseView, then press Connect.

5. Then on the court reporter computer, click on the Bluetooth icon located on the desktop to open the BlueSoleil program:

BlueSoliel Icon

Then double click the golden globe to turn on the program and to start searching for nearby Bluetooth devices:

BlueSoliel Globe

BlueSoliel Globe

6. The Totally Wireless dongle appears as follows on the BlueSoleil 6 program (If you do not see the FA icon right away, remember that there is a scroll bar on the BlueSoleil 6 program):

BlueSoliel Query

BlueSoliel Query

7. Right click on the question marked icon and select Get Device Name:

BlueSoliel:  Get Device Name

BlueSoliel: Get Device Name

8. The device will now have a name like the following:

BlueSoliel:  Named Device

BlueSoliel: Named Device

9. Now, right click the icon again, and this time, choose Search Services:

BlueSoliel:  Search Services

BlueSoliel: Search Services

10. Next click on Connect Bluetooth Serial Port:

BlueSoliel:  Connect Bluetool Serial Port

BlueSoliel: Connect Bluetool Serial Port

NOTE:

On the initial setup of a dongle, a passkey challenge may occur on both the court reporter computer and the receiving computer as follows:

BlueSoliel Passkey Challenge

BlueSoliel Passkey Challenge

Any number can be entered, but the same number must be entered on both computers.

A second pop-up window will occur on the court reporter computer, asking whether to automatically connect this device in the future. For recurring connections and to preserve COM ports for those recurring connections, click "yes."

11. A successful connection will turn the icon green as follows on the court reporter computer:

BlueSoliel:  Successful Connection

BlueSoliel: Successful Connection

12. Right click the icon again to take note of the COM port number as follows (Do not select Disconnect!):

BlueSoliel:  Get COM Port

BlueSoliel: Get COM Port

13. Now go into your CAT program and define a realtime output like so with the COM port noted in BlueSoleil 6 and at 9600 baud rate:

CAT Software Setup

CAT Software Setup

Now start a realtime session to test the connection.

-o0o-