Bluetooth-to-Serial (was: Re: Colo Vending Machine)

Joel M Snyder Joel.Snyder at Opus1.COM
Mon Feb 20 18:40:00 UTC 2012

+1 on the suggestion for a SpiderDuo as portable KVM+your own laptop. 
Solves the problem and leverages the hardware you already have.  Works 

Anyway: Bluetooth-to-Serial has been around for years; I did a review of 
several of them a while ago, even connecting with a Nokia phone (this 
was before iPhone/iPad existed) in a little Interop video piece in 
Network World.

The IOGear BT-to-Serial is the most common nowadays; it is inexpensive 
and works pretty well and it is specifically designed for this kind of 
console environment.  It draws 9V, so you can make a 9V 
battery-to-device adapter for about $2 with parts you get at Digikey if 
you want total portability.

There are also more 'industrial' versions which are designed for 
longer-term use.  My favorite is the BluePortXP, which has an integrated 
rechargeable battery, a nice little antenna, and can be externally 
powered if needed.  That's pricey, closer to $200 as I remember, but it 
is designed for longer-term use in a single location.  There are others 
along this line, a quick Google search will find them, mostly in the 
industrial PC-type businesses.

The one I actually use almost every day is called a BlueConsole.  These, 
unfortunately, are not available anymore.  A Cisco engineer in Florida 
(I think) made them as a "Garagatronics" project years ago.  It is a 
lovely piece of work, available with either a DB9 OR a RJ45 male on it, 
a 9V battery connector on the other end, and also powered from the 
serial port if available.  You can dangle the RJ45 one from a Cisco 
router literally forever without a battery and it will BT-to-serial for 
20 or 30 feet.  If you can find one, buy it as it's the perfect 
compromise between the BluePort and the IOGear.

Joel M Snyder, 1404 East Lind Road, Tucson, AZ, 85719
Senior Partner, Opus One       Phone: +1 520 324 0494
jms at Opus1.COM      

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