Pre-configured TB from WT with HID proxy Laird Dongle

All, Hot off the presses, with permission to post from WT support.

I previously posted that a couple weeks ago I spent more time trying to setup my Laird 820 and ended up messing up (bricking the Laird) and making my laptop not work anymore with the Bluetooth dongle I had previously been using. I have been crazy busy at work and have not had additional time to get the laptop working again.

Anyway, I was just contacted by WT today and they are sending me a HID proxy configured Laird dongle preconfigured to a TREG TB they are also sending along set to BT slot 6. They confirmed testing the unit on Win 7, Win 2000, Win 10, MacOS, Raspberry Pi, etc. All the devices worked like a USB keyboard as many others have discussed at length here on the forum.

They knew I had been having problems and wanted to confirm that the duplicating characters I have been seeing on Win 7 was due to my other bluetooth dongle purchased from Amazon and not the TB. I will plan on setting up slot 4 on the new TREG unit with the other bluetooth dongle so I can test in parallel on the same TREG unit.

I will post pics tomorrow when I receive it. In the coming days I will also post my results on both my work laptop and desktop.

Now, here is the news… WT will most likely be selling TBs with Laird Dongles preconfigured in HID proxy direct from the WT site. My unit is part of their validation process to confirm my issues are resolved and their process is properly setup. This would allow those with Bluetooth issues to get a TB already setup without needing special education and skills to setup yourself. I am only sharing this with WT permission (I specifically asked).

What gives me hope is that going through this process, I really think they are close to production release (nothing they shared with me…my own thoughts). Going to a general release would most likely require the need to confirm with customers (us who have previously purchased and new customers) what operating systems they would be using to determine if the TB would be operational out of the box. Otherwise, they would need to not sell without customer issues fot those technically challenged. Having an additional purchase that would enable plug and play on almost all machines… even as an add on to those in which most of their systems already work may be the best option for the widest customer base.

I am very optimistic! Will let you know.

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That’s great news about the Laird dongles from WayTools. I think that I will be needing one of those. If I was part of TREG I would volunteer to do some additional testing with the dongle as well :wink:

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That’s nifty. I wonder if they’re doing anything with CSR pre-configuring the dongles with the LTKs, or if they’re just doing it by themselves in-house. Once upon a time, I came up with a way to let them do it at the factory, but it still meant that WT would have to keep the keys on file.

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That is an interesting development. I will need to use a dongle for work. I already purchased one and was going to spend a little holiday time getting the stack to run on chip. Maybe I can skip it all together?

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Well, my new TREG TB arrived today with a Laird 820 recessed in the foam next to the TB. I plugged it into my windows 7 work laptop after disabling all the bluetooth settings and it picked right up and worked like a charm. I only had about 10 minutes to use it and it worked without fail.

Tomorrow at work I will load the new TB with my custom settings and setup slot 4 with the other Bluetooth dongle and then I’ll switch back and forth between the two dongles throughout the day to try to catch the other dongle causing repeating characters and hopefully no repeating characters on the laird 820.

The one weird thing which may have to do with it being in HID proxy mode is that when I closed the laptop down it shutoff completely (as I have it set to do) but the Laird continued to blink. I didn’t realize it was still running until I came back to the laptop an hour later. The laptop was definitely powered down because when I turned it on it went into the decryption security password prompt I need to enter to get the hard drive unlocked to allow the boot process.

For others on the board with a TREG and a Laird does it in fact keep running after your laptop is powered down? I’ll do more empirical testing tomorrow, but so far it is plug and play. I do wish the laird 820 didn’t protrude so far from the laptop. I drag it everywhere including the car and am worried I’ll need to continuously unplug it during transport to ensure it is not damaged. I’m sure the preferred method of transportation is to unplug it, but I worry about leaving it somewhere or otherwise misplacing it if I can’t keep it plugged in.

I know if this does work I will work even more to set up one of the 3 Lairds I purchased last week that are finally shipping on Friday and will arrive next week. In the end, I want to keep a dongle plugged into the laptop and another plugged into the desktop at all times so I only need to take the TB around and have it auto connect on different slots add I have been doing with the other dongles.

First things first though, I’ll prove it out that the Laird and HID proxy is far superior to the current Bluetooth dongles I have.

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When running in HID mode the dongle will be flashing any time it has power as it does not rely on any software running on the host. It sounds as if your laptop is not powering down the USB ports when you shut it down. Not sure if that is normal for all laptops or not.

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Laptops have been doing that for a while so people can still change their mobile phones with the laptop “off”.

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I’m a tad confused… Are you saying we need an external Bluetooth dongle to make the TB work? That’s a non-starter in my book.

Michael

You do not need a dongle if the system supports Bluetooth BLE. This use of a dongle is for using the TextBlade on systems that do not have the requisite Bluetooth support. It also covers the case where although the system does in theory support Bluetooth, but you have do not have the requisite permissions to configure the Bluetooth to configure it to use the `TextBlade.

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Michael,

Well that depends. The TB only runs on BLTE bluetooth connectivity. On most modern machines the TB works with no issues since BLTE is pretty standard anymore out of the box. That means no dongles.

For example, I am using the TB on my iPhone right now without a dongle. It works perfectly on iPhones, iPads, Macbook Pros after 2010. But for work I still have Windows 7 and it was notoriously horriby for Bluetooth connectivity well before the TB. Furthermore, neither my work laptop or work desktop have BLTE capabilities in the hardware and then on top of that they are running Windows 7.

I purchased an $8 BLTE bluetooth dongle that I am still using and it has generally been working great. The problem is that I am ocassionally getting some repeating characters and am pretty confident that the character issue is related to the dongle and not the TB so the Laird dongle was my attempt to see if that was truly the case.

Hope this helps explain whem a dongle may be required… anytime your device does not have BLTE you will need a dongle. Anytime your device does have BLTE but the device itself (due to hardware or software) does not correctly or consistently keep BLTE working smoothlu, you may need a dongle. This is not a TB issue, it is a hardware issue or software issue on the consumer side.

Beat me to the punch @itimpi as I was being long-winded

I believe some laptops have USB options for maintaining or killing power at shutdown depending on user preferences.

Thanks @awh_tokyo and @adriandday. I have confirmed that my USB ports are set to stay active when the work laptop is turned off. I hadn’t ever noticed that. I’ll need to decide whether to keep them enabled and unplug the Laird each time or disable the USB ports on shutdown.

I am typing from my work desktop now using the Laird dongle. I had to uninstall the Laird development software I had previously installed on the desktop because it was causing it to fail to function…After uninstalling and killing some latent registry settings associated to the CSR development tools and rebooting…BAM I am typing… So far no repeating characters… I will run this way for today and tomorrow and then install the drivers on Friday for the other dongle I had been using to confirm it still causes the repeating issue with the new TREG TB I received (the one I am typing on…

Hopefully the keyboard below will be relegated again to staying under my desk as a backup.

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That’s because the CSR bluetooth stack on Windows will put the dongle back into HCI mode if it detects an HID-mode CSR dongle when Windows boots.

Best way around that is for someone at WT to change the HID-mode VID and PID on the dongle and then it won’t get messed with by someone’s weird Windows drivers.

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i love how dinky the textblade looks compared to the normalish keyboard :slight_smile: i’m looking forwards to all the free desk space i’ll have once mine arrive.

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(I suppose I should also say for @waytools – if you’re doing official dongles, and you’re not doing it with the cooperation of CSR, hit me or @wmertens up for an infodump of what we know)

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This would be very helpful. Any chance this will be an option for purchase?