... DIYDrones member Pieter

Pieter was kind enough to send me this Bluetooth adapter.  As it turns out it was trivial to add support for using this device to talk to APMs.  Instructions are included below...


So, why would you want to do such a thing:

  • You currently have no telemetry - in which case this is a definite step up (though I still think you'd be better off buying the 3dr radios)
  • You have an android device that doesn't support USB host mode (list of tested devices here).  Just attach this little bluetooth adapter to a battery and your radio.  If your device supports USB host mode (especially if it has the rocking fast USB of Android 4.2 or later) I think you are better off just plugging your 3dr radio into your tablet directly.
  • You have a XBee radio - I suspect that using XBee on Androids older than 4.2 would find that going through the bluetooth adapter to reach the tablet would be much faster.

Step 1: Send Deal Extreme $9 for this.

Step 2: Configure bluetooth adapter

These adapters come preconfigured for 9600 baud, you'll need to change them to 57600.  To do this, temporarily connect the provided cable to a FTDI serial adapter, connect to the device at 9600 baud and then paste in the following string "AT+BAUD7"<return>.  If the device responds with OK57600, you are good to go, otherwise try again.

Step 3: Connect bluetooth adapter to either a 3dr telemetry module (recommended) or directly to an APM board

To connect to the APM or a 3dr 900MHz radio, using the provided cable.  Pieter has reported 100 meter range and I tested it yesterday morning and sure enough I could remotely monitor my plane/make config changes as long as it was close.  

Step 4: Go to Android settings and pair your device with the bluetooth adapter.  The PIN is 1234.

Step 5: Fire up Andropilot 1.2.00 or later.  See our discussion group for download links etc...

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  • Developer

    Hi Daniel,

    Ah - Go into bluetooth settings in the Android settings app.  And choose pair device and enter the appropriate pin.  The settings app should tell you the device is paired.  The next time you launch andropilot you should be good to go.

  • I am trying to connect APM2.5 + Bluetooth to my Android device (Xperia S). I have followed the directions, but no connection is established. Andropilot just says "Please connect telemetry". I have a working Bluetooth connection to my PC but Andropilot does not establish a connection. Also I have not been able to find any "Connect" option, only the baud rate setting. Bluetooth is paired to my device. Should Andropilot automatically connect, when the app is started or do I need to connect using some other method?

  • Ok great, device ordered.  As you know, this is just what I've been hoping for. ;)

  • johnkowalsky, With no amplifier, even if the plane is not in LOS but altitude is maintained reasonably and using high gain 7dbi antenna at both side, you should get more than 500mts range. Make sure you have to use two modules (One at plane side and other at PC's side, b'cause PC's internal bluetooth won't give range more than 50mts)

  • interesting - what's the range when not in direct LOS ? and what's the range with no amplifier ?

    Sounds too good to be true. Wifi is very much like bluetooth and as we all know you can get some pretty impressive  range with wifi and a directional antenna but it does require direct LOS and is very susceptible to interferences

  • Developer

    Joseph, no idea.  Though I wouldn't be surprised if Apple locked down bluetooth to not allow devices that haven't paid their bribe.

  • Hi Gary,  Bluetooth Modem - BlueSMiRF RP-SMA two such modules with 7dbi antennas are giving as high as 700mts with airplane is airborne. I have already tested to hook this module with 2watt Wi-Fi amplifier. I had to use 5db pad between the output f the bluetooth module and the wi-fi amplifier. I could only test upto 8km and it was working, used 14dBi patch antenna at ground. It should give 15km of range provided aircraft is at reasonable high altitude, I kept my at 300mt high.


  • That's funny, I found it on dealextreme yesterday and I was wondering why no one use it instead of the very expensive arduino Bluetooth.

  • Developer

    R_Lefebvre, yes - that is one of the primary use cases of this sort of device.

  • Developer

    John, that's definitely my plan and I'm actively working on it.  Should have something out soonish ;-)

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