Bluetooth won't connect

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Networking' started by Mugsy, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. Mugsy

    Mugsy Honorable Member

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    Quick question.

    I have two cheepo USB Bluetooth adapters for my Windows 7 PC. One is a tiny generic (thumbnail sized) micro adapter, the other a small USB "stick" made by Rocketfish.

    Both adapters install and "claim" to detect my Bluetooth speaker (misidentifying it as a Bluetooth headset. I have no headset), but the speaker doesn't detect the PC (both are in Discover mode.) My cellphone however sees the speaker just fine, but it too DOESN'T see my PC.

    Are all Bluetooth adapters the same? And if my cheap adapters won't pair with anything, will an expensive one? Is this a known issue or might there be something else going on?
     
  2. Spirit Wolfe

    Spirit Wolfe Well-Known Member

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    To answer your question in a word..."Nope." They may claim to do what you think they might do, but cheap ones will not. Now, I am not saying to purchase the most expensive either. You definitely do not want to do that, but all BT adapters are not the same. This is because a Bluetooth (BT) device can and does do more than you think it does by a Windows 7 (or otherwise) definition. Most of the time you may not need the drivers disc that came with the BT adapter (incidentally -- did you install the BT drivers (or try to) for the BT device you bought?) because Windows will load the best possible drivers for the third-party BT device that you purchased (in my opinion a BT device is always third-party unless it is integrated to the motherboard of your notebook, desktop or other peripheral).

    In order to find out if a BT adapter will work with your device you need to find out two things...

    One...

    What are your devices parameters that are needed to allow a solid BT connection between the device and your computer that is running Windows 7. Is the device able to be remotely controlled, and/or is it a hands-free device, and/or is it an audio video device? Obviously you can tell by looking at the BT device what it is ad what it does... However, Windows is the best judgment of what they device can truly do and accomplish. Why? Because windows will communicate with the device (via BT, obviously) and install an appropriate BT driver for each and every function that BT device has. For example, when I connected my Plantronics BT hands-free headset, Windows saw that this device can act like and use these services: Audio Sink, Handsfree Telephony, Headset, Remote Control, Remotely Controllable Device. Each one of these requires a specific driver so that Windows can help you operate it successfully. Good products will and should give you the BT parameters of the said device warranting your connection to your computer on their websites, if not within the documentation that came with the device.

    Two...

    Before you purchase any third-party USB BT dongle make sure (so you are not wasting good money) that it is the device can handle the latest BT version out on the market today. The latest is BT v4/4.1. This version is known as Smart BT. Which is the one you should be using and you should not have any trouble with connecting your devices and having them stay connected.

    Check out this article What is the difference between Bluetooth 4.0, 3.0 and 2.0 ... or this one Bluetooth 4.0 Becomes 'Smart': What It Means For You ... to find out more information...

    This is the Nano USB dongle you should be putting your money into BolseĀ® Bluetooth 4.0 (Latest Version) USB Adapter. Now I am not saying to get this one. This is the one that just came up first when I did a quick Google search. Especially when it comes to BT 4.0. Some are cheaper and some more expensive. They all relatively are between $8 ~ $20 nowaday. I paid $25 for mine, but that was 3 ~ 4 years ago. Prices have dropped sharply since they are in high demand.

    Hope this helps and Happy Holidays!
     
    #2 Spirit Wolfe, Dec 12, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
  3. Mugsy

    Mugsy Honorable Member

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    Yes, that is helpful. The adapters I have I know are quite old (WinXP era) and didn't know the standard had since changed.

    When I plug in my adapters and switch on my BT speaker, Windows claims to have successfully loaded the proper drivers for each, but I guess that would be based on just what the adapter thinks it is seeing.

    I'll look into a BT 4.x adapter. Thanks.
     
  4. strollin

    strollin Senior Member

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    I have used quite a few of those little Bluetooth dongles and have never encountered one that didn't work. Even ones that I purchased from Hong Kong for 99 cents each. The more expensive ones are probably a little more durable but don't seem to work any better. I've never had to load drivers from a disk, very few of the dongles I've used even came with a disk. I just plug them in and Windows finds and installs drivers for them.

    As to whether you need a dongle with the latest Bluetooth version - that depends on the device you want to use. If the device only supports BT version 2.x then having a dongle that supports version 4.x is kind of pointless. It will work since the versions are backwards compatible but you won't gain any advantage.

    The most likely reason your dongle sees your BT speaker as a headset is probably because the speaker has the ability to answer phone calls, meaning it has the ability to act as a speakerphone with both a speaker and a microphone (hence headset).
     
  5. Mugsy

    Mugsy Honorable Member

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    Thanks. But since both my speaker (a new "MicroBoom") and two separate cellphones all don't detect my PC (and the PC doesn't detect either phone), yet the phone and speaker find each other readily, I'm more apt to suspect my ancient dongles.
     
  6. Nathan Wood

    Nathan Wood New Member

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    Another thing to do is update your bluetooth drivers at the Broadcom web site. Windows 7 could not find all the drivers for my Photon 4G. These drivers fixed that. Go to Broadcom, click on downloads, click on bluetooth (in red lettering) and you will find the updated drivers.
     

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