My ongoing experiences with my Linux laptop and this time, Bluetooth.

One of the observations I had written earlier, about the Linux laptop I name ‘Klystron’, illustrated in depth that it has issues with its Realtek chip-set, that provides it with both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, presumably providing both through the same physical antennae.

> BTW, have Linux developers ever discovered, that this chip is meant to have two antennae, which the laptop was built with, and that the drivers are supposed to switch back and forth, to whichever antenna was giving the best signal at any moment? I.e., that with the lid open, one antenna should be used, while with the lid closed, the second antenna should be used? I just thought I’d mention it as a segway… <

The Bluetooth functionality of this chip-set, on my Linux configuration, does not seem to work at all. And so something which I have done, which some people might find odd, is to buy a Bluetooth-dongle, to put that in a USB-port on the side, and then to pair my external mouse.

Actually, this has only worked on a second attempt, with a second BT dongle. I had given up on the first BT dongle, thinking that that dongle must somehow have been incompatible with the Bluetooth Stack in some way, failing consistently on both my Debian / Jessie / 8 systems. And I had erroneously come to that conclusion, even after the same, first dongle worked fine, on a Debian / Squeeze / 7 laptop.

The actual user-space software works fine, even telling me that the newer, better, $5 dongle detects the Realtek chip with its antenna only 20cm away (where it’s inside the attached laptop), and with my neighbor’s sound-bar detected upstairs from my flat… For another day.

I know that my ( “Logitech M557″ ) BT mouse works fine, because I can pair it easily with my tablet(s).

There is a bit of a trick, that will finally enable the Debian / Jessie laptop to pair with the same mouse. I need to use the GUI normally, to tell it to pair, while the mouse is in pairing mode, at which point the GUI shows activity for a few seconds, and the data-exchange-bars just seem to cease, and the mouse next stays in pairing mode, with its own blue LED still flashing rapidly, waiting to pair.

What seems to go wrong, is that after Linux has established a pairing, Linux fails to send a signal to the mouse, that it should switch from pairing-mode, to usage-mode, so that its LED extinguishes.

The way I found this out, was to wait after the data-exchange-bars in the Linux GUI vanish, where that mouse still has its Paired and Trusted icons, until the mouse ‘decides on its own’ to exit pairing mode, as if pairing has been unsuccessful – i.e. I waited for pairing-mode to time out on the mouse.

And then what followed, was that the mouse works, and that the GUI shows me that data is being exchanged steadily. After I have done this, the pairing is successful and apparently stable! :-D

What this also tells me, is that I could have kept using the old dongle… :-( But then again, the new dongle has USB 4, which the old one didn’t! :-)


BTW, This is a kind of BT mouse, that does not require we pair using a PIN. The GUI has a separate button for that.