Eye4Software Hydromagic

  Hydrographic Survey Software

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Setting up Bluetooth hardware

These days, most GNSS receivers and even some echo sounder have the ability to transfer data over Bluetooth. This manual page explains how to pair, connect and configure a Bluetooth connected device to be used with Hydromagic running on Windows 7. For instructions on how to setup Bluetooth hardware under Windows 10, please refer to the "Configuring Bluetooth hardware (Windows 10)" page.

In order to connect a Bluetooth device to your computer, it needs to have a built-in Bluetooth radio. When it is not-built in, you can go to your computer store to buy a Bluetooth radio which can be plugged into a free USB socket.

Pairing the device

In order to use a Bluetooth device on your computer, it needs to be 'paired' first. During this process the device is discovered and connected to the computer. In some cases a PIN or pairing code is required as authentication method.

To start the pairing process, locate the Bluetooth icon in the Windows System Tray. The Windows System Tray is located at the bottom-right of your screen (when your taskbar is at the bottom of the screen). Click the Bluetooth icon, and from the popup menu that appears, select the 'Add Bluetooth Device' option.

Windows System Tray
The Bluetooth icon in the system tray.

Searching for the device

Windows will now automatically search for any Bluetooth device in range. Sometimes a device will show up as unknown device. It sometimes takes up to a minute till the correct name is displayed.

Make sure that the device has been switched on. Some devices require to be set in 'Discoverable' mode. Please refer to the user manual for instructions on how this is done. It might take up to a minute for the device to show up in the list of discovered devices. When it appears, select it and click the 'Next' button to proceed to the next step.

Bluetooth search results
Select the device you want to pair, and click "Next" to continue.

Pairing options

The next dialog shows the pairing options. When you are sure the device doesn't require a PIN code, select the 'Pair without using a code option'. In practice, most devices require a simple PIN code like '0000' or '1234'.

When the device requires a PIN code to be entered in order to pair with your computer, select the 'Enter the device's pairing code' option to enter the PIN code.

Bluetooth pairing option
For most hardware, a pairing code is required. Select the second option in this case.

Entering the PIN code

When you have selected to pair the device using a PIN code, an additional dialog where you can enter the PIN code will show up. Most devices use '0000' or '1234'. If this does not work, please refer to the user manual or contact your dealer. Enter the PIN code and click the 'Next' button to connect to the device.

Entering Bluetooth PIN code
Enter the pairing code for the device. In most cases this will be 0000 or 1234.

Completing the installation of the device

When a successfull connection has been made, it may take some time to install the device drivers required to use the device. Please wait for a minute or so, and click the 'Close' button when the device is ready for use.

Bluetooth Pairing Completed
The device has been successfully added to your computer.

Configuring Hydromagic

In order to use the device in Hydromagic, it has to be added in the Hydromagic device list. In Hydromagic, devices can be connected through an Ethernet connection, WiFi or a serial port.

When using Bluetooth, one or more virtual serial ports will be created on your computer. You have to select one of these ports when configuring the device. To do so, you need the serial port number. To get a list of all serial ports exposed by the device, click the Bluetooth icon in the Windows System Tray and select 'Open Settings' option.

Selecting the correct serial port

After selecting the 'open Settings' option, a new dialog should appear containing three tabs. Select the 'COM Ports' tab. Please note that a device, like for instance our Trimble R8 receiver can have more then one serial port.

Bluetooth virtual serial ports
Use the Port which is assigned to the incoming direction.

The data from the GNSS receiver or echo sounder is always transferred over an 'Incoming Port'. For instance, when we use the first Bluetooth serial port on our R8, we have to use 'COM4'.

Just remember the serial port number and proceed to one of the following steps to finish the configuration:

  • Configuring an NMEA0183 compatible GPS or RTK receiver
  • Configuring an NMEA0183 compatible echo sounder

  • Troubleshooting: When no serial ports are displayed

    When the list in the screenshot above is empty (when no available serial ports are displayed), click the Bluetooth icon in the Windows System Tray and select the 'Show Bluetooth Devices' option.

    In the 'Devices and Printers' window that appears, right click your Bluetooth device and select the 'Properties' option from the popup menu. A tabbed window should now appear. In this window, click the 'Services' tab and check the serial ports you want to use:

    Bluetooth device available services
    Make sure the "Serial Port" services are selected (when visible).

    When the list of services remains empty, chances are that some drivers have not been installed properly. The following paragraph contains some instructions which will probably solve this problem.

    Click 'OK' to store the settings and close the window. Windows will no install the device drivers for the serial ports in the background. When completed, repeat the instructions in the previous paragraph to determine the serial port number needed to setup the device in Hydromagic.

    Troubleshooting: When no services are displayed

    When no serial ports are displayed, and when no Bluetooth services are available for the device,
    most likely Windows failed to install the device drivers for the Bluetooth device.

    You can check this using the 'Windows Device Manager'. To start this tool, click the start button, type "device manager" and press enter. In the dialog that appears, locate and expand the 'Other Devices' item:

    Bluetooth driver not installed
    Use the device manager to check whether your Bluetooth hardware drivers have been loaded.

    When one of more 'Bluetooth Peripheral Device' items are listed with an exclamation mark in front, it means Windows was unable to install device drivers.
    You can try the following steps to resolve the issue:

    When the 'Bluetooth Peripheral Devices' disappear from the 'Other Devices' is most probably solved. Go to the services tab as described in the previous paragraph to enable the services.