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Thread: HOWTO: Enabling Acer laptop bluetooth (especially Travelmate series, acerhk)

  1. #1
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    Wink HOWTO: Enabling Acer laptop bluetooth (especially Travelmate series, acerhk)

    I didn't find so much information on how to enable the Acer bluetooth Broadcom device on this forum. So I made up a little howto, hope it helps!

    This hotwo is based on information i mainly collected from http://users.tkk.fi/~jwagner/tablet/suse93.htm

    I tested this only on my Acer 312XMi (C310 Travelmate series) laptop.
    I try to support this thread as good as I can.

    The test was made on Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy, kernel 2.6.17-11-generic, on 32bit architecture.

    Enabling the bluetooth is based on the Acer Hotkey driver for Linux, now, notice that this driver (module) came with Edgy release, so I will not guide you through on how to compile it.

    More information on how to download and compile the driver is found from http://www.cakey.de/acerhk/. (You really should check out this site and the included README/INSTALL instructions.)

    So, in Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy release, there is (should be) a module called acerhk.

    On my Acer C310 Tablet PC, this enabled the buttons above the keyboard (bluetooth, wlan, email etc.), the bluetooth device and the ability to control email led (if anyone really needs it anywhere).
    The buttons on the screen (tablet buttons) are also supported, but doesn't show up on xev, it only produces a bunch of dmesg errors if you don't map them (mapping them is not explained in this guide).



    1. Loading the module:
    Code:
    sudo modprobe acerhk
    After that you shouldn't get any errors. (if you did, read from the beginning about compiling the module for your needs).


    Update:
    Note! On Hardy (8.04 LTS) if your wlan-card uses the module ipw2200, you can't get the wireless led working unless you load the module with the option led=1, e.g. the ipw2200 that I have -> modprobe ipw2200 led=1. You can add this line to /etc/modprobe.d/options


    Ensure that the module got loaded:
    Code:
    lsmod | grep "acerhk"
    You should see something like this:
    Code:
    acerhk                 26492  0

    2. When you loaded the module acerhk, a driver should have appeared under the /proc/ filesystem (these files here represent the current state of the kernel).
    So go and check if there is path like this in /proc:

    /proc/driver/acerhk/

    This may vary, but based on which laptop you run, under that directory should be these files:
    Code:
    --w--w--w- 1 root root 0 2007-02-26 18:55 blueled
    -r--r--r-- 1 root root 0 2007-02-26 18:55 info
    -r--r--r-- 1 root root 0 2007-02-26 18:55 key
    --w--w--w- 1 root root 0 2007-02-26 18:55 led
    --w--w--w- 1 root root 0 2007-02-26 18:55 wirelessled
    Notice the blueled file above.
    The way how the bluetooth behaves is, when you "enable" the blueled, which turns on the Bluetooth LED, also enables the Bluetooth device.

    So, now go ahead and enable the device with command:
    Code:
    echo "1" > /proc/driver/acerhk/blueled
    Now Gnome should report about a device being detected. If not, the last rows in dmesg command should report something like this:
    Code:
    [17179879.700000] usb 4-1: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 2
    [17179879.920000] usb 4-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
    [17179880.064000] Bluetooth: HCI USB driver ver 2.9
    [17179880.068000] usbcore: registered new driver hci_usb
    and the Bluetooth light on your laptop should turn on (if it has one).

    Notice that my bluetooth was detected on the usb bus.
    So, list usb devices:
    Code:
    lsusb
    and you should see something like this:
    Code:
    Bus 005 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  
    Bus 004 Device 003: ID 0a5c:200a Broadcom Corp. 
    Bus 004 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  
    Bus 003 Device 002: ID 046d:c518 Logitech, Inc. 
    Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  
    Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
    The Broadcom device above is the bluetooth device that was not detected before.


    3. There is plenty of HOWTO:s on how to install bluetooth tools (bluez, hcitool etc.). So please use the search

    I now assume that you have the bluetooth tools installed so let's go on.

    Issue the command:
    Code:
    hcitool dev
    and you should now see that the hcitool actually found a device, in my case it was:
    Code:
    Devices:
            hci0    00:0B:6B:90:B5:1C
    If your device is not on the usb bus and lsusb didn't find it, hcitool dev still might. And this means that your bluetooth device is ready to be used

    From this point on (if successful) you can relate to other HOWTO:s, on how to use the bluetooth tools and configure the device.


    4. Last but not least, how to turn the bluetooth off.
    If you already didn't guess, instead of echoing "1" to the device, you can turn it off by echoing "0" to it.
    So:
    Code:
    echo "0" > /proc/driver/acerhk/blueled
    this turns it off.


    5. You probably noticed that there is some other files under /proc/driver/acerhk/.

    - blueled is for bluetooth
    - wirelessled turns on/off your wlan led (also turns off the DEVICE!) the LED didn't work for me. My WLAN was found without this module on install, but the LED is not working.
    - led is for the e-mail led that blinks. On my C310 there is a e-mail button that also blink green when you enable this.

    all those above can be turned on/off with the echo "x" > xxx command.

    you can use the cat command to following files:
    - info has some information of the module
    - key, I have no idea what this is used for.


    6. On Ubuntu Edgy, there is a file called /etc/modules, you can add acerhk to this file, this makes sure that it is loaded on every reboot.

    If you want to remove acerhk, just issue this command:
    Code:
    sudo rmmod acerhk

    So, all the above folders/files/devices etc. is what was found on my laptop, yours may vary!


    Please report if you had any success with your bluetooth, include the laptop maker/model, what buttons and devices were found and what kernel & architecture was used.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by gvoima; February 3rd, 2009 at 08:35 AM. Reason: gramma check
    "Software is like sex, it's better when it's free." ~Torvalds

  2. #2
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    Thumbs down Re: HOWTO: Enabling Acer laptop bluetooth (especially Travelmate series, acerhk)

    *EDIT* Deleted. A completely other problem.
    Last edited by Reschat; April 3rd, 2007 at 09:49 AM.

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    Re: HOWTO: Enabling Acer laptop bluetooth (especially Travelmate series, acerhk)

    I got the bluetooth LED to turn on and my laptop now works with my bluetooth mouse. Any ideas on how to get the bluetooth button on the laptop to enable the bluetooth. It would be much easier to use the bluetooth button rather than type echo on > /proc/driver/acerhk/blueled and then sudo hidd --search to connect my mouse.

  4. #4
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    Re: HOWTO: Enabling Acer laptop bluetooth (especially Travelmate series, acerhk)

    I followed your guide and I get to the end of it without any errors but no blue led. The drivers are the same as yours. I have an Acer Aspire 5601AWLMi.

  5. #5
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    Re: HOWTO: Enabling Acer laptop bluetooth (especially Travelmate series, acerhk)

    I have an ACER TravelMate 2493NWLMi. Does the article apply to it, too?

  6. #6
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    Re: HOWTO: Enabling Acer laptop bluetooth (especially Travelmate series, acerhk)

    All I had to do to get my bluetooth mouse to work was install the acerhk drivers (i followed this guide on how to load the acerhk drivers: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=2382786)
    Then all i have to do is type "echo on > /proc/driver/acerhk/blueled" the led comes on and i type "sudo hidd --search" and make sure your mouse or device is in discover mode (I have to push the reset button on the bottom of my mouse to get it to connect) and it will say it found device and give a mac address XX:XX:... and it should be connected.

    I only have connected my mouse so far, so I do not know if it as easy to connect other devices.

    I got my acerhk drivers from: http://freshmeat.net/projects/acerhk/
    The drivers on site say acerhk-current version. so they might be newer then the ones on sourceforge.net

    I have written a script to do the echo on > .. and sudo hidd.. stuff and make it load at startup.
    I have not however made my bluetooth button on my keyboard work with this yet.

  7. #7
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    Re: HOWTO: Enabling Acer laptop bluetooth (especially Travelmate series, acerhk)

    Quote Originally Posted by jterroux View Post
    All I had to do to get my bluetooth mouse to work was install the acerhk drivers (i followed this guide on how to load the acerhk drivers: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=2382786)
    Then all i have to do is type "echo on > /proc/driver/acerhk/blueled" the led comes on and i type "sudo hidd --search" and make sure your mouse or device is in discover mode (I have to push the reset button on the bottom of my mouse to get it to connect) and it will say it found device and give a mac address XX:XX:... and it should be connected.

    I only have connected my mouse so far, so I do not know if it as easy to connect other devices.

    I got my acerhk drivers from: http://freshmeat.net/projects/acerhk/
    The drivers on site say acerhk-current version. so they might be newer then the ones on sourceforge.net

    I have written a script to do the echo on > .. and sudo hidd.. stuff and make it load at startup.
    I have not however made my bluetooth button on my keyboard work with this yet.
    On my laptop the BT-button stopped working without a reason that I couldn't find...and I don't even use it anyway, I made myself a automated BT-script when i use it with my PPP connection (GRPS).

    But, when pressing the button, acerhk should produce a kernel event that you can view with dmesg, or capture it with xev. If it produces a event, it can be remapped to for example your own script.
    I haven't familiarised myself on that how to remap buttons to certain files on gnome, i know it can be done in KDE. But not sure about gnome.
    Last edited by gvoima; April 10th, 2007 at 01:07 AM.
    "Software is like sex, it's better when it's free." ~Torvalds

  8. #8
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    Re: HOWTO: Enabling Acer laptop bluetooth (especially Travelmate series, acerhk)

    And for the BT-support. Notice that on the site http://www.cakey.de/acerhk/ it states that
    (some models are only partially supported)
    and
    The newer Travelmate series aren't supported very well, since Acer uses different hardware.
    and this doesn't apply to the BT-part at all.

    It's a lucky strike to get the actual module working, 'cause acer doesn't give any information for how to handle their hardware.

    I have no idea is the module even continued?

    And this module only controls for example the LEDs, extra button events and wlan hardware on some models (listed on the site above).
    And it appears that the actual BT hardware works so that when you turn the led on, you turn the device on. That means that you actually don't use the BT-hardware directly while controlling it through this module.
    Funny way to do it, but this makes it easy to use and power efficient.


    Correct me if I'm wrong.
    "Software is like sex, it's better when it's free." ~Torvalds

  9. #9
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    Re: HOWTO: Enabling Acer laptop bluetooth (especially Travelmate series, acerhk)

    Quote Originally Posted by mrojas73 View Post
    I followed your guide and I get to the end of it without any errors but no blue led. The drivers are the same as yours. I have an Acer Aspire 5601AWLMi.

    I have an ACER TravelMate 2493NWLMi. Does the article apply to it, too?

    Check the current list on the topic link. If your laptop isn't listed, i can't really help you on that matter
    "Software is like sex, it's better when it's free." ~Torvalds

  10. #10
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    Re: HOWTO: Enabling Acer laptop bluetooth (especially Travelmate series, acerhk)

    i have an Acer TM5625WSMi with bluetooth and cannot get it to work,


    anyone have any pointers i can try,

    basicly i cannot turn the bluetooth tranceiver on so as it will be recigniced on the USB bus.

    the hotkey doesnt work,

    i have it working in windows and this is the only thisn stopping me wiping windows and reclaiming that space for linux.

    windows device manager wont show the device at all until you hit the bluetooth buton then it appears through device managet through the usb bus.

    i have little doubt that if i can activate the device hal will pick it up and i will be right, but it is being able to switchi it on that eludes me,

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