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Comments on: Toshiba Announces Smaller Bluetooth SD Card

Toshiba was the developer of the SD Bluetooth card Palm is offering now. The company has announced that it is close to releasing a new version that is smaller and uses less power.

Possibly the most significant improvement is that the new card is .35 inches shorter than the old one and no longer has a slight bulge at the end. This means it will come much closer to fitting entirely inside the handheld than the current one does.

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Range

jontz @ 9/27/2002 2:47:30 PM #
I am curious about how the design will affect the range in real world usage. It seems to me that if it almost fits inside the handheld and has no antenna stub sticking out that the range will be diminished. What do you all think?

RE: Range
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/27/2002 2:57:01 PM #
Far too many variables in this to guess what the difference might be. For all we know the new smaller antenna may be a better design and/or materials and have a better range. The card may be more power efficient, but actually be able to deliver a stronger signal. Too many possibilites to guess without knowing more about the cards.

I would assume their goal would be for both cards to handle about the same range with the newer card actually performing better.

RE: Range
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/27/2002 3:00:23 PM #
if all the antenna needs is a boost in gain and surface area to accomodate for the shorter length, then it's totally possible. think of it this way: 50 centimeters of wire antenna can be wrapped and folded to create a great deal of surface area in a smaller space than a linear antenna. also, if the power to the antenna has been optimized, a weaker signal is no longer an issue. bluetooth is best for very short area wireless access, i like to think of it as an alternative to IR. I can't imagine a situation where getting a little bit closer to the transmitter would be really difficult.
RE: Range
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/27/2002 3:08:51 PM #
if all the antenna needs is a boost in gain and surface area to accomodate for the shorter length, then it's totally possible.

Hey yeah ... maybe we should do a bulk purchase on ebay of those wonderful "Antennae Boosters" they sell for cellphones. I wonder if the technology is the same?

RE: Range
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/27/2002 3:13:38 PM #
It says in the article
> it already meets Bluetooth 1.1. This means it offers data transmission
> at up to 768 kilobits per second at a max range of about 30 feet.

So you know it has a range of at least 30 feet.

RE: Range
cyn @ 9/27/2002 3:19:37 PM #
I think real world was to be stressed in his question, but I also agree that there are too many factors to guess at it. We'll just have to wait for real world experiences :)

RE: Range
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/27/2002 3:32:40 PM #
> Hey yeah ... maybe we should do a bulk purchase on ebay
> of those wonderful "Antennae Boosters" they sell for
> cellphones. I wonder if the technology is the same?

Somehow I speculate that Toshiba actually has someone (or ones) who know how to design an antenna actually doing it (unlike those boosters). There's way, way more to it than wrapping and folding 50cm of wire.

RE: Range
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/27/2002 3:35:10 PM #
My preference for any Bluetooth card (SD. CF, PCMCIA...) would be for it to be totally enclosed in the slot and to broadcast a shorter distance.

As most of our Bluetooth uses will be for a very short distance (ie. keyboards, headsets, syncing...) a practical distance needed is probably only less than 5-10 feet. Therefor, it's my contention that a fully insertable Bluetooth card would be far more desirable than one that extends beyond the device it is inserted into.

I for one am awaiting such a PC or CF card device to use with my Apple Powerbook G4 so that I can leave it in full time and use it to sync with other devices such as cell phones and such.

RE: Range
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/27/2002 3:47:17 PM #
Umm, 50% less than what? Can anyone post the *actual* rating in mA (of either card)?

The specs on various cards go as high as 90mA, it be nice to know where these fit in.

RE: Range
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/27/2002 4:20:05 PM #
Hmm, found it (the previous card)
http://makeashorterlink.com/?H12453FE1
Stock Code: PCS-PDA-6112
size and weight: 2.4cm x 0.2cm x 4.9cm; 4g
communications range: 10 metres (maximum nobstructed)
power ratings:
voltage: 3.3V (3.1 to 3.6V)
power consumption: 100mA (max. 150mA)

No wonder they want it 50% less consuming.

RE: Range
Crash Override @ 9/27/2002 4:42:42 PM #
Its not going to have a shorter range since no external antenna is required to broadcast bluetooth. Also the technology is largely unaffected by physical obstructions so I reckon the range will be exactly the same.

After all if they can put it in the teeny little T68 as well as all the other stuff, it would seem that the size of the transmitter doesn't matter. :-)

http://www.Get-me.to/Crash

RE: Range
ahecht @ 9/27/2002 7:29:09 PM #
but the T68 has a rather large antenna.
RE: Range
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/28/2002 11:07:43 AM #
The T68 doesn't have a visible antenna! How can it be big?!
Antenna size
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/30/2002 6:31:44 PM #
So how much of the phone's innards does the antenna take up?

question about bluetooth and 802.11

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/27/2002 3:50:34 PM #
I recall seeing a few months ago something that would convert bluetooth to wifi and vice versa. It was a small device that you could put in your pocket which would connect to the pda vie bluetooth and link it to the WiFi LAN. It was pretty cool, but I can't find the device anywhere... Does anyone know the name or have a link. Thanks
RE: question about bluetooth and 802.11
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/27/2002 9:55:27 PM #
you are either describing a BlueLAN or a PicoBlue.
RE: question about bluetooth and 802.11
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/27/2002 11:57:19 PM #
You should be refering to the Possio PX20 Bluetooth WLAN gateway.

http://www.possio.com/split.asp?cat=3&prod=wireless&dynfile=px20product&id=english&dh=3

BL

oh no! no space for fcc info

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/27/2002 4:51:05 PM #
Where are they gonna put it now? The whole back of the first-gen was covered with writing. Now, they'll have no place to put it!
RE: oh no! no space for fcc info
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/28/2002 11:05:39 AM #
Don't worry... they ALWAYS find a way!

Obsolete?

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/27/2002 5:49:10 PM #
Won't these soon be obsolete since most new OS5 devices with have BT built-in?
RE: Obsolete?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/27/2002 6:02:13 PM #
And what is the installed base of M1xx and M5xx? Chopped liver?
RE: Obsolete?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/27/2002 8:44:34 PM #
...and all the other non-Palm based devices as well... PocketPC, PocketLinux, cameras, etc. Palm based devices aren't the only ones that could use these.
RE: Obsolete?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/27/2002 8:54:04 PM #
It won't be obsolete but I doubt Palm will be releasing a version of this. They would want people to upgrade their PDAs to the Tungstens instead of buying a SD Bluetooth card from them.


RE: Obsolete?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/27/2002 9:26:35 PM #
if palm doesnt maybe handspring will they just offered a bluetooth patch for the treo 90, this would be the perfect product to compliment it

Smaller and Cheaper....

speed-angel @ 9/27/2002 11:20:01 PM #
I think people want something smaller and something cheaper, especially the CLIE owners.

After all Bluetooth is not something big in component side....If a SonyEricsson T68i is installed with a Bluetooth then they can of course stick those into a handheld.

I hope the next one in line for CLIE has Bluetooth built-in

RE: Smaller and Cheaper....
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/27/2002 11:58:49 PM #
There will be Bluetooth Clie, they even got bluetooth camera, it's just a matter of time.
RE: Smaller and Cheaper....
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/28/2002 10:49:14 AM #
There are places where you can get the Bluetooth memory stick (such as DOML or Brando).

Speed

McMagnus @ 9/28/2002 1:23:09 AM #
Does this imply that the old card, which I have and is very slooow, can *not* transmit at 768kbit/s?

I and several others have tried to maximize the throughput of the old card can't reach much more than ~100kbit/s. And by this rate, the Palm itself slows down to a crawl, which gives a hint that the Palm also drains the battery when using the card.

Magnus

Speed

McMagnus @ 9/28/2002 1:23:09 AM #
Does this imply that the old card, which I have and is very slooow, can *not* transmit at 768kbit/s?

I and several others have tried to maximize the throughput of the old card can't reach much more than ~100kbit/s. And by this rate, the Palm itself slows down to a crawl, which gives a hint that the Palm also drains the battery when using the card.

Magnus

RE: Speed
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/28/2002 9:50:45 AM #
Perhaps the new card takes advantage of Palm's new OS5 and ARM processor to acheive the higher data rates(?)... just a thought.
RE: Speed
McMagnus @ 9/28/2002 10:10:17 AM #
Yeah, possibly, but a little far-fetched. The TT has bluetooth built-in and the others doesn't use OS5. If the new card uses OS5 then Toshiba must aim for a future device.

Why Wait for Sony?

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/29/2002 10:58:48 PM #
Ed,

Okay, I have a CLIE N70 and have been waiting patiently for the new OS models to upgrade my PDA. However, no one can "confirm" whether or not the new models will be Blootooth capable--- that is without the MS Bluetooth that was promised to us... uh, last year?

I use my CLIE for mostly work, e-mail, Docs to go etc. I also download MPEGs and MP3s and the occasional family picture. What I really want (and need) a simple way to connect wirelessly to the web.

Today I saw a "sweet" PDA from Toshiba that is already wireless capable and now with the SD Bluetooth... seems like a good option. My biggest issue with the Toshiba is that it is Pocket PC. Other than that, it is cheaper than what we can expect to pay for the new CLIE w/OS 5 plus Bluetooth. So why should I hang on to the Sony/Palm OS dream... other than it is cool?

Am I missing something?


RE: Why Wait for Sony?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/30/2002 12:59:24 AM #
1) Bluetooth is not going to give you wireless internet, you need 802.11.
2) 802.11 is not really avalibale on any Sony Clie model yet, unless you get the CF Sleeve, but that's only avaliable in Japan and parts of Asia.

3) again Bluetooth is not wireless internet

RE: Why Wait for Sony?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/30/2002 5:56:26 AM #
>>>1) Bluetooth is not going to give you wireless internet, you need 802.11.<<<

Depends on what you want. For some more limited applications, bluetooth can provide sufficient network functionality.

e.g. If you only have a few PCs/PDAs/Peripherals in close proximity. For high power devices such as PCs, the proximity is not that big an issue either if you are using longer range (100m) hardware. There is a LAN profile avaiable as part of the Bluetooth standard.

I was thinking of having bluetoothbluetooth on my PC upstairs and on my PDA as well. This would hopefully (depending on signal strenghth through floorboards etc) allow me to access the internet on my PDA when I am in the living room. The bandwidth should be ample for such use.

Zuber

RE: Why Wait for Sony?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/30/2002 6:38:03 PM #
> 1) Bluetooth is not going to give you wireless internet, you need 802.11.

How about Palm + Bluetooth + Bt cell phone = wireless internet? With umpteen people interested on this board alone doing that...

Oh, and I have yet to hear tell of a phone with Wi-Fi available, whether built-in or as an add-on...

RE: Why Wait for Sony?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/30/2002 7:33:23 PM #
But you want SIMPLE way to conenct to the web, not complicated way ....

with 802.11 you just need a DHCP server to get on the net

with Bluetooth, you'll be connecting to a Cell phone and dailing up a service .... and did I tell u that connecting the Cellphone with bluetooth is really not very reliable yet... I tried .. it's fun the first time but it suck if you want to maintain the connection.

Bluetooth and memory in one SD card?

prof @ 10/22/2002 7:42:35 AM #
Having a smaller Bluetooth SD card is great, but the biggest disadvantage is that when the card is in your Palm so you can have permanent internet via a cell phone with Bluetooth and GPRS, you don't have any additional memory.

Is there anyone developing a SD card with both Bluetooth and 16/32/64 MB of memory as well?

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