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Can bluetooth signals be controlled with code?

Posted on 2010-11-30
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Last Modified: 2013-12-14
I just have a general question, for now. I am looking to try and develope something that needs the use of bluetooth technology. I understand how bluetooth works and etc. I am waiting to know if it would be possible to to increase and decrease signal strength through the use of code?

Basically, I want this to happen:

1. Bluetooth is turned on. I am holding the phone/device. The bluetooth receiever/headset is 20 feet away from me and has a strong signal.

2.  I want to weaken the signal. Can I alter the broadcast of the PAN to be lower? Then if I walk closer and within 10 feet of the device, the signal gets stronger again?

I guess I also need to know if signal strength has a direct correlation with distance of the two units?
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Question by:jdpjtp910
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10 Comments
 
LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:aburr
ID: 34257744
"I guess I also need to know if signal strength has a direct correlation with distance of the two units?"
Yes
If you are far enough away the strength drops off as 1/r^2.
Closer the reduction is more like 1/r
(where r is the distance
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LVL 27

Assisted Solution

by:aburr
aburr earned 250 total points
ID: 34257765
" I want to weaken the signal. Can I alter the broadcast of the PAN to be lower?"
This can be done. Almost anything can be done if one expends enough time and money. But in your case I think it would be difficult. One possibility would be to somehow reduce the power (voltage) to the bluetooth unit.
A temporary solution would be to shield the blue tooth unit with aluminum foil
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Expert Comment

by:d-glitch
ID: 34257781
Basic (very basic) specs for Bluetooth are here:

    http://www.bluetooth.com/English/Technology/Pages/Basics.aspx

The answers to your questions seem to be yes and yes.
But why do you want to add an extra level of complexity.

Build a Class 2 device (range of 33 ft) and be done with it.
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Author Comment

by:jdpjtp910
ID: 34285593
Aburr:

The power voltages wouldn't help me in what I am trying to do.

D-Glitch:

I dont want to just build a class 2 device and be done with it.  I am trying to create/invent something that will trigger a cause effect action when the signal is strong or week.

So, to build off the class 2 device answer, can I have a device/handset that has a class 3 and class 2 radion? If so, could you have an event/procedure to switch between the two classes?

I cant explain too much what I am trying to do since I am waiting for a patent to go through. But here is the jist.

I basically just want to know if you can increase/decrease the range of the device with programming and/or hardware?
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:aburr
ID: 34285957
"The power voltages wouldn't help me in what I am trying to do. "
Why not?
You could put a voltage reducing circuit in the voltage line to the bluetooth output and program the reducer to reduce by whatever amount you wanted.
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Author Comment

by:jdpjtp910
ID: 34286288
Aburr-

Is that going to control the signal strength? If voltage goes down = lower signal strength, then yes that would do it :). If not, it wont help me. I just need to control the range of the signal/broadcast/radio whatever you want to call it. I want to be able to toggle between 5 feet, 10 ft, 15 ft, reduce and increase when needed.
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:aburr
ID: 34286820
"Is that going to control the signal strength? If voltage goes down = lower signal strength, then yes that would do it :)
Yes indeed.  That is exactly what it will do
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Accepted Solution

by:
d-glitch earned 250 total points
ID: 34292570
You may have a patentable idea, whether it turns out to be marketable will
depend on the details of the implementation.

This site can get you started:

    http://www.design-reuse.com/articles/5369/implementing-a-bluetooth-solution-chip-sets-or-asics.html

They suggest three implementation approaches:  modules, chip sets, and ASICs.
Let me add one more: custom design with discrete components.

Blue tooth chip sets will give you the lowest cost and the least flexibility.  If
you can modulate the input voltage to the final driver, you can modulate the
output power.  But that may not be an option with modules or chip sets.

Check out the products from CSR and Zeevo, talk to their application engineers,
and see what you can do.

If you go custom, either with a discrete component prototype or an ASIC, you
can do what ever you want.  

A discreet component Bluetooth device would probably cost hundreds of dollars
and require dozens of hour or NRE.  It is advanced ham radio or senior thesis
material.  The final product might be smaller than a toaster.

An ASIC would require hundreds of hours or NRE, and many hundred thousand
dollars in lot charges.  
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