Bluetooth Cisco Console connection

As Cisco instructor for CCNA and DevNet on a Secondary Technical School, sometimes I give live demonstrations on Cisco devices. These devices a mounted in racks, so it should be handy to have a wireless console connection. This Christmas Holiday I developed a Bluetooth Cisco Console connection. It it rechargeable due to earlier development of a LiPo/Lio charger. Here it is:

It it build with the following components with a total cost of about € 26,- :

  • Li-Po/Li-Ion Charger (€ 5,15, self build)
  • Li-Po 2000mAh (€ 9,50 TinyTronics.nl)
  • AK-RS232 – TTL to RS232 Converter – Without plastic case, Male (€ 4,90 Artekit.eu)
  • 100k resistor, 470E resistor, 3mm LED.
  • HC-05 Bluetooth module with adapter (€ 6,45 OpenCircuit.nl)
  • Switch KCD1-11 10x15mm.
  • 3D printed housing.
Inside the box

As you can see in the picture, the TxD should have a pull-up resistor of 100k. Otherwise you cannot send data, due to electrical misconfiguring. I have extended the LED on the HC-05 module to the outside of the housing so you can see the status of the connection. The other LED on the Li-Po charger lit up when the battery is fully charged.

You could also use the HC-06 module (only slave mode) in this project. You do not have to do much on programming. On my module the version of the software was 3.0. I only changed the name and the password. Other parameters were left default. The default speed was already 9600 baud.

This HC-05 module uses Bluetooth 2.0. The advantage is that it will connect to PC/Mac very easy. The disadvantage is that it uses more power and less range. The range is about 10 meter as the BT2.0 protocol describes. I tested with a wall between the MacBook and the device and about 5 meter distance.

I tested in the classroom, without students. The distance was about 12 meter in line of sight. You can see it hanging at the console cables.

Test in classroom, about 12m distance.

Electrical connections

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