Bluetooth solution for Laptop operation of Flex-6600

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  • Updated 6 months ago
I've had my Flex-6600 for a couple of days, and I've been struggling to use my Bose QC35 II headset to operate SSB phone from my laptop, on my WiFi LAN.

I've seen that other people have encountered similar problems using various Bluetooth headsets.

The Bose QC35 II noise-canceling headphones do have a built-in microphone. While the mic isn't on a boom, it is reasonably sensitive and has a good frequency response for radio operation. On the 'Playback' tab of the Windows 10 'Sound' control panel, the Bose headphones can be accessed either as a "Headset" device or a "Headphone" device. I found that SmartSDR will only play through the QC35 II when the "Headphone" entry is set as the Default (Playback) device. The "Headphone" entry probably should also be selected as the 'Default Communication Device'.

For the Bose QC35 II microphone to be available to SmartSDR, the "Headset" entry must be set as the 'Default' (Record) device. As with the Playback setting, it's probably a good idea to set this entry to the Default Communication Device, as well.

--- Note --- In Windows 10, the Playback and Record 'Sound' settings are accessed through the 'Sounds' selection, on the system-tray speaker pop-up.

I have a Yoga 900 laptop. Using the above settings with the built-in Intel Bluetooth hardware, I could listen to the Flex-6600 receiver on the QC35 II headhones. However, when I selected 'PC' for the TX microphone in SmartSDR, the receive audio from the Flex-6600 stopped completely. I tried a multitude of settings, but I simply couldn't get past this problem.

So, I stopped by BestBuy and picked up an Insignia NS-PCY5BMA2 USB-Bluetooth adapter. This adapter uses Broadcom Bluetooth circuitry. I used the Bluetooth control-panel on my laptop to disable the built-in Intel Bluetooth hardware and then plugged in the Insignia adapter. Windows 10 recognized the adapter and installed the drivers in much less than a minute. After re-booting my computer, I was able to make SSB QSOs using the Bose headset!

If you've been struggling with this Bluetooth issue, for an outlay of a bit over $20, you might want to give this solution a try. 


Mark - AD7EF
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Mark Davis

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Posted 6 months ago

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Ned K1NJ

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     Very good.  Thanks, Mark.
               Ned,  K1NJ