Purpose of Bluetooth Capability in 6400M

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I noticed in QST's Feb 2019 review of the Flex 6400M in the digital QST video that the 6400M has an FCC ID that covers an installed Bluetooth device (FCC ID: TX2-RTL8723BS). Does anyone know what the purpose of this is? I've seen many posts here asking about pairing wireless headsets with a PC connected to the Flex, but if the 6400M has its own built in Bluetooth, why not just use that? 

Could this internal Bluetooth support a future 6400X mobile version mounted in the trunk, using Bluetooth to communicate with a highly modified and much smaller and compact Maestro, mounted in the vehicle's cabin, carrying signaling, audio, etc. over Bluetooth to/from the transceiver? 

Just sayin...

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Larry - WA7LZO

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Posted 1 year ago

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Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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It's likely part of the display module (which is an embedded Windows computer), but disabled in the Flex implementation.
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Lucas - W6AER

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That was my guess also
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Larry - WA7LZO

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BTW, if Bluetooth is a non-starter to carry pertinent info (e.g., data, signaling, audio, keying, etc.) between a mobile CH to the Flex radio located in the trunk, Flex could always consider using a nice fiber optic cable, like Icom did way back in the late 1990's with its 2M/440 mobile radio. I'm so sick and tired of spinning VFO knobs on mobile HF radios. It's just so Yesterday.
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Larry - WA7LZO

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Yup, I had thought of that, too but if it is permanently disabled (e.g., no easy way for the user to enable it), I don't think there would be a necessity to have an FCC ID cert for this module, unless it is simply a carry-over already associated with the off-the-shelf OEM notepad. Last time this discussion of the OEM notepad used for the Maestro display came up here (now used in the 6400M), recall that the repurposed notepad was so OEM that the On/Off button on the Maestro actually engaged a plastic mechanical arm that contacted the On/Off button on the previous generation OEM notepad. Leads me to believe the new display, although using a newer version (different vendor?) of the old OEM notepad, it may again be a very near totally stock OEM, as the previous one was, or close enough to this.
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Ken Hansen

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In a mobile install I'd run a cat5 cable to a RAM mounted laptop...

Re-packaging the radio would likely trigger a need to re-certify the device, negating any savings by disabling the interface in the initial design.

Of course, speculating is fun, but I suspect it has a very mundane reason for being included.
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Larry - WA7LZO

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If I'm going that route, I'd probably use the smaller 6700 versus the much larger volume 6400/6600. 
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Michael Walker, Employee

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There are no plans to leverage Bluetooth at this time.  

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Arvind Mallya

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Mike, Is there a setup procedure to route the Bluetooth audio and Mic or a USB earphone and Mic from the Flex 6600 connected to a PC and how does one key?
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The possibilities are interesting for doing both incoming and outgoing audio, plus PTT through Bluetooth to the PC. There are many Bluetooth headsets that will connect to the PC and provide headphone / microphone. PTT could also be done by using a Bluetooth serial port emulation to the PC, then connect to CAT PTT via serial on the PC. You’d need to have a Bluetooth serial device with the capability of toggling control lines from your operating position. I have no idea whether such a beast exists, but I bet it does. And the challenge would be interesting.

Not plug-n-play for PTT, but pretty much so for audio. Now I’ll let Mike answer the question :-)