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  1.    #1  
    I have no experience with the previous treos but I do have experience with the old handsprings (Platinum, edge) and palm OS 5 (Tungsten T)

    First question: The hardware serial port on the old handsprings was not a true "RS232C" serial port but actually had some conversion circuitry embedded in the cable. This conversion circuitry pulled power off of the host serial port. That was fine if you wanted to talk to a regular powered serial port but I want to talk to some other serial devices that don't have power available. Does anyone know if the serial output of the Treo 600 is true RS232C, i.e. can I hook up up Rx, tx, and gnd and talk to any TTL level device?

    Second question,
    I learned the hard way that OS 5 changes the way serial ports are opened. This may not be exactly correct but if I understand it correctly in OS4 and below the serial ports opened automatically when the unit was powered. In OS 5 the ports are closed until someone or something opens the port. Some software that was written for OS4 does not work simply because they assumed the ports were already open. Has anyone fooled with the hardware serial ports? I want to eventually interface my GPS and a few other toys.

    Got the developers guide but its 500 pages and I can't seem to find the info I am looking for.

    David
  2. #2  
    Originally posted by djs_tx
    Does anyone know if the serial output of the Treo 600 is true RS232C
    The Treo 600 uses the same connector/cables as the 180/270/300. I don't have one yet, but that makes me 99.99% certain that they have the same old Handspring non-RS232 levels at the connector.

    I learned the hard way that OS 5 changes the way serial ports are opened.
    I haven't noticed anything weird about opening ports, other than the Handspring HsExtKeyboardEnable(false) thing. The real problem is that they broke SrmSetWakeupHandler() on OS 5, so it requires using polling techniques to do serial communications. Can you believe that? Oh well, with using acceptable polling rates it isn't so bad. I poll around 5 times/sec on OS 5 for a keyboard driver etc.
  3.    #3  
    Do you have any idea why handspring uses these non standard levels? Surely there is not any power savings doing it this way? And they cannot use off the shelf UARTS so it can't be cheaper. That's disappointing, now I have to build a powered cable to do level shifting when power is not available from the port.
  4. #4  
    Originally posted by djs_tx
    Do you have any idea why handspring uses these non standard levels? Surely there is not any power savings doing it this way? And they cannot use off the shelf UARTS so it can't be cheaper. That's disappointing, now I have to build a powered cable to do level shifting when power is not available from the port.
    They've done it since day one, with the Visors. Sure it's cheaper. Those level converters, i.e. MAXIM, are expensive (relative). You have to remember that this is the same company that is too cheap to spend < $10 to add a bluetooth chipset to the Treo 600.
  5. #5  
    Bluetooth is not $10, at least not for the profiles you would expect the treo to have, such as networking.
    Maybe the ones that go into regular phones are $10, but they only really include a headset and serial port profile.

    I know "$10 a chip" has been thrown around a lot, but the development and added profiles probably push the BT functions you would want to $50 per phone.
  6. #6  
    Originally posted by steven975
    Bluetooth is not $10, at least not for the profiles you would expect the treo to have, such as networking.
    Maybe the ones that go into regular phones are $10, but they only really include a headset and serial port profile.

    I know "$10 a chip" has been thrown around a lot, but the development and added profiles probably push the BT functions you would want to $50 per phone.
    Do you mean extra licensing costs? I have no idea about that. But the networking capability would be nothing to add, as it is simply PPP over the SP (serial port profile). That's the way it works on my Nokia phone, and I do BT networking all day with it through my Linux box because I don't have a reliable GPRS signal here.
  7. #7  
    I think the BT solution was a little too expensive for HS to develop for a minority of the t600 customers. Now that they have palmone and the tungsten T resources, it could be done with less expense.

    developing a BT solution from scratch for a pretty low volume product like the t600 would likely have added around $100 a phone.
  8. #8  
    Perhaps I misread an article, but the way I understood one of the interviews was that a Handspring engineer said that they left room for a bluetooth chipset in case they were forced to add it later. When an engineer says that, it means he designed it into the circuit board but it is simply missing the parts. Otherwise why would he mention it at all, I mean, there's always "room" to add things.

    http://www.treocentral.com/content/Stories/236-1.htm

    Phonescoop.com gives this interesting quote though: "Speaking of Bluetooth, the Handspring engineers specifically left room on the Treo 600 circuit board for a Bluetooth module. It won't be included in initial releases, but Handspring spokesperson Brian Jaquet said there was very strong possibility that an updated version would be released with Bluetooth."

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