Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ubuntu Bluetooth Network Tethering - Smartphone

Currently the DRIVEBY system I've been working on prefers to have a live internet connection for using the Google Maps API as well as Google Charts API.  Live Mapping isn't a requirement of the system to gather GEOTAGGED RF Noise Floor levels.  All of that RF and GPS logging happens regardless of whether there is a live Internet connection.
  
However, it's nice to have the Google Maps on the Web GUI updating while you are driving so you can see where you've already been and how well the measurements were done on the various roads you've been on.  For example if you're driving at 20-30 mph and someone comes up behind you, and there's no where to pull off for a moment you have to speed up or risk pissing them off. :-)   I've modified the code a bit to speed up GPS lat/long to TIME recording.  So this is less likely to happen the next time I go out.  HOWEVER, without seeing the live map you don't really know for certain if you where able to collect solid data down a stretch of road.  If there are gaps, you can simply redrive the same road several times and things will fill in on the map and you will also get better coverage of measurements in the archived data.

So it's helpful to have the live maps updating while you are driving around, even though they're not a requirement.  In order for this to work, I need to have a TETHERED Network connection on my laptop.  Yesterday when I went out testing my USB tethering cable seemed to have a loose connection.  I also discovered that on my Android 4.4.2 Galaxy S3 smartphone I was unable to activate USB Tethering.  Even after spending at least an hour or two researching what to do.  So I used an older Galaxy Note 2 tablet that uses and older version of Android and I was able to USB tether that to my laptop.  While driving I discovered that the USB cable had an intermittent issue with connectivity to my laptop.  That's problematic when you are driving and altogether to risky.

SO today I plugged an ASUS Bluetooth dongle into my Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Laptop and was able to get Tethered Internet access via Bluetooth from my Galaxy S3!  And bonus it was SUPER SIMPLE.  Ubuntu rocks for ease of use related to this sort of thing.  Now I don't have to fret about a loose USB cable and the phone can be anywhere within Blue tooth range making placement of things MUCH easier as well.

I can post details on how this is done if anyone needs or wants to know the detail.