Handheld Scientific BT-500 Bluetooth Adaptersearch

Handheld Scientific BT-500 Bluetooth Adapter

Handheld Scientific BT-500 Bluetooth Adapter

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Unrelated question but what keyboard is being shown in the picture? Looking forward to the BT-500 for using with the Vortexgear Core. :)
TheSocialRecluse
If you are referring to the keyboard I posted with an attached battery/BT-500, it is a TADA 68.
Hi, does it work with a Ducky Mini (2014 made, cherry MX Brown switches, blue/red led)? I bought one and I would like to be sure please..
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After control, the Mini is powered by an ARM M3 MCU. And this is the same microcontroller you can find in a Shine 4 or Shine 5.
koukigreg
We have a Ducky One that works. It is not the micro-controller. It is the USB descriptors and report descriptors that are complex and "flexible" (which means it leaves a lot of room for interpretation). It is not that hard to handle if you have a full-fledged operating system but a real challenge if you have just a tiny processor with a few k-bytes of memory.
Is there a keyboard shortcut key to switch between Bluetooth and wired without pressing the button on the adapter?
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I really like this idea and support 110%. Also a shortcut for connection mode on/off would be nice as well.
chicken8duck
Ok consider this done. Will be in this drop. Will try to use Ctrl+Pause. We appreciate everyone's suggestion and feedback.
I just purchased this from the web site and it does not work with my Poker II connected to an iPad. It captures key strokes (green light blinks) but nothing appears on the screen. The connection works - I was able to get into command mode (which is pretty brilliant). It works with my MagicForce, but it isn’t my favorite keyboard.
jblakeh1
Hello Blake, thank you for purchasing our product and providing your feedback. As you know this product appears simple but it is very technical challenging. The USB protocol is fairly complex, and we are talking about implementing the USB host side with this tiny processor inside the adapter. Moreover, although USB is a standard, all devices implement it a little differently. That is why we have 100+ keyboards (and more mice) in our lab to test with. Every now and then we find one that is not compatible but in most cases we are able to modify our firmware to make the keyboard/mouse work. If a customer reports an incompatibility we will purchase the same keyboard to investigate, and offer free replacement if we are able to fix it (or full refund if we can't, which is very rare). We do have a Vortex Por3k tested to work but apparently Porker II is different. So we will purchase this one and test. Since the green LED light is blinking when the keys are pressed, which means the adapter does receive the key strokes, it should be an easy fix once we have the keyboard. Again, we appreciate your business and feedback.
My god, just use the OTG cable.
Wormboy
That is a good way to drain the battery, especially with a backlit keyboard :-).
Is there any lag? Suppose you would want to use this for mobile gaming for whatever reason and you want a keyboard (this is just an example) would there be any lag?
EliteEmperor
This is just like any Bluetooth keyboard. There is no noticeable lag for normal typing or mouse use (which sends out a lot more data). As regarding for gaming, all we like to say is your mileage may vary. It depends on the kind of games and how the games are played. So I guess you will have to find that out yourself.
does it work on linux?
(Edited)
phinicota
Yes. Essentially this is just like a standard Bluetooth keyboard. It works with any host such as Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux. Make sure your system has at least Bluetooth 4.0 though.
A customer sent two pictures to show how he attached the power bank with BT-500 to the side of his keyboard using Velcro. This power bank is very common (one 18650 cell).
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handheldsci
Dual Lock would work so much better. ;}
This offer from the maker of the product is still in effect: if you write a review and post it to a public forum, we will refund your purchase price, so basically you get it for free. Send the link to your post to support at handheldsci dot com (or use our web comment form just in case email is filtered). PayPal account is required to receive refund.
This adapter needs a USB power, right? It does not work by just connecting to the phone, as the picture misleads people.
rodneyzeng
Correct. It needs USB power. The picture is indeed a bit unclear. This has been discussed. Scroll down to see the talk history.
Hi, does this version work with self build Teensy keeyboard programmed with EasyAVR or QMK (as mouse+Keyboard combination)? Then I and a friend would be interested.:)
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Please send to support at handheldsci dot com. Also let us know which Teensy board it is targeting.
handheldsci
Thanks for the fast reply, I will.
how many hours of use before we need to recharge this?
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There's also the Anne Pro 1 and 2.
WallofYawn
yeah but I need to use fullsize :(
I'd really like to know if it can be used as below.
  • Wired connected "Keyboard→BT500→Note PC" (Main Keyboarding is wired to Note PC as usual)
  • Meantime, Wireless connected between Keyboard and Phone (want to switch from PC to Phone)
Is it possible?
(Edited)
hoonychan
Assuming I understand your question, I believe so. The device has 3 main states that you access via the button. BT only, USB only, and both enabled at the same time. You could switch between a bluetooth connected phone and a USB direct connection to another computer using the button.
I think if this product had a battery built in it would be much improved, instead of having to carry a battery pack you could just plug right to your keyboard
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Also is the bluetooth adapter that you’re selling on your website the same as this one on Massdrop? I would like to just by one now and not have to wait two months for it to arrive.
kingwong
Yes the adapter is exactly the same. The packaging could be different especially to international buyers so as to reduce shipping cost.
Just for the sake of curiosity, what is the power consumption of this thing? I have an IBM model F coming on which I will insert a teensy as soarer's converter, and I am wondering if it would be possible to insert also this little dongle and a little battery bank! Probably the problem would be power drag of the old capacitive pcb anyway...
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Thank you! I just measured the model M, and the power consumption seems to depend only from the locklights, it is 110 mA in normal use (only num lock light), and has a minimum of 80 mA with all lights off and a maximum of 140 mA with all lights on. Combined with the BT-500 it should be about 150 mA, so with a small 3000 mAh it should last about 3000/150= 20 hours. Not really a lot, and probably a model F has an even higher power draw...
Tosel
The Model-M we have consumes 200mA of current. And the voltage range is pretty strict. It won't work if the voltage is below 4.8V (so make sure the battery bank will maintain its voltage during discharging especially towards the end). In any case your calculation is correct. If you are ok with the battery time, this BT-500 + PS2 to USB converter + battery bank is the easiest way to convert the keyboard to wireless, without messing with circuit board or programming.
I just hope that will be shipped sooner. I have a project for a 3d printed 40% sandwich case and I wanna figure layout for a power bank and this little dongle
Exvin
This time around we aim to ship in about 3 weeks after the drop ends.
When will be re-drop? Support Daisy 40% keyboard?
(Edited)
A user wrote a review of this product: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/handheld-scientific-bt-500-bluetooth-adapter/talk/2273137 Based on the forum rules, there need to be at least 5 reviews before they show up here.
(Edited)
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We have a Ducky One that is tested to work with the Adapter. Haven't tested Ducky Shine 5 but there is a 95% chance that it will work. In the rare case that it doesn't, we will purchase the same keyboard to investigate, and send you a free replacement after we fix it.
handheldsci
this drop is $30 + shipping, and buying directly from you is $35 + $6 shipping right?
So we got the Massdrop ALT keyboard to work. See this video: https://youtu.be/e0jZh2m6XwY. The ALT keyboard contains a built-in hub, if you don't already know. The CTRL keyboard appears to have the same internal circuit so it should work as well. If you need a firmware upgrade (free), please contact support at handheldsci dot com.
handheldsci
I contacted your support team and provided Massdrop receipt & address. Got replied replacement unit will be sent. Is this for free?
lomboan58
The replacement service is free. The new unit will come with a pre-paid shipping label to send the old one back.
Hi @handheldsci do you have any tutorial on how to connect the keyboard into windows 10? im having trouble on how to connect my Massdrop ALT to my PC. It just cant connect :(
lomboan58
First, Massdrop ALT unfortunately does not work with the version of BT-500 we just shipped, as reported by a few users. We have since fixed this and I will soon have a separate post to offer free firmware upgrade to those who need it. Secondly, whether you can connect the BT-500 to a host (e.g, PC) has little to do with whether the keyboard works or not. You can still pair and connect the BT-500 to a host even if the keyboard is not working, since it uses no keycode pairing. So I am not sure your problem is just the ALT not working, or you are having problem in pairing and connecting to a PC. I would suggest trying out a different keyboard. Please post further questions or contact support at handheldsci dot com. We appreciate everybody's patience and understanding. By the way, your PC hardware needs to support Bluetooth 4.x, and has at least win8, since win7 and lower do not support BT 4.
Would it work if the power source was within the keyboard itself, or does the design make receiving power through the USB Male mandatory? Does it by chance have pads for soldering directly if the enclosure is removed? Not a huge fan of the dongle, but a USB based, permanent BT conversion sounds like a fun project.
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I'm super interested in this—but with only basic soldering skills and next to zero knowledge about wiring etc., I really hope someone will post a tutorial on how to integrate this into a keyboard case with a battery!
idealcheese
To encourage people post their experience, we are offering the following: if anyone posts an article to a public forum regarding the BT-500, either a review or a DIY tutorial, we will refund your purchase price, no matter where and when you bought it. Contact us directly with the link to your article. You must have a PayPal account to receive the refund. Offer is valid until we change this message.
Mentioned battery NOT INCLUDED for what use & which use. Give battery type/specification.
saisengken
Any battery pack that has a USB A Female port. Like what you would use to charge your phone with.
Does this work with the Varmilo VA87M? Sounds very interesting and just wondering before I might buy. Thanks
Eddiestarkk
We have tested the adapter with Vermilo VA68M V2 and it did work. I am confident it would work with VA87M. See the list of keyboards (and other devices) we have tested with the adapter: http://handheldsci.com/comp.

Hi, Is this adapter capable of switching between devices? e.g: switching between a PC (which have Bluetooth receiver) and a Laptop
TomKazansky
You can switch between the USB and Bluetooth interfaces by pressing the mode button. It cycles three states: USB enabled only, Bluetooth enabled only and both enabled. For BT you can have only one device paired and connected. To switch between multiple BT devices, you will have to unpair first then pair the new one. A workaround is to have multiple BT-500's connected in series (i.e., plug the male connector of one BT-500 into the female connector of another), and enable Bluetooth in the one you want to use. This creates some interesting use scenarios, could be very useful in certain applications (say, you want to broadcast key strokes to multiple Bluetooth devices).
Any updates on how this works with a Planck?
sssd
The BT-500 does work with OLKB Planck from Massdrop. See this video: https://youtu.be/bXSaBwKJx8I. The Planck has the original firmware. If you re-flash a custom firmware to the keyboard, that could be a different story.
I just tried this on several of my keyboards. It is confirmed working on:
  • GH60 Satan
  • KB Paradise V60 (original)
  • KC60
  • 1UP RGB
  • 1UP RGB HSE (USB C)
  • K-type
Does not work on the Alt (and interestingly the function keys to change the backlighting are not working. )
Tried with olkb planck rev3 (qmk) and couldnt get it to work. It registers key presses but sends the wrong ones or none. Any way to get this to work?
fnnln
Thanks for reporting. It is odd that it registers key presses but does not send the right keys. We do have a Planck kit to investigate. We post update soon.
Can I use this with my wired keyboard to make it wireless? How long does one charge last?
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I personally wouldn't use it in a fixed desktop situation, more for traveling or if you want to take notes on your phone, etc. Or if you're using a non-standard device that happens to present as a keyboard, like a barcode scanner. The advantage of using an external battery pack, especially if you would be using infrequently (as is the case for me) is that you don't have to worry about the battery dying, and you probably already have a USB battery pack to charge your phone. It has an additional use case, which is that it can do inline key remapping over either bluetooth or a direct USB connection. I don't currently need that, but I can see it being very handy for some users.
Our previous versions of this product did have a battery but we decided to change that, since the small battery couldn't meet all the needs. Keep in mind that the battery needs to supply the power to the attached keyboard. In addition to converting a wireless keyboard to wireless, this little device also acts as a USB to USB bridge for key mapping, among other things. So it can be useful even if you just use USB, for instance, to convert a keypad into a media center: Play, Stop, Next, Previous, etc. The BT-500 also works with mice, as well as those keyboard-emulating devices like foot pedals (hint: wireless page turner), bar code scanners, magnetic card readers, presentation pointers, PS2 to USB converters. Again, you can change the output of those by key remapping, and output is sent to both the USB and Bluetooth interfaces. We will demonstrate all those usages at CES 2019 Las Vegas. Most high end mechanical keyboards available in the market will be on display, including quite a few from Massdrop.
Just got mine. It doesn't seem to work with my Poker II. It powers the keyboard's LED indicator, and when I press keys, the green LED on the adapter flashes to acknowledge input. But nothing is sent. I tried a different keyboard (TEX Beetle) and that seems to work fine.
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It's the "new" usb-C POker II if that makes a difference. It could also be an issue with the supplied cable, I should check and see if I have any other usb-C cables handy.
kukkurovaca
See this video for the BT-500 working with Pok3r (Poker III): https://youtu.be/UlurqUypUhc. We have no clue why it doesn't work with Poker II in your case, especially the green LED flashes when the keys are pressed. If you find anything, please update us. We appreciate that.
Using a QMK-based keyboard, it doesn't work. It's missing and swapping key when typing. Macros and multiple key strokes (programmed in QMK) don't work. Eg. I have copy and paste keys which send cmd+C and cmd+V. Via Bluetooth, most of the times these are not being sent. Also, I have macros. If I send the macro '1234567' then I only receive '135'. I there a maximum typing speed / matrix scan rate?
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If it is too fast even in USB for the BT-500, I guess the only way to make it work is to slow down the output of your board. If you build your own firmware I guess it is easy: just add some delay between the characters when sending the macros. We have tested the BT-500 with many devices that output a lot of characters like barcode scanners and credit card readers. The USB interface always work without missing characters. By the way the BT-500 already has macros which is very easy to set up. Why just use that instead of jumping through the hoops to build the QMK firmware?
handheldsci
I don't know what's happening. There is not much QMK options that I can play with. I tried to reduce the debouncing delay, but it didn't help. What I'm experiencing:
  • Missed keys
  • Not working key combos
  • Not working macros
  • Sometimes last typed key is repeated endlessly until I tap another key
This happens both on Bluetooth and USB. Example of not working key combo:
  • Select A (Cmd + A), defined in QMK as LGUI(KC_A)
  • Works half of the time
Example of not working macro:
  • Copy macro:
  • key down KC_LGUI
  • key down KC_C
  • key up KC_C
  • key up KC_LGUI
  • Missing keys is just during normal typing
  • Repeating keys is often when multiple keys are pressed
  • I defined a different layer in QMK with symbols like =_+-, those are not working at all. Which is strange, because they are send by QMK. The OS (and the BT-500) are agnostic about those layers.
All is working fine when directly connected to my Mac.