ThinkPenguin Bluetooth adapter working with Ubuntu, not Trisquel

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odinsothereye
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Iscritto: 02/03/2016

Hi all,

Language teacher and (very) amateur libre software enthusiast here. I've been using Trisquel for about 6 days now and I'm hoping some of you more technically adept folks can help me with a strange problem I've been having:

Problem: When I tell Trisquel's Bluetooth program to scan for devices and turn on the Mojo speaker, it connects and everything looks fine, but when I try to play audio, the audio comes out of my T420's speakers and not the Mojo's speaker. I have gone into sound settings and attempted to switch the desired output device to BEM Mojo, but it hasn't worked. I booted into Ubuntu and tried to play audio in the same way and it worked, so there's a difference between how Ubuntu 14.04 and Trisquel 7 are approaching the task, but I don't know what it is or how to fix it. When I connect the computer and speaker with an auxiliary cord, the audio plays fine.

Equipment involved:
(1) Thinkpad T420 laptop running a ThinkPenguin USB wireless adapter since the built-in RealTek wireless adapter (RTL8188CE 802.11b/g/n WiFi Adapter) appears not to be compatible with Trisquel
(2) ThinkPenguin USB Bluetooth adapter (full info here: https://www.thinkpenguin.com/gnu-linux/penguin-usb-bluetooth-40-micro-adapter)
(3) BEM Mojo Bluetooth Speaker (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=1078668&gclid=CjwKEAiAi4a2BRCu_eXo3O_k3hUSJABmN9N1lP99Fv8iXQDqbUL3l7ziTbpCMYXYiFk9-1zr4FoRWhoCTHvw_wcB&is=REG&ap=y&m=...)
(4) Trisquel 7 and Ubuntu 14.04

So that's the issue. Does anyone have thoughts on how I can solve this problem?

Best,
OtherEye

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

Does it work on Trisquel's live system?

odinsothereye
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Iscritto: 02/03/2016

Hello again Magic Banana, I'm going to boot into the Trisquel live and see what happens.

Storm, thanks for the musings. The ThinkPenguin wifi adapter is working fine. The issue here is the Bluetooth. I just mentioned the wifi adapter because I was listing off the important pieces of equipment I'm using and it seemed appropriate to mention it.

odinsothereye
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Iscritto: 02/03/2016

Banana, I livebooted into Trisquel 7 and had the same problem. It all looked connected on my monitor, the Mojo speaker did its happy "I connected!" jingle, and then it played the audio from the speakers, even after I went into sound settings and clicked furiously on the "Output-Mojo" option.

On a less important note, in both Trisquel and Ubuntu, I have to remove Mojo from known devices before reconnecting to it. I imagine that's a separate issue, though. My main focus remains getting the speaker to play audio in Trisquel.

I have another Bluetooth speaker somewhere around here. It's semi-broken but I'm gonna see if I can get it to connect to Trisquel and Ubuntu, just for the sake of variable isolation.

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

Are the versions of the kernels on your Trisquel and your Ubuntu systems the same? One way to know the version is to open a terminal and execute:
$ uname -r

You could try to update Trisquel's kernel: https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/update-linux-libre-kernel

And you could contact Chris (ThinkPenguin's CEO and user of Trisquel): https://trisquel.info/users/chris/contact or, probably better, https://www.thinkpenguin.com/contact

ThinkPenguin has this documentation too: https://www.thinkpenguin.com/gnu-linux/bluetooth-support-information

odinsothereye
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Iscritto: 02/03/2016

Hi Banana,

I updated the kernels and it didn't work; I tested another Bluetooth speaker and it didn't work; so I'm basically out of ideas at this point.

Wouldn't reaching out to Chris/ThinkPenguin be a bit gratuitous for this case? I feel that it might be considered trivial.

Maybe I'm just too jaded from using computing systems and devices that are developed by people who care about money and less about functionality and the people using them?

onpon4
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Iscritto: 05/30/2012

Gratuitous? I'm sure Chris would be happy to help you out any way he can. At the very least, I would if I were in his position.

Legimet
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Iscritto: 12/10/2013

Chris is on this forum, he would probably be able to help you.

Chris

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Iscritto: 04/23/2011

Hi,

If I had to hazard a guess the kernel/driver in Trisquel 7 does not have good support for your USB controller. The Ubuntu version you installed probably has a newer kernel which would explain why it works in one and not the other. The bluetooth adapters we sell have support going back many many years and I can't recall a single support incident in recent times. That doesn't mean there aren't any scenarios where you couldn't run into a problem- but it's almost certainly not the adapter at fault here.

So why would the kernel upgrade have failed? Well, I'd probably check to verify that the kernel your booting up with is in fact been upgraded to at least that of the Ubuntu installed where the adapter was working. Chances are the kernel upgrade failed.

Now if it is in fact the same there is no reason it shouldn't work at that point unless the adapter has died. At least in theory. Should be easy to test simply by testing it in Ubuntu again (assuming its still installed, or test from a live CD if you have).

OK- so it's possible the bluetooth adapter died as a result of the flaky USB controller. If that is the case send support an email and we can exchange it. Just make sure you've upgraded to a recent kernel version before trying the replacement adapter. These flaky controllers do have a tendency to kill peripherals you attach to them.

If you do find that the adapter works in Ubuntu still I'm going to have to assume it's some sort of user-related issue-or maybe related to the bluetooth profile needed for the device your connecting. It might be for example that the bluetooth profile for the device isn't supported by Trisquel 7. There is another component if I'm not mistaken which runs on top of the kernel layer which enables you to connect to the given bluetooth device itself. This is separate from the kernel driver for the bluetooth adapter. Ubuntu will still have a newer version here as you've only upgraded the kernel component and not the bluetooth profiles. I'm actually not entirely sure if or at least it may not be a good idea to upgrade to a newer version of this component. Installing newer packages can often create problems and I've not investigated the level of risk which may or may not be involved in upgrading this particular component. I'd really want to investigate it before providing directions. There shouldn't be a license issue, but the dependencies could create problems, which would basically break the install.

CodyH
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Iscritto: 12/08/2015

99% certainty it isn't related to your adapter. If anything it is going to be a driver issue for the particular bluetooth device you are connecting or the device not being properly selected for audio output.

Step 1) DO NOT plug in your bluetooth adapter. Boot up into Trisquel, open a terminal and type "uname -r" as Magic Banana stated. This will tell you what kernel version you have installed. I can tell you with 100% certainty that the adapter works with kernel 4.3 from https://jxself.org/ because that's what I just tested it with. As a side note, I don't know what kernel originally shipped with Trisquel 7, but that is likely the kernel version ThinkPenguin tested the adapter with and so again, it's unlikely the kernel isn't recognizing the adapter itself. Also, you did note that you updated the kernel, but you didn't indicate to which one.

Step 2) Type "hciconfig" in the terminal (hciconfig is one of the tools used for managing/configuring bluetooth). You should receive no output and it will drop you into the same prompt. Now plug in your adapter, wait a couple seconds and type "hciconfig" again. You will likely now have some output indicating the adapter has been recognized (it will have type/rx bytes/tx bytes/etc).

Step 3) If your adapter isn't recognized, update your kernel. As I said, it will definitely work with kernel 4.3.

Step 4) Trisquel should automatically have the bluetooth icon appear in notification bar. Click "set up new device". Connect your speaker as normal, and you will have the connected jingle from your speaker. At this point the audio will still play from the built in speakers.

Step 5) You are correct in your assumption that you have to select the speaker as output (because as far as I'm aware Trisquel doesn't switch the audio by default). So go into all settings -> sound and select the speaker. Now as Chris mentioned, the issue is likely the audio profile selected. The default profile is likely set to "Telephony Duplex (HSP/HFP)" which is NOT what you want. You want to select the "High Fidelity Playback (A2DP)" profile.

Step 6) Click the "test speakers" button to the right of where you just changed the profile. Click the test button and wait a second (you may actually want to wait a couple seconds and test it more than once because when I first open it, I have a delay where the speaker only says "left" instead of "front left" and this could lead someone to believe the speaker isn't working when in fact it is).

When testing, the device I successfully used was a JBL Flip 3. Best of luck.