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IrPass


Updated Nov 16, 2010

 Purchase IrPass Purchase IrPass on-line by clicking the Digital River icon.

What's Here?

Introduction to IrPass
Product Status - find out about the current and upcoming releases
Download, install and run IrPass
Hints on using IrPass (Ericsson T39 issue and MIPS processors)
IrPass GSM Signal meter
Using IrPass with non IRDA devices as a port mapper

Introduction

Do you have a Pocket PC device and some other piece of equipment that's got infrared and you want to connect some application on your desktop computer to your infrared equipment? If you do and also have a serial sync cable for your Pocket PC, IrPass will save you the cost of an infrared adapter and the hassles of setting up infrared compatible software on your desktop.

Infrared communications between computer devices normally use the IRDA protocol. If your PC doesn't have an infrared port, you'd do one of two things:

Now you have a third choice. IrPass, a Pocket PC and a serial synchronization cable makes your Pocket PC operate like a smart infrared dongle. There's no special software to load onto your desktop PC - just point your infrared software to the COM port that's connected to your Pocket PC, launch IrPass on your Pocket PC and communicate with your infrared device.

IrPass Main Screen  IrPass Configuration IrPass Devices in range

Product Status

IrPass 1.0 is now available. You can download a demo version that runs for about 90 seconds or purchase the full version from Digital River for $19.95.

We've tested IrPass with these devices/software:

All of these tests were performed with an HP Jornada 548 and a Compaq iPAQ 3660. If you've used IrPass with other devices, please let us know. Thanks.

Download, install and run IrPass

Visit our Download page to get your demo copy of IrPass. The setup program runs on your desktop PC and will automatically install IrPass onto your Pocket PC using ActiveSync.

After installation, turn off automatic sync when the serial cable is connected. To do this, tap on Start, Settings, Connections and then tap the PC icon. Make sure you have the automatic synchronization disabled, like this picture:

Control Panel Snapshot

Once this has been done, hook up the serial cable and make sure that ActiveSync doesn't start. You can then start IrPass by tapping Start, Programs and then tap the IrPass icon.

By default, IrPass operates at 9,600 bps. This is compatible with the widest range of devices. If your device and connection software can operate at different rates, you can change this by tapping on the Configure button. This configuration screen also lets you change the serial port used to communicate with your desktop PC and which infrared interface is used.

WARNING: when you run the IrPass program your Pocket PC will not power off automatically. When the serial interface is enabled on the Pocket PC, the system will not power itself off. Leaving IrPass running when not being used will flatten your battery more rapidly than normal - always make sure you close IrPass when you're done with infrared.

Hints on using IrPass

Ericsson T39 and Compaq iPAQ:

Ericsson's PC software tries to communicate with the phone at 115,200 and 9600 bps. We can't get 115,200 synchronization to work at all - it just stops apparently for no reason, however, 9600 baud synchronization works fine. However, because Ericsson's software tries to communicate with the phone at 115,200, if IrPass is set to 9600, the iPAQ's serial driver sees the burst of 115,200 traffic as a random 9600 character. This gets echoed back by the T39 and as a result the PC software doesn't see the correct response.

To work around this, there's an option in the IrPass configuration (E39m Fix) that looks at the data being sent between the PC and T39 and if it sees the offending random character, it discards it. If you use a T39 and iPAQ, you must enable this option - for any other Infrared devices, it should be disabled.

MIPS-based Pocket PCs:

IrPass works on SH3 and Strong ARM based Pocket PCs. MIPS-based Pocket PCs such as Casio devices are not supported. MIPS-based Pocket PCs have one serial port that's shared between the IR interface and the sync connector and as a result, both ports cannot be opened at the same time. It's also worth pointing out that IrPass doesn't run on Palm-sized PCs running Windows 2.12 - again, the issue is a single serial port for both sync and IRDA.

GSM Signal Meter

In addition to it's normal job of acting as an IRDA passthrough device, IrPass also has a GSM signal meter for telephones with Infrared like Ericsson's T39 and Motorola's Timeport. This is actually a very useful tool for finding the best place in a building to get GSM service, epecially in fringe areas.

To activate the GSM signal meter, tap on Ir Devices and then GSM Signal Meter. Make sure the Infrared port on your phone is enabled and after a few seconds, you'll see the carrier your phone is using along with current and average signal.

GSM Signal Meter

Using IrPass with non IRDA devices

You can also use IrPass as a serial port to serial port interface. For example, if your Pocket PC has a GPS receiver on COM4 and Bluetooth Serial on COM8, by connecting COM8 to COM4 your laptop's Bluetooth card can talk to the GPS receiver using IrPass to connect the two.

It really doesn't stop there. Any serial port on the Pocket PC can be connected to any other. For example you connect the Pocket PC's Bluetooth serial port to your Bluetooth GSM phone and then use the Pocket PC's serial cable to connect your desktop serial port - the desktop PC will think it's got a direct connection to the phone. Or if your laptop only has IrDA, yet you've got a Bluetooth only phone, your Pocket PC can connect the IrDA port to the Bluetooth port and onto your phone.