TomTom bluetooth issues on Qtek 9000

Users of the TomTom navigation solution may experience problem when trying to connect their PDAs to a non-supported bluetooth GPS receiver. At least I had huge problems when trying to get TomTom 5.21 on a Qtek 9000 (a.k.a. HTC Universal or the Jasjar) to connect to my Bluei GPS receiver. I had no issues in bonding the GPS receiver with the PDA but no matter how I tried I couldn't get TomTom to use the serial port provided by the bluetooth stack.

The problem is not that TomTom can't use the GPS. The problem is that TomTom is unable to list the Bluetooth serial port which means that the user is unable to select it. After much trials this is how I managed to do it.

First bind the GPS receiver to the PDA and add a serial port to it. I selected COM4 but you can use whatever port is available to you.

Then the GPS control panel applet must be enabled. The applet provides access to control the serial intermediate driver in Windows Mobile 5 which, for some reason, has been disabled by HTC.

Use any registry editor (I recommend PHM Registry Editor) on the PDA to set the value 0 (zero) to the key Hide in HKLM\ControlPanel\GPS Settings. If the GPS applet does not appear under Settings -> System, then restart your PDA to make the change take effect.

In the GPS applet you will find three tabs. The first tab ('Program') is the serial port which applications on your PDA will connect to in order to get GPS data. I selected COM8 but you can use another port as long as it is available. Under the second tab ('Hardware') you identify the serial port which the GPS is connected to; in other words the serial port selected in the bluetooth manager. The Bluei GPS receiver uses 4800 baud but your GPS receiver may differ so check your documentation. Finally, you will want to check the box under the third tab ('Access').

Once this is done, the serial port selected under the first tab ('Program') showed up in TomTom. The next problem was that TomTom seemed unable to open the serial port by itself. Other GPS applications, however, were able to use the bluetooth GPS and while they were running TomTom could also use the port. So, at this stage I had a clumsy workaround.

To avoid having to run multiple applications I then went back to the GPS applet and disabled the intermediate serial port support by unchecking the box on the third tab and instead changing the serial port setting in the Bluetooth manager to use the same port I had previously set for applications (COM8 in my case).

So much trouble just because the TomTom developers apparently can't enumerate serial ports properly.