How to pair in Bluetooth SPP vs Bluetooth Low Energy

This support article will demonstrate the differences and similarities between the pairing process for Bluetooth SPP (Serial Port Profile) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Although these two Bluetooth profiles are commonly used for a variety of applications, the focus of this guide is on the implications related to using Serialio’s Bluetooth scanners in either SPP or BLE mode. Click here to learn more about the difference between Bluetooth LE and Bluetooth SPP.

The most important difference when switching between BLE and SPP is that you CANNOT pair through your device’s Bluetooth Settings while using BLE mode. Below are basic instructions on how to pair your Bluetooth scanner is each mode.

How to Pair in SPP Mode

1. Take the appropriate actions to put your device in Bluetooth SPP mode. For example, scan the “Bluetooth-SPP” control code or adjust the DIP switches to support SPP mode.

2. Make your device discoverable and connectable. For example, scan the “Make Discoverable & Connectable” control code from your scanner’s Quick Start Guide or hold down the small function button (available on most Scanfob-brand barcode scanners)

3. Navigate to your host device’s Bluetooth settings

4. Tap on your scanner’s Bluetooth name to pair with it.

5. After pairing through your host device’s Bluetooth settings, launch (or open) the application you wish to use with your scanner. Examples of  Bluetooth-SPP supporting applications include SerialMagic Gears for Android and SerialMagic Professional for Windows.

6. Navigate to the application’s settings/connection manager. For example, with SerialMagic Gears, you would tap on the Options button, then “Device Manager.”

7. Pair your scanner with the Bluetooth-SPP supporting application.

How to Pair in BLE Mode

1. Take the appropriate actions to put your device in Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) mode. For many devices, BLE is the only Bluetooth mode available (e.g. Scanfob NFC-BB2-LE, Scanfob Ultra-BB2e). Devices that are only capable of BLE mode will often be named with the suffix “E” or “LE.” For these devices, you do not have to configure the Bluetooth mode.

2. Make your device discoverable. Some devices, such as the idChamp RS3, are made discoverable automatically once they are powered on.

3. Launch the BLE-enabled application you wish to connect to. Examples of BLE-supporting applications include SerialMagic Gears for Android, the RS3-NFC Setup app for iOS/Android, iScanBrowser for iOS/Android, yACK BLE for iOS/Android, SerialMagic Keys for iOS, Cloud-In-Hand Mobile Grid for iOS/Android, and SerialMagic Professional for Windows 10.

4. Navigate to the connection/device manager for the BLE-enabled application.

5. Pair your scanner directly to the application (bypassing the host device’s Bluetooth settings)