Psion Epoc Infra Red

The best beaming miniature computers on the planet.

IrDA infrared beaming and how to use it.

Print using infrared printers, connect to IrDA compliant mobile phones, transfer files and objects to and from other Epoc devices up to a metre away, beam to Palm, and Windows computers.

Transfer files and objects

At the system screen, use Menu, Tools, Remote Link, and set to infra red.

The receiver should open the system screen in the folder where the files are to be transferred, or open the file or program that is intended to receive the object. Press the infrared command icon, and select the receive (or use the menu item).

The sender selects the closed file (or group of files) and presses the infrared command item and selects transmit. You can select some text by highlighting, and send just the selected text. For objects within programs, just select the object. Graphs within Sheet are not sent, however the cell contents to generate the graph will be sent.

The Psion Series 3c/mx or Siena infrared is an earlier IrDA system not compatible with Epoc, although it will work with printers. Check for special drivers by Jim Pollock for some additional support.

Printing

Select an infrared printer model and set that up as your printer in the Control Panel, or in Print setup from the File, Print menu within the application. Select infrared as the printing method.

This works fine with Hewlett Packard 5P and 5MP LaserJet and similar HP IR equipped printers. It also works with Canon BJC80 and BJC50 ink jet printers (although the older Series 5 classic Psion may need a patch that comes with the free Message Suite 1.52 upgrade).

Bypass the printer drivers

If you wish to send a Postscript or similar file to a printer, use the Comms application to select the file, and send it as plain ASCII text. I use this to produce desk top publishing output from my Psion to my Postscript printer.

IrDA Travel Modem

Psion produced a 56kbps battery powered IrDA Travel Modem. This can be used to connect to a fixed phone line via the Psion IrDA port, using Mail, Web, or the Comms application.

PsiWin, IrCOMM and Windows

One of the early IrDA (infra red) specifications is IrCOMM. This provides a virtual serial port (and is often driven directly from the same physical serial interface as the RS232 port). The two versions work just like a three wire (software handshake) or a nine wire (full port control signals) serial connection.

Steven Pemberton notes. Switch off the IR link on the Revo; double click 'My Psion' on the PC; position the Revo to line up the IR eyes; *then* switch on the link on the Revo. You get a connection, and at full speed.

Since Windows 95 (custom install) and Windows 98 include IrCOMM, PsiWin can use the infrared port to connect to a Psion. PsiWin was not specifically designed to use IrCOMM, PsiWin was designed to use a serial cable. Since IrCOMM imitates that cable, PsiWin will often work fine over IrDA. There are software overheads under IrDA which mean it is slower than a cable connection.

Windows NT does not include any support for any form of IrDA. Microsoft provides IrDA and IrOBEX in Windows 2000, however they removed IrCOMM from all their Windows 2000 and later products. The patch they provide is for mobile phones only. I have heard that you can obtain a Microsoft patch to provide legacy IrCOMM support in Windows XP, but have not checked this.

IrOBEX

In 1998, IrOBEX was added to the IrDA specification. This was designed to allow "objects" to be exchanged. Some of the objects that are compatible from device to device are vCard (Contact) and vCalendar (Agenda appointment). If the other machine does not recognise the "object", it will probably refuse to accept it. This is why only a vCard or similar object will transfer to say a Palm PDA.

You can install the third party plBeam product on your Psion to allow arbitrary files to be beamed using IrOBEX. This will allow you to transfer files, provided the other device also accepts arbitrary files. Please note that IrOBEX is already available on a ER5 based Psion. What this additional software does is permit you to send any sort of file, as if it were an object. IrOBEX will not allow PsiWin to connect, since PsiWin does not use IrOBEX.

There is also a free IrOBEX arbitrary file transfer program available on the C-Pen web site. It comes as a file called psion.sis. This allows you to receive files from a C-Pen hand scanner.

Beaming to Palm, Pocket PC, etc.

plBeam, or the C-Pen equivalent, a third party application, will allow IrOBEX transfers to Palm OS PDAs, Windows versions after Windows 98, some pocket scanners. Single objects such as a vCard contact (but not multiple ones) can be beamed to Palm systems without additional software like plBeam. For beaming to Windows CE systems, the Windows CE machine usually needs to have the third party Peacemaker software.

Beam to GSM mobile phone

If a GSM mobile phone contains a built in data adaptor (sometimes erroneously called a modem), and it also has an IrDA compatible infra red link, then you can connect to the internet via the phone. This facility is not available on any CDMA phone as far as I can tell. In some countries, you need to make arrangements with the mobile phone operator before data calls will be accepted. My Communications section has more on this topic.

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ericlindsay.com -> epoc -> applications -> irda

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