WiFi and Bluetooth Interference on my PPC

I came across this article on EDN [PDF] about WiFi and Bluetooth interference. Based on that article I found a way to squeak a little more performance out of my Pocket PC WiFi connection.

One major point of the article that got my attention was that:

“A separation of only 2 cm, as might occur when an interfering transmitter is in an adjacent PCMCIA card slot in a laptop computer, has a much more profound impact. In that situation, Bluetooth can shut down WiFi for all but short-range use.”

As you may know with the Axim X30 series, you have the option of integrated Wifi and Bluetooth. In addition, the default configuration is setup such that when you press the “Wireless Enable” Button (or button 6) it turns on both the WiFi and Bluetooth devices.

So, the other night I did a simple, extremely NON-scientific test. I hit the “Wireless Enable” button and connected to my access point. Then I manually turned off the Bluetooth radio using the BT icon in the lower right. As soon as I did, I gained another “bar” on my WiFi signal strength. Turn it back on, I loose a bar. So, it seems my “test data” correlates with the article.

Regardless, I have yet to ever use my Bluetooth and my WiFi connection at the same time. As of yet, I still have not realized my grand scheme of using my PPC as a Skype client with a bluetooth headset. So, why not just always keep Bluetooth turned off unless I need it? At the very least is should conserve some power.

So, I found yet another essential pocket PC application, called WifiPower, that will allow you to turn on only the WiFi device of your Dell Axim. Just install the CAB file, then change the mapping for your button 6 to use “WifiPower” instead of “WirelessPower.” This can be changed by going to Start->Settings->Buttons. Enjoy!


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