Easily use AirConsole on MacOSX

I have recently purchased a AirConsole unit from www.get-console.com. The delivery was fast. Unfortunately the setup was not as smooth as I would have thought. I had to contact the support team which helped me to get it working.

​With this post I decided to share my experience in setting up the AirConsole and using it on MacOS. I will also share a little application that opens the console terminal automatically.

I focus on using the AirConsole with Bluetooth (to establish the connection between the Mac and the AirConsole). There is also the possibility to use Wi-Fi to establish this connection. I have not testing it yet using Wi-Fi.

1 - SETUP THE AIRCONSOLE ON MACOSX

There are two different ways to use the AirConsole on a Mac:

  1. Use the AirConsoleOSX application to establish the Bluetooth connection to the AirConsole. In order to make it work, I also had to install the AirConsole OSX drivers.
  2. Use the built-in Bluetooth menu to connect to the AirConsole. For this to work, you will need to have at least OSX 10.11 (El Capitan) and at least the 2.76 firmware on the AirConsole.

I now use option 2 as I feel it is easier to use on a regular basis. So there is not much to do to setup the bluetooth connection:
Open up the Bluetooth Preferences menu (press ⌘-Space and type “Bluetooth” in the search bar):

Your computer will then scan for any Bluetooth devices available. If your AirConsole is in range, it should appear in the panel on the right. Select your AirConsole and click on the “Pair” button to establish the Bluetooth connection between your computer and the AirConsole.
At this point, you will be able to validate that a tty has been created for the AirConsole on your Mac. To do so, open up the Terminal application and type the following command: “ls /dev/tty.*“:

As you can see some tty has been created. The tty.Airconsole-1 and tty.NullModem-1 has been created by the AirConsoleOSX drivers (which are not used if you use the Mac Built-in Bluetooth feature). The tty created by the Mac Bluetooth feature is : tty.AirConsole-68-raw-serial.

Note that you might get another name for your tty. Make sure you validate what tty has been created on your computer.

Everything is now ready and we can start connecting to the AirConsole.

2 - CONNECT THE AIRCONSOLE TO YOUR DEVICE

I used a Cisco AP 1702 to perform my testing for this blog post. Here are a couple of pictures displaying how I connected the AirConsole to the AP:

Once the AirConsole is connected to the console port of your device, you can turn it on. You will see a little switch on the side of the AirConsole. Move the switch towards the letter “R”. The AirConsole will take about 20 seconds to boot up and you will be able to discover it via Bluetooth.

That’s all you need to do!

3 - USE THE AIRCONSOLE

In order to open up the console session, you can use the following command from the Terminal application: “screen /dev/tty.AirConsole-68-raw-serial”

Press Enter and you will open the console session.

In order to save some time, I use a little application that execute the following script for me:​

So it does not do anything crazy. It opens up the Terminal application and uses the screen command to open the console session automatically. I also changed the size of the scrollback history buffer of the console session to 9000 lines. It also sets the name of the Terminal window to “AirConsole”.

If you need to change the name of the tty used by the application, here is how to do it:

Altogether, here is how I use the AirConsole now whenever I need it:

Thank you for reading and feel free to download and use the AirConsoleOutput application.

Cheers’

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