Connecting PocketChip to a Bluetooth Speaker

This ended up being more of a pain than I expected so I figured I’d write it down for the next person who tries.

  1. Set up your package manager sources if you haven’t already. Follow these instructions.
  2. Add the following packages pulseaudio, pulseaudio-utils, pulseaudio-module-bluetooth
    1. sudo apt install pulseaudio pulseaudio-utils pulseaudio-module-bluetooth
  3. Put your speaker into pairing mode.
  4. Run bluetoothctl and run the following in the prompt:
    1. power on
    2. agent on
    3. scan on
  5. Wait until you see your speaker show in the scan list and note its hardware address.
  6. In the bluetoothctl prompt run the following:
    1. pair <hardware address>
      1. Hint: type the first few digits and then tab-completion works.
    2. trust <hardware address>
    3. connect <hardware address>
  7. If everything worked correctly it should say connected: yes. After that your PocketChip should remember the speaker. You may need to run connect again, to reconnect if you turn the speaker off and on, but you won’t need to re-pair.
  8. In the prompt run:
    1. paired-devices
      1. You should see the speaker in the list.
    2. quit
  9. Try playing a sound (you can use PICO-8 or SunVox), you should hear sound from the connected speaker.
  10. If the sound is crazy loud (probably is) use alsamixer to adjust the volume.

I’ve found that if pulse audio isn’t running before attempting to connect to the speaker, the bluetooth connection will fail. I wrote a script that helps make reconnecting easier.

pulseaudio -k # kill existing service
pulseaudio --start
bluetoothctl -- connect <your speaker hardware address>
sleep 8
pacmd set-default-sink 1 # where 1 is the card id
amixer set Master 20%

Good luck and I hope this helped.

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