Disto D3aBT ..the ghost in the machine.

I’m only an occasional user of the Disto as a direct to CAD device, it’s a clunky way to work but now and again it makes sense for simple plans. Last time I did this I used the Leica Disto Transfer PC ap as a bridge to TheoLt so I was a bit miffed when I fired it up and it didn’t work . The last best version was 4.75 so, as I’m now on a Surface Go a new install prompted a web search which threw up the awful news: this time it’s official D3aBT is dead:


So the PC drivers for it have been pulled too. Undeterred I dug out legacy installers for Disto Transfer 4.14 and set to work. There is a version cut off, Leica dropped Bluetooth for WLAN at version 5 and early versions stopped at Win 8 so 4 was the magic number for Win 10 but no joy for some reason, perhaps a silent Windows update has changed how Bluetooth works?

After a fruitless search for BT 4.2 adaptors for BT 2.1 devices ( for this is the conflict in question) I decided to have yet another go at pairing the Disto with Windows by the ‘normal’ method. To my utter surprise this now works!  The Add device routine found the Disto and it paired with the default 0000 code:


With the Disto paired the all important comport allocation is found under ‘More Bluetooth options’ with the Disto selected:


..which opens the Bluetooth properties panel :


Note the ‘incomming’ port number (in my case COM5) as this will need to be set in TheoLt:


With the Disto in Bluetooth search (blinking BT icon) close and restart TheoLt (a full shutdown is needed, the ‘re-start instrumets’ function won’t do the trick for this). On restart there will be a Windows prompt to connect the device in the notification area:


Click on the popup and pair with the default code (0000) :


Be sure to close the pairing popup as it will block a restart if you need one.


When TheoLt finds the comport the BT icon on the Disto will be constant. Select ‘2nd’ to enable the BT button to act as a send button.


TheoLt will now record and send the distances to CAD as they are sent:


The pairing procedure needs to be repeated on every re-start. All those Windows updates have been useful after all and it looks like the D3aBT has a future now!


About billboyheritagesurvey

Heritage worker
This entry was posted in Survey Practice. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Disto D3aBT ..the ghost in the machine.

  1. Andrew Shepherd says:

    Bill-you’re even more of a nerd than I thought! Hope all’s well with you. Andrew

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