Bluesmirf problems with Vista/Arduino

I'm having no success at transferring data between my Vista PC and my Arduino.

First tried setting up the connection using the default Windows Bluetooth utility. It finds and recognizes the device, shows that it has an incoming and outgoing COM port but I'm not able to show any data being passed along on any COM ports from the ARduino serial monitor and also from a simple processing sketch (...which works fine when arduino is connected directly to USB via COM4)...and I did change the processing code trying to use both of the COM ports that seem to be available through the Bluesmirf. No luck.

I installed some software that came with the USB bluetooth Dongle...BlueSoleil. With that software, I was able to get a connection verified by green LED on bluesmirf. I tried to monitor/view any data passage on the COM port established by BlueSoleil still with no luck.

My ARduino IDE ran very slow while BlueSoleil was active and both the Vista Bluetooth setup and the Blueseleil ran in buggy fashion...freezing up...inconsistent results when connecting device, etc.

I'm wishing I had bought an Xbee setup now. Dang it. Welcome any advice. I'm cursing Bluetooth's name.

I've encountered some success. I went into the Windows System settings and changed the COM port configuration such that it was 115200 baud and also changed my arduino code to be 115200. (This seemed easier than going in with a terminal and trying to change the baud rate of the bluesmirf itself).

I'm able to send/receive data via the bluesmirf now but continue to have problems. I can successfully run a processing script and send data and then stop the program. When I try to run it again, the COM port is no longer available and the only way to reset the arduino to make it available again is to remove the bluesmirf, reconnect it to USB, and upload a fresh sketch. Powering the arduino off doesn't sufficiently reset it.

I have a bluesmirf silver and it eventually got fairly reliable but I didn't do a lot of stopping and starting. I would sometimes have to reconnect from windows to get it going.

Poke around with the bluetooth manager in the windows system tray and you may get more confident.