Connecting Ganglion to Linux

hackrhackr Maryland, USA
edited August 2017 in Ganglion
My goal is to connect to my Ganglion and see brain wave data. As a complete beginner who just received his first OpenBCI hardware a couple of hours ago, I fear I may ask some of those questions that are so ignorant they're hard to tolerate. Please bear with me.

Here's what I have:
  • Ganglion board (newest version) and AA battery adapter
  • Gold cup electrodes + ten20 paste
  • AA batteries
  • CSR 4.0 Bluetooth dongle
  • Misc. generic eletronics components like jumper wires from Arduino and Raspberry Pi projects
I tried to get my Python installation ready for the OpenBCI yesterday. Now I'm trying to follow the Ganglion Programming Tutorial section to get the hardware connected and get started (or is this just for firmware programming and not appropriate for simply connecting to read data?). It looks like OTA programming is the preferred method, but that's only for Apple computers.

I presume this means I need to go down to the "Programming Ganglion Using Hardware" section, which says to buy an FTDI Friend from Adafruit, but which also makes me a little nervous because it still refers to "for macOS" when it discusses the Arduino IDE, and it ends with "now you're ready for OTA programming" thus I'm not sure if this section is also intended only for Apple computer users (?).

Question 0: Do I have enough hardware to at least get started with OpenBCI GUI or the Python library and see brainwaves on my Linux or Windows computer?
Question 1: Is the entire programming guide only for Mac (including the last section)?
Question 2: Is there any resource to show me how to connect my Ganglion to Linux or Windows?
Question 3: My understanding is that the CSR 4.0 bluetooth dongle is supposed to work with Ganglion, is that correct? If so, how would one use it with that board?

My guess for Question 3 was that the CSR 4.0 bluetooth dongle is meant to be used on the laptop to connect to the Simplebee BLE component of the Ganglion board. I plugged in the BT 4.0 dongle and ran a scan with hcitool using the dongle, but the Ganglion didn't show up (and, if it had, I probably wouldn't have known what to do next).

Thanks for your patience with these questions.

*Update* I'm such an idiot. It's `lescan` not `scan` for BLE in hcitool. I have a feeling I just got a step closer, but I still don't know how to connect...

# hcitool -i hci1 lescan
LE Scan ...
C2:F4:21:8E:70:03 Ganglion-b998
C2:F4:21:8E:70:03 (unknown)
C2:F4:21:8E:70:03 Ganglion-b998
C2:F4:21:8E:70:03 (unknown)

Further Update

I was mostly ignoring the OpenBCI GUI before, since I plan to use Python. Now I see that connecting over BT in the GUI should be pretty simple and painless... except that it thinks BT is turned off. I presume that's because it's using the builtin BT adapter on hci0 instead of the dongle on hci1. If there's a way to specify the dongle I'll try to find it, but please feel free to let me know how if you like.


  • hackrhackr Maryland, USA
    I think this boils down to how to force the app to use the BT dongle. I'm pursuing that problem on GitHub, so it would be OK by me if a moderator would like to delete this question. Thanks.
  • hackrhackr Maryland, USA
    I'm successfully reading data through Python now, so I'm good. OpenBCI still doesn't work for me, but this is not the appropriate forum for that.
  • I have  the same  Issue. How did  you connect  with hcitool? I can find it  via 

    hcitool -i hci0 lescan
    LE Scan ...
    DD:82:F9:81:8C:CC Ganglion-aee0

    But the command 
    hcitool -i hci0 lecc DD:82:F9:81:8C:CC 
    yields the error "Could not create connection: Input/output error"

    Do you know how to proceed?
  • hackrhackr Maryland, USA

    I did solve the problems to my knowledge, but I never got that error. Can you try
    sudo hcitool hci0 reset
  • @hackr
    I bought a new pack of batteries. now it responds and can be connected to via python. Thanks!
Sign In or Register to comment.