S685IP and the VCard format

Last night my wife harangued me about not having her phone directory installed on our new handsets so she can see who is calling.

She sent me a spreadsheet with all the contacts and their respective numbers. The manual for the S685IP is a little unintuitive regarding the formatting and options for the vcard format so I started doing some digging about.

Firstly, I created a dummy entry in my handset using all the fields I could find. Then I turned on Bluetooth and transferred it to my laptop so I could see what it looked like. The Bluetooth link worked great. I could have got the vcard from the handset via the web interface, but I just wanted to test the Bluetooth functionality. Here it is:


I didn’t find a perfect csv to vcard converter for this structure, although this online one worked pretty well and only needed a bit of local massaging to import correctly. I also tried a rather old but still useful ruby project from sourceforge here, that also worked but left out the vital VERSION:X.X line altogether.

Anyway, as you should be able to see from above, the name field N: takes two parameters separated by a semicolon and does not use the discreet FN: and LN: format. Note that it is last name first.

The rest should be obvious. If you don’t have data for a field, leave the entire field out. I didn’t try sending a blank field to the handset, but leaving the fields out entirely worked just fine.

The only other “gotcha” is that the file containing your vcard data needs to be DOS formatted and not Unix formatted: CR+LF vs LF. If you are on Windows then you won’t have a problem but Linux users will need to use the tofrodos package (Ubuntu users just do sudo apt-get install tofrodos) and run the file through the unix2dos command before sending it to the handset. If you don’t, the transfer fails.

Once you have the format right, using the Web interface on the base station to upload the directory seemed to work absolutely fine. I was able to send a directory containing 70 entries to each handset. It isn’t blisteringly fast (I guess it took about 2 minutes/handset), but it’s a whole lot quicker than typing the entries in by hand!