Bluetooth Dongle for extended range

Hi mates,

since the Pi’s onboard Bluetooth chip is not comparable to what my iPhone does (Class 1), I did a Hardware upgrade.
I have some BT Gadgets in my apartment and thus wanted to increase quality of service.

Out of curiosity I ordered a HOUSON USB Bluetooth 5.0 Adapter from Amazon and tried to toggle to that HW on the Pi 3 running Debian GNU/Linux 9.11 (stretch).
But I failed to make it work on the Pi.

Maybe you have a command in mind?

Thanks! :slight_smile:

Hey Simon,

currently, nymea will use the first available Bluetooth adapter it finds in the system.

So, first of all, you might want to check if your second adapter shows up in the system at all:

hciconfig -a

You should see two hci devices now. If that’s the case, the next step would be to remove the internal dongle. I’d try with

sudo apt-get remove pi-bluetooth

and then reboot the box and see of only the external adapter shows up now. If so, nymea should pick it up and use it.

Please let me know if that works, and, how the BT range is with that.

Hm.
This one doesn’t show up in the HCI controller.
Seems this HW is not compatible.

It might help if you post the chipset id of the stick. There’s a slight chance that it could work but just doesn’t auto-load the driver or similar.

Please paste the output of

sudo lsusb

when it is plugged in.

Hi!

sudo lsusb:
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0a12:1004 Cambridge Silicon Radio, Ltd

I googled around a bit then.
Here is the syslog, whilst attaching that usb device:

Nov 19 15:33:10 nymea systemd[1]: sound.target: Unit not needed anymore. Stopping.
Nov 19 15:33:10 nymea systemd[1]: Stopped target Sound Card.
Nov 19 15:33:11 nymea kernel: [356073.476102] usb 1-1.4: USB disconnect, device number 5
Nov 19 15:33:15 nymea nymead[24299]: #033[33m W | default: QProcess: Destroyed while process ("fping") is still running.#033[0m
Nov 19 15:33:16 nymea kernel: [356077.935477] usb 1-1.4: new full-speed USB device number 6 using dwc_otg
Nov 19 15:33:16 nymea kernel: [356078.391016] usb 1-1.4: New USB device found, idVendor=0a12, idProduct=1004, bcdDevice= 2.61
Nov 19 15:33:16 nymea kernel: [356078.391033] usb 1-1.4: New USB device strings: Mfr=0, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
Nov 19 15:33:16 nymea kernel: [356078.391043] usb 1-1.4: Product: B25
Nov 19 15:33:16 nymea kernel: [356078.536795] input: B25 Consumer Control as /devices/platform/soc/3f980000.usb/usb1/1-1/1-1.4/1-1.4:1.3/0003:0A12:1004.0003/input/input6
Nov 19 15:33:16 nymea kernel: [356078.606020] input: B25 as /devices/platform/soc/3f980000.usb/usb1/1-1/1-1.4/1-1.4:1.3/0003:0A12:1004.0003/input/input7
Nov 19 15:33:16 nymea kernel: [356078.606405] input: B25 as /devices/platform/soc/3f980000.usb/usb1/1-1/1-1.4/1-1.4:1.3/0003:0A12:1004.0003/input/input8
Nov 19 15:33:16 nymea kernel: [356078.607120] hid-generic 0003:0A12:1004.0003: input,hiddev96,hidraw0: USB HID v1.11 Device [B25] on usb-3f980000.usb-1.4/input3
Nov 19 15:33:16 nymea systemd[1]: Reached target Sound Card.

Here the Bluetooth service status:

    **●** bluetooth.service - Bluetooth service
    Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/bluetooth.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
    Active: **active (running)** since Tue 2019-11-19 15:40:34 UTC; 4s ago
    Docs: man:bluetoothd(8)
    Main PID: 2146 (bluetoothd)
    Status: "Running"
    Tasks: 1 (limit: 4915)
    CGroup: /system.slice/bluetooth.service
    └─2146 /usr/lib/bluetooth/bluetoothd

    Nov 19 15:40:34 nymea systemd[1]: Starting Bluetooth service...
    Nov 19 15:40:34 nymea bluetoothd[2146]: Bluetooth daemon 5.43
    Nov 19 15:40:34 nymea systemd[1]: Started Bluetooth service.
    Nov 19 15:40:34 nymea bluetoothd[2146]: Starting SDP server
    Nov 19 15:40:34 nymea bluetoothd[2146]: Bluetooth management interface 1.14 initialized
    Nov 19 15:40:34 nymea bluetoothd[2146]: **Failed to obtain handles for "Service Changed" characteristic**
    Nov 19 15:40:34 nymea bluetoothd[2146]: **Sap driver initialization failed.**
    Nov 19 15:40:34 nymea bluetoothd[2146]: **sap-server: Operation not permitted (1)**

hciconfig only shows the original Pi Bluetooth Chipset.

**nymea@nymea** : **~** $ hciconfig -a
hci0: Type: Primary Bus: UART
BD Address: B8:27:EB:D4:17:24 ACL MTU: 1021:8 SCO MTU: 64:1
UP RUNNING
RX bytes:2717 acl:21 sco:0 events:124 errors:0
TX bytes:4468 acl:21 sco:0 commands:108 errors:0
Features: 0xbf 0xfe 0xcf 0xfe 0xdb 0xff 0x7b 0x87
Packet type: DM1 DM3 DM5 DH1 DH3 DH5 HV1 HV2 HV3
Link policy: RSWITCH SNIFF
Link mode: SLAVE ACCEPT
Name: 'nymea'
Class: 0x000000
Service Classes: Unspecified
Device Class: Miscellaneous,
HCI Version: 4.1 (0x7) Revision: 0x168
LMP Version: 4.1 (0x7) Subversion: 0x2209
Manufacturer: Broadcom Corporation (15)

Maybe its better to just buy a better class 1 dongle and take that as a learning. :slight_smile:

Hmm, seems like you got yourself a soundcard instead of a Bluetooth dongle there.

On the amazon page you linked, one of the comments also says “Warning, not a bluetooth dongle but a sound card”.

Ok, so I was to quick with the buy button and will send it back.
Do you by any chance know a good class 1 bluetooth adapter?

Good news is, it seems to be supported in linux and you can now connect Bluetooth Headsets (or wireless speakers) to it and play sound from the Raspberry Pi using

aplay file.wav

:smiley:

Hmm, no, I don’t have a recent external BT adapter… Actually the RPi internal BT is strong enough to connect all the things I have in my home.

In general, when I buy such stuff I dig through the comments in the hope someone says “works for me on Linux” - or if there is a model number somewhere I google for linux-related forum posts with that ID to see if it works for others.

Actually the RPi internal BT is strong enough to connect all the things I have in my home.

I’m glad for you.

For me no BT device works.
Nuimo (3m straight)
Eqiva (5m straight)

Will continue digging. Somehow there are no class 1 dongles with BT 4.2.