About cheap CSR dongles

I was thinking the Bluecore4-ROM dongles can’t have their bdaddrs (bluetooth device address) changed… I was wrong! Curiously, these dongles seem to have some writable non-volatile memory!

I bought 4 Bluecore4-ROM dongles on ebay – 3$ each – about a month ago, and thought at the beginning they wouldn’t work.

But some people told me that the bdaddr of their Bluecore4-ROM bluetooth dongle can be modified permanently…

I finally received them, and as expected, I got their bdaddr changed permanently 🙂

The only bad thing is that 2 of the 4 dongles I received are not, as advertised, CSR dongles with Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (i.e. Bluecore4 dongles). One seems to be an old bluecore1 dongle (its bdaddr can’t be changed), and another one seems to be a counterfeit (it has the CSR product and vendor ids, but it does not contain a CSR chip) and doesn’t work at all.

EDIT August 4: Sellers usually don’t tell which CSR chip is inside a bluetooth dongle. The key point is that bluecore4 implements bluetooth 2.0+EDR. Therefore, a dongle advertised as a CSR dongle with bluetooth 2.0+EDR should contain a bluecore4 chip (or newer). Be careful, it seems some sellers are retailing old bluecore1 dongles as CSR dongles with bluetooth 2.0+EDR. Bluecore1 chips can’t have their bdaddr changed!

15 Replies to “About cheap CSR dongles”

  1. I bought the same dongle, and it says this
    Manufacturer: Cambridge Silicon Radio (10)

    Even though i can't change the bluetooth device address, i tried everything, but it's always stuck, even tried hciconfig hci0 reset method i read somewhere else. no dice.

    How can you check if it's the real deal?

  2. Does the bdaddr command give any error message?

    Did you run the bdaddr command with sudo?

    You can check the chip version with following command:

    sudo hciconfig hci0 revision

    One of the output lines should be:
    Chip version: BlueCore4-ROM

  3. No error messages.

    I ran it with sudo.

    Chip version: BlueCore01a

    So i guess it's not changeable, because it's the wrong chip version, i already contacted the dealer i bought it from (the one from ebay, a previous blog post) and i asked for a Bluecore2-ext or Bluecore4-ext one, Which one is the best?

    And i really appreciate your effor, i'll post some feedback right away! ;D

  4. Ebay sellers don't tell the CSR chip revision, but if a dongle is advertised as a CSR dongle with bluetooth 2.0+EDR, then it has to be a Bluecore4 CSR chip (or newer).

    Check the ebay auction and see what was advertised.

    Bluecore2-ext and bluecore4-ext are not so easy to find now. I suggest you to by a Bluecore4-rom dongle because it's just cheaper.

  5. I've found another adapter that's readily available that should work for this intended purpose. It's the Syba SY-ADA23012 made by IO Crest and it's available from newegg.com for $9.99. Newegg advertises it as 2.0+EDR with a CSR chipset. I went one step further and actually emailed IO Crest's customer support and asked specifically which bluecore version it was. According to what I got back, it's bluecore2-ext. Mine should be here tomorrow, and I'll let everyone know for sure. However, it looks like this may be a good alternative to the cheap ebay dongles since there's really no telling what you're getting when you buy from there.

  6. There is something wrong, bluecore2-ext doesn't support EDR…

    bluecore2-ext should work too, but some bluecore2-ext dongles are reported to generate some lag…

  7. Looks like I spoke too soon about buying from newegg so that you would know what you were getting. Regardless, I'll give it a try once it's here and report back.

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