Yet another fake CSR dongle…

The whole series of posts about cheap ebay dongles: link.

It seems ebay is really not a good option to find a CSR bluecore4 dongle. As a reminder, these dongles can have their bdaddr (bluetooth device address) changed, and 99% of them work with the sixaxis emulator. As far as I remember, only 1 or 2 users reported a non-working CSR BC4 dongle.

After having tried 2 sellers and only having received 2 out of 7 non-fake dongles, I decided to try another seller. But this time, I asked before buying, so as to make sure I will get what I am paying for. The answer to my question “Is there really a CSR BC4 chip inside your dongles?” was a clear “YES”. Fine, I decided to buy 5.

After 3 weeks I finally received my order. First test, plug it to my PC, see what kind of bluecore revision it is. No revision, not good at all. Try to change the bdaddr. No error for the command, but the bdaddr is not changed. Finally, unplug it, open it, and look at the chip manufacturer: Conwise. Obviously not CSR…

Lesson learnt: don’t buy these cheap ebay dongles, even if it’s advertised as a BC4 (CSR+EDR) dongle!

A good advice I could give is to borrow every dongle you can borrow, and test it. Last solution: get a dongle from a local store.

Beware of CSR counterfeits!

It seems some bt dongles out there are CSR counterfeits.

I suspect most of the cheap CSR-advertised ebay dongles of being CSR counterfeits.

These dongles are advertised as CSR dongles supporting EDR, which means they should contain a CSR bluecore4 chip.

But in fact they contain an ASC (Accel semiconductor) chip named AS3620QA.

What makes them counterfeits:

  1. they all have the same bluetooth address! This means several of these dongles can’t be used in the same area. If you and your neighbor are using the same dongle at the same time, it won’t work, or it will work with many connection errors.
  2. they are using the CSR usb vendor id (0x0A12)

What’s even worst for us is that these dongles can’t have their bdaddr changed!

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!