Customer Review

56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Linux compatible... but only just, 11 April 2013
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This review is from: Plugable USB Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy Micro Adapter (Windows 8, 7, XP, Linux Compatible; Classic Bluetooth and Stereo Headset Compatible) (Personal Computers)
I bought this product specifically because I needed GNU/Linux compatibility, but I was not happy with what I found. I have since returned the product (thanks Amazon.co.uk), so the following has been written in retrospect in order to inform others.

I use Kubuntu Linux 12.04 amd64 running the 3.2.0-38 kernel. When the adapter is plugged in, it enabled me to transfer files between my phone and my PC 'out-of-the-box' with no further configuration. However I was not able to use any advanced Bluetooth features such as sharing my phone's internet connection with my PC.

In Windows XP, all the functions are available. (However I had to install the adapter's own Bluetooth management programme as well as the drivers; it does not use Windows XP's own Bluetooth management options, which is a shame.)

Further inspection of the problem revealed that this Bluetooth adapter is based on a Broadcom chipset. The device ID:vendor ID is 0a5c:21e8. I noticed in the output of dmesg that the device required firmware:
[ 16.069102] Bluetooth: can't load firmware, may not work correctly

A quick search led me to this Launchpad page:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1065400

It elaborates that some users are having difficulty in uploading firmware to newer Broadcom devices. This was my experience too. Perhaps newer kernels are able to successfully upload the firmware, but I was not on my version (see earlier).

During my attempts to upload firmware, I figured out (by browsing through one of the .INF files that Windows uses to install the driver) that the required firmware file's name is:
BCM20702A1_001.002.014.0187.0259.hex

You will need the HEX2HCD utility to process it into a form that the Linux firmware loader can use. (I successfully produced a .hcd file, but I couldn't load the firmware on my setup unfortunately.)

I hope that the above helps someone in making their decision to buy, or getting it working after buying it. It seemed to work, but it doesn't integrate well with Windows XP's own bluetooth management, nor did all of the functions work in Linux 'out-of-the-box'. Thus I give this product a decidedly unremarkable 3 stars.
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Comments

Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 May 2013 08:49:42 BDT
Roberto Nike says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jun 2013 14:18:30 BDT
Tim Parker says:
I found the original post useful and on subject. Your reply I found infantile, rude and extremely unhelpful. There are plenty of people who do care about Linux and for them this may be helpful information too - so why don't you keep your petty prejudices to yourself if you have nothing remotely useful to say.

I'm also guessing you meant 'frappé' when you typed 'frape' - but that's only a guess, you could just be writing nonsense... either way, it always comes across so well when you're insulting folk for no reason to be either illiterate or ignorant.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2013 15:23:57 BDT
faycal says:
FOr my part,
still didnt mange to make it work. running windows 7 ultimate 32bit.
i welcome any help.
thanks.

Posted on 21 Aug 2013 17:35:48 BDT
Hey buddy, just got one of these. I am currently using:
$uname -a
Linux ship 3.2.0-51-generic #77-Ubuntu SMP Wed Jul 24 20:18:19 UTC 2013 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
My Dmesg returns :
[11081.689895] Bluetooth: Generic Bluetooth USB driver ver 0.6
[11081.690103] usbcore: registered new interface driver btusb
[11081.817102] Bluetooth: can't load firmware, may not work correctly

But I can successfully set up my phone as Network Access Point, if that is what you meant by "sharing my phone's internet connection with my PC"

Give your kernel an update and I believe you should be fine. I will be trying a jarba headset soon.

Posted on 24 Aug 2013 20:34:09 BDT
Last edited by the author on 24 Aug 2013 20:34:41 BDT
Works out of the box and hassle free with linux kernel 3.2.0. Even with dmesg warning: Bluetooth: can't load firmware, may not work correctly.

Tested as NAP and with a headset.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Oct 2013 17:56:54 BDT
You can set up a network access point on a phone using WiFi and/or you can tell a PC to get internet by connecting to the phone using bluetooth. Both are valid; Given that this is a review of a bluetooth dongle and your dmesg said the firmware didn't load it is likely you set up a Wifi access point.

Posted on 10 Jan 2014 20:08:34 GMT
for me it was completely over my head, never really understood what was being explained
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