UPDATE: Bluetooth Low Energy dongles with Linux compatibility

UPDATE: I got my hands on another BTLE capable dongle and added it below with the other CSR8510 dongles.

This is a short investigation of Bluetooth Low Energy USB dongles that have been reported to work in Linux or officially claim Linux support.

Plugable USB-BT4LE
– Web: http://plugable.com/products/usb-bt4le
– Advertised as linux compatible
– Mode: dual mode
– BT chip: Broadcom BCM20702
– Tested by Michael Saunby on Ubuntu 12.10
– Note: I own one of those and had to jump through some hoops to get it to work – but that’s another blog post to come.

Other dongles based on the Broadcom BCM20702:
GMYLE Micro USB Bluetooth 4.0 Dongle

Delock Adapter USB 2.0 Bluetooth V4.0 Dual Mode
– Web: http://www.delock.com/produkte/F_270_USB-Adapter_61889/merkmale.html
– Advertised as linux compatible (according to data sheet)
– Mode: dual mode
– BT chip: unknown

SPEEDLINK VIAS Nano USB Bluetooth Adapter
– Web: http://www.speedlink.com/?p=2&cat=271&pid=20182
– Mode: dual mode
– BT chip: CSR8510
– Tested by Raspberry Pi forum user killkrt on a Raspberry Pi running Raspbian

Other dongles based on the CSR8510:
– Sitecom CNT-524 Bluetooth 4.0 USB dongle (reported working by Thomas Rücker)
CSL – USB nano Bluetooth-Adapter V4.0: I bought one of those and it does work out-of-the-box:

Bluegiga BLED112
– Web: http://www.bluegiga.com/en-US/products/bluetooth-4.0-modules/bled112-bluetooth-smart-dongle/
– Mode: single mode
– BT chip: Texas Instruments CC2540
– Tested by: Tamás Fábián
– Note: The BLE112 the dongle is based on also has a virtual com port feature and comes with a C API. This is great for developers who want/need to dig into the BLE protocol (i.e. develop their own BLE-enabled embedded devies). Bluegiga also has their own programming language called BGScript that more abstract than C and easier to get into if you don’t know C. However, in order to flash your BGScript applcication onto a BLE112 you will need the Texas Instruments CC Debugger (a USB box and corresponding software). I have successfully used the BLELabs BLE112-Protostick in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

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