MakerSpot CC2640 is a $20 Bluetooth 5 LE USB Dongle

Orange Pi Development Boards

Bluetooth 5 was announced in May 2016 with four times the range, twice the speed of Bluetooth 4.0. Since then SoCs, development boards, and smartphones have been announced with Bluetooth 5, but so far I had not seen any Bluetooth 5 USB dongle to add the new Bluetooth version to existing computer or boards.

While I’ve not been able to find a consumer grade Bluetooth 5 USB dongle yet, today I found out something close it to with MakerSport CC2640 USB dongle / board based on TI CC2640 chip.

Bluetooth 5 USB Dongle
Click to Enlarge

GT-Tronics CC264BPA-UDOG (actual name) USB dongle specifications:

  • MCU – Texas Instrument CC2640R2F Arm Cortex-M3 SimpleLink Wireless SoC with Bluetooth 5.0
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 5 Low Energy BLE including built-in antenna; backward compatible with BLE 4.0, 4.1, 4.2
  • Silabs CP2110 HID to UART bridging device
  • Debugging – 10-pins JTAG connector for CC2640 debugging and firmware
    flashing

The dongle is enumerated as generic HID device, and no driver required for Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, Mac OSX, Linux. It is also compatible with TI SmartRF06, CC2650DK, and Debugger DevPack for development.

Bluetooth 5.0 USB Dongle

What the dongle does not support is Bluetooth Classic, so for example you will not be able to connect Bluetooth headphones or speakers, and the device is only suitable for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) applications.

MakerSpot CC2640 is sold on Amazon for $19.99, and more details – including a user guide for developers – can be found on the product page.

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FransM

If I google alibaba gives me some BT5 dongles. The strange thing is that they mention 5.0 so they might not be real.
see e.g. https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/BLE5-0-USB-Bluetooth-Dongle-iBeacon_60728876698.html?spm=a2700.7724857.main07.31.5c84242aJAzYWk