Bluetooth Mate Silver

Replacement:WRL-12576. The firmware on this Roving Networks product has been updated from version 4.77 to the 6.15 version. Go check it out! This page is for reference only.

The Bluetooth Mate is very similar to our BlueSMiRF modem, but it is designed specifically to be used with our Arduino Pros and LilyPad Arduinos. These modems work as a serial (RX/TX) pipe, and are a great wireless replacement for serial cables. Any serial stream from 2400 to 115200bps can be passed seamlessly from your computer to your target.

Bluetooth Mate has the same pin out as the FTDI Basic, and is meant to plug directly into an Arduino Pro, Pro Mini, or LilyPad Mainboard. Because we've arranged the pins to do this, you cannot directly plug the Bluetooth Mate to an FTDI Basic board (you'll have to swap TX and RX).

The RN-42 is perfect for short range, battery powered applications. The RN-42 uses only 26uA in sleep mode while still being discoverable and connectable. Multiple user configurable power modes allow the user to dial in the lowest power profile for a given application. If you need longer range, check out the Bluetooth Mate Gold.

The Bluetooth Mate has on-board voltage regulators, so it can be powered from any 3.3 to 6VDC power supply. We've got level shifting all set up so the RX and TX pins on the remote unit are 3-6VDC tolerant. Do not attach this device directly to a serial port. You will need an RS232 to TTL converter circuit if you need to attach this to a computer.

Unit comes without a connector; if you want to connect it to an Arduino Pro, we'd suggest the 6-pin right-angle female header.

**Note: **The hardware reset pin of the RN-42 module is broken out on the bottom side of the board. This pin is mislabeled as 'PIO6', it is actually PIO4. Should you need to reset the Mate, pull this pin high upon power-up, and then toggle it 3 times.


  • Designed to work directly with Arduino Pro's and LilyPad main boards
  • FCC Approved Class 2 Bluetooth**® **Radio Modem!
  • Low power consumption : 25mA avg
  • Hardy frequency hopping scheme - operates in harsh RF environments like WiFi, 802.11g, and Zigbee
  • Encrypted connection
  • Frequency: 2.4~2.524 GHz
  • Operating Voltage: 3.3V-6V
  • Serial communications: 2400-115200bps
  • Operating Temperature: -40 ~ +70C
  • Built-in antenna

® module datasheet](
* Hookup Guide * Beginner's Guide * GitHub

  • Board: 1.75x0.65"

Bluetooth Mate Silver Product Help and Resources

Using the BlueSMiRF

September 16, 2013

How to get started using the BlueSMiRF and Bluetooth Mate Silvers.

Core Skill: Soldering

This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.

1 Soldering

Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

1 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Noob - You don't need to reference a datasheet, but you will need to know basic power requirements.
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Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #14513 / about 13 years ago / 4

    With a simple mod, this module facilitates uploading Arduino sketches via Bluetooth!
    There are two signals that you may want to consider bringing out to pads or possibly jumper options -- pin 33 (remote DTR), and pin 34 (remote RTS). I also set the module into the "MDM" mode with the "S~,3" command.
    I strongly suspect that many if not most of your Roving bluetooth products have the same potential.
    thank you, Bill Welch, bvwelch 2-April-2011

    • The AirBoard / about 11 years ago / 1

      Hi, I’m using the RN42-XV Bluetooth module to wireless program an Fio board but I can’t have the DTR or RTS signals working to drive the Reset pin. I pulled low BT pins UART_CTS, DCD (PIO3), DSR (PIO6) and CTS (PIO7). The only profile that seems to drive remote DTR & RTS is MDM SPP (the Roving networks datasheet states that profiles DUN should also drive them but I can’t see that). But with the MDM SPP profile, the device is automatically recognized as a keyboard which prevents use of the terminal or the Arduino IDE. Does anybody have a clue ?

    • mattismyname / about 13 years ago / 1

      Bill- thanks very much for this info. Can you provide any additional info on this method? What is remote DTR and RTS? Also, why do you set MDM mode?

  • CBD / about 13 years ago / 3

    The wrong datasheet is linked... it should be

  • Member #392511 / about 11 years ago / 2

    is it possible to operate this module in HID mode?

  • Jon Andrews / about 13 years ago / 2

    Does anybody know - or had experience, in using two of these modules together in a slave/master combination with two separate microcontrollers?
    i.e - One arduino passing some serial data to another arduino.
    The above manual seems to indicate to me that this is possible, but I'm keen to know if any of you guys has had any joy doing this?
    Thanks in advance - Replies appreciated!

    • er_like_no_other / about 12 years ago / 1

      i want to do it too, but i don't know how i can do it :( can anyone help me please?

  • ThatChrisGuy / about 13 years ago / 2

    I'm trying to connect this with a Arduino Pro Mini.
    Following this example:
    I can successfully send data to it, get into Command mode etc, but nothing is coming back from the Bluetooth Mate Silver.
    Any help would be appreciated.

    • fluidic / about 13 years ago * / 1

      I was just looking at the pins for this and the Arduino Pro Mini 328. If the illustrations are correct, it doesn't look like the pins actually match up.
      This: GND, CTS-I, VCC, TX-0, RX-I, RTS-0
      Mini: GND, VCC, RXI, TXO
      It would be nice to be able to use the Mini instead of the LilyPad since the result should be a bit more compact.

    • SomeGuy123 / about 13 years ago / 1

      Contact I had a problem with this board as well. Is the module getting warm at all?

  • Member #184323 / about 13 years ago * / 2

    Anyone know the pairing code for connection by Windows 7?
    The datasheet lists it as automatic, but when trying to connect via the COM port it keeps asking for one... The normal "0000" or "0001" do not work.
    Update: Called Techsupport and the paring code is "1234".

  • Member #466204 / about 10 years ago / 1

    is there any way to use this module to stream audio??

  • Member #443392 / about 10 years ago / 1

    I've got this working perfectly with Arduino Uno, however, im now using the Arduino Micro and am having trouble getting into command mode. Has anyone successfully done this on the Micro?

  • Member #401163 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Got this board, plugged it into my Arduino2560, using 3.3V output. Comes on, status light flashing, pairs with my computer no problem. Took the board and connected it to my STK600, same 3.3V setting. Module doesn't come on, no flashing lights, etc. Checked the wiring with my meter, 3.3V as it should be from the STK600. Scratching my head as to why it powers on with the Arduino but not the STK600. Any ideas?

  • Member #260596 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Probably a simple question: if I needed to replace this MOSFET, what are the characteristics I'd need in the replacement? I imagine that the footprint and the knowledge that it's N-Channel aren't enough, and the markings aren't helping much...

  • Member #8543 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Internal note for GT business: Perron Jones

  • Member #339340 / about 11 years ago / 1

    this is the problem i am having maybe someone will have a solution for me. is it possible to make the bluesmirf non-discoverable at any given point unless the computer that is going to connect to it send some sort of a signal that the bluesmirf will pick up and wake up for a certain amount of time. i know for a fact this is possible as i have seen it done before, but as to how to make it happen, i have my hands tied =[

  • Member #384935 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Since the max. current that this module needs is 50mA(the average is 25mA) is it ok to power it from regulated 5V output that can only provide 40mA?

  • Qtechknow / about 12 years ago / 1

    I'm trying to pair the Bluetooth Mate with my mac, and when I use the C,[name] command, there is a pop-up on my mac. It says to put in a passcode. Does anyone know what this is?


    • jimblom / about 12 years ago / 1

      Try "1234" - that's the default pairing code of the RN-42.

  • Lord_Kian / about 12 years ago / 1

    This product can be used with the auduino ethernet?

  • Member #294455 / about 12 years ago / 1

    Forgive my novice questions: I'm trying to use this module as a trigger to see if my cell phone is within range. The idea is to power the module on, let it search for my phone and if it's there, set the "connect" pin to high. I'd rather not use a controller to run it since the module should be able to run on its own for that simple a task. I've paired my phone with the device, but I can't get the "connect" light to turn on. Thanks

    • Fruitkillr / about 12 years ago / 1

      Did you ever get this figured out? I am also trying to trigger an event based on cellphone proximity.

      • Member #364477 / about 11 years ago / 1

        I'm also interested in the answer to this question -- I would like to know how to tell when the module "senses" (or reads) an in-range secondary bluetooth device's MAC address. Any suggestions/solutions?

        • Member #364477 / about 11 years ago / 1

          Reading the data sheet, I see that:

          Pin#19: HIGH when connected, LOW otherwise

          Assuming the word "connected" = module paired withed secondary bluetooth device, you could poll this pin and when it's high, assume your secondary device (e.g., Cell Phone) is within range.

          Any thoughts/comments on this interpretation of the data sheet?

          Data sheet:

          • Member #364477 / about 11 years ago / 1

            Learning more as I go here:) The commands sheet ( ) says this:

            Page 23: Discovery and Connection Example of a Master Discovery/Connection Sequence From power up and no connection: 1) Perform an Inquiry to obtain BT_Address (unless it is already known). Sent : $$$ // Places Radio in Command Mode Reply:CMD Sent : I,30 // Looks forBluetooth devices Reply:00A096112233,1F00Inquiry Done

  • Member #310886 / about 12 years ago / 1

    Can I connect the Bluetooth Mate Silver with the 5V Arduino Pro Mini? The Bluetooth Mate supposedly has a voltage regulator right?

  • Member #272676 / about 12 years ago / 1


    What data rate can I achieve with this?


  • it works like a charm! I'm controlling all sort of stuff with my android tablet over bluetooth (making now a bluetooth-2-xbee bidirectional bridge, to hopefully use the android tablet to control xbee things! : )

  • alulema / about 13 years ago / 1

    Hi all. Does anyone know how to connect this to Arduino FIO? Thanks in advance

    • The AirBoard / about 11 years ago / 1

      Hi, I'm using the RN42-XV Bluetooth module to wireless program an Fio board but I can't have the DTR or RTS signals working to drive the Reset pin. I pulled low BT pins UART_CTS, DCD (PIO3), DSR (PIO6) and CTS (PIO7). The only profile that seems to drive remote DTR & RTS is MDM SPP (the Roving networks datasheet states that profiles DUN should also drive them but I can't see that). But with the MDM SPP profile, the device is automatically recognized as a keyboard which prevents use of the terminal or the Arduino IDE. Does anybody have a clue ?

  • EvPlasmaMan / about 13 years ago / 1

    So I have one of these guys and I am trying to hook it up to the RS-485 breakout board. However I am having trouble getting the RTS line to go high when I send any data. I can see the TX line from the module working but the RTS stays low. Bill Welch (comment below) mentioned pin 34 being a second RTS, however looking at that reveals that it is inverted to the need of the RS-485 board.
    Is there some way of making the standard RTS signal work or do i have to use an inverter along with pin 34?

    • Member #14513 / about 13 years ago / 1

      If I recall correctly, pin 33 is roughly the invert of pin 34, based on some quick observations with the o'scope. Give it a try.

  • riverguardian / about 13 years ago / 1

    I've made a new tutorial based on Jonathan Warren's post, with updates to new parts and also making it easy for Mac users. Please check it out:

  • Wire54321 / about 13 years ago / 1

    I have a Arduino Pro and i am having problems uploading Arduino sketches via Bluetooth. can anyone help?
    i get to cmd menu and can read serial info from this code and reset the counter with this code but i had to upload it with my ftdi cable

  • Sliv / about 13 years ago / 1

    I just received this item this item, and am attempting to pair it with my computer running windows 7, at first it was only detecting it as rn-42 and connecting to com 3 with the red light blinking slowly, after which I would get an out of bounds error for the serial port. Now it detects the device, but will not let me add it to my device list. I am using an arduino uno board with the RX connected to the TX and the TX connected to the RX, powered with the 5 volt, with RTS and CTS connected to each other. It should be noted I have the servo firmata on the arduino board and am using processing to control a servo attached to the board.

  • Member #27561 / about 13 years ago / 1

    In a future rev, perhaps you could add solder bridge-type jumper pad to support configuring the regulator for external use of its EN pin, rather than tied high as it is now.

  • Wayne / about 13 years ago / 1

    In a future rev, perhaps you could add solder bridge-type jumper pads to support configuring the board with swapped rx/tx pins?

  • wiregr / about 13 years ago / 1

    Because this is a Class 2 device, shouldn't the transmission distance be shorter? According to the RN-42 product page, around 50 to 60 feet instead of the 100m mentioned in the description?

    • Utoxin / about 13 years ago / 1

      Open-air transmission can go significantly further than the normal 'max', especially in good conditions, which is probably what's going on there. I certainly wouldn't rely on that sort of range, unless you have lots of control over the conditions it will be used under.

      • Glimcoil / about 13 years ago / 1

        I believe this is an error in the description (copied from the Bluetooth Mate Gold which is a class 1 and has the same distance mentioned in the description).
        Would be good for someone at Sparkfun to verify (and correct) before they start getting returns...

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