Bluetooth USB Module Mini

This is a handy little Bluetooth USB mini-adapter. This adapter supports Bluetooth v2.0 class 1 and has a maximum distance of up to 100m. The adapter also includes an indicator LED. Great for laptops and if you're on the go!

This device does not include any drivers or software, however, you shouldn't need any as it supports the native Windows Bluetooth stack (Windows XP, Vista, 7). Plug it in and Windows should handle the rest.

Of course, we couldn't resist taking it apart.

Please note: Many of these modules have been found to have the same Bluetooth address. If you're simply trying to connect from your computer to a cell phone or headset, these will work great. If you're attempting to attach multiple modules to a computer, the computer will not be able to address both modules at the same time.

  • Bluetooth v2.0 +EDR Class 1 (class 1 is manufacturer rated)
  • Maximum wireless distance: 100m
  • Supports native Windows Bluetooth stack - no CD needed


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.

  • anthrolume / about 8 years ago / 1

    Wow this thing was mighty disappointing for me. I bought it for use with a Raspberry Pi Model B+ (running Jessie Lite) and I was getting nowhere there, not even lsusb. So to see if the thing even works, I plugged it into a laptop running Windows 10. When plugged in, a red LED comes on inside the device, which was encouraging. It shows up in device manager as "Broadcom 2046 Bluetooth 2.1+EDR USB Device with First Connect". However it is unable to start due to lack of a compatible driver.

    So I went to Broadcom's website and downloaded their WIDCOMM driver package, and that refuses to install, failing at the "verifying Bluetooth device" portion of the install. What gives?

    Sparkfun's teardown of this device shows it with an ASC chipset, but clearly this one is Broadcom (or, I suspect, a Chinese copy of a Broadcom chip). Anyway, it is all fail for me, on all the platforms I tried it on. Caveat emptor.

    • anthrolume / about 8 years ago / 1

      FTR I also tried this on a Windows 7 computer, where seems like it is going to work, but then fails to pair with any of the three devices I tried to pair it with (a Google Nexus 7 second gen, a Moto G, and a iPhone 5S). I could have bought a $5 adapter from Amazon, or $2 from eBay, but I spent extra to buy this one from SF because I'm a long time customer and expected it to work. Save your money (and frustration) and buy something else.

  • pocketscience / about 11 years ago / 4

    Anyone know if this works with a Raspberry Pi (Raspbian distro)?

  • Member #396428 / about 12 years ago / 3

    Was this adapter tested and worked with the IOIO board (DEV-10748)?

  • LED addict / about 10 years ago / 2

    So, I just stick this in my USB port and my cheap laptop has compatibility with off the shelf bluetooth things(especially keyboards, I really want a bluetooth keyboard)? As if it had been built in?

  • Blahface / about 9 years ago / 1

    Can you use this to connect with a sparkfun ble mate or anything similar. I am trying to make a project that consists of an arduino acting as an interface between the user and my computer, I wanted to make it bluetooth. Any help would be great.

  • Member #516066 / about 10 years ago / 1

    This bluetooth adapter works with the Raspberry Pi (I have a B). Folloow instructions by RaspberryPi Spy at to control your python programs with a WII Remote. Works PERFECTLY!

  • Member #516066 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Can you answer if this is compatible with Raspberry Pi Raspean? Thanks in advance.

  • Member #374123 / about 10 years ago / 1

    what does it mean by supports native windows stack? if computer that i'm using doesn't have bluetooth support, does that computer still have native stack that would make this product plug and play.., or is this product a means of back grading to a previous version of blue tooth

  • Member #520424 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Hi, any BLE dongle option which works with RPi? maybe retro-compatible with older bluetooth stack? Thank you!

  • NeilJ / about 11 years ago / 1

    Can a fellow Linux user help me out and do a 'lsusb' with this device plugged in, and post back here with the results? That should hopefully tell me which chipset this device uses; I'm hoping it uses the Cambridge Silicon chipset which is known to work very well with Raspberry Pi. Thanks!

  • Member #373142 / about 12 years ago / 1

    I just got one of these and in a panic to get it working uninstalled the drivers from it. Anyone here know a way to re-install its drivers? it is just showing up as an "other device"

    • Member #373142 / about 12 years ago / 1

      Found out I just needed to manually load the drivers from the list of available drivers on my computer under the "browse for available drivers" on my computer (WIN 8)

  • Member #326181 / about 12 years ago / 1

    Does any one know if this bluetooth is pairable with the BlueSMiRF Silver; That is, is it bluesmirf discoverable by the this device? Doesn't seem to work.

  • Member #356236 / about 12 years ago / 1

    Can these be configured to emulate a serial port on Win XP and / or Vista? I'm looking to communicate with Android and Bluetooth Mate Silver as serial comms. Any advice on how to set this up and a good serial comm program for XP / Vista. Also any input on a strait Bluetooth communication terminal? Ultamate goal is bi directional communication between Android and Micro device. I know IOIO would do this but I prefer to leave IOIO OUT of the picture as this might become a production product and I don't need to complicate matters by requiring customers install IOIO product on their phone.

    Thanks for any help.

  • Xoto18 / about 12 years ago / 1

    Linux compatible?

  • Member #332722 / about 12 years ago / 1

    Did anybody tried using it with IOIO for Android?

    • hardija / about 12 years ago / 1

      I bought this specifically for my IOIO as it was listed as a related item. It does NOT work for me with Droid Incredible. Hardware v SPRK0016, Bootloader vIOIO0301, App vIOIO0324, IOIOLib vIOIO0324. It is recognized in my PC, however. If anyone has any tips on how to make it work, it would be appreciated.

    • Yes, it works just fine with IOIO.

      • Member #355933 / about 12 years ago / 1

        Which version did you use ?

        Other people say that it doesn't work with IOIO

      • humina / about 12 years ago / 1

        I could not get it to work with the ioio board. I have multiple ioio boards and multiple copies of this dongle. None of the ioio boards seemed to work with any of the bluetooth dongles. I bought a different dongle and the different module worked flawlessly with all of my ioio boards.

        • Member #5270 / about 12 years ago / 1

          We also cannot get these dongles to work with the IOIO boards (and Nexus 7 tablets). The tablets report a "communication error". Other dongles work fine.

  • Shadow13 / about 12 years ago / 1

    I am a little confused about the whole dongle thing. I get that these are basically transmitters but can they function as receivers? And couldn't this be connected to a Arduino with the USB host shield?

    • This is a standard bluetooth module, which supports both TX and RX, just like the internal bluetooth in a newer laptop.

      And couldn’t this be connected to a Arduino with the USB host shield?

      Yes, this dongle is a USB device (vs. host). So with the proper firmware, you can communicate via USB host shield and Arduino.

  • Tareq / about 12 years ago / 1

    I just got the module. I want to access the module from the PC by a programming language (say Visual Basic) using AT command. I have SparkFun Bluetooth module BTM-182 and I want to communicate with it by PC using this mini USB module. Can any one have any idea how to do that?

  • Member #265477 / about 13 years ago / 1

    I bought one of these dongles with the RN-42 to play around with it, and I am having issues getting the SPP working. I am able to connect, find the RN-42 module, pair with it, status and everything looks like it should work. But it does not work fully with SPP. I tried the same setup with a built in PC bluetooth (my laptop came with bluetooth), and this seems to work fine. The only difference between the 2 is the drivers used. My laptop came with a third party bluetooth tool and drivers, and the dongle just uses the standard windows drivers. Anyone seen this behavior before? Is there a third part bluetooth driver which works better for the dongle? Thanks, H-

  • I've plugged this in to 3 different laptops, (2 Windows 7, and 1 Vista) and I can't seem to get the module to be recognized on the Win7 laptops. any suggestions ?

    • union7 / about 13 years ago * / 1

      Pardon my ignorance

      droid2 2.3.3 to Vista

      I am able to transfer files back and forth (paired), but it always shows paired BUT not connected (even with a succesful file transfer to the Droid)

      I was going to use blueterm and tera term to test back and forth but I can't get it to "connect".

      School me please.

  • Member #235520 / about 13 years ago / 1

    would this recognize something like the bluesmirf?

  • Acetolyne / about 13 years ago / 1

    I bought 10 of these dongles recently although after looking at the "taking it apart" section my circuit layout is different probably a different version however the same problems exist with the BD address :( Even have some problems when using these dongles on two seperate computers when scanning for devices since the local and remote BD address is the same sometime it returns with a n/a for the name since it cant tell the local and remote devices apart. Nothing but trouble with these dongles :/ guess I will need to order 10 of a different brand. I guess alright for ppl who only want to use one dongle but WTH how can they produce these things they are not good in real world situations and being close to someone else with one of these devices is sure to cause problems.

    • I'm sorry to hear you are having issues with this. Contact techsupport at sparkfun dot com and we can help you out.

  • durior / about 13 years ago / 1

    I have a newbie's question: if all I want is to connect such a dongle to a battery, and write an app for a mobile phone that'll try to connect to it through bluetooth - will this product do the trick?
    I don't need to pass any data. Just to get a connection and know it's there.

    • Acetolyne / about 13 years ago / 1

      This wont work because the HCI (Host Controller Interface) must be used to bring the adapter to the Running state. On top of that the device wont be discoverable unless put into inquiry scan mode which must be done through the HCI. The HCI is the physical connection between a bluetooth device and a computer hosting it so without a connection to a computer of some sort a bluetooth adapter can't be put into the correct modes to be discoverable. The only possible way to do this would be to rewrite the firmware for the device to make the default settings the ones needed then re-flash the chip on the adapter.

  • Member #119247 / about 13 years ago / 1

    Hi , I just recieved this module and unfortunately I still have the same error in the arduino/procesing console : No error in nativeDrain
    at Method)
    Does anyone got the same problem ?

  • S_Adolph / about 13 years ago / 1

    I'm interested in connecting a remote terminal to linux using a bluesmirf on the remote serial terminal, and one of these at the PC end.
    Does anyone have, or can point me to, directions for how to set up a bluetooth serial link using this at the linux PC end?
    I have tried searching and gotten nowhere. I'm no linux expert.

  • Mjquinon / about 13 years ago / 1

    so the comment at the end that states...
    "If you're attempting to attach multiple modules to a computer, the computer will not be able to address both modules at the same time."
    ...means that if I have 2 IMUs with a bluetooth transmitter the computer will ONLY be able to see one of the set of data?
    I need 2 IMU to send its output via wireless to a PC.
    Do you guys have any suggestions?

  • jacubus4 / about 14 years ago / 1

    when i plug it into my computer, it says "USB Device not recognized". i went into the device manager to try to install a driver and it says the best driver for the device is already installed. anyone have any suggestions?

  • What kind of power draw does this have? I'm trying to build a power budget for a battery-powered system and I don't see any sort of specs on it.

    • We don't have this information and it will vary greatly on several factors. Contact if you have further questions.

  • Colecago / about 14 years ago / 1

    Works like crap for me. Doesn't see half the stuff my roving networks module does, half the time it can't find anything, even when there is a bluetooth device sitting within a few feet of it.

  • JustinHoMi / about 14 years ago / 1

    Will this work with Mac OS X?

  • LukeShu / about 14 years ago / 1

    How difficult would it be to attach this to an atmega32? I've seen many projects with use USB to connect to the mega32, however, it has occurred to me that it is probably much more complex it make the thing function as a host controller, rather than just a node.

  • Ray101 / about 15 years ago / 1

    In regard to using this product with the NXT, has anybody had a successful connection? If not, can somebody running Windows 7 that has this product please go to "Devices and Printers" in the Start Menu and tell me what this bluetooth module appears as? Given some past experience with the NXT, the blue Abe Dongle specifically advertised to interface with the NXT is a CSR Radio, and I believe that other bluetooth devices with this specification will also work. It appears as something along the lines of "Bluetooth CSR Radio" and its icon is a usb dongle with a blue led about 3/4 of the way down the top of the module.
    Thanks so much in advance

  • jmpattillo / about 15 years ago / 1

    Could you plug this dongle into the usb port on an arduino duemilanove (using a usb b to a adapter) and use it to get the arduino to talk to a bluetooth enabled computer?

    • jeffmcc / about 14 years ago / 1

      i wish i could. if someone really wanted to they could make it work.

    • jmpattillo / about 15 years ago / 1

      Never mind. I found an answer on the arduino forums. This would not work because the arduino doesn't act as a usb host controller.

      • Ray101 / about 15 years ago / 1

        This is true. That USB port is specifically for interfacing with a computer to upload code to the Arduino and act as a serial monitor.

  • john bougs / about 15 years ago / 1

    Why doesn't anyone ever tell if these things (usb bluetooth) work for linux.

    • jher / about 15 years ago / 2

      very likely it will. I have several bluetooth dongles (even another brand mini) and they all work with the bluez tools.

Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5

Based on 3 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.


I have bought three of these between home and work (two different accounts) in the last two weeks. Of the three, TWO FAILED out of the box.

Based on customer comments, I'm not the only one to fall prey to these crappy little devices.

Also, considering that support didn't even blink or ask for the small piece of plastic back, but offered an immediate refund, Sparkfun is aware of how poor these products are.

I spend a lot of money at Sparkfun between personal life and work. I find it discouraging that for several years there are poor and bad comments about this product, and yet Sparkfun continues to sell it.

Perhaps management should reconsider offering this unreliable device.

Great device for the price

This was easy to program for use as serial data transfer from an Arduino to a PC. It was also easy to pair with a cell phone for data transfer. I wish it were faster as it took me about 70 seconds per photo to transfer, but I won't complain about speed when the price is so low.

I do wish that it had a manual available from Sparkfun. Not that you need it but I feel weird not having a manual to read for details on hardware =)


I bought this dongle and it works 1 time out of 5. You have to take it out and plug it back in until it works properly. Didn't find anything to increase the reliability of the product sadly.

If you buy this and are having problems, consider this dongle as the primary source. It will save you hours searching for the possible causes.

Personally, I would expect more reliable products from Sparkfun.