sasquachnw
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:33 am

Using Multiple Bluetooth Dongles

Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:49 am

I am new to Raspberry PI, so please help me learn...
I am hoping I am in the correct area of the forum...I have looked through other areas but could only something to do with Bluetooth in this forum....the other Bluetooth topic covered tethering and I don't believe that is the same as what I am looking for..

I am looking for somebody that might be interested in working with me on the project I have describe below...
I have a project where I have to provide multiple users access to the same audio channel...
My belief is using Bluetooth through a smartphone could be the right solutions...
Using the Raspberry PI as what I believe is called the backbone and a Bluetooth connection to the smartphone....
I have done some basic testing using a WIN 10 laptop, but came up against a wall...Windows 10 would only activate one (1) Bluetooth dongle at a time....for testing I am using a powered USB hub with 7 USB ports and 7 Bluetooth V4.0 CSR dongles attached.

I did contact the Bluetooth organization, Bluetooth SG and asked their advice of possibly generating a custom driver for all dongles...
They told me that WINDOWS will probably not be possible to work, Linux with BlueZ has possibilities....

Is anybody interested in working with me or can provide me with some guidance and expertise....
All help and guidance is appreciated...I am really excited with the Raspberry PI3B I have and all the possibilities it has....an amazing small foot print....

Regards:
Sasquachnw....

Trikkitt
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:37 am

Re: Using Multiple Bluetooth Dongles

Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:53 pm

Correct - Bluetooth standard only allows 7 active connections per controller (dongle). Windows it seems is limited to one bluetooth adaptor per computer. I have successfully put three bluetooth controllers on to a single Raspberry Pi. It worked quite well for a short while.

The issue that I hit is - I was using Playstation 3 Move devices, 7 paired per bluetooth controller (dongle). This worked until I powered everything off for the night. In the morning when I powered it all back up the Move devices started jumping between bluetooth controllers - or more precisely they all tried to connect to the same one! Obviously the controller hit its limit of 7. Some still connected to the controller they were paired with. However it left me with around 12 connected Move devices, when I had 21 connected successfully the night before.

I don't know if the issue I hit was to do with Linux and bluez, or to do with the Move devices. As I don't have 14+ bluetooth devices kicking around to try other than PS3 Move devices I can't be sure. If you're able to test this please let me know.

Incidentally the way I got them paired correctly was to connect one bluetooth controller (dongle) at a time, pair 7 devices to it. Shutdown, connect the other bluetooth controller to the pi and and remove the original, then boot up again and pair the next 7 devices. I tried this with different makes of dongle and still had the same issue, so I suspect it is a limitation of either Linux or the PS3 Move devices.....

I'd welcome your thoughts! But to confirm - yes Linux can quite happily handle at least 3 different bluetooth controllers at the same time - and I have successfully connect 21 different bluetooth devices to a single Raspberry Pi.

sasquachnw
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:33 am

Re: Using Multiple Bluetooth Dongles

Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:29 am

Hello Tikkitt:

Thanks so much for the reply...
I will work what you a saying and let you know the results....I was able to recognize ALL 7 dongles, however only able to light one up at a time....
I have also done more research on Bluetooth and now understand that Bluetooth LE might work as it allow for GATT (general attribute profile. As Bluetooth LE is low energy, I may have an issue with range...However GATT allows for 1 central device and multiple peripheral devices.

Again thank you/
Regards:
Sasquachnw

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