Bluetooth 5 - BW-FYE3

Hello, the phone has a “Redpine Signals RS9116: 802.11 abgn 2.4GHz/5GHz” with a Bluetooth 4 but i need Bluetooth 5, they answered me that i can buy one with Bluetooth 5 and change it.

  1. Here is the link for some RS9116, but they have different sizes, what would?
    https://www.redpinesignals.com/Products/Hosted_Connectivity/Multi-Protocol_Wireless_SoCs_&Modules/RS9116_SoCs&_Modules/
  2. And i want to know if someone has already done that and if they have connected a wireless headphones. In my case i have a BW-FYE3 with Bluetooth 5

    Thanks
  1. I’m afraid it doesn’t quite work like that. The Wifi and Bluetooth are provided by the same single M.2 card. Although you indeed can swap the card, if you find something else to use (and not all M.2s are compatible). The sizes on the image seem to be of microchips (not whole cards; see “product image”), which can not be swapped. And like Mladen says on the screen capture, Purism doesn’t do that kind of customization. For BT5 we just have to wait and see if a suitable M.2 card with an appropriate chip appears in the future - and that someone makes linux drivers for it too.

  2. I think someone who has Dogwood may have mentioned connecting wireless headphones, but right now I can’t remember where I saw that (or if I’m imagining). However, technically BT should be backwards compatible, so it would be surpricing if yours would not work. On the driver side there might be still some work needed (or was that just about voice in call? see this thread for notes on experiences) but that may be fixed by the time Evergreen comes out.

All in all, you’d have easier (and probably cheaper and faster) time getting new BT headphones that work on BT4 than getting a new card if by chance your headphones wouldn’t work. I’d hold on until you get to test them with your phone (and because there is also this comment that hasn’t yet been verified).

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Your headphones will work just fine on Bluetooth 4, since the Bluetooth 5 standard is backward-compatible.

That said, there exist M.2 WiFi+BT5 modems with Linux support, and if you’re dead set on having one, the Killer AX1650 is $35 on Amazon. According to their website, it uses the iwlwifi kernel module. Again, you don’t need this card to make your headphones work, but this is the kind of customization the Librem 5 allows if you really want it.

Edit: looking back on this now I see that that particular model needs a “Key A or E slot” M.2 port, and I’m not sure whether or not the Librem 5 has that. But there may be similar options.

@Jt0 please be careful with suggesting PC components since they mostly use the PCIe Bus of the M.2 cards which are not available on the Librem 5.
Additionaly I don’t think that driver is going to work on a arm CPU.
And then there are still the Power constrains on the Librem 5.
A WiFiCard with BT5 would need to be purpose made using only the USB connection on the M.2 Card.
Till such a module is available I’d try to get a small usb-c BT5 dongle. and plug it into the usb-c port of the Phone.
Or maybe someone could us an Nordic NRF 5x Chip and create a small additional board that could be connected to the USB port available on the test points within the Phone but then there might still be problems with the Antenna since the current model is probably using the same antenna for both Bluetooth and WiFi
From what I’ve read on the redpine website the Module seems to be bluetooth 5 compatible and might just need a firmware update, since there are no hardware changes between the BT4.1 and BT5 specs AFAIK.

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Bluetooth 5.0 is backward compatible, so your earbuds will probably work with devices that only have Bluetooth 4 or 3. The RS9116 in the Librem 5 supports Bluetooth 5, but it hasn’t been tested, so you will have to test it. Since Redpine Signals provides the driver that the Librem 5 is using, I suspect that Bluetooth 5.0 probably does work.

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That particular card requires an A or E keyed M.2 port, which provides either a USB interface or both a USB and SDIO interface. According to the Librem 5 developer documentation, the WiFi/BT modem actually uses SDIO, not USB, so there’s a small chance it would work. Of course, you would want to reach out to the manufacturer first to see if the card was using SDIO. I checked and the iwlwifi deb package is indeed available for arm64. It actually seems to be architecture independent.

Power usage isn’t going to prevent the modem from working. I think anyone experimenting with switching modems accepts the risk of decreased battery life.

I have connected Bluetooth headphones to my Dogwood device, although not using BT 5 AFAICT. It currently works well for listening to music, but not for calling.

Dogwood uses two (out of three) antenna connectors on the Wifi/BT module. They lack clear marking, so no immediate way to tell what they are used for.

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@Jt0 my Problem with that card results form it’s maximum data rate of about 2Gbit/s.
In my opinion that means they are using at least 1 PCIe lane, otherwise that is just not possible via USB or SDIO. so those Interfaces might just be used as config interfaces without any chance to route the data thru them.
I tried to use one of those cards within an USB adapter with direct connection to USB pins on the M.2 card without any luck.
@lipu I believe the third connector is for the GPS receiver integrated into the Redpine Chip which is not used by Purism but an additional stand alone GPS receiver. The two in use are for MIMO WiFI with one or both of them are also used for bluetooth

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Just chiming in to say it’d be nice to have an American made BT5.2 (& WiFi 6) card.

What do you expect to gain from the Wifi 6 Interface?
AFAIK the internal connection from the Card to the Processor is the USB2.0 Port used within the PCIe connector so at max you get a data rate of 480MBit.

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Then I guess what I also want is a USB3 port! :upside_down_face:

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