Classic Dev

One bluetooth dongle to rule them all

Like many folks I enjoy listening to podcasts, audiobooks or music while my hands are busy working, whether I'm kneading dough in the kitchen for our next set of loaves or doing various bits of yardwork around the house. But here is the thing, my preference is to have this all running off my Debian 12 laptop running from our little tiny house on wheels. And there is the rub; I need range.

The built in bluetooth adapter in the laptop just was not cutting it anymore. I've essentially converted it into a more permanent desktop setup with cooling fans in the cabinet and I was lucky to make it a dozen feet away from the trailer before my headphones began to start cutting out.

This led me to do a little shopping on aliexpress and found the most generic device with a beefy set of antennas. Out of curiosity I may order another for a teardown but with this one working as well as it is I don't want to risk it. Going off of searches by the serial number I came across what appears to be the chip used, the RTL8763B series

Realtek Bluetooth 5 capable adapter

I have to say the range outside is fairly decent. From the front door I'm able to get to about 70 feet with a fairly weak pair of headphones before noticing any audible dropouts, and that is with the bluetooth adapter several feet inside the enclosed trailer. I'll have to do another range test outside with a different laptop to get a feel for just how far I might be able to push the range with line of sight alone.

If you are interested in purchasing this exact model, please use the link below and you should get sent directly to the seller we purchased from.

Direct link to seller on Aliexpress

I ended up picking up a Vention flat three meter USB 3.0 extension cable. A bit overkill for this application but I figured better to future proof for anything else I might use.

hwinfo for fellow geeks:

  [Created at usb.122]
  Unique ID: dOTr.3nZ5Iv8BMTF
  Parent ID: k4bc.2DFUsyrieMD
  SysFS ID: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb1/1-1/1-1:1.1
  SysFS BusID: 1-1:1.1
  Hardware Class: bluetooth
  Model: "Realtek Bluetooth 5.3 Radio"
  Hotplug: USB
  Vendor: usb 0x0bda "Realtek Semiconductor Corp."
  Device: usb 0xa729 "Bluetooth 5.3 Radio"
  Revision: "2.00"
  Serial ID: "00E04C239987"
  Driver: "btusb"
  Driver Modules: "btusb"
  Speed: 12 Mbps
  Module Alias: "usb:v0BDApA729d0200dcE0dsc01dp01icE0isc01ip01in01"
  Driver Info #0:
    Driver Status: btusb is active
    Driver Activation Cmd: "modprobe btusb"
  Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown
  Attached to: #70 (Hub)