What does Bluetooth 5 (in the latest firmware release) bring to Mesh?

I was a bit surprised that BT 5 was added via firmware, I thought it would require new hardware. Was there a “dormant” BT 5 chip in there since the beginning?

In any case, I’m wondering if it improves either range or speed (one at the cost of the other as BT 5 is supposed to) compared to the previous firmware? How far can an iPhone 8, Galaxy S8/9 or a Pixel 2/ 2 XL go without disconnecting from it, within line of sight?

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Mesh uses Nordic Semi’s NRF52 series Bluetooth SoC which already has support for Bluetooth 5.0.
Please refer to https://www.nordicsemi.com/eng/Products/Bluetooth-5 for further details.
Current mesh firmware upgrade also does a Bluetooth firmware upgrade. With this upgrade mesh hardware now can take advantage of all Bluetooth 5.0 features. We have tested up to 100 feet for Bluetooth connectivity.


Wow. Well there is a good reason now to upgrade my Pixel XL v1…

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Thanks. So is this what’s enabling faster firmware updates with the new firmware, and if so doesn’t it mean that only phones with BT 5 will be able to do it faster? Or does it not have to do with BT 5 and it’s a different feature altogether?

The extended range is useful and I am really looking forward to the node monitoring tools that are in the pipeline to take advantage of it.

I’ve already found you do need to take care when pairing to make sure other nearby GTMs are shut down or you might find you’re hacking yourself by accident. I think I have the home relay node needing a reset right now, as it’s only about 35’ from the basement where my office is straight up to the box that houses the relay.

I don’t really want to have to climb to the roof to shut it down for a minute it takes to pair a new GTM down below.

I’ve found a solution that I think will let me still use the office for pairing/unpairing, etc. The dryer we have is front loading as most are and the door opens so it is open in the direction of our wireless router. When I want to pair, I put the GTM and my phone in the dryer - nope, do NOT close the door or run dryer! - so that it acts as a RF shield keeping the waves from inadvertently mixing.

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Yes, newer version of BT firmware on mesh device now can auto negotiate maximum transmission unit (MTU) when it connects to a phone’s BT. If the phone’s BT is capable of handling higher MTU size then you will see faster firmware upgrade. Phone’s BT does not have to be 5.0 to support higher MTU size.