Difference between revisions of "CC2540"

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| 0x40 || 0xD0 || 0 || 0 || - || Start capture
| 0x40 || 0xD0 || 0 || 0 || - || Start capture
Request type 0x40 is a vendor-specific device request from host-to-device.
Request type 0xC0 is a vendor-specific device request from device-to-host.
=== Reading BLE frames ===
=== Reading BLE frames ===

Revision as of 13:02, 18 November 2016

Project CC2540
Cc2540 webee.png
Making the CC2540 BLE dongle work
Status In Progress"In Progress" is not in the list (Proposed, Initializing, In progress, Completed, Stalled, Abandoned) of allowed values for the "Project Status" property.
Contact bertrik
Last Update 2016-11-18


This page is about the CC2540 bluetooth low-energy sniffer dongle and getting it to work with Linux. A nice end result could be that it becomes possible to sniff directly in WireShark with this dongle.

I have such a "WeBee" dongle that can be found for about E15,- on websites like Aliexpress.

It's supposedly a CC2540 (or compatible) dongle, the USB id is 0451:16b3.

Interesting links:


USB descriptor

When plugging this stick into a Linux machine, you can see it uses only one bulk endpoint.

Bus 001 Device 009: ID 0451:16b3 Texas Instruments, Inc. 
Device Descriptor:
  bLength                18
  bDescriptorType         1
  bcdUSB               2.00
  bDeviceClass            0 (Defined at Interface level)
  bDeviceSubClass         0 
  bDeviceProtocol         0 
  bMaxPacketSize0        32
  idVendor           0x0451 Texas Instruments, Inc.
  idProduct          0x16b3 
  bcdDevice           90.07
  iManufacturer           1 Texas Instruments
  iProduct                2 CC2540 USB Dongle
  iSerial                 0 
  bNumConfigurations      1
  Configuration Descriptor:
    bLength                 9
    bDescriptorType         2
    wTotalLength           25
    bNumInterfaces          1
    bConfigurationValue     1
    iConfiguration          0 
    bmAttributes         0x80
      (Bus Powered)
    MaxPower              100mA
    Interface Descriptor:
      bLength                 9
      bDescriptorType         4
      bInterfaceNumber        0
      bAlternateSetting       0
      bNumEndpoints           1
      bInterfaceClass       255 Vendor Specific Class
      bInterfaceSubClass    255 Vendor Specific Subclass
      bInterfaceProtocol    255 Vendor Specific Protocol
      iInterface              0 
      Endpoint Descriptor:
        bLength                 7
        bDescriptorType         5
        bEndpointAddress     0x83  EP 3 IN
        bmAttributes            2
          Transfer Type            Bulk
          Synch Type               None
          Usage Type               Data
        wMaxPacketSize     0x0040  1x 64 bytes
        bInterval               5
Device Status:     0x0000
  (Bus Powered)

USB logs from Windows

This USB device does actually work with Windows:

I've captured a log of the communication over USB while the BLE is capturing bluetooth traffic from some iBeacon, using USB pcap.

In the logs, I cannot see any firmware blobs being downloaded to the stick. Probably the stick comes with a pre-loaded firmware of itself to do the BLE sniffing.

The USB control transfer request codes seem to match up with the code in https://github.com/christianpanton/ccsniffer/blob/master/ccsniffer.py

  • 0xC0, GET_IDENT: returns some kind of identifier
  • 0xC5, SET_POWER
  • 0xC6, GET_POWER
  • 0xC9, no idea, this appears in my USB logs but I can't find it in the python code
  • 0xD0, START
  • 0xD1, STOP
  • 0xD2, SET CHAN


Cc2540 settings.png
Cc2540 packet details.png
Cc2540 wireshark.png

In the windows sniffer software, it seems there are only two things communicated:

  • towards the stick: which radio channel to sniff, and some other radio settings
  • from the stick: raw sniffed BLE frames

Configuring the radio

This appears to be done using USB control transfers.

The following requests are sent:

Request type Request Value Index Data Description
0x40 0xC5 0 4 - Set power
0xC0 0xC6 0 0 0x00 Get power
0xC0 0xC6 0 0 0x04 Get power
0x40 0xC9 0 0 - ???
0x40 0xD2 0 0 0x27 Set channel
0x40 0xD2 0 1 0x00 Set channel
0x40 0xD0 0 0 - Start capture

Request type 0x40 is a vendor-specific device request from host-to-device. Request type 0xC0 is a vendor-specific device request from device-to-host.

Reading BLE frames

This appears to be done using USB bulk input transfers.

I can see a lot of similarities between the USB log and the BLE sniffer log. The bulk USB data starts off with two bytes indicating the length of the rest of the data.


Preliminary code can be found at https://github.com/bertrik/cc2540

It connects to the dongle and dumps raw USB packets to stdout.

This software requires libusb-1.0-dev