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How can I connect to the FitBit Zip over Bluetooth 4.0 LE on Linux with bluez?

Posted by: admin November 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

I purchased a FitBit zip. This device uses Bluetooth 4.0 LE. I would like to at least connect to it via bluez. If that is successful I want to see how much of the protocol I can figure out.

I am using a Lenovo P500 Ideapad which has integrated support for Bluetooth 4.0. It seems to work (kind of)

When I do:

hcitool lescan

I am able to find the device’s bluetooth address, which (though potentially irrelevant) is: CF:D9:24:DB:F4:7B

Now, I read in another question: Bluetooth Low Energy: listening for notifications/indications in linux that I can listen for notifications and other protocol features. I’ve worked with old bluetooth, but I have no experience with bluetooth LE.

I am getting stuck trying to use hcitool lecc or gatttool to connect to the device. The connection times out and seems to leave bluetooth in a bad state on the Linux box. I am able to fix that by reloading bluetooth related kernel modules.

Any hints are appreciated. I’m trying with the latest bluez now.

Answers:

Have a look at the galileo project, we are able to connect to the tracker (and synchronise it) using the Fitbit dongle, which is also a BluetoothLE connector. The bytes used there should help you figure out the one you need …

Full Disclosure: I am the maintainer of this project.

Questions:
Answers:

I remember doing something similar to what you’re describing and being able to connect fine. However, there was no listed characteristics for any indications/notifications so I wasn’t able to get any data from the device except for the really basic meta data (device type, device name, etc).

I just tried to do the same thing today and I couldn’t seem to establish a connection at all until I told it to use a random type of address.

Here’s the results I recorded when I got it to work before:

# gatttool -b EB:47:1D:11:11:11 --addr-type=random --primary
attr handle = 0x0001, end grp handle = 0x0007 uuid: 00001800-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
attr handle = 0x0008, end grp handle = 0x0008 uuid: 00001801-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
attr handle = 0x0009, end grp handle = 0x000e uuid: adabfb00-6e7d-4601-bda2-bffaa68956ba
attr handle = 0x000f, end grp handle = 0xffff uuid: 0000180a-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb

# gatttool -b EB:47:1D:11:11:11 --addr-type=random --characteristics
handle = 0x0002, char properties = 0x02, char value handle = 0x0003, uuid = 00002a00-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
handle = 0x0004, char properties = 0x02, char value handle = 0x0005, uuid = 00002a01-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
handle = 0x0006, char properties = 0x02, char value handle = 0x0007, uuid = 00002a04-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
handle = 0x000a, char properties = 0x12, char value handle = 0x000b, uuid = adabfb01-6e7d-4601-bda2-bffaa68956ba
handle = 0x000d, char properties = 0x06, char value handle = 0x000e, uuid = adabfb02-6e7d-4601-bda2-bffaa68956ba
handle = 0x0010, char properties = 0x02, char value handle = 0x0011, uuid = 00002a29-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
handle = 0x0013, char properties = 0x02, char value handle = 0x0014, uuid = 0000fb00-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb

You may have to pair the devices to get the actual useful data… not sure how to do that.