Windows 10 & Bluetooth - My Story

Perhaps this might help someone? I have been plagued with Bluetooth issues for almost 2 weeks now. I have tried plenty of changes, and configs (will get into them) and came to some conclusions.

My setup:

  • Windows 10 (v2004 - May 2020 update) - clean install on Wed June 10, 2020
  • Intel Bluetooth v5.1 chipset (driver: 21.90.2.1 - Apr 22, 2020)
  • Generic Bluetooth v4.0 (TP-Link USB Dongle) (driver: 10.9.19041.1 - June 21, 2006)

[I am not running them both at once. I tried them both separately]

My issues:

  • On the pairing screen -> if i pair my HRM (Garmin Duo-HRM) first, the trainer won’t pair. If i pair my trainer first, the HRM won’t pair!
  • This sounds like a known issue in Win 10 Bluetooth that dates back quite a while. The only issue is: that known issues claims to only affect Realtek Bluetooth devices. (i have Intel and TP-Link)

What works:

  • Disable the Bluetooth 5.1 device, and enable the Bluetooth 4.0 device -> HRM and trainer connect very quickly!

What i tried:

  • Clean install of Windows 10 (yup. from scratch! - twice!)

  • Tried Win 10 v2004 and Win 10 v1909 (same problem on both versions)

  • Tried 3 different Intel Bluetooth cards. (v4.2 and two v5.1)

  • Those 3 cards all used the latest Intel Bluetooth drivers (perhaps where the issue is?)

  • Tried the TP-Link UB4A Nano USB Bluetooth 4.0 Dongle. ($15) This one that is using the drivers from 2006

THAT seems to work for me.

Still holding out hope that the Intel drivers / Windows 10 will get sorted soon.

Here’s the kick in the teeth: The issue only seems to affect pairing in Zwift!! If i go to the Bluetooth pairing section of Windows, i can pair a bunch of devices (HRM, headphones, mouse, etc)

But if i try to pair more than one device through a third-party app (Zwift) it does not work.

The next thing i will try - when i have some patience - is running everything over Ant+

I have posted on here before, and got no help, but I updated my dongle to a bluetooth 5 dongle, and windows can connect to anything, but zwift won’t use a bluetooth 5 dongle. I think that zwift needs to move with the times and use future technology and bluetooth 5.

That raises a good point (well, two really) It might not ALL be about Windows drivers and v1909 or v2004 and Bluetooth 5.0 / 5.1…

Since Zwift does it’s own pairing thing, perhaps they haven’t accounted for BT 5.0/5.1?

In saying that, the BT spec is backwards compatible, so you would think it would still work?

Logic tells me: it’s both. I have no issues with BT 4.0, using drivers from 2006. My Neo puts out at least BT 4.0 and my Garmin Duo-HRM puts out BT 5.0 - and both connect easily when using my BT4.0 Dongle.

But when i turn on the BT 5.1 receiver in my PC, i can connect only one or the other (in Zwift)