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I am trying to implement my own Bluetooth HID device (a kind of custom game controller), but am having trouble finding what I am looking for.

I have only come across two solutions which seem slightly expensive to me based on the task. The two solutions are the RN42-HID (click buy to see the HID version), and the Bluegiga WT12. Both seem expensive to me for my purposes. I am wondering how typical Bluetooth keyboards and peripherals which use the HID profile without installing anything do it. Are there other modules out there that I am unaware of?

Just to be clear, I do not want any software on my PC which translates, say, a serial Bluetooth connection's commands to HID commands. I strictly want the Bluetooth module to be recognized and operable as an HID device.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Down vote and no explanation ... that helps a new guy for sure. \$\endgroup\$ – piepi May 28 '13 at 16:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ A manufacturer of typical Bluetooth keyboards and peripherals which use the HID profile will (a) have access to volume pricing for any components they use, including Bluetooth functionality, and (b) possibly (not sure about Bluetooth HID specifically) build their own circuit design using more low-level and low-cost components, and code it themselves, and not pay for a prebuilt module. \$\endgroup\$ – Anindo Ghosh May 28 '13 at 18:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 to counter the fly-by downvote. This question demonstrates at least fundamental level of research, and puts forward a valid problem statement, which I, at least, can comprehend perfectly well. I prefer not to downvote just because I don't know a solution or couldn't understand the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Anindo Ghosh May 28 '13 at 18:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure if I know what your question is; are you asking for cheaper HID modules? Unfortunately I have not seen any cheaper than the $15 you found for the RN42-HID. The Bluetooth protocol is extremely complicated, so $15 is a steal for a chip that will support the HID profile. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Williams May 28 '13 at 18:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ These modules are produced for a hobby market with full bluetooth stack included. Dedicated manufacturers of bluetooth hid (which is just USB HID wrapped in bluetooth profiles) use bare bluetooth ICs from CSR, Qualcomm, TI, etc, which can be had for pennies. Just add code, pcb, RF circuity, and fcc testing costs. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Dec 28 '17 at 21:14
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Normally module level products are aimed at prototyping and low-volume production. Therefore they tend to be produced and sold in smaller quantities at a higher cost than their chipset counterparts, and of course the companies that make them want to turn a profit on their R&D work.

If you're prepared to do the additional design work yourself you may be looking for a Bluetooth SoC (system-on-chip) solution. One example is the TI CC2540 that is currently shown at around $2 a piece in 1k quantities. You'll need to develop your own board and firmware but they do provide a variety of reference designs and a software stack along with evaluation and development tools to assist.

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With a bit of firmware hackery you can make a cheap HID Bluetooth module by upgrading a HC-05 chip.

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