Bluetooth issues with Early 2009 Mac Pro

I got a shiny new magic mouse for my birthday only to discover that it doesn’t really work with my early 2009 Mac Pro. The symptoms are a stuttering mouse that occasionally drops its connection. Not good.

I opened up the case and poked around a bit and discovered that Apple buries the bluetooth antenna deep inside the aluminum case, with no attempt make it external. My grandfather, a former electrical engineer, was watching this operation exclaiming “they can’t be that stupid!”

Anyway, here’s the definitive thread on the matter. I’m just going to order and external bluetooth module and be done with whole deal. Needless to say, it’s quite annoying, especially on such a high end machine.

Update 06/06/2011: Turns out things haven’t been working out with my external Bluetooth adapter. You see, it depends on getting power from the USB, so each time I set my computer to sleep, it drops the connection to mouse. This means that each time I wake my computer from sleep, I need to turn the mouse off and back on again. So, now I’m going do a hardware fix instead, something I obviously should have done the first time. Sigh.

2 thoughts on “Bluetooth issues with Early 2009 Mac Pro”

  1. OK, Jeffrey, while this is not the correct fix and will not work for everyone here is what I did. I too have had these issues since buying my MacPro and could not have been more upset after dropping the money we do on a machine that should be flawless. Anyways, back to the store I went and wires appeared on my desk. Well two+ years later and I see that Lion will have gestures that will required the Magic Tablet in order to work for me, I spent the weekend researching and reading all solutions from making your own antenna to buying a seperate BT dongle. While I admit, I bought the dongle and had dame errors with startup as everyone else, here is the solution I found worked for me. I used to keep my Pro on my desktop (to monitor dust levels or course). I tried it in the middle of the desk, and then left and right side to no help.

    However, I then thought try on the floor, as much as I hated to do so, and it works. Now I will admit that the Mighty mouse I use is not as mighty as it should/could be, but the keyboard and tablet are working flawlessly now.

    Just thought I would share this with you if this is an option for you. Not a guarantee that it will work for you or not, but worked for me after countless hours researching the issue.

  2. Jonathan,

    Interesting. I actually tried putting my mouse within 12 inches of the tower and I still couldn’t get it to work well, I’m glad that actually fixed it for you — there’s clearly some variability between the different towers.

    However, I actually just got my parts for my antenna and installed it yesterday. It works beautifully now! In fact, I can actually use my mouse clear in the other room without any hiccups.

    I spent way too long looking for cheap versions of the right parts on ebay and elsewhere. Ultimately I paid more money than I wanted to, but I ordered the antenna and extension cable from JEFA Tech. They delivered by USPS (so it was fast) and the installation was easy.


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