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Old Jan 6, 2013, 05:48 AM   #1
nigelbb
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Mouse problems with Sonnet Allegro USB3 card

I have had a Sonnet Allegro USB 3 card installed in my Mac Pro 3,1 for some time but have rarely used it except infrequently with a Compact Flash card reader so I didn't notice a problem. However I jut bought a 4TB USB3 external disk & discovered that when it is powered up that I get all sorts of erratic behaviour with my Magic Mouse. It's very laggy & sometimes just stops responding. If I power off the external disk the problem goes away. I have now tested with a couple of other USB3 devices (external disk docks) & exactly the same problem occurs when they are powered up.

I did some Googling & found references to others seeing similar behaviour with USB3 cards in the Mac Pro. I am running Mountain Lion 10.8.2 & the latest Sonnet Allegro drivers (1.0.8b).

Is there anyone running the same card without problems with a Magic Mouse or conversely can anyone recommend a USB3 card that does not interfere with the Magic Mouse? I had been considering saving a PCIe slot by buying the CalDigit FASTA-6GU3 combined USB3 & 6G eSATA card but would like to be certain that I won't encounter the same problem.
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 06:00 AM   #2
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I have the Caldigit FASTA-6GU3. I used it with my Magic Mouse for a very long time when the Mac Pro was two feet from the mouse with no problem. As soon as I moved the machine to the other side of my desk, about four feet away, I got erratic mouse woes during USB 3 drive use.

I solved it by using a (much better) Logitech mouse with the little USB receiver plugged into the back of my 30" Apple Cinema Display. Now it's all perfect again, but yeah, no Magic Mouse. Meh.
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 06:13 AM   #3
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That's a disappointment regarding the CalDigit card. Which Logitech mouse are you using? I like the Magic Mouse a lot & while I am not using most of the gestures & touchy-feely stuff sideways scrolling is important to me as I need it for easily moving about a Premiere Pro timeline & stroking the Magic Mouse left & right accomplishes that very well. If the Logitech mouse can do the same then it would be a workaround
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 03:25 PM   #4
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It's a Logitech Anywhere MX. Not the newest of their mice, but maybe they have a newer one that would do sideways swipes.

I use Premiere and After Effects for hours every day for my work, and while I did like using the Magic Mouse in Pr, it wasn't nearly as good for detailed work in Photoshop or Illustrator, and it was also so sensitive that I found my fingers would occasionally touch the sides and change my zoom settings unintentionally. The benefit of side swipes was outweighed by the annoyances for me, so I don't mind grabbing the slider to navigate the timeline. Not only that, but battery life is multiples greater with the Logitech mouse.

Anyway, I hope you find a good solution!
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Old May 6, 2013, 01:20 AM   #5
sunman42
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Same experience with CalDigit card

I have a hard time understanding how the card is interfering with the frequency-agile 2.4 GHz Bluetooth communications, but it s....l....o....w....s my Magic Mouse response to a crawl, even when there's just a USB thumb drive plugged in --- so it can't be blamed on a poorly shielded cable. I have to assume something goes active on the other, unused ports, when one is in use, that produces the interference.

I suppose my next step is to try covering the unused ports with tinfoil to see if that stops the interference. EIther that, or my head.

I guess the interference could be inside the Mac Pro: something is radiating, or affecting a ground line (?), at a Bluetooth-like frequency. I get queasy thinking that could be it, so I'll try the external foil and see what happens.
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Old May 6, 2013, 02:17 AM   #6
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When I initially saw this problem I assumed that it must be some hardware issue like an IRQ conflict on a PC/Windows system. It still seems bizarre that it's RF interference but evidently the Bluetooth reception is marginal on the Mac Pro anyway.

This reminds me that I still have the extension wires & external aerial for Bluetooth that I ordered months ago. It's just that I have been so busy that I haven't wanted to take my Mac Pro to pieces while in the middle of projects.

I have been using the Microsoft Touch Mouse which doesn't have the sideways scrolling of the Magic Mouse but my wife just got a Logitech LS1 Laser Mouse which is not wireless but does have a sideways scrolling wheel.
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Old May 6, 2013, 10:14 AM   #7
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USB3 in general comes with a host of interference related issues. It's the technology in general not the specific implementation. If anything, blame the location of the MacPro bluetooth antenna where there haven been issues reported for years before USB3 even added it's host of issues.'


Quote:
Originally Posted by nigelbb View Post
That's a disappointment regarding the CalDigit card. Which Logitech mouse are you using? I like the Magic Mouse a lot & while I am not using most of the gestures & touchy-feely stuff sideways scrolling is important to me as I need it for easily moving about a Premiere Pro timeline & stroking the Magic Mouse left & right accomplishes that very well. If the Logitech mouse can do the same then it would be a workaround
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Old May 6, 2013, 12:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigelbb View Post
I have had a Sonnet Allegro USB 3 card installed in my Mac Pro 3,1 for some time but have rarely used it except infrequently with a Compact Flash card reader so I didn't notice a problem. However I jut bought a 4TB USB3 external disk & discovered that when it is powered up that I get all sorts of erratic behaviour with my Magic Mouse. It's very laggy & sometimes just stops responding. If I power off the external disk the problem goes away. I have now tested with a couple of other USB3 devices (external disk docks) & exactly the same problem occurs when they are powered up.

I did some Googling & found references to others seeing similar behaviour with USB3 cards in the Mac Pro. I am running Mountain Lion 10.8.2 & the latest Sonnet Allegro drivers (1.0.8b).

Is there anyone running the same card without problems with a Magic Mouse or conversely can anyone recommend a USB3 card that does not interfere with the Magic Mouse? I had been considering saving a PCIe slot by buying the CalDigit FASTA-6GU3 combined USB3 & 6G eSATA card but would like to be certain that I won't encounter the same problem.

USB3 generates RFI that most definitely interferes with Bluetooth. Some have found relief by moving their external USB3 devices away from the tower and mouse (by way of a long USB3 cable). It's a real turn off for me, I love my magic mouse and if I have to chose between the two, the mouse wins. I'm guessing it won't be too much longer before a new USB spec. comes along and fixes the problem and delivers faster transfer rates. With PCIe 3.0 the bar is raised higher, so it stands to reason faster HID's will follow.

For those who need USB 3.0 now, it seems to be a crap shoot. If it's really worth it to you, ditch the mouse. I'm a new Mac Pro owner myself (very first Mac, no kidding). This is the first desktop I've ever owned that had BT built in. Obviously one can easily live without it.

EDIT:

As you can see in my signature line, I opted for the RocketU 1144CM USB 3.0 card. I have 3 external drives connected and my MagicMouse. I have absolutely no problems at all with this setup. The one thing to be noted is that with this card, the system won't go into full sleep. Monitor, Drives, and everything else does but there is something not sleeping because the pulsating power light does not pulsate anymore. I contacted HighPoint about it and said their card does not support full hardware sleep. I haven't found it to be a problem, and my electric bill doesn't reflect any change.
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Last edited by crjackson2134; Jul 20, 2013 at 02:34 PM.
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Old May 6, 2013, 01:41 PM   #9
lssmit02
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Fasta-6gu3 and similar problems; Using better cables

I also have had problems with the Fast-6gu3 card and a UBS 3.0 Seagate GoFlex Desk Media. I upgraded my cable to a StarTech usb 3.0 cable, which appears to have additional shielding. So far, at least, it appears to have improved bluetooth reception. I currently use a bluetooth keyboard and trackpad, and a 2.4ghz wireless mouse with the receiver plugged into my monitor. No lags or stuttering at the moment, although you can never be sure.
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Old May 6, 2013, 03:10 PM   #10
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Intel has a whitepaper describing this problem.
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/...nce-paper.html

Basically, it's a problem with the technology itself and not inherent to any specific manufacturer. They were able to reduce the problem by applying shielding to various locations.

I believe OWC even sells a bluetooth module shielding kit for use in a Mac Mini to protect it from its own USB 3.0 solution.

I am a bit disappointed that this is the new standard. Couldn't they have done a bit of RF testing? Hopefully the USB standards people can fix this by requiring all cables be shielded or something.
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Old May 16, 2013, 06:28 PM   #11
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Have the CalDigit FASTA-6GU3 in a MacPro5,1 and removed the motherboard's Bluetooth jumper cable from this machine. Added in a $10 IOGEAR GBU521 to my Apple USB wired keyboard's hub (on the right side since I'm right handed) and there are no longer any Magic Mouse connectivity related issues. Mouse is basically as close to the receiver as it can get being in that location. For this machine's setup, the workaround works perfectly, even when USB3.0 devices are connected to the CalDigit card.

The Bluetooth rewiring solution has mixed results from what several people have reported.
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Old May 17, 2013, 11:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsbeamer View Post
Have the CalDigit FASTA-6GU3 in a MacPro5,1 and removed the motherboard's Bluetooth jumper cable from this machine. Added in a $10 IOGEAR GBU521 to my Apple USB wired keyboard's hub (on the right side since I'm right handed) and there are no longer any Magic Mouse connectivity related issues. Mouse is basically as close to the receiver as it can get being in that location. For this machine's setup, the workaround works perfectly, even when USB3.0 devices are connected to the CalDigit card.

The Bluetooth rewiring solution has mixed results from what several people have reported.
Other people who have done this report that their bluetooth devices no longer wake the MP from sleep when connected to a third party BT dongle. Have you tried this yet?
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Old May 21, 2013, 01:18 PM   #13
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Other people who have done this report that their bluetooth devices no longer wake the MP from sleep when connected to a third party BT dongle. Have you tried this yet?
Have not yet tried this, but I do have a wired USB keyboard on the machine. When I get a chance I'll let it sleep and will report back. Wouldn't a wired keyboard action resolve this potential problem anyway? Hit keyboard and once awake the mouse should function.
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Old May 21, 2013, 02:44 PM   #14
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Have not yet tried this, but I do have a wired USB keyboard on the machine. When I get a chance I'll let it sleep and will report back. Wouldn't a wired keyboard action resolve this potential problem anyway? Hit keyboard and once awake the mouse should function.
I assume those people have bluetooth keyboards as well.

I use wireless kit, but it is Logitech-specific and not bluetooth. Works fine with USB3.
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Old May 22, 2013, 08:31 AM   #15
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The Sonnet website highlights that it's USB 3 card is really designed with storage in mind, and doesn't guarantee other USB devices will be compatible.
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Old May 27, 2013, 08:20 AM   #16
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Other people who have done this report that their bluetooth devices no longer wake the MP from sleep when connected to a third party BT dongle. Have you tried this yet?
I've been able to successfully wake this Mac Pro from sleep several times using the Magic Mouse connected via the bluetooth USB dongle. No delays or anything out the ordinary either. Again, the internal bluetooth card has been disconnected via the jumper cable. Running OS X 10.8.3.
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Old Jun 9, 2013, 10:40 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by nigelbb View Post
When I initially saw this problem I assumed that it must be some hardware issue like an IRQ conflict on a PC/Windows system. It still seems bizarre that it's RF interference but evidently the Bluetooth reception is marginal on the Mac Pro anyway.

This reminds me that I still have the extension wires & external aerial for Bluetooth that I ordered months ago. It's just that I have been so busy that I haven't wanted to take my Mac Pro to pieces while in the middle of projects.
I was moving my desk from one room to another today & decided that as I had to disconnect all the wires & move the Mac Pro that it was about time that I tried my Bluetooth extension cable. I put in a GT120 to give me a 3rd monitor too.

The good news is that I can confirm that fitting an external aerial (antenna) completely fixes the laggy mouse problem & that the Magic Mouse now behaves properly again just as it did before I fitted a USB3 card.

I had to remove the GTX570 & drive sled 2 to get proper access to the Bluetooth module. It was easy enough to disconnect the old wire but after a few abortive attempts it was obvious that it was easier to remove the module to clip the new wire on. A PH0 screwdriver was required for the two screws but then I was able to easily pop the new connector on the module by pressing them between finger & thumb. I put some insulating tape over the brass joint between the pigtail & extension lead & also over the end of the old wire. I lead the wire out through a PCI slot at the back that has sockets from the internal SATA sockets on the motherboard. I clipped on an aerial (antenna) off a defunct WiFi router onto the end of the wire & have that lying on my desk near the mouse.

It works perfectly & is well worth doing so I would recommend this mod to anyone else having a problem with Bluetooth on the Mac Pro whether caused by USB3 interference or just the poor reception caused by having the aerial (antenna) internally in a metal case which is really stupid design. It only cost me the equivalent of less than about $5 for the pigtail lead & extension lead purchased off eBay.
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Old Jul 18, 2013, 06:19 AM   #18
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I assume those people have bluetooth keyboards as well.

I use wireless kit, but it is Logitech-specific and not bluetooth. Works fine with USB3.
Out of curiosity, which wireless Logitech mouse are you using? Does the scroll wheel allow left-to-right side scrolling? I know the new Logitech ones use a proprietary Bluetooth dongle style receiver and I'm wondering if there will be any interference with my CalDigit card. It's the alternative I'm considering.

I reconnected the Bluetooth jumper cable on this machine when attempting to troubleshoot a graphics card startup issue with my CalDigit USB3/eSATA FASTA-6GU. Still have the IOGEAR GBU521 attached directly next to the Bluetooth mouse and the interference is insane when using USB3. Obviously adding a secondary Bluetooth receiver does NOT shutdown the internal one - it needs to be disconnected in order to do so. Went to a wired mouse for a temporary work around and likely will either be getting a new mouse, or removing the jumper cable once again.
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Old Jul 20, 2013, 04:46 AM   #19
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Out of curiosity, which wireless Logitech mouse are you using? Does the scroll wheel allow left-to-right side scrolling? I know the new Logitech ones use a proprietary Bluetooth dongle style receiver and I'm wondering if there will be any interference with my CalDigit card. It's the alternative I'm considering.

I reconnected the Bluetooth jumper cable on this machine when attempting to troubleshoot a graphics card startup issue with my CalDigit USB3/eSATA FASTA-6GU. Still have the IOGEAR GBU521 attached directly next to the Bluetooth mouse and the interference is insane when using USB3. Obviously adding a secondary Bluetooth receiver does NOT shutdown the internal one - it needs to be disconnected in order to do so. Went to a wired mouse for a temporary work around and likely will either be getting a new mouse, or removing the jumper cable once again.
Why not route the Bluetooth antenna externally as I did (see my post above)? This 100% fixes all Bluetooth issues caused by interference from USB3 devices & costs about $5 for the parts. Best of all you get to use the Magic Mouse rather than an inferior Logitech substitute.
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Old Jul 22, 2013, 09:21 AM   #20
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Why not route the Bluetooth antenna externally as I did (see my post above)? This 100% fixes all Bluetooth issues caused by interference from USB3 devices & costs about $5 for the parts. Best of all you get to use the Magic Mouse rather than an inferior Logitech substitute.
You did "tie" up a PCIe expansion slot for exiting the cable/antenna with this method, correct?

Also, this particular machine is technically still under warranty - the removing the jumper method (and adding in a secondary bluetooth USB connector) is quick and easy to replace if needing to bring back to Apple for any reason.
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Old Jul 22, 2013, 09:46 AM   #21
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I am not tying up a PCI slot as I just squeezed the wire out through the slot & then put the plate that extends the on-board SATA sockets externally to connect up to my RAID boxes. The wire is pretty slim so could be squeezed past any card I imagine.

I had actually mis-read your post so thought that you were still stuck with the on-board Bluetooth module but if you are able to disconnect it & use a 3rd-party Bluetooth dongle then hopefully that is just as good. My big requirement was to be able to use a Magic Mouse as I edit in Adobe Premiere Pro & no mouse is as good as the Magic Mouse for easily scrolling left & right along the timeline.
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Old Jul 23, 2013, 11:30 AM   #22
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Interestingly enough, I was able to get a very cheap Logitech M510 with the tiny USB "universal" connector (re-branded Bluetooth), installed the Logitech software and now the Apple Magic Mouse works flawlessly with the internal jumper cable connected and the USB IOGEAR GBU521 Bluetooth dongle connected.

So with this software and additional dongle, the Magic Mouse is actually connecting to the GBU521 without internal modifications, unlike it was previously. The only way I had previously been able to connect to the GBU521 was after physically disconnecting the internal Bluetooth jumper cable.
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Old Jul 23, 2013, 10:52 PM   #23
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Out of curiosity, which wireless Logitech mouse are you using? Does the scroll wheel allow left-to-right side scrolling?
Logitech Performance MX. Yes, it does.
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