Mac Pro Wireless Signal Issues

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mrknight13, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2013
    #1
    Hello,

    I'm running an A1289 (bought late 2011) Mac Pro 2.8qcx, 12g Ram, 2tb hard drive with BT infinity ISP.

    The problem is that the wireless speed on the machine is anywhere between 0.8mbps and 9mpbs. Whereas if I put my early 2009 macbook in exactly the same position, or even further away, I can get speeds between 30 - 40mbps.

    The router is about 18 feet (5.5 metres) away and doesn't pass through any walls, just through one open door.

    Does anyone have any suggestion to improve the signal strength?

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. DanielCoffey, Mar 15, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #2
    The Mac Pro antennas are inside the metal box, so most folks use a USB dongle for things like Bluetooth and wifi.

    Is there no practical way you can use a wired connection for the Mac Pro?
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2013
    #3
    No practical way I can do it permanently, I suppose I could it when downloading and uploading big files.

    I was hoping that there might be a replacement airport that would improve things but I will look into a wifi dongle.

    Very frustrating this expensive beast of a machine can't compete with a half dead 2009 macbook when it comes to wifi signal.

    Thanks.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #4
    It is just where the antenna is positioned inside the case. The assumption was that you would wire the MP workstation into the network.

    Can you use a second wifi router with decent external antennas as an Access Point and wire the MP directly into that?
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2013
    #5
    Does anyone have a suggestion for the best mac compatible wifi dongle?

    ----------

    That's a good idea, thanks.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    PowerPC land
    #6
    Try OWC. They have a wide selection of nice USB dongles to choose from. Right now I am using a Bluetooth 3.0 USB Adapter as 2.1 is slower and for some reason my magic mouse keeps losing connection and reconnects. This fixed my problem.

    I am not going to go inside my Mac Pro and do some serious re-wring and or re-positioning of the internal antennas. The bluetooth 3.0 usb adapter works great.

     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #7
    I bought a couple of adapters from Best Buy and they worked great, plug and play.

    Rocketfish™ - Micro Bluetooth USB Adapter
    Model: RF-MRBTAD | SKU: 8820886
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #8
    Mrknight13 is asking about wifi rather than bluetooth. Any recommendations for wifi dongles if they don't want to use a second router?
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    #9
    The wireless card/antenna in the Pro is certainly junk. I had the same problem and went with a Premiertek PL-18N USB adapter from Newegg for 40 USD. The thing is huge and picks up every network in the neighborhood! The only issue I had is that it took Ralink (the chipset manufacturer) forever to update the driver when 10.8 was released. The current drivers come fro Ralink, not Premiertek.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    PowerPC land
    #10
    Is the rocketfish a bluetooth 3.0 or 2.1?

     
  11. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #11
    The Airport Express is $69 on the refurbished pages at the Apple online store. I am pretty sure (but double check before committing to the purchase) that it can be set up as WiFi extender. Just plug it into a power source near the Mac Pro, and connect it with an ethernet.

    I think that this will work, but perhaps others can chime in.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    #12
    I tried Airport Express extenders too. They helped some, but I'm telling you guys, that Premiertek PL18N is unreal. Mine is the old version. I can't imagine what the updated one will do. They list it as having up to a 2000 meter range.
     
  13. macrumors regular

    fungus

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Location:
    @unclefungus
    #13
    There are a few settings you can tweak that don't involve buying new equipment. The one that worked for me was to go into Airport Utility, select your router, then click edit>Wireless tab>Wireless Options...>Radio Channel and choose a different one. I had to toggle between 10 and 11 a couple of times, but I haven't had any problems in a while (working fine on channel 11 now). It all depends on your particular environment. Give it a shot before investing in a new antenna, and try searching the web for other ideas. Creating a new network location is one, setting the MTU manually under the hardware tab in Network>Wifi>Advanced is another, but neither of those worked for me.

    If you can't get it sorted tweaking these settings, another hardware option would be to try a powerline adapter. These allow you to create a wired ethernet network using your existing home electrical wiring. I had planned to order this: http://www.amazon.com/Livewire-Powerline-Network-Kit-200Mbps/dp/B003VWY0VY if the channel toggle hadn't worked.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    #14
    Changing channels is only going to help if slow speeds are due to interference from a close by network on the same or adjacent channel. The problem with the Mac Pro is definitely hardware related. The included adapter on certain models just plain stinks.

    Powerline adapters may, or may not, help, depending on the age/type of household wiring. In my house, built in the mid 60's, the one I tried didn't help at all. Just try the one I suggested (PL-18N) for 35 bucks on sale now at Newegg. If you're lucky, you'll pick up intergalactic communications with it.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #15
    It's 2.1
     

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