2018 Mac mini and usb interference

rowspaxe

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 29, 2010
2,171
942
Hi. Potential Mac Mini buyer and I have recently seen a number of posts and videos
about the issue of usb interference with the 2018 mac mini. This interference degrades
wifi and radio mouse performance.

Some posters had straight swaps of the 2018 mini and 2014 mini but were now getting
usb interference.

Usb interference was identified by doing a-b comparisons of wifi and radio mouse
issues with usb devices and docks plugged and unplugged.

Has anyone experienced this issue? Any solutions?
 

BasicGreatGuy

macrumors G5
Sep 21, 2012
12,900
12,378
In the middle of several books.
The few affected tried using a powered USB hub which worked. A smaller group tried several different things and ended up returning the Mini. There have also been people without any problems at all (like me).

Your best bet is to get one and see how it goes.
 

Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
4,103
1,398
If you plug something high powered to the USB3.0 port i think you cannot get away with Bluetooth issues. I only keep my Keyboard connected there because if I use SSDs, bluetooth goes out the window.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,402
6,708
The "bluetooth issue" seems inherent to the design, and my prediction is that Apple will not warranty existing production, even if they make an internal change to address this in the future.

Best way to handle bluetooth on the Mini (if you really need it) is to buy a 3rd-party BT adapter and connect it on the end of a "USB extension cable".

The "USB3/wifi interference" issue seems to have been around for a long time, going back to 2012 and 2014 Minis as well, perhaps earlier. It seems to affect some folks, not so with others. Probably has as much to do with how your peripherals are arranged around the Mini, and how much RF interference those peripherals emit...
 

HeavyMantra

macrumors member
Dec 11, 2018
75
28
So I can't use the Magic keyboard/trackpad if I'm using anything else in the USB port? What the hell did I buy?
 

ignatius345

macrumors 68030
Aug 20, 2015
2,683
3,610
On my iMac, I keep my Logitech mouse's little RF adapter connected to my wired keyboard's USB port -- it doesn't work particularly well when plugged into the backside of the iMac. I had assumed that the distance (and the fact that the port is on the back of the Mac) was the issue. Didn't occur to me it could be RF interference.

I like having a wireless mouse, but I honestly couldn't care less about a bluetooth keyboard on a desktop. One less thing for me to charge ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

dwig

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2015
695
280
Key West FL
On my iMac, I keep my Logitech mouse's little RF adapter connected to my wired keyboard's USB port -- it doesn't work particularly well when plugged into the backside of the iMac. I had assumed that the distance (and the fact that the port is on the back of the Mac) was the issue. Didn't occur to me it could be RF interference...
USB3 can interfer with a range of 2.4GHz radio devices including Bluetooth communication, WiFi communication, and the RF dongles common to wireless mice and keyboards. The USB ports on a wired Mac keyboard are USB2 so they themselves won't cause an issue and the distance between the keyboard and the USB3 ports is adequate to ease the issue.
 

rowspaxe

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 29, 2010
2,171
942
USB3 can interfer with a range of 2.4GHz radio devices including Bluetooth communication, WiFi communication, and the RF dongles common to wireless mice and keyboards.
I wonder if running a usb 2.0 dock off the back of the Mini would solve these isses, but I am not even sure
they make them anymore : 9
 

harriska2

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2011
1,265
638
Oregon
I have the Magic Trackpad 2 and it works flawlessly when connected. Plus I don't have to worry about charging it. The same is likely true of the magic keyboard. I have everything plugged into a powered hub and have computer sleep turned off.
 

F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
1,457
1,013
NYC & Newfoundland
The same is likely true of the magic keyboard.
It is, although I rarely use the keyboard wired and I'm not having much of an issue to begin with.

Screenshot 2019-02-12 at 14.42.18.png

[doublepost=1550001174][/doublepost]
So I can't use the Magic keyboard/trackpad if I'm using anything else in the USB port? What the hell did I buy?
If you want to use these wired, you have two USB-A ports and four USB-C ports. What's the problem? A choice of six ports isn't enough?

This is Apple's Lightning to USB-C cable, which comes in 1m and 2m lengths.

Screenshot 2019-02-12 at 14.50.23.png
 
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rowspaxe

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 29, 2010
2,171
942
If you want to use these wired, you have two USB-A ports and four USB-C ports. What's the problem? A choice of six ports isn't enough?

This is Apple's Lightning to USB-C cable, which comes in 1m and 2m lengths.
No thanks. Why do you think they created wireless peripherals in the first place?
 
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F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
1,457
1,013
NYC & Newfoundland
No thanks. Why do you think they created wireless peripherals in the first place?
I wasn't responding to you, was I? I was responding to someone talking about using a USB port and complaining that the port might be needed for something else.

Personally, I'm not having a problem in the first place, although I do use peripherals wired sometimes. Indeed, the Logitech G900 mouse that I'm using right now is 2.4GHz and requires use of a port even when used wireless. Great mouse, by the way. Before the G903 was released, it was US$150, but you can pick up New Old Stock for about $85.
 
Last edited:

rowspaxe

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 29, 2010
2,171
942
I wasn't responding to you, was I? I was responding to someone talking about using a USB port and complaining that the port might be needed for something else.
Sorry, I thought was a forum: my mistake.
[doublepost=1550008500][/doublepost]Steve Jobs rolls in the grave: tin foil and duck tape fix

FIX for MACBOOK PRO WIFI FAILURE with USB-C DONGLE
 

harriska2

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2011
1,265
638
Oregon
It is a problem for some and Apple should come up with solutions or a rebate. To allow this to go out the door one has to wonder if their management is effective. This feels like the NASA thing where management pushed forward while engineers were sounding the alarm on the O rings.
 
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rowspaxe

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 29, 2010
2,171
942
Is it Apples fault of the fault of manufacturers selling unshielded device cables. I guess both. It appears
newer Mac products are more sensitive to this interference.
[doublepost=1550018445][/doublepost]this is an interesting array of usb connections affecting wifi

 

HeavyMantra

macrumors member
Dec 11, 2018
75
28
If you want to use these wired, you have two USB-A ports and four USB-C ports. What's the problem? A choice of six ports isn't enough?

This is Apple's Lightning to USB-C cable, which comes in 1m and 2m lengths.

View attachment 821497
You must be joking? Your trolling is working because I'm supremely irritated by your response. I bought this setup because I need the bluetooth when I'm working with audio. Your "solution" doesn't work for me, and I sure as hell ain't paying 3400 dollars for a computer and peripherals that are supposed to work in a way they simply don't.

Will see what Apple care can do for me.. Last I bought an apple computer, these kind of issues didn't exist. Starting to regret my purchase.
 
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