AirDrop on Mac Pro 2008 without Airport extreme?

tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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Anyone had any luck getting their Mac Pro 3,1 working with AirDrop?

I'm on OS X El Capitan (v 10.11.6) and followed these instructions...

http://osxdaily.com/2011/09/16/enable-airdrop-ethernet-and-unsupported-macs/

My Mac Pro is connected via ethernet to the same modem as the iPad (via wireless) I want to copy files to. Am I missing something?
This hack only work between Macs, not between Macs and iOS devices. Install a BCM94322MC, an Apple one it's around $10 on eBay, then you will have AirDrop between Macs and iOS devices.
 

sparkie7

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Oct 17, 2008
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This hack only work between Macs, not between Macs and iOS devices. Install a BCM94322MC, an Apple one it's around $10 on eBay, then you will have AirDrop between Macs and iOS devices.
Ok, thanks for clarifying, will that ebay one you link to my Mac Pro 2008, 3,1? -- it just says for laptops...
 

tsialex

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Don't ever buy a wireless card that the seller don't show the Apple label on the auction. Usually the seller is selling a 3rd party one that could work.

This one is a real one, for MacBooks and iMacs, notice the grey label on the back with the Apple part number and the white one with Apple copyright and FCC ID: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Apple-A...SRf:rk:4:pf:1&frcectupt=true&autorefresh=true

Used AirPorts from MP5,1 only have the back grey label and don't have the white front one, but if the auction don't show it, it's a good chance that the seller is trying to sell a 3rd party card.
 

sparkie7

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Oct 17, 2008
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This one is a real one, for MacBooks and iMacs, notice the grey label on the back with the Apple part number and the white one with Apple copyright and FCC ID: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Apple-A...SRf:rk:4:pf:1&frcectupt=true&autorefresh=true
Ok, I'll get that one. Only USD $9.31 ! -- but says "used" . - where do they pull these from? old Apple laptops that have been pulled apart for parts? It says 2008 Apple Inc on the pics, and description says "802.11a/g/n Wireless Card" - not too old / slow for Airdrop to a 5th/6th gen iPad ?

I guess I got to look up some youtube videos how to install - could be fiddly!

thanks again for all your help :D
 

tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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Ok, I'll get that one. Only USD $9.31 ! -- but says "used" . - where do they pull these from? old Apple laptops that have been pulled apart for parts? It says 2008 Apple Inc on the pics, and description says "802.11a/g/n Wireless Card" - not too old / slow for Airdrop to a 5th/6th gen iPad ?

I guess I got to look up some youtube videos how to install - could be fiddly!

thanks again for all your help :D
If you want a new card, I linked the seller that has the real one. Usually all eBay cards are pulls from Macs or even from AppleTVs (yes, AppleTV 1st used the same card).

AirDrop with recent iOS devices needs BT4.0 to fully work, and needs a card like BCM9460CD. It's a lot more costlier than the original AirPort Extreme from Mac Pros. You will need to read more, threads like this one have good info https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...cmp-5-1-to-enable-apple-watch-unlock.2155723/

With a MP3,1, you will have to remove the BT module from the logic board, since the BCM9460CD has BT4.0.
 

sparkie7

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Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
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If you want a new card, I linked the seller that has the real one. Usually all eBay cards are pulls from Macs or even from AppleTVs (yes, AppleTV 1st used the same card).

AirDrop with recent iOS devices needs BT4.0 to fully work, and needs a card like BCM9460CD. It's a lot more costlier than the original AirPort Extreme from Mac Pros. You will need to read more, threads like this one have good info https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...cmp-5-1-to-enable-apple-watch-unlock.2155723/

With a MP3,1, you will have to remove the BT module from the logic board, since the BCM9460CD has BT4.0.
Where did the seller you linked to get a new one from? Did they copy the ROM from an old one, and the pics don't show the Apple details on it like the secondhand ones

Just wondering if there is another way to get files from my Mac Pro to the iPad, maybe an NAS drive?
 

tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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Where did the seller you linked to get a new one from?
That white box is from Apple, usually from Apple resellers/service centers/etc. Apple sold the MB988BZ on the Apple Store on-line back in the day too.

Did they copy the ROM from an old one, and the pics don't show the Apple details on it like the secondhand ones
No need to copy ROMs with cards from Macs.
Just wondering if there is another way to get files from my Mac Pro to the iPad, maybe an NAS drive?
There are a lot of ways to send files to iDevices, you can use:
  • iCloud/Dropbox/GoogleDrive
  • via Messages
  • iTunes Wireless Sync
To use AirDrop like a recent Mac, you will need a AirPort Extreme with BlueTooth 4.0, BCM94360CD or BCM943602CDP.
 

sparkie7

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Oct 17, 2008
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There are a lot of ways to send files to iDevices, you can use:
  • iCloud/Dropbox/GoogleDrive
  • via Messages
  • iTunes Wireless Sync
To use AirDrop like a recent Mac, you will need a AirPort Extreme with BlueTooth 4.0, BCM94360CD or BCM943602CDP.
Don’t want to use iTunes or iCloud/Dropbox where I have to copy to a cloud service.

Via messages as in iMessage? Can I transfer 3-4GB movie files via iMessage?
 

tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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Don’t want to use iTunes or iCloud/Dropbox where I have to copy to a cloud service.

Via messages as in iMessage? Can I transfer 3-4GB movie files via iMessage?
Even with a up-to-date AirPort card, 4GB files via AirDrop is not going to work well.

The best way is via iTunes Wireless sync. I use it to transfer directly to VLC on my iPad.
 

sparkie7

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Oct 17, 2008
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Even with a up-to-date AirPort card, 4GB files via AirDrop is not going to work well.

The best way is via iTunes Wireless sync. I use it to transfer directly to VLC on my iPad.
But my Mac Pro does not have wifi card. Do I have to go wireless? No solution via Cat 6 Ethernet? Or how about USB dongle wifi or Bluetooth?
 

tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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But my Mac Pro does not have wifi card. Do I have to go wireless? No solution via Cat 6 Ethernet? Or how about USB dongle wifi or Bluetooth?
Buy one BCM94322MC, or a better Apple used card, you will have WiFi and no headaches with 3rd party cards. You don’t need BT4.x to use iTunes Wireless Sync, only to use AirDrop.

I bought several Apple BCM94322MC to install into my 2008 Mac Pros and upgrade my 2009 ones to High Sierra. For around $10, it’s the best bang for the buck.
 

sparkie7

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Oct 17, 2008
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Buy one BCM94322MC, or a better Apple used card, you will have WiFi and no headaches with 3rd party cards. You don’t need BT4.x to use iTunes Wireless Sync, only to use AirDrop.

I bought several Apple BCM94322MC to install into my 2008 Mac Pros and upgrade my 2009 ones to High Sierra. For around $10, it’s the best bang for the buck.
The one you linked to in your first reply is now sold out. Is there another one you could recommend?

And is it hard to install? -- if there is a simpler USB plug in one, that might be easier..

Also I have a spare Airport Express lying around. Could I connect the Airport Express via ethernet cable to my 2008 MacPro? and get Airdrop that way, or is that not going to work?
 

tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
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The one you linked to in your first reply is now sold out. Is there another one you could recommend?
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Apple-A...SRf:rk:4:pf:1&frcectupt=true&autorefresh=true

And is it hard to install? -- if there is a simpler USB plug in one, that might be easier..
Apple only provide drivers for cards that they use into Macs. The chance that you will gonna find a USB that have the same chipset/ID of one used by Apple is slim.

Also I have a spare Airport Express lying around. Could I connect the Airport Express via ethernet cable to my 2008 MacPro? and get Airdrop that way, or is that not going to work?
No, this don't work for AirDrop or iTunes Wireless Sync.
 

sparkie7

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Oct 17, 2008
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natjonesart

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Jan 22, 2017
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Looks like the one I linked to earlier :D

Is it hard to install into a Mac Pro 2008 3,1 ?

Now, the other thing I really like about my Mac Pro is that it's connected to the internet only through ethernet. Which I can just pull and know that it's connected to anything. With this WIFI PCI card, that's no longer to be the case, right? o_O
Wifi cards are not that difficult to install.

to stop your connection you just go to the top of your screen, click the wi-fi icon and turn off wi-fi to disconnect. very easy to do.

As for USB- I have a D-Link DWA-182 usb wi-fi dongle that has worked well for me on a cMP, but I'm not sure if it will help with AirDrop
 
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tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
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Brazil
Looks like the one I linked to earlier :D

Is it hard to install into a Mac Pro 2008 3,1 ?

Now, the other thing I really like about my Mac Pro is that it's connected to the internet only through ethernet. Which I can just pull and know that it's connected to anything. With this WIFI PCI card, that's no longer to be the case, right? o_O
It's one screw and two antenna cables (already present near the empty AirPort connector) to install. Can't be easier.

You can enable and disable Wi-Fi exactly like you do with a MacBook, going into System Preferences or click into the menu Wi-Fi icon and select turn-off.
 

sparkie7

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Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
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It's one screw and two antenna cables (already present near the empty AirPort connector) to install. Can't be easier.

You can enable and disable Wi-Fi exactly like you do with a MacBook, going into System Preferences or click into the menu Wi-Fi icon and select turn-off.
Ok, thank you very much for all your and everyone's help :)
 
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