Anyone think of moving the BT Antenna to the outside of the 2018 Mac Mini?

VisualStim

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 24, 2018
10
9
I was watching Snazzy break down his Mac Mini and saw that the BT antenna was under the black circular stand. Been thinking that you might be able to just buy longer BT / Wifi cables and route the Antenna module outside the Mac Mini




 

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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,084
6,532
Why mess up a Mini like that? And void the warranty, as well?

Just buy a USB3 "extender cable" (has male plug on one end and female port on the other).
Then, get a 3rd-party bluetooth "adapter".

This will SOLVE the bluetooth problems for most folks.
 

Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
4,102
1,394
Yeah, no. My mini will be far away from me so I'm gonna run everything via TB3 dock anyway.
 

Ramias

macrumors newbie
Oct 22, 2016
24
11
Why mess up a Mini like that? And void the warranty, as well?

Just buy a USB3 "extender cable" (has male plug on one end and female port on the other).
Then, get a 3rd-party bluetooth "adapter".

This will SOLVE the bluetooth problems for most folks.
How do I get my Mac to use the third party dongle? And will my watch still unlock it?
 
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Partron22

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2011
2,558
747
Yes
I tried the long cable and 3rd party (Mac compatible dongle) method. It actually made matters worse.
Perhaps my cable was not shielded well enough. That seems quite an important issue here. I've had to throw some skinny cables away.

The Dongle should take over automatically. You see the change in "About this Mac" "System Report".
 
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0989382

Suspended
Jan 11, 2018
527
376
The first thing I noticed when I first setup my Mac mini was that in the spot under my monitor my MBP 13" got perfect signal, the Mac mini seemed to not pick up my router at all! That's when I realised it had 'make do' WiFI, like it's 'make do' speaker. Still, grateful for both.

I ordered a super long ethernet cable and ran it up the stairs, under the carpet, to my room. Superior to WiFi. Desktops certainly do have their advantages.

I love being able to Hotspot out my own ethernet connection at work using the Mini (I travel with mine a lot) as the WiFi there is dismal to any and every device!
 
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getrealbro

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2015
417
159
The “Antenna Plate” for the Late 2104 and 2018 Mac Mini’s look remarkably similar in the iFixIt tear down photos. I’m guessing that the USB interference with BlueTooth issue is due to poor shielding on/in-the-vicinity-of the motherboard, rather than the antenna. So I’m hoping that Apple will produce a Rev B 2018 Mini with modified shielding or motherboard -- before I upgrade my 2014 Mini.

GeRealBro
 

getrealbro

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2015
417
159
How would we know it had been released?
How would you find new machines with revised hardware later?
IIRC in the past Apple indicated the Rev B as part of a revised model number. But even if that didn't happen, we would start hearing consistent reports from those who had just purchased their new Mini saying that interference is not a problem.

GetRealBro
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,084
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Seems to me there was a problem with wifi (and bluetooth?) having interference from the USB3 ports on the early 2012 Minis.

OWC even sold a little "shield" that the user could install to alleviate these problems.

In time, I believe that Apple started including a similar shield in the 2012 Minis. I don't think that got a "revision b" designation, however.

Having written that...

I'm wondering if any "shielding" is in the 2018 models? Perhaps if you looked at a teardown report, it might be visible.

And having said THAT...

I don't think this quirk is going to be fixed by Apple in the 2018 Minis.
It "is what it is".
I could be wrong.
 

getrealbro

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2015
417
159
Thanks for the reminder.
For those interested in more detail…
Here’s the link to the OWC Shield kit for the 2012 MIni

https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIYIMM12BTS/

Note: the description of the shielding problem on the 2012 Mini OWC page indicates that “This situation appears to be due to the specific placement of shielding which can vary from unit to unit.”. So if this is a manufacturing issue in the 2018 Mini, it could be fixed "on the fly" with no model number change etc. Or hopefully OWC will come to the rescue again :)

And the way Apple indicated Rev A and B models in the past, is the letter after the / in the Model number. For example the G3 iMac had a Rev A and B model

https://everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/specs/imac_ab.html

GetRealBro
 
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mrex

macrumors 68040
Jul 16, 2014
3,321
1,394
europe
Why mess up a Mini like that? And void the warranty, as well?

Just buy a USB3 "extender cable" (has male plug on one end and female port on the other).
Then, get a 3rd-party bluetooth "adapter".

This will SOLVE the bluetooth problems for most folks.
solution: do not buy it until apple fix it.
 

s15119

macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2010
1,855
1,672
Knock on wood. I haven't had any trouble with wifi or blue tooth on my 2018 Mini. None at all. thankful, I know others have...
 

macjunk(ie)

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2009
910
504
solution: do not buy it until apple fix it.
This is the only computer you can buy at Apple right now IMO. The bluetooth issues suck but it sucks less than the crappy keyboard and flex cable issues on the MacBook Pro, less than iMacs cranking the heat and destroying its own graphic cards, and of course...cheaper than the Mac Pro.

This is the Apple world we live in. Sucks but if you need Mac OSX...
 

mrex

macrumors 68040
Jul 16, 2014
3,321
1,394
europe
This is the only computer you can buy at Apple right now IMO. The bluetooth issues suck but it sucks less than the crappy keyboard and flex cable issues on the MacBook Pro, less than iMacs cranking the heat and destroying its own graphic cards, and of course...cheaper than the Mac Pro.

This is the Apple world we live in. Sucks but if you need Mac OSX...
if you need one, you probably already have one so there is no need to spend your money to a beta product which should be released only after testing.

or.. buy one and send it back with a letter ”bluetooth issue”. the more they get back the more seriously they take it. i probably do that just because i have holidays so i have time to participate the apple lottery. if it is working fine, i can keep it...
 
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