Better Bluetooth For 2009 5.1 Blues

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by fastlanephil, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    I have my 2009 5.1 Mac Pro right under my Apple BT mouse and close to my Apple BT keyboard but I’m still is having connection issues, mainly with the keyboard. There is a digital piano controller between the Apple keyboard and my Mac Pro, which sits on the floor. I ordered a upgrade combo WIFI Bluetooth card from China and managed to get it installed and recognized in System Report. WiFi works fine and it shows BT 4.0 ready to go but my Mac Pro can’t find either the keyboard or the mouse. I did a PRAM and SMC reset and repaired Disk Permissions but no luck. There may be an incompatibility issue because of the 4.1 to 5.1 firmware upgrade or it could be because I’m using a PCIe SSD boot drive which shows as an external drive. I didn’t think of booting from my standard internal slot back up boot drive to test that but it wouldn’t be of much help any way.

    I reinstalled my original BT and WiFi cards so I’m back to square one. I did order some USB extension cables so I can try just working with my Apple USB extended keyboard and USB scroll mouse if need be.

    I found a blog where a 2009 Mac Pro user installed an external antenna and had good results. Has anyone tried this fix? I can get the needed cable and 2.4GHz antenna for $5.50 on eBay.

    I tried a BT USB dongle and the required BT firmware upgrade which worked fine but there were issues booting into Windows via Bootcamp.

    The mentioned blog.
  2. fastlanephil thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    Yes, that's route I tried and it worked great in OS X and now I remember it didn't work in Windows 7 and when I booted back into OS X from Windows 7 Bluetooth was gone and I would had to do some resetting to get it back. I forget exactly what I had to do but it was a hassle.

    I just found the USB dongle I used. It's this one.,160_

    I see it doesn't mention support for Windows 7. That could be the issue. Maybe I should try one of the other BT dongles you posted a link to. I'm not really sure if the antennae fix will work for me and it also will take up a PCIe slot.

    Thanks for the reply!
  3. fastlanephil thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    I tried the Kinivo USB dongle and got to work in Yosemite and with some effort also in Windows 7 via Bootcamp(5.1.4). As previously, booting back into Yosemite I lost Bluetooth and had to reset the SMC. Even after getting back Bluetooth I had to uninstall and reinstall my devices to get them recognized. I tried booting back into Windows 7 and it choked which brought up the white text on black boot screen. The next time Windows locked up which required a forced shutdown and a restart.

    It looks like there are serious 3rd party Bluetooth compatibility issues using Windows 7 in Bootcamp. At least in my case.

    If you just stay in OS X it works great.
  4. mugwump, Sep 10, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015

    mugwump macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2004
    Dumb question, but did you already change the internal antenna from "BT" to "1" wire? I was having connection issues and this fixed everything.
    The antenna wires were tucked underneath the motherboard but I finally got them out and did the change.
    Before the fix my magic mouse was draining battery quickly, but now with the better signal it's steady at 100% battery life.
    -- meh, now that I think of it, I am referring to my Mac Pro 3,1 at work that has the Bluetooth chip add-on where you plug in the antenna. I'm not sure the 4,1 has this setup.

    -- Okay, so this blog has a good fix, using a U.FL Mini Pci to RP-SMA cable into a wifi antenna.
  5. fastlanephil thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
  6. fastlanephil thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    I did the antennae fix. I used a 14" antenna so I have it supported at the top with some rubber bands. It seems to be working fine and discovering my devices, booting back and forth between OS X and Windows 7.
  7. carpsafari Suspended


    Sep 13, 2015
    the Netherlands

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