Howto: Fix for Bluetooth Problems in Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rectangular, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. rectangular macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    #1
    I posted that a year ago... it seems that users are still getting this problem with new mac pros!

    Here's the original Apple Support Discussion Thread: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=633522


    Anyways, I made the original rough hand sketch diagram that seemed to help quite a few people on the Apple Forums, so since this issue is still pertinent I quickly made a .pdf intended to be printed out and followed during the fix. It has some diagrams made in illustrator, and labeled photos of my fixed mac pro. Let me know if there is anything I should change/modify. I hope this can continue to be of help to people. P.S. I am a design major and did this very quickly, please don't show my professors :p

    http://www.thelocale.org/files/howtos/mac-pro-bluetooth-howto.pdf
    mirror: http://web.mac.com/gcrowl/mac-pro-bluetooth-howto.pdf

    So, in summary (if you are going to perform this, check out the pdf):

    There are going to be four wires. For me, there were two unlabeled. One was short and disconnected (wouldn't reach the BT module), and the other was longer and attached to the upper airport port. Another was labeled 3 and attached to the lower airport port, and another was labeled (mislabeled) BT and attached to the BT module.

    1. Detach upper airport wire (long, unlabeled)
    2. Plug in previously detached short unlabeled wire into the upper airport port.
    3. Unplug wire labeled BT from the bluetooth module. Put plastic shroud on it. This wire will be unused.
    4. Take longer unlabeled wire that used to be plugged into upper airport plug, and plug it into the bluetooth module.
    5. Enjoy.

    My Airport reception ended up being much better, and my bluetooth reception is amazing. Before I could barely use my mouse and keyboard a foot away, now I can use it in another room in my apartment (as long as someone shouts to me what i am doing :p ). I have been running this modification for over a year now with no problems at all. Reception is still amazing on with Airport and Bluetooth. If you find that your bluetooth reception is completly unsuable, this might be a good place to start, it seems that as far as I can tell most that do have this issue are miswired in this way. Apparently apple still continues to deny this problem… Although hopefully we can help spread the word that this is indeed an issue, and this is a likely fix. I don't know how many are effected by this problem, but this fix has helped at least 20 people on the Apple Forum.

    Digg This: http://digg.com/apple/Fix_Bluetooth_Reception_Problem_in_some_Mac_Pros
     
  2. macincar macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    #2
    Nice, the BT and AT always bother me, I thought maybe it's because of the mac pro's metal case, turns out they didn't wire well. I' going to try this later. hope I will not mess something up.
    Thanks!:)
     
  3. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816

    Virgil-TB2

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #3
    your site infected by Adobe malware

    Hi,

    I don't have this problem as I am one of those people waiting for the (late) release of the new MacPros.

    Being a "diagram lover" however, I did click on your links to the PDF but sadly, they don't work.

    Using the latest Safari (3.0.4) on an up-to-date Leopard install (10.5.1) all I get is a request to "Choose my Adobe PDF reader ..." ???

    Never seen that error before. :confused:

    ... followed by a plain blank grey screen.
     
  4. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #4
    i'm on my xp laptop and it turned out great. awesome write up rectangular, this will help out a lot more people.
     
  5. rectangular thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    #5
    The adobe reader plugin for safari on 10.5 kinda struggles a little bit I have noticed, you may want to either update adobe reader if you haven't, or right click on it and save.

    Orange: I hope so, it was certainly frustrating for me.

    macincar: I recommend using the utmost caution, like I said, if they mis-wired it, chances are they could have miswired them differently, so far from the responses on the Apple Forums, this procedure seems to have helped everyone that has followed it and was having the bluetooth problem.

    If you feel really uncomfortable doing this, and you have AppleCare, you may want to continue to pester them about this issue. On the Apple Forums it appears that AppleCare just replaces the Bluetooth module, which doesn't seem to fix the problem.

    Perhaps someone could use a voltmeter and see if any of them are grounds or carry current and see if any damage would come out of miswiring it?

    P.S. I forgot to mention I drew everything up, and typed it all up using my Apple Bluetooth Keyboad and Mouse on the fixed system. On it right now :) Really a great setup once it can get a decent signal.
     
  6. YoYoMa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    #6
    Are you kidding me? Apple never fixed this? I had two of my Mac Pros replaced because of this over a year ago!
     
  7. rectangular thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    #7
    The original Apple Support Forums post is still going strong. Someone just posted that they got a new Mac Pro and it had this problem. They did not post an exact date, has anyone purchased a Mac Pro with Bluetooth AND Airport recently that can verify if they have really bad Bluetooth reception, or if it's fine?

    YoYoMa: Did apple care eventually fix the two of your machines? From what I have heard they give people quite the hassle and claim no such problem exists, even though many people have obviously called in about it.
     
  8. YoYoMa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    #8
    It was a huge hassle. They claimed they had never heard of such an issue. After a few hours on the phone they replaced the first one. Then the second one came in, which had the bluetooth issue along with some other issues as well, which took another few hours on the phone to get replaced.

    They tried to get me to bring the computer to an Apple store, but with the computer being brand new at the time and Apple not even acknowledging the problem, I knew it wouldn't be a good idea.

    I then ordered the Mac Pro without bluetooth the third time and installed it myself using a fix I'd found on the internet. If this site suggests switching the bluetooth wire to a wire with a number on it then it's probably the same advice, and it worked great.
     
  9. mac2maverick macrumors regular

    mac2maverick

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Calgary
    #9
    I just got a new Mac Pro and I'm having issues with the keyboard and mouse. It worked at first but now there seems to be a problem. It says there's no bluetooth module. How can this be? It worked last time I booted up???? How do I get it to realize it has a bluetooth module??
     
  10. tourneur macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #10
    I had this too. Half of the time after booting up I had a bluetooth-less Mac Pro!

    I followed the instructions in the pdf guide that's in this topiuc and haven't had an issue with this since. Note that the labeling of my wires was different. I ignored this and replaced the wires according to the guide and it's going perfect now. Good luck!
     
  11. mac2maverick macrumors regular

    mac2maverick

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Calgary
    #11
    I don't have a problem with range, in fact I can type from several rooms over, it's just that it sometimes disappears from the system profiler and resets somehow. In system profiler it said "Bluetooth - no information found". I reupgraded to 10.5.2 and then went to the PC vista side of my Mac Pro and set up bluetooth mouse and keyboard. When I went back to the Max OS X side things were back and I was able to set up the mouse and keyboard. Weird!

    After rebooting in Mac OS X it didn't disappear again. Hmmm...we'll see if things stay normal.
     
  12. mac2maverick macrumors regular

    mac2maverick

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Calgary
    #12
    Another reboot in OS X and bluetooth module disappeared again. @#%#@$ I'm getting a little peeved! What does this? I'd sure like to know. I'm going to check what happens when I reboot into vista.
     
  13. tourneur macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #13
    I didn't either. My situation was exactly like yours.
    I rewired the cables and it's never happened since.
     
  14. mac2maverick macrumors regular

    mac2maverick

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Calgary
    #14
    Hmmm? Interesting. I just spoke to a Apple support person and he had me do an SMC. Basically just shut everything down, unplug all usb and plugins from power sources, wait 30 seconds then hook things up and restart. Bluetooth was back immediately and remained after several reboots. I did not have to re-setup the keyboard and mouse. I've read about quite a few people who have reconnected wires like you did with good success, but I was hesitant because I had no jerky mouse movements and also because my keyboard and mouse could be used so far away from my computer when it did work. I'm wondering if you unhooked all cables and power from your computer to do the 'surgery' and this in essence amounted to an SMC just like I did? Maybe it wasn't the reconnection issue that fixed your computer. I appreciate your responding to my questions. Have a good one my friend.
     
  15. Lumpydog macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #15
    My two month old 2008 Mac Pro is having the same problem. Initially, the Bluetooth was flakey, but worked - it was very hard to get my MM and Wireless Apple Keyboard paired - but eventually they did. Over the past few months the keyboard and mouse lost connections once or twice - nothing major - but I could tell something was not right with the bluetooth.

    Starting a few days ago, if I reboot, I get the "no bluetooth module" problem - it's a pain in the butt - I have to go to my attic and get a wired keyboard and mouse, log in to my profile and reboot - then my bluetooth module suddenly re-appears. If I reboot again later - the bluetooth module goes missing - the keyboard and mouse stop working and I can't log in - time to fetch my spare wired mouse/keyboard again...

    I'm going to try this re-wiring fix tonight. I'll let everyone know how it goes.

    Lumpy
     
  16. deathshrub macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    Christmas Island
    #16
    My bluetooth MM is a bit jerky, but only very slightly so, enough to make window dragging look a bit unstable. However it was the same way on my 1st mac pro (on the replacement apple sent now) and I don't think the BT is wired incorrectly. Range on bluetooth mouse is about 20 feet, just tested it. I think (what I'm experiencing at least) is a limitation of bluetooth, which probably isn't ready for prime time with devices like a mouse. A keyboard would probably be fine.

    I'm looking for a really good wired mouse that has programmable buttons I can use in OS X, like a button I can assign to exposé, dashboard, etc. And I'd prefer it to be wired. Anyone have any suggestions? Hah
     
  17. Lumpydog macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #17
    Worked

    Well.... I just took my wire labeled #1 and swapped it with the one labeled "BT". And my bluetooth is rock solid. Booted up and my Bluetooth adopter was found AND my keyboard now works from across my house - far better range than I had before. Leaves you to wonder what's up with the wiring and if it effects all Mac Pros....
     
  18. mac2maverick macrumors regular

    mac2maverick

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Calgary
    #18
    I'm curious if this is going to fix it. It sounds exactly like my original problem.
     
  19. mac2maverick macrumors regular

    mac2maverick

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Calgary
    #19
    Is your MP new? 2008?
     
  20. Lumpydog macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #20
    You quoted me in your prior post. Read the first line ;)
     
  21. Lumpydog macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #21
    To be clear - when I say I swapped the wire labeled "BT" with the wire labeled "1", it was a clean swap because I have no airport card installed....

    In the diagrams about the bluetooth problem - they show a bluetooth card and airport card installed - Where this is the case, you have to take wire "1" from the airport card and replace it with wire "2" (which was unused). Then, on the bluetooth card, you swap the wire labeled "BT" for wire #1. The wire "BT" is left unused.

    In my case, pulling the wire labeled "BT" from the bluetooth card and using the wire labeled "1" seems to have solved my Bluetooth problem. If I have any issues, I will report back.
     
  22. Soop53 macrumors regular

    Soop53

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    #22
    Two days ago, my keyboard just started repeating the same letter I typed until I pushed in the shutdown button on the side of the keyboard. It kept doing this along with the mouse not responding.

    I decided to do the rewiring thing as suggested above and all is well. No issues.
     
  23. kalex macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #23
    Just installed bluetooth module and connected cable labeled BT to it. my mac pro couldn't pair with a headset when it was on top of mac pro. found this thread and fished out cable labeled "1" and viola everything works perfectly.

    thanks everybody.

    alex
     
  24. swissmann macrumors 6502a

    swissmann

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Location:
    The Utah Alps
    #24
    So years later I finally stumble on this and though it is early it seems to have fixed my problems. Brilliant - thanks so much! I have a 2006 Mac Pro.
     
  25. matrixmaniac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    #25
    Spare WiFi antenna can be used to fix BlueTooth reception

    I can confirm that (at least) the 2006 Mac Pros have an issue with poor BlueTooth reception due to unideal location of the BT antenna.
    This issue can in almost all cases be fixed by connecting one of the three available WiFi antennae to the BT module.

    Reason:
    The BT antenna is located at the backside of the MacPro hidden in the frame of for the PCI extention cards. It's under the plastic label of the serial number (right below the monitor plugs). So the BT antenna is actually NOT inside the aluminum case, but because its at the back side of the massive case it still won't make good connection with a weak signal source located in front of the computer.
    On the other hand the Mac Pro has 3 WiFi antennae located under a large plastic label at the front of the bottom plate of the case. Actually there are four antennae, but only three have wires leading to the WiFi module and only two of those are connected to the module.
    So, there is one spare WiFi antenna cable that can be used to be connected to the BT module (or -if it's too short- it can be used to free up one longer WiFi antenna cable that can reach to the BT module instead).

    Summary:
    The labels of the antenna cables are usually correct. However, there is a spare WiFi antenna in the front bottom of the case that can be used to connect to the BT module and that is very likely to provide better reception for BT signal sources located in front of the computer case (e.g. from a Magic Mouse).
     

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