iMac Pro iMac Pro and Wacom Pro issues?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Richard Peters, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. Richard Peters macrumors regular

    Richard Peters

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #1
    Hi all,

    I just took delivery of an iMac Pro this morning, to replace my late 2012 machine. I've not got too far in to setting it up yet but have noticed an annoying behaviour.

    When the machine goes to sleep, after waking up, my tablet appears as not connected. It's a new Intuos Pro which has bluetooth but the issue is happening when it's hard wired for charging (hasn't charged yet so not sure if the bluetooth connection will also be lost).

    It's a little annoying as currently I need to keep the mouse on standby, and I hate the mouse. I haven't used one in years.

    I installed the Wacom software but to no help.

    Also, on a side note, when using the tablet the scroll windows in Safari don't appear. They are set to autohide but they never show up when I move the cursor to the edge of the window. I have to set the scrollers to always show. Didn't experience this behaviour with my old iMac/tablet setup either.

    At this early stage I don't know if it's the iMac or the Wacom that's worthy of finger pointing...

    Thoughts appreciated!
     
  2. Richard Peters thread starter macrumors regular

    Richard Peters

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #2
    Update: The disconnection issue appears to have stopped. Just woke the computer after sleeping it for several hours and the tablet came straight on.

    Also, I've noticed when using the tablet via bluetooth, the cursor feels a bit 'spongey' as you move it around the screen. Hook it via the cable and cursor instantly feels 'connected' to the pen movement again. I think it's a Wacom issue so I'll be getting in touch with them.

    On a positive. LOVING the iMac Pro (10 core, 64gb, Vega 64). Still not done a huge amount more than set it up but the screen is stunning, the silence is wonderful and it looks very nice in Space Grey. The speakers are a nice improvement too and I've found with iTunes, selecting the Acoustic setting in the EQ is a lot better than having it turned off.

    I won't get much actual productivity done for a while yet as I'm off to Finland on Friday for a week, two things I did notice though:

    1) Copying a 1.4gb Lightroom catalogue file from a Sandisk Extreme 900 to the internal SSD was instantaneous. I mean, literally. I've never seen anything like it!

    2) I exported a full resolution jpeg from a 36mp file from Lightroom. It took barely a second if that. It pinged to say it was complete almost as soon as I clicked export. Very impressive!

    Once I'm back home again from Finland I'm really looking forward to spending some proper time with the machine!
     
  3. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #3
    Long time Wacom user here. I upgrade whenever a new unit shows up, love the new tablets. At issue - a lot of BT hardware uses BT LE (including my Logitech EDGE UC and Magic Trackpad 2), but a lot of BT hardware still uses BT Classic (including my Logitech K811 and Wacom Intuos Pro M - the latest version). There's a long-standing bug in BT LE related to timeouts of Classic BT devices, seemingly LE devices can disable the BT stack for all connected devices - and Apple hasn't fixed this "bug". There's a workaround, using sudo to enable hybrid mode - it works perfectly for me, no more issues with pairing and timeouts of devices that use the BT Classic stack.

    For reference: https://us-store.wacom.com/Product/wacom-intuos-pro#/undefined2 - you'll see for yourself that Wacom states "USB or Bluetooth Classic for wireless connection".

    My workaround fix is called BlueTooth Coexistence Mode (yep, that's a thing that can be found in Apple Discussions). Its disabled by default; to enable Coexistence Mode, in an Administrator User Account use Terminal for the following sudo command:
    sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.airport.bt.plist bluetoothCoexMgmt Hybrid

    and reboot your iMac. If that doesn't work for you, I'll send you a delivery address for your iMP's new owner (that will be me...). I saw your new post, it isn't a Wacom issue - its an implementation of BT LE and not taking into account older devices or products that use the older BT Classic stack.
     
  4. Richard Peters thread starter macrumors regular

    Richard Peters

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #4
    Thanks for the advice.

    I tried that and it doesn't seem to work unfortunately. I still get this behaviour:

    With Bluetooth ON the cursor is still not very smooth to move across the screen. If I sweep my hand from left to right on the tablet, the cursor onscreen has noticeable lag, almost like dropped frame rates. So the tablet is unusable with Bluetooth at this time.

    Hardwired via USB, silky smooth.

    HOWEVER, I have also realised this morning that although the tablet still works after sleep, when hardwired, when the iMac is first turned on, it does not work at the login screen. I assume because the drivers are not loaded yet. But on my old iMac the tablet worked at the login screen. I assume this is maybe the T2 chip doing it's security thing? Very annoying as it means I have to keep the mouse to hand just to login.
     
  5. Strider64 macrumors 6502a

    Strider64

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Location:
    Suburb of Detroit
    #5
    Can't you just enter the password and hit the enter key?
     
  6. Richard Peters thread starter macrumors regular

    Richard Peters

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #6
    Nope, it just makes a bong sound. Although thinking about it, I haven't turned off the guest login yet. So that's probably why! Duh.
     
  7. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #7
    So, mea culpa. I goofed, and my "fix" was only half of what fixes this, and it's not a free fix. I have a fix. To preface, I only figured this out when I hit the road with my GF for the weekend. I travel a bit, and I carry a dock that I plug my Macs (two rMBPs - work and personal, two iMacs (work, two offices), and two Mini Servers (one work, one personal). I'm maybe one of the few dozen people in the world that may have figured this out, and I'll call Wacom in the morning (their US office is about 2 miles from my main office).

    Like I wrote in my OP I'm a longtime Wacom user, and I still have my previous version Pro M tablet. The "few" bit is that I was one of the few people that purchased the Wireless Accessory Kit (US link) (EU link) - I have the USB BT dongle plugged into my portable dock that's always with me! My workspace includes a high-precision mouse above my keyboard, a Magic Trackpad 2 on the left of my keyboard, and my Wacom tablet on the right of the keyboard - I draw/draft and select with both of my hands and execute commands and scripts via the keyboard or by dictation; I've had a workspace like this for 20-odd years and I'm used to it. The Wireless Accessory Kit was a US$40 add to the last version of the Pro tablets; my older Pro M tablet lagged with my Macs (and PCs at the office) and the dongle cured that lag bit, so I just kept the dongle handy. I frickin' hate USB dongles, but I kept this one around for the following rationale...

    My point: I'd left the BT dongle that shipped with the Wireless Accessory Kit of my previous version Intuos Pro M in my TB dock. It's just there, I don't notice it anymore. I removed the BT dongle and I got a fairly responsive but "rubbery" response from the pens I use (3) and touch - nothing like the responsiveness I get with the dongle plugged in. I looked up the chipsets in my Macs and found they all have BT 4.2 (link to Broadcom for some of my Macs) but there's no mention in those specs of BT EDR (enhanced data rate), which Wacom's BT chipsets have been capable of for several years - I used the System Information app and Wacom's own Pref Pane and can't find any information regarding whether or not the two devices are communicating via Standard or Enhanced data rates. I plugged in the dongle and restarted, and my current version Pro M is as responsive with touch as my Magic Trackpad 2 - honestly, pretty much all of my BT devices seem more responsive with the Wacom BT dongle installed in either my dock or installed directly in the Mac that I'm using.

    Currently, I am using my Pro M wirelessly but with the dongle plugged into one of my rMBP's USB ports and the tablet plugged into a power brick - wirelessly, it's as responsive as if the tablet were plugged into directly into the Mac - either way, however, I give up a USB port. :mad::mad::mad: What I don't see is whether any of my newer Macs (all BT 4.2 or greater) actually include BT EDR. Bluetooth.org stopped requiring EDR with BT 4.1. With all of the griping on Apple's/Adobe's/Wacom's/Autodesk's forums about Wacom tablet lag I'll give them a heads-up about this. I get enough free stuff from them. Over and out...
     
  8. Richard Peters thread starter macrumors regular

    Richard Peters

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #8
    Amazing reply! Thanks so much! Glad to hear the lag isn’t just me and it’s an actual problem. I’m in Findland now so away from the Mac for a week but I ended up just leaving it hard wired. A real fix would be nice though to remove a cable from the desk. Give Wacom a firm talking too from me haha!

    Thanks again!
     
  9. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #9
    Quick update. I did talk with tech service for Wacom, Autodesk, Adobe, and Nemetschek - all of them were interested in listening to my explanation, Wacom especially so. The Wacom rep indicated they (North America support) get dozens of calls on this matter every week, and he had a hard time understanding that I wanted to offer a workaround/fix.

    I bought a StarTech BT dongle (Model USBBT1EDR4; BT 4.0, 50m, Class 1) which also includes EDR capabilities. Amazon got it to me this morning (yes, delivery on Easter Sunday!), I inserted it into my rMBP while in an Admin user account (most of my work is in Standard accounts), and restarted. My Intuos Pro M (latest model) works as well over BT as it does over its wired connection - and far more responsive than the "stock" BT stack built into any of my Macs (I've ordered a base iMac Pro so I'll check that pairing out soon as well!). The cost of the StarTech dongle was about $20US, a couple of dollars more than its shorter-range BT 2.0+EDR counterpart, and it's got a 2-year warranty with macOS compatibility up to and including 10.13; I've used their cables and satisfied with them - the cost of this dongle is about one-half of the Wacom Wireless Kit, which isn't needed but for the dongle with the newer tablets.

    One conflict of note. I use a Magic Trackpad 2, but in "wired" mode and not in "wireless" mode - the conflict I've noticed is that, as soon as I "click" the Trackpad and with a 3rd-party BT dongle the Mac I'm using goes into what I call "non-EDR mode" and the wireless interface of the Wacom goes all rubbery as if the Mac's BT stack gets enabled and the dongle's stack gets bypassed. Again, I can't find any indication that the Macs that I use have EDR in the built-in BT stack - keeping any Apple BT input-navigational devices (Trackpad or Mouse) in "wired" mode allows me to use my 3rd-party input devices wirelessly (Wacom Intuos Pro M and Contour "mouse) without issue. The Wacom dongle and the StarTech dongle use the same RF Channel (Channel 3) as the built-in BT chipset, using System Information to verify this bit. I used Photoshop and AutoCAD wirelessly with the StarTech BT dongle inserted - I noticed no lag, far better than the performance of the built-in BT chipset.

    I don't see how avoiding a BT dongle gets optimum performance with either a Mac or a PC - I get the same rubbery performance on both of the PCs I use unless a BT dongle is inserted. Also, I can't change the timeout interval of my Wacom tablet when it's used wirelessly - even if it's plugged into a charger, it still times out.
    Over and out! Cheers.
     

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