Losing remote connection on Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Deek9000, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. Deek9000 macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2010
    The connection between my remote (white, 6 button older type) and the Mac mini keeps dropping every 20-30 mins. Holding down the Menu and Right buttons in front of the sensor to pair with the mini doesn't work (it did the very first time I paired it, never since).

    The only way to re-establish the connection that I've found, so far, is to go to System Preferences > Security > unlock and click Advanced > disable the infrared receiver, click ok > re-enable the receiver, click ok. The remote is now magically paired again (no re-pairing holding down buttons), but unpairs itself after 20-30 mins.

    Rinse repeat.

    Thought it was the battery, replaced, issue remains.

    The mini's main function is as a media server/player, so this is proving to be unbelievably frustrating!

    Anyone had similar issues, and was able to resolve them? Is there any other setting I've missed to troubleshoot issues with the infrared receiver/remote generally?

    Any input on this much appreciated.
  2. fischersd macrumors 601


    Oct 23, 2014
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    You're sure the battery you used to replace wasn't also dead? :)
    The first question you should always be asking yourself is "What changed?" It was working, now it isn't - generally speaking, there's almost always an event that coincides with the change in behaviour.
    (btw, you also didn't say which mini and what version of OSX/MacOS you're running).
    If you have a universal remote kicking around the house that says it'll support Apple TV's or have any additional Apple remotes kicking around, you can isolate if the problem is the IR header / Mini or the remote itself.
    Also, you're using this as an HTPC as well - are you seeing this behaviour natively (iTunes) or within the app? (Plex, Kodi)
  3. Deek9000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2010
    Ah, sorry, some detail would help! :)

    It may be the IR receiver, as it hasn't worked consistently with this mini so far. It's a mid 2011 mini running macOS Sierra, which I only recently purchased second hand. The remote is older, originally came with the mini this one's replaced (2007 running Snow Leopard).

    Works fine while connected on the 2001, both natively (QuickTime) and Plex. Once it disconnects, it won't work with either. The remote worked just fine with the old mini, never had any issues. I also have a Late 2013 MBPr, but sadly this one doesn't have an IR receiver to test the remote with.

    And yes, it's a brand new battery I replaced it with :)

    Unfortunately I don't have any other remotes to test the receiver with, so seems the most likely culprit so far. Though you'd expect it not to work at all if that was the case, rather than in 20-30 min stints, right?

    One last thing though, I still have the old mini but it's no longer powered on. Any chance at all the remote is still trying to pair with the old mini? Not that there's a signal available of course, but that it's somehow messed up with trying to pair to a device that no longer exists?

    Would a third party USB IR Receiver potentially work?
  4. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    The remote itself doesn't pair. It just sends out a signal, and devices that are paired to that remote will ignore other remotes. Given that once the remote stops working with one computer, it stops working with the other computer, this sounds more like a problem with your remote than with your computer.
  5. fischersd macrumors 601


    Oct 23, 2014
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    @chrfr, pretty sure @Deek9000 meant that it's disconnecting from both Quicktime and Plex at the same time on the 2011 mini - underscores that this is happening below the application layer.

    Deek9000 - any chance you did any testing with a prior version of OS X on the mini before loading up Sierra?

    Edit: You may be able to get a USB IR receiver....but it'll need to have native drivers (kernel extensions) available under MacOS.

    You must have some friends with Mac's (or Apple TV's) that you could borrow a remote from for testing?
  6. Deek9000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2010
    @fischersd @chrfr Yep, didn't work at all (native or third party) on that particular Mac mini once the connection dropped.

    The same remote worked fine for years with an older Mac mini running Snow Leopard, and was tested just days before on that machine.

    I did some more digging though and came across some other posts that suggested newer iterations of the OS actually borked the IR drivers, and several users were reporting the exact same issue I had, with IR connections to their remote seemingly unpairing themselves after a short while. Not every Mac user or combination of hardware/OS and remote, it seems, but far from an isolated incident.

    Never got as far as testing with a friend's remote, but glad to report I did find a fix for the problem: I installed the Candelair pref pane/driver (free, available here) and so far the remote has remained paired to the Mac mini (running Sierra) ever since, working as expected again now!

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5 January 31, 2017