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Mac Pro Bluetooth 4.0

Zobrien

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 4, 2017
70
39
Tennessee
Hey guys, I've looked and can't find a thread for this but I have a Mac Pro 4,1--> 5,1 and I want to be able to use continuity and air drop. For this I have to have Bluetooth 4.0 BLE. I JUST bought a new AirPort Extreme card for my Mac Pro so I really don't want to have to buy the 2 in 1 Bluetooth airport card. I also don't want to have to take up a USB port by getting a Bluetooth 4.0 adapter. Are there any Bluetooth only cards I can switch my only current card for? I saw just Mac Pro Bluetooth replacement cards selling on amazon but they were Bluetooth 2.0, not 4.0. Anyone have any links to one or know where they can be purchased? Thanks in advance!
 
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h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,957
7,323
Hong Kong
Never heard about this. Unfortunately, USB is already the easiest way to go (if you get the right dongle).
 
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Zobrien

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 4, 2017
70
39
Tennessee
Never heard about this. Unfortunately, USB is already the easiest way to go (if you get the right dongle).
Would I have to take out my current Bluetooth card? And would a USB work just as well as the combined module?
 
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h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,957
7,323
Hong Kong
No, but you may need BT Explorer (free download at Apple developer page) to activate the USB BT dongle. Once you choose the USB dongle as the BT device, the internal one will be disabled automatically.

If you expect to CAT, then you can follow this guide from CAT webpage.

Bluetooth 4.0 USB dongles
A few important notes about using CAT with USB Bluetooth 4.0 dongles:

  • Bluetooth 4.0 dongles based on the Cambridge Silicon Radio CSR8510 A10 chip (e.g. Inatek Nano) are not compatible with CAT.
  • The recommendation is to look for dongles based on the Broadcom BCM20702 chip, which are similar to the ones used by Apple in their Continuity compatible Macs. A few examples: Asus BT400, IOGEAR GBU521, GMYLE, and many others. Compatibility with CSR dongles is not guaranteed.
  • Instant Hotspot currently doesn't work reliably when using a dongle. This is a known issue, no workarounds have been identified yet.
  • Atheros Wi-Fi AirPort cards will prevent Continuity from working even when adding a Bluetooth 4.0 dongle. The System Diagnostic feature of CAT tells which Wi-Fi brand is active. There are no workarounds and no patch is expected to change this, an AirPort card upgrade is required.
 
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Zobrien

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 4, 2017
70
39
Tennessee
No, but you may need BT Explorer (free download at Apple developer page) to activate the USB BT dongle. Once you choose the USB dongle as the BT device, the internal one will be disabled automatically.

If you expect to CAT, then you can follow this guide from CAT webpage.

Bluetooth 4.0 USB dongles
A few important notes about using CAT with USB Bluetooth 4.0 dongles:

  • Bluetooth 4.0 dongles based on the Cambridge Silicon Radio CSR8510 A10 chip (e.g. Inatek Nano) are not compatible with CAT.
  • The recommendation is to look for dongles based on the Broadcom BCM20702 chip, which are similar to the ones used by Apple in their Continuity compatible Macs. A few examples: Asus BT400, IOGEAR GBU521, GMYLE, and many others. Compatibility with CSR dongles is not guaranteed.
  • Instant Hotspot currently doesn't work reliably when using a dongle. This is a known issue, no workarounds have been identified yet.
  • Atheros Wi-Fi AirPort cards will prevent Continuity from working even when adding a Bluetooth 4.0 dongle. The System Diagnostic feature of CAT tells which Wi-Fi brand is active. There are no workarounds and no patch is expected to change this, an AirPort card upgrade is required.
Out of the USB's you mentioned, are there any ones better than the other one? I am leaning towards Asus just because I've built PC's with their parts and they have never failed me, but I'll get the best one if there is a difference between them. Thank you for the help
 
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rjtiedeman

macrumors 6502
Nov 29, 2010
301
50
Stamford, CT
Out of the USB's you mentioned, are there any ones better than the other one? I am leaning towards Asus just because I've built PC's with their parts and they have never failed me, but I'll get the best one if there is a difference between them. Thank you for the help


Check Out MacVideo Cards web page. See attached.
http://www.macvidcards.com/store/p33/Wifi_AC_and_Bluetooth_Airport_Card.html

Also Check Out http://www.osxwifi.com/apple-broadc...-with-adapter-for-macpro-2009-and-macpro-2010

I have been thinking about upgrading but have not jumped in since I am not sure I need new bluetooth or a new Mac Pro.
Bob
 
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h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,957
7,323
Hong Kong
Out of the USB's you mentioned, are there any ones better than the other one? I am leaning towards Asus just because I've built PC's with their parts and they have never failed me, but I'll get the best one if there is a difference between them. Thank you for the help

No idea, you better try some hackintosh forum, there should be more info about which one gives you the best compatibility.
 
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Ozbastion

macrumors newbie
Aug 5, 2017
14
0
Brisbane, Australia
No, but you may need BT Explorer (free download at Apple developer page) to activate the USB BT dongle. Once you choose the USB dongle as the BT device, the internal one will be disabled automatically.

I have bought the GMYLE USB dongle. I'm not an Apple Developer - does that mean I'm unable to get BT Explorer?
 
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pixelatedscraps

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2017
283
186
Hong Kong
I have the IOGear BT4 USB and it works perfectly - didn't have to use BT Explorer to get it working either. I have yet to upgrade my internal WIFI card as my cMP is always connected via ethernet and I don't use Handoff/Continuity anyway.
 
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Ozbastion

macrumors newbie
Aug 5, 2017
14
0
Brisbane, Australia
I have the IOGear BT4 USB and it works perfectly - didn't have to use BT Explorer to get it working either. I have yet to upgrade my internal WIFI card as my cMP is always connected via ethernet and I don't use Handoff/Continuity anyway.

I think the Bluetooth itself works fine.. the issue is that I want to use AirDrop to iOS devices. Doesn’t seem to be possible without some sort of CAT / other hack. Or have you found another way to fool OSX? I have tried the CAT 3 or 4 times to no avail. Each time I’ve had to reinstall OSX afterwards.
 
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zephonic

macrumors 65816
Feb 7, 2011
1,203
566
greater L.A. area
Airdrop on my 4,1>5,1 is a mixed bag. I want to use it to transfer files to and fro my MBP, and it works about 50% of the time (and that's a generous estimation).

I do use an external USB bluetooth transceiver, because the tower is behind an insulated wall to keep the noise out of my listening environment. I simply disconnected the internal bluetooth chip.
 
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Macdctr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
669
332
Ocean State
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