Success: Adding cheap Bluetooth 3.0 to iMac G4 with Tiger

Status
The first post in this thread is a WikiPost, and can be edited by anyone with the appropriate permissions.

Riku7

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 18, 2014
108
17
I had trouble finding any practical suggestions for what exactly and what doesn't, that I'm posting just to share what worked for me. ;) So this time, no complaints or questions from me.

So, iMac G4 with Tiger 10.4.11, no Bluetooth. I wanted to connect a wireless keyboard because it's so hard to find wired keyboards that have no num pad but do have Mac friendly key labels as well as scandies.
From what I read, people were basically saying that "any random bluetooth dongle would work" to give this computer support. But when I looked up any random bluetooth dongles, they all looked very similar but the descriptions of many would even specifically state that they would NOT work on a Mac. That, or, no mention of Macs at all. When looking up info on the actual chips used in these dongles, even Broadcom's website was a bit "Mac hostile". What to trust?

I ended up getting a very generic looking, small and cheap dongle in its package, from eBay. The description said that it would work on Macs, and in the picture of its packaging, there was a row of Windows OS symbols as well as a blue smiling Finder icon but on it, no mentions of which version of "smiling Finder" it would play along with. I had seen other Bluetooth dongle packages that looked the same with the exception that it was just a row of Windows OS logos and smiling Finder in the lineup.
I got my dongle today. Interestingly, its package is what I saw a lot of: Featuring a lineup of Windows OS logos, NO smiling Finder like in the eBay article! In the back, it lists specifications as follows:
  • Bluetooth 3.0+EDR, compatible with Bluetooth 1.2/2.0/2.1
  • Full-speed USB 2.0 Interface, USB 1.1 compatible
  • System support: Win98/Win2000/XP/Vista/Win7/Win8/Win10
  • Can work with 7 devices at the same time
  • Can work with bluetooth printer and stereo headphone
  • Supports Bluetooth voice data
..And some other things that aren't relevant now. The packaging has a code UD-300M and in the cover it mentions BCM2070 which is the Broadcom chip that it uses. The dongle itself is just a SIM-card sized tiny dongle with "Bluetooth3.0" printed in tall white letters onto the black chip housing.
Now I think if you're looking for a dongle and the ones available mention what chip they're based on, anything using BCM2070, probably should work then.

I plugged in the dongle and powered up the G4. It automatically opened Bluetooth assistant to search for input devices. I pressed the pairing button on my Logitech K760 solar keyboard, the G4 saw it, asked me to type in a shown number sequence to confirm pairing, and it was done. K760 allows 3 devices to be paired simultaneously and you can use three buttons on it to hot-swap input into another device; I think one of these days I'll test what happens if I've paired my G4 as well as my newer Mac to different layers of that keyboard, how well it responds if I toggle input between the two computers on the go. That will actually probably be fine... But there might be problems if I pair one to G4 and one to Bootcamp Windows on another computer, and try to toggle between those. Windows has been terrible at handling BT devices, basically forcing you to re-pair the same devices almost every time.

If you've added Bluetooth to your computer that didn't have it, feel free to post and describe what worked for you so there's specific info floating around. If you don't know what chipset your dongle uses, I think it might be viewable via About This Mac > System Report.
 

spf2

macrumors regular
Mar 3, 2015
135
40
7exas
Do know you know if it will work with bluetooth speakers? I have a old bluetooth adapter on my iMac G4 that I paired with my logitech speaker / i-Wave A2DP bluetooth adapter but it will not play audio. I was curious if my hardware combination is the problem or if it is a limitation of Tiger.
 

Riku7

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 18, 2014
108
17
Do know you know if it will work with bluetooth speakers? I have a old bluetooth adapter on my iMac G4 that I paired with my logitech speaker / i-Wave A2DP bluetooth adapter but it will not play audio. I was curious if my hardware combination is the problem or if it is a limitation of Tiger.
Hmm. The dongle I got claims to also support audio, but unfortunately I don't own any Bluetooth speakers to test that out with. Unless there's a way to make Apple mobile devices work like BT speakers, but even in that case, I'm not sure if a result of such test is valid enough proof.

First things to consider:
  • Does your dongle officially claim to support audio in the first place?
  • Have you tested the dongle with a modern Mac and then paired to the same speakers to see if the dongle is communicating to the speakers, thus, pointing out that the problem is somewhere between the iMac G4 and the dongle?
 

spf2

macrumors regular
Mar 3, 2015
135
40
7exas
My dongle is one of those generic tiny BT device (Cambridge Silicon Radio) . I don't think it advertises as Mac compatible but it detects and I am able to pair it. I purchased this years ago so I don't have the documentation.

I currently don't have a modern Mac to test it.
 

Riku7

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 18, 2014
108
17
My dongle is one of those generic tiny BT device (Cambridge Silicon Radio) . I don't think it advertises as Mac compatible but it detects and I am able to pair it. I purchased this years ago so I don't have the documentation.

I currently don't have a modern Mac to test it.
With the dongle plugged in, if you navigate to Apple menu > About this Mac > System Report... > Hardware > USB , can you find there any information on the dongle? Because typically you can find valuable information among the manufacturer, vendor ID, product ID etc which can lead you to identifying what exact chip it's using.

OK help me out here,
what are "scandies"?
and are they contagious?:eek:
An umbrella term referring to the additional letters present in the alphabets of Scandinavian languages. Ä and Ö in Swedish and Finnish, Ø and Æ in Norwegian and Danish, and Å in all four. The keyboard layout used in Finland and Sweden are the same and is typically referred to as the Swedish layout, Norwegian and Danish have their own each because Ø and Æ are swapped. My other keyboard has a so-called Scandinavian layout because it has all variations printed to the same keys so the labels make sense no matter which Scandinavian language you pick as the input language to type with.
Swedish layout for example https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:KB_Sweden.svg
 

Status
The first post in this thread is a WikiPost, and can be edited by anyone with the appropriate permissions.