USB3 PCIe - Effect Bluetooth Signal

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by h1kar1, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. h1kar1 macrumors regular

    h1kar1

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Location:
    Los angeles
    #1
    So I wanted USB3 for my early 2008 Mac Pro

    I bought a Sonnet Allegro USB 3.0 PCIe card

    I started seeing speratic issues with my Magic Trackpad and logitech k811
    Spend a few days trying to nail it down. Then decided to pull the card. And low and behold issues were gone.

    My bluetooth devices sit about 4feet from the MacPro.

    I decided to to email Sonnet. this is what they had to say..

    "
    It has been brought to our attention that some customers using BT devices have experienced problems with said devices when the USB3 card is installed. Upon investigation it was found that the card emits some level of radio energy that interferes with BT signals.
    As this is a product of the design of the card the issue can't be resolved with a driver update.

    For more information, Intel has published a white paper, further explaining the issue.
    http://www.usb.org/developers/whitepapers/327216.pdf
    "


    Has anyone else ran into this problem?
    Have you had better results with a different USB3 PCIe manufacturer?

    Is there away of possibly putting shielding over the card like a non conductive static bag or something?
     
  2. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #2
    This appears to be an issue with every USB3 card that works on the Mac Pro. I have had it with a Sonnet Allegro, a noname NEC chipset card & an ORICO card with Fresco chipset supported natively in OS X 10.8.2.

    The underlying problem is that Bluetooth on the Mac Pro is poorly designed as the antenna is internal inside the metal case so that it works marginally at best. There are plenty of reports of Bluetooth problems with the Mac Pro long before there were even USB3 cards available. Presumably the interference from the USB3 card on top of the weak signal is the final straw for systems that were only just working previously.

    The only solution appears to be to use an external Bluetooth antenna & I have just had an Mini PCI U.FL to RP-SMA Antenna WiFi Pigtail Cable & Antenna to RP-SMA Extension Cable delivered so as soon as I have fitted that I shall hopefully be able to report back that this does indeed fix the problem.
     
  3. Tesselator, Feb 28, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013

    Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #3
    It doesn't happen with the HighPoint card that I've seen. But yeah the fix is just a ten or twenty dollar amazon purchase.

     
  4. kevink2 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #4
    I've seen this too, but don't actually need USB3 often.

    I would assume that, if you ever had to boot into recovery, that a bluetooth mouse wouldn't work with an add-on adapter?

    At least my keyboard is wired. I got tired of a battery going, and having trouble getting it connected again. Plus, I wanted the numeric keypad, so bought an USB keyboard.
     
  5. Erlang macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Location:
    SW, UK
    #5
    I can fully endorse the external antenna method, my Magic Mouse was poor without USB 3 and appalling with it (I tried Highpoint card, generic NEC card+kext, and an Orico card).

    Now BT is 100%.

    Tried several dongles, none liked sleep.
     
  6. h1kar1 thread starter macrumors regular

    h1kar1

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Location:
    Los angeles
    #6
    Thats for the info guys.

    Yes i understand the Bluetooth dongle work around.
    But for those that don't know there is 2 things to keep in mind.

    1. You have to remove the Bluetooth module on your Motherboard to get the dongle to work.

    2. If your using a Bluetooth Keyboard and trackpad like I am there is no way to navigate post ie before bootup or wake a computer from sleep.

    Now my computer never sleeps so thats not an issue. but I do multi boot and not being able to navigate my boot menu is not good.


    nigelbb
    Please let me know how that goes for you.
    If it works well would love a parts list .
     
  7. Chumnick macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    #7
    Tell me please, this problem occurs on 5.1 too?
    Thanks.
     
  8. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #8
  9. Erlang macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Location:
    SW, UK
    #9
    5.1 has same case as 4.1, and BT antenna arrangement so I guess 5.1 has weak susceptible BT too.
     
  10. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    PowerPC land
    #10
    I don't appear to be having any problems with BT and mine is a 5,1 also.. Though I haven't used USB 3 devices as of yet.. Do most of the 4,1 and 5,1's have this weak signal problem?

    I did read somewhere that the 1,1 Mac Pro had this problem also.


     
  11. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #11
    Are you using a Magic Mouse? That's what seems to suffer most with poor Bluetooth reception. I don't recall having a problem when I was using a Mighty Mouse. My Magic Mouse was always iffy with the Mac Pro even before I got a USB3 card while it works fine on a Mac Mini. The other possibility is general 2.4GHz interference from all the other wireless devices around our houses nowadays e.g. cordless phones.
     
  12. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    PowerPC land
    #12
    Yes, and no problems with connections or reception.

     

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