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I am an owner of a 2009 Mac Pro and am experiencing the exact same issues. I use an Apple bluetooth keyboard (aluminum model) and experience very frequent disconnections and stuttery performance. My keyboard and Mac Pro are only a few feet away.
Some observations I have made:
- Bluetooth was almost entirely unusable until I got the Apple Wireless Kit (Wi-Fi module) installed. Since this was installed bluetooth now holds a connection for more than a few seconds but is still poor compared to my other Macs (old G5, various MacBook Pros)...I haven't researched why this would be the case.
- This may be circumstantial as bluetooth is always going in and out on my system but bluetooth seems to be effected by intense video card use (in my case rendering using Apple Motion)
- in about one out of ten restarts the internal bluetooth module is not recognized by the machine. This seems to be always fixed by a restart again.
Since I use a wired mouse I think I will invest in a D-LINK DBT-120 module for my keyboard in the hope that at least the mouse should be able to wake the machine from sleep.
I understand that we are all trying to workaround this problem but....for what we've paid I'm waiting a more robust and definitive solution form Apple; an external one is acceptable for me.
I can imagine how many MacPro users have bought Magic Mouses to find very difficult to use them and how many exchanged it or had it replaced for a new one without knowing the root of this issue and not ending up with a solution.
Can you imagine?
So let's tell to Apple that we have a problem here...and that we are waiting a fix soon.
I have just purchased the new Magic Mouse and have been toying with possible setting changes as a work-around. Everyone on this forum experiencing the problem seems to be assuming that it is a "poor reception" problem based on one fact. The newer towers do not have an external antenna plug-in. I do not believe this is actually the case based on one fact. My A2DP enabled earphones work better than they did on a G5 with an external dongle. Not only is the range better in the same setting, but they do not have any connectivity issues that the G5 did have. A2DP I believe takes more bandwith than a mouse pointer.
I have deleted my Bluetooth preferences file from the main library/preferences directory, rebooted and turned off "discoverable." in bluetooth preferences. I believe that the settings change to not discoverable may have cured the problem. There might be something wrong with this option that causes the mouse to lag. Yet another indication to me that it is probably not the wireless signal is that the lag does not seem to apply to scrolling the contents of a window, only to mouse movements, on my mouse.
I'll post a follow-up on whether "non-discoverable" actually fixes the problem, long term, however it seems to be working well now.
Tom, I just tryed your suggestion. No solution for me in any way.
The mouse stay connected as always but the movement, expecially fast movement, is very very jerky, as expected. BT discoverable or not the issue remains identical to me.
Please, have you tried an external dongle on your Mac Pro? I think you'll be surprised by how much more fluid and consistent can be the cursor movement.
I have an external dongle somewhere that I had been using with the G5. I'll try that, but the mouse seems as fluid as my wired mouse so far. You may have missed a bluetooth firmware update as well. There was one released, I believe, right before 10.6 was released. That could explain why your external dongle is working better for you.
Sorry Tom, but I've meticulously applied all the firmware upgrades, all the patches.
My system is entirely updated.
Take in account that it's not only me that are experiencing this issue but several other users as well.
There are reports and threads here and in MacRumors forum if you hadn't noticed before that talk about this exact hardware bug.
PS: Just for a statistical purpose. At what side of the MacPro do you use the Magic Mouse? Some users noticed slightly better reception using the mouse at the right side of the MacPro. For me it's impossible to do.
Also there is a user that linking a hand made antenna to the internal BT module of the MacPro fixed the problem. And that was a clear demonstration of the weakness of the BT signal in MacPro.
By now, Tom, you are the only user that I heard not having problems using Magic Mouse with the MacPro. And I'm happy for you but I think the bug is still unresolved for "the rest of us".
I also have the same software update as you have. With my early 2009 MP, I use the Magic Mouse to the right of MP and connection no problem. BUT I feel a lag or stuttering, definitely not as fluid as a wired Mighty mouse. I have noticed that when the MP is doing something (my MP is immediately to my left at ear level so I hear everything) perhaps a quick access to the hard drive or whatever is when I feel a lag. I wonder if the hard drive moving interferes with BT??
Anyway, annoying especially when I want to precisely put the pointer on a certain spot. Also I noticed it takes a while for the pointer (arrow) to turn into a selector (white gloved hand with index finger pointed out).
I got the Magic Mouse because there's no good way of cleaning the trackball on the Mighty Mouse. I assume if I got another wireless mouse I will get the same problems. Any wired mice recommendations?? I still have a week to return the Magic Mouse.
You have precisely described the classic symptom that I'm experiencing using the internal BT module.
And, for sure, under heavy activity the lag become obnoxious; the worst is with Time Machine running.
Using my external dongle (other problems aside) no Mac Pro activity whatsoever modify the precise tracking of the mouse.
So yes! You definitely are suffering from the "Jerky BT mouse" syndrome.
Your Magic Mouse is probably working well, not as well the bluetooth module of your (and our) Mac Pro. I had the same problem also with Apple Mighty Mouse Wireless and other users experienced it with different mouse brands.
Don't be too happy for me. The final report is that while turning off "discoverable" does help, it's still is jerky at times. The mouse seems to be more problematic while playing 3D games.
I use the mouse to the left of the computer. The computer is not on the desk directly next to me either. The mouse seems to work at greater distances as well.
I'm assuming you don't have a cordless phone sitting right next to your mouse either.
When I first purchased this Mac, the bluetooth mouse I was currently using was absolutely impossible to use. A firmware update improved the performance.
I'm still at a loss as to why other bluetooth devices seem to work so well with the Mac if it is a signal problem in my case and why turning off "discoverable" made such a noticeable improvement. I the mouse seems to have its lag periods for me too when the computer is busier, ie. disk activity.
I am unable to find my old bluetooth dongle, and seem to remember it not working the last time I tried it. I'd be willing to experiment with an improved antenna to see if it does make a difference, though.