7 Replies Latest reply: Apr 15, 2006 3:34 PM by Dean Pahl
Dlucara Level 1 (0 points)
My few month olld bluetooth keyboard is not working. It will not turn on. I have replaced the battires about 3 times all new. It still does not work. Any suggestions?

15" 1.5GHz Powerbook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.6), PPC
  • Dean Pahl Level 4 (3,870 points)
    Hi, Dlucara —

    Please accept a warm welcome to Apple Discussions.

    Is it an Apple Wireless Keyboard? And do you have an internal Bluetooth module in your PowerBook G4 1.5GHz 15," or an adapter? If the latter, what specific model?

    If I understand your PowerBook model's features accurately, it came with a Bluetooth v.1.1 module "built-in." If that's correct, have you installed Bluetooth Firmware Updater 1.2 [11/23/04] and Bluetooth Software 1.5  [02/05/04]?  Neither should be a factor in your ability to "power-up" a wireless keyboard — but they do represent improvements in Bluetooth technology.

    (1) My first suggestion is that you carefully review and follow the procedure outlined in Bluetooth: How to Set Up Your Apple Wireless Keyboard, with particular emphasis on one factor:  Leave the LED cover closed (so you can't see the light) until after you've reached the Bluetooth Setup Asistant (BSA) screen where it's "Searching for your keyboard." As soon as the little progress wheel begins to turn, open the cover. If it isn't "Discovered" (allowing you to then "pair" it, if necessary), hit "Go Back" and repeat patiently (again closing then opening the cover).

    (2) Second, if that doesn't help, try deleting its pairing, then use BSA to reconfigure from scratch. Note that you must have a working mouse — and having a "wired" mouse handy may be required.

    (3) Third — if neither of these have helped, please review the Bluetooth Troubleshooting Checklist I posted several weeks ago. It's been revised several times since I first wrote it last June when I was having similar problems — and was intended to share the steps that AppleCare recommended. In that case, however, nothing worked, and I received a new keyboard. The technician told me it was a power connection problem within the keyboard.

    (4) If you purchased an AppleCare Protection Plan (APP) for your PowerBook, then contacting AppleCare Technical Support directly may be your best next step. If you've never done this, calling, AppleCare Technical Support can be very helpful. This service is free during the first 90 days after purchasing a Mac; after that, a fee applies — except that an APP extends the free service for 3 years. If the problem isn't solved during the conversation, you'll be given a case number for use at an Apple-Authorized Service Provider (AASP) — limited to authorized hardware problems) or for future reference. If the problem persists, your subsequent call(s) may be forwarded to higher-level support folks ("product specialists"). AppleCare Tech. Support is also one means that helps Apple to recognize widespread problems and focus their engineers on finding solutions.

    I hope one of these suggestions helps!

    Please write back to share your progress.


          I edited this message...

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  • Dlucara Level 1 (0 points)
    Yes, it is an Apple Wireless Keyboard, and I have a internal Bluetooth module. Ye s I have installed both. But my Bluetooth is not the problem. My keyboard will not turn on and I have no clue why. It has worked wonderfully till recently.
  • Dean Pahl Level 4 (3,870 points)
    OK. I understand, I guess...         Not really. Could you provide a little detail about your observations?

    When you repeat that your "keyboard will not turn on," do you mean that no LED is visible although you're sure the batteries' voltage, polarity, and seating are A-OK? By "seating," I'm wondering whether the contacts inside the keyboard's battery compartment are clean, free from oxidation, and unbent, etc. Do you have the capability to test the "in-place" voltage? If this kind of problem is involved — but isn't amenable to anything you try — then professional repair (or you "breaking into the case") would seem to be the next logical step...

    Or, if it's that you can see the light but "nothing happens" when you try to use the keyboard — then would you please explain your basis for concluding that "Bluetooth is not the problem" ?

    I intentionally shared my experience with AppleCare, who provided a case number that facilitated replacement — for a situation involving a keyboard with power problems. From your reply, I don't really know anything further about your observations, objectives, and constraints.

    If none of the ideas help and AppleCare assistance isn't feasible, I don't know how to be much help from written interactions at this distance. Although their subjects are different Apple keyboards, perhaps Byron Gracey's Disassembly of an Apple Pro keyboard or Stephan Kurtz's "USB Keyboard" websites may be of service to your efforts.

    Otherwise, I'm afraid that service or replacement are the most likely options to succeed.

    Perhaps I'm still not understanding the problem definition &/or what kind of help you're seeking. In any case, good luck.

  • Dlucara Level 1 (0 points)
    I mean that no LED is visible, it is also not transmitting to the Bluetooth so I figure the keyboard must be broken. It is under a year old so I will call Apple. Can Apple have it shipped from my house or do I have to go to a store. Which do you think will be quicker. Thank You.
  • Dean Pahl Level 4 (3,870 points)
    I agree with your conclusion.

    In the case I described (which occurred within about 6 weeks of purchasing the keyboard with my eMac), I took my eMac, wireless keyboard, and mouse to local Apple-authorized service folks for diagnosis and repair. I had everything back in about 1-1/2 days — I'd guess faster than express freight to my home would've taken. The store is close to where I live, and I trust the folks; these may or may not be factors for you.

    A heretofore "unspoken" reason for my recommendation that you contact AppleCare directly is that I'm not certain of the terms for "complimentarty support" of wireless mouse/keyboard when purchased separately from your Mac. In my case, it was within 90 days, so the issue didn't arise. I subsequently purchased APP, which spells out coverage in the APP Terms & Conditions for the case when they're purchased at the same time. Please note that I'm not arguing any position in writing this — just sharing what I do & don't know to help you prepare for the call.

    One thing I can say for sure is that, if AppleCare says the keyboard should be replaced and provides a case number, it'll make for smooth sailing.

    Good luck. I'd appreciate hearing back from you about how things work out.

  • richardgodwin Level 1 (0 points)
    I too have had an Apple Bluetooth Keyboard and it's worked brilliantly since I purchased it in late 2004. However it has suddenly stopped working, and even with brand new batteries (of the correct size, voltage, polarity etc) it still fails to illuminate the little green light on its base, or connect to my G5. Everything is clean within the battery compartment, and it's only ever been stored indoors in my dry, centrally-heated flat.

    I guess it's broken, but can you confirm that there is absolutely nothing that I can do with it aside from binning it and replacing it? It seems strange that it would abruptly stop working and become 100% unusable? Apple products are normally so reliable, I was expecting many many more years' service from this keyboard. Is there anything I can do!? (aside from buy a new one and get AppleCare this time...)

    Thanks - Rich, Bournemouth, UK
  • Dean Pahl Level 4 (3,870 points)
    Hi, Rich —

    Please accept a warm welcome to Apple Discussions!

    Sorry to hear about your keyboard woes. Confirm? I wish...
      "I guess it's broken, but can you confirm that there is absolutely nothing that I can do with it aside from binning it and replacing it? It seems strange that it would abruptly stop working and become 100% unusable? Apple products are normally so reliable, I was expecting many many more years' service from this keyboard. Is there anything I can do!? (aside from buy a new one and get AppleCare this time...)"
    Gee, Rich, I sure wish I had good answers to your questions. I don't — but, what the hey! I'll take a stab, anyway:

      (a) I've heard a tale or two about folks "sweet-talking" AppleCare into new keyboards... Do you have an active AppleCare Protection Plan (APP) on the Power Mac G5 itself? I ask because the call may cost £s if you don't...)

      (b) If you're really adept  — and electronics-minded, to boot — you could try taking the darn thing apart to clean and try to repair yourself, since it's headed for the recycle bin anyway. It strikes me as probably being a power circuit issue, but... This would be beyond my abilities, but I'm sure it's been done. These two sites have oodles of "taking apart keyboards" tips and tricks — but unfortunately don't deal with this model:

           Byron Gacey's e Disassembly and Repair of an Apple Pro Keyboard

           The PC Guide's Systems and Components Reference to Keyboards (yes, that's "PC")...

      (c) Luckily, they don't cost too much new, and can probably be had used, if you search a bit.

    But I agree wholeheartedly about expectations of reliability from Apple products... Of course, if I were really honest, I'd have to admit that I abuse my wireless keyboard in just about every conceivable way...

    Good luck!       ...and
    Warm regards,

    I realize this'll sound silly and redundant, but some folks have reported that certain brands of AA batteries didn't work for them. So if you haven't tried sets of a few different kinds, you may want to...

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