Apple Magic Mouse & Mac Pro Bluetooth Fix?
Having now been working with my Mac Pro for over a month, I’ve been completely happy with it except for one issue, the bluetooth combined with my Magic Mouse. It’s been pretty shoddy, to say the least. The keyboard seems to be working just fine however, so I had to assume since the Mac Pro was only 2-3 feet away from the mouse and keyboard, that it had to either be an internal issue with the Mac Pro, or an external issue with the Magic Mouse.
After some digging around on the interwebs, I came across several posts where people had ordered some parts from eBay and Amazon including a new WiFi antenna cable, and an external WiFi antenna itself. People claim that the coating on the Mac Pro causes interference with the internal bluetooth antenna (which may also explain my continual disconnects with my WiFi as well), and therefore you’ll run into disconnects, as well as laggy mouse performance.
The second method was to purchase a USB Bluetooth Dongle, which is certainly cheap enough at around $15 retail. I opted to do this until I found a third method.
The third method was to remove the aluminum backing on the Magic Mouse. I thought this was some BS until I actually tried it myself. HOLY CRAP. It actually seems to have solved my issue. No guarantee it will solve the problems of others, but it’s working great here. I’ve only been running this for a few hours however, no problems to report so far. I’ll comment back in a week or so when I’ve really been able to try it more.
One thing to note, if you don’t feel comfy using your mouse without a back cover, two things come to mind. Either place some tape over the batteries and the mouse carefully, or consider creating a snap in plastic cover using the metal cover as a prototype. I haven’t tested this, and not sure if it will cause interference as well. I continue to use another mouse for more critical photo and design work, but I absolutely LOVE working with my Magic Mouse for regular surfing/general computer use.
I spent some more time with the Apple Magic Mouse editing, using it for general purpose, etc., however, I still ran into some issues regarding more precise limitations, lag and available settings. I made the choice to get an external IOGEAR Bluetooth adapter to plug into the back of my Dell display. This improved the performance 100%. There was a major problem however, in that when I put the display to sleep, the BT adapter would turn off, and once the display was turned back on, it would not auto connect the Apple Magic Mouse and Wireless Keyboard. The problem there, is that unless I had a USB mouse plugged in, I was dead in the water. I couldn’t get the system to auto-connect the BT devices, only manually.
Second step was to move the adapter over to the tower however, that proved futile since I had poor performance.
Last choice? Run a USB extension cable to my desk with the BT adapter connected. Good theory except when I reboot, or need root access with my BT mouse, it never would auto connect. Bummer.
Bottom line, I had to give up in my dream of having a Magic Mouse BT setup, and instead, found what I’d consider the better alternative.
I picked up a Logitech Performance MX Wireless from my local Fry’s since I had store credit due to returning the BT adapter. This MX is like driving a Porsche compared to the TRON Lightcycle of a mouse that the Magic Mouse is. This thing fits like a glove, has custom DPI settings, important for graphics work, custom buttons and settings, plus the smoothest tracking around. I also was able to place the transmitter on my display and what do you know, when i turn my display off, then on, it auto connects instantly! Done, and done.
I’ll get a writeup going soon enough on this beast, but for now, it’s pretty remarkable. Hands down leaps and bounds better than the Magic Mouse, and perfect for graphics work in any application. Why? Because I can customize the experience for EACH application. How incredible is that? I can run two DPI settings in Lightroom for slider adjustments, then another set of DPI settings in photoshop for precise control, and then a whole other set for web browsing that makes it “normal”. This thing is incredible.