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Weird bluetooth problem under Mavericks!?

Posted on 2014-01-25
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Last Modified: 2014-02-02
So I've got a Magic Trackpad. Normally it works just fine. But sometimes BlueTooth starts acting weird ... like right now:
 
From time to time the following happens:

I can use my Magic Trackpad to guide my cursor but none of the taps, swishes, etc work.
 
And the BlueTooth sign actually says 'BlueTooth off' ... yet the TrackPad works? Isn't it connected via BlueTooth!?
 
I then push the 'turn BlueTooth on' button but nothing happens.
 
The only option left right now is to restart. Then it works again for a while. I think the Sleep mode my also be related to this problem?
 
Any ideas what I can do or try to fix this?
 
Thanks!
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Question by:Xeronimo
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9 Comments
 
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:serialband
ID: 39809155
How new are the batteries?  I find that bluetooth devices start exhibiting problems like this when the battery runs low.  You can run them until the systems report below 15% battery power, and they'll work perfectly fine.  Below 10%, they'll start to disconnect randomly.
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Author Comment

by:Xeronimo
ID: 39809161
Interesting though about the batteries ... but I doubt those are the problem since everything works again after a restart (with the same batteries)?

It might be related to the 'sleep mode' though because it only happens at times after the Mac had been 'sleeping', never while I use it.
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LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 39814909
Weak batteries will do that. Try changing them.
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Author Comment

by:Xeronimo
ID: 39815055
strung: but after a restart it works again, with the same batteries. so how could it be because of the batteries?
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 39815084
No idea, but batteries are cheap and it is worth a try. When the batteries are getting weak things start to act funny. Maybe on restart the computer polls the network for blue tooth devices and there is enough juice left in the battery to detect this but not to detect whatever signal is sent on wake from sleep.

If you replace the batteries and the problem persists, we know that is not the problem and can get get on with diagnosing what is. However, it would be nuisance to spend a couple of days looking for a non-existent problem if it turns out to be something as simple as batteries.
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Author Comment

by:Xeronimo
ID: 39815110
I've got rechargeable batteries. And the problem does occur on a regular basis. And when it happens it's after the Mac has been in the sleep mode. But not every time it comes back from the sleep mode ...
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LVL 53

Accepted Solution

by:
strung earned 1500 total points
ID: 39815213
There is an article here with a number of troubleshooting suggestions for you problem. Give them a try:

http://blogs.computerworld.com/mac-os-x/23375/os-x-mavericks-fixing-wireless-keyboardmouse-connections

Also here is an Apple KB on bluetooth troubleshooting:

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3048#1
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LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 39815215
BTW, even rechargeables have a limited number of recharges before they start to lose power.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:serialband
ID: 39815304
Rechargeable batteries work better in lower voltage, high drain situations.  For low drain uses like the Magic Trackpad, you need to use alkaline or lithium batteries.  They have higher voltages of 1.5-1.6 Volts under low drain.  Rechargeable batteries work under high drain because they maintain 1.2V-1.25V throughout usage.  Alkaline batteries can drop down to 1.3V under high drain even when new.  As they lose charge their voltage drops slowly.

You'll end up recharging more because the rechargeables will drop down in voltage to enough to make the circuits think it's drained of charge when it will still work in high drain situations.
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