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You may recall that a couple of months ago I ditched my Magic Mouse for a Microsoft wired mouse. While I like the feel of the Magic Mouse, and I really love the scrolling and the gestures (like swiping forward and back), it was just too inaccurate. There was considerable lag at times, and it was just frustrating to use.

Well, I’ve gone back to the Magic Mouse. I just couldn’t stand losing the horizontal scrolling, and the scroll wheel was very slow compared to flicking on the Magic Mouse.

But I wasn’t about to go back to the poor accuracy. Before switching back to the Magic Mouse, I tried looking for a Mac-compatible mouse that had a similar scrolling surface but was wired. I didn’t find any. But what I did find, sitting on my desk, was an old Belkin Bluetooth adapter.

I’d purchased it to use with my previous Mac Pro because the Bluetooth built into it was so bad. So I thought I’d give it a try. With this new adapter in, overriding the built-in adapter, the mouse works great. Tracks normally, doesn’t hang or disconnect, and isn’t sluggish.

While researching the problem, I found that Apple added a handy feature into the Bluetooth device screen. If you are using Bluetooth devices, go to System Preferences->Bluetooth. You’ll see all your devices. Here’s what’s new (as of Lion) – hold down the Option key, and you get a signal strength report:

BTmouse

 

The higher the negative number, the worse the signal. With the built-in BT module, I was getting a reading of -74 and 2 bars. As you can see, with the Belkin module, I get a much better signal. This is apparently the whole problem. I don’t know if it’s the massive metal case causing the problem, because I don’t have issues with my older iMac or my laptops when using a BT mouse – just the Mac Pro.

So if you are experiencing similar BT issues, you might want to look into a BT module. They aren’t too expensive (this one was $5 on sale, normally $10 at the time). The model I have isn’t sold any longer, but here are a few that work with Hackintoshes, so the drivers are already in OS X (they are most likely using the same chipset as the built in module, or one that’s close enough).

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