Bluetooth interference

One of those things I’ve things I’ve certainly read about over the years, but never really got into in detail.

Apparently USB 3 can cause interference in the 2.4 ghz range, thus causing problems for things like some mice and keyboards. Not sure what else, but those are the most common things mentioned.

I’ve also read (though not from really authoritative sources), that the same problem exists in 3.1 and USB-C. So this is one area I’d like confirmation on or even if they all do it, are some versions less of a problem than others.

I was told by a manufacturer of USB 3 hubs that the interference can come from the ports or from cables, though this another area where I don’t know if one tends to be worse than the other.

I don’t hear of problems with USB 2 or 2.1. So does this make it wiser to only use a 2.x hub for keyboards and mice - or does the slower speed offer any benefit to these devices on 3.x, etc?

Another question would be if there are any hubs (and cables) in particular that are better because of shielding?

And are there any reasonably prices devices than measure this interference?

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I’m about to install a bluetooth transmitter and will be interested to see how it affects my IOT devices, as the best place I can put it will be pretty close to my router.

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I’m wondering what can be done to reduce the interference problem. For example, if some of it comes from the connecting cords, I would think they could be well insulated to prevent it - yet that would still leave the actual point of connection as a problem. And maybe the same applies to the devices. That is, it may be relatively straightforward to to shield the box it is in, but not the connection point.

If these thing are true, then the big question is how much of the interference actually comes from the connections compared to the rest? Are the connections such a big part of the problem that insulating the rest just isn’t that worthwhile?

For me it’s a problem that all devices operates on 2.4ghz band.

Non bluetooth wireless mouses and keyboards uses radio frequency on 2.4Ghz, bluetooth also uses 2.4Ghz band like wifi (excluding new 5Ghz wifis).

This means that depending on areas, the interferences can be considerably strong.
On my office for example I use a Mac with USB keyboard and magic mouse (bluetooth) and sometimes the BT radio chip disconnects for a second or hangs or completely shut down forcing me to restart computer. There are a lot of workmates with bluetooth devices (headsets, mouses, keyboards) and also we use wifi on the office making all computers and personal cell phones to be connected to it, also wi are in a residential zone with a lot of home wifis around.
This is a big overload of 2.4Ghz band and wifi divide it in channels, but I don’t know if bluetooth have a similar approach and how ready for overload it is.

And I plan to use my textblade on my office too. If is possible to use a wire for connecting it I will prefer this option.

Yeah, that covers much of radio use of the 2.4 GHz band… One of the reasons that band was picked for unlicensed use is that it also happens to be where water absorbs a lot of energy. Thus chunks of that band is also used by … microwave ovens.

Humm I see the need of a portable faraday cage…

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I’ve been curious about the relative power usage of Bluetooth LE compared to the earlier version. I’ve seen various data (not as much as I’d like), so maybe folks who work with these things in developing projects can put it in somewhat simple terms - something like, “If a keyboard uses the older BT and then switched to the Low Energy version, the same size battery would last 2 times as long”. Or whatever.

I’m looking at the Alara case for an iPhone XS Max (see brinkcase.com). Since it uses an antenna to redirect phone signal radiation, I’m wondering whether that would also affect Bluetooth.

Anyone familiar with this case? A scam or does it work? And what about Bluetooth interference. Thanks.

Posts on Apple forums about external drive cables bombing out Bluetooth -

These can help. $7.99 on amazon.

Use liberally, start right at each end of cables and stack outwards.

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Is there any sensor (or even iPhone app!) to detect the ambient level of bluetooth interference at a given location? Or is the only solution trial and error by seeing whether and how your various bluetooth devices have problems and trying to correlate that with hypothetical interference sources?

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Don’t know about measuring interference but LightBlue Explorer will show you BT devices and the signal Signal strength. Moving around the room, it will change. I’ll typically see 6-7 “unnamed”. Don’t know if they represent interference or if the are actual devices without names.

I was looking for such an app recently as my Polk Command Bar has a BT subwoofer that was popping and knocking. I actually thought my neighbor was… slowly building furniture next door for a week before I realized it was coming from that Sub.

One basic principle of audio design that Polk violated here - there’s no hard wire option on the sub, so if BT won’t work in your environment, it’s worthless. I was finally able to figure out which device was causing the interference and move it. Just the same, the thought did occur to me that devices like this Polk product really should be designed with knowledge they are likely to end up placed in an entertainment center filled with other wifi and BT devices. Any efforts that can be made to reduce interference or offer alternate connection methods should be employed to ensure the product will be useful in such an environment. With a house full of HUE lights and other IoT’s it’s hard to find a spot in my home that’s not running a wireless component now. There really should be an app for detecting signal interference/source, etc.

The ferrite chokes are absolutely useful and can be an affordable solution to many issues.

I’ve long been puzzled by the interference problem. Oh, I expect cheap, no-name products to cut corners and not do good shielding, but it seems to be more widespread than that. So I wonder if it just isn’t possible to do enough shielding, in a practical way, or if no one really make enough effort to do so.

Assuming it is possible, maybe someday WT can come out with a line of basic cables and hubs that focus on doing just that! :slight_smile:

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Another suppressor kit that’s good if you have hubs that you want to quiet down.

50 pieces for 20.99, or about 0.42 / ferrite clamp.

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https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8626012?page=1

New Mac Mini model has some sensitivities to interference on Bluetooth / wifi discussed here.

Antenna placement on new mini is tighter packed, and ikely the reason the latest model is more vulnerable to Bluetooth interference than the predecessor model.

Adding ferrite noise snubbers definitely helps.

We’re testing combos with treg users and will publish the combo that provides best performance.

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