Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 36

Thread: Problems with USB Hardware?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    310

    Default Problems with USB Hardware?

    For some years, I have questioned whether the built-in USB ports on my MacPro3,1 may not be functioning quite properly. This has extended through several updates and reinstallations of MacOS, leaving me to suspect the hardware itself, rather than the software (unless, of course, the USB software through all those updates remains unchanged). Sometimes, inconsistently and intermittently, the USB ports seem to not respond quite right. Switching ports, or unplugging and re-plugging, or rebooting, generally fixes the problem, yet it continues, in its vague manner. Historically, the only USB devices used were mice, keyboards, and compact flash card readers.

    Recently, I have tried to get a flight simulator for radio controlled aircraft to run on my MacPro. An actual radio control transponder is linked to the software via a USB dongle. This dongle accepts the radio signals from the transponderís two joysticks, and converts them into game controller signals at the Mac. The software then is supposed to respond to these game controller signals.

    Having tried two different transponders and two different dongles, Iíve been unable to get the sim to work on my MacPro. Yesterday, for the first time, I installed the sim on my MacBook Pro for the first time. It worked immediately, no problem, with some of the same hardware that would not work on the MacPro! This suggested to me that, perhaps, the MacProís USB hardware were at fault.

    One combination of dongle and transponder worked once on the MacPro, but no longer responds. The (different) combination that works on the MacBook Pro was strange on the MacPro; sometimes, the left joystick could be calibrated, but never the right; other times, not even the left would respond.

    Could the MacPro's USB ports be at fault? Might they work well enough to run simple devices, such as mice and keyboards, yet fail when trying to use a dongle to funnel data from two joysticks and, potentially, many buttons? Is it possible that ďsimpleĒ USB devices may run well enough, with occasional glitches; yet, more ďcomplexĒ devices may not run at all?



    MIGHT A PCIe CARD RUN RELIABLY?

    If it is plausible that the MacPro3,1ís on-board USB hardware is failing, might the problem be fixed by installing a new USB card into one of the Macís empty PCIe slots, and never again plugging any USB devices into the on-board USB? If so, which USB card is appropriate for the MacPro3,1? The computer is running El Capitan, so I see there would be no 3.1 drivers available. Would it still run fine for USB 1 and 2? Iím guessing that this old beast would be best served with two Type A connectors:

    https://www.macgurus.com/Item/UB-132



    LINKS

    I donít know that it should be necessary to see the specific devices being discussed in the attempt to run the simulator, but here are the links:

    neXt CGM-RC-Heli-Simulator
    http://www.rc-aerobatics.eu/cgm-rc-h...mulator_e.html

    Spektrum DX8 Transmitter
    http://www.spektrumrc.com/Products/D...rodID=SPMR8000

    RC Ware RX2SIM Dongle
    http://rc-ware.com/eng/rx2sim.php

    OrangeRx DSMX/DSM2 Compatible USB Dongle for Flight Simulator
    https://hobbyking.com/en_us/orange-r...simulator.html

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
    Posts
    9,119

    Default

    No great answers to that. I don't know. I have not ever tried hooking controllers to after market USB3 cards. Almost always our testing is high speed stuff, not low speed controls.

    Only way I know to test is start isolating things and seeing what you can make happen. If you can cause and then stop a problem you are getting close.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
    7,787

    Default

    The short answer is: maybe.

    It has been my opinion for many years that the chipset on the USB device is what matters. Keep in mind that a chip is spec'd, built, and sold at a moment in time. Yes, there are standards, and hypothetically they should all behave the same...but they don't.

    So a few years go by, there are new standards and new chipsets...that are new and improved. Even though they should be backwards compatible...not all are.

    FWIW, I see this flakiness all the time on older external drives with newer Macs. Is it the old chipset? Is it the newer one Apple used that cannot maintain a reliable connection? Is it the USB 3 spec? 3.1? C? Could there be a firmware update fore the chipset?

    Don't know, but it seems pretty clear that they just don't get along.

    So....yes, an new(er) or even just different USB chipset could solve the issue. The bad news is, unless you can find tons of reviews with the same peripherals, it could be trial and error.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    310

    Default Incompatible USB Chips?!

    Thanks to both of you. RickS, I always appreciate how the Gurus never guess, but only state what has been tested and proven, except when one might have a hunch on a fix. Uncle Mac, that's a keen insight to follow. In my case, the stone-age chipset is clearly built into the Mac, whereas the newer chipsets are in the cutting-edge controllers that refuse to work. If I were trying to find a chipset in a newer Mac to cooperate with an old bit of USB hardware, that might be harder. In this case, I may get lucky, since adding an updated chipset over PCIe may modernize the old beast enough to work with a fair number of newer peripherals.

    The Gurus only sell PCIe USB cards with two ports, presumably because these are the fastest and most reliable available. I'd rather have more ports. If I continued to use the built-in ports for devices that work well in them, such as keyboards and mice, would you expect that to upset the workings of the PCIe card with peripherals that fail in the built-in ports, or should the two sets of USB ports work independently?

    And, would I be able to return the PCIe USB card if it did not solve the problem?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
    Posts
    9,119

    Default

    I would probably pick the Sonnet card as potentially more directly compatible with Mac stuff over a longer time frame. The USB3.1 cards we have are fast, very, but they are made to work with anything. As found out earlier, even though the cards we carry are supported by AHCI drivers, built into any operating system, they aren't bootable. You can probably find a Sonnet card that has 4 ports as well.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    310

    Default Sonnet Arriving Soon

    Thanks again, Rick. I have always loved that the Gurus will recommend whatever is best, even if they do not sell it! I'm a sentimentalist who takes pleasure in seeing integrity in this world.

    I ordered a Sonnet USB card. Nothing, of course, is perfect. The Sonnet costs twice as much as the Guru's cards, and it tends to disconnect drives if the computer is put to sleep (which the Gurus discourage anyway).

    I'll let you know whether it solves the problem of compatibility with my USB dongles!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
    Posts
    9,119

    Default

    I used to sell the Sonnet card. These days can't make any money selling hardware especially if you are reselling hardware. But easy to recommend that card. For what you wanted it is the best choice.

    Computer onward. Hope it solves the issues.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    310

    Default No Change Under Sonnet USB

    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    These days can't make any money selling hardware especially if you are reselling hardware.
    That's bizarre, yet I think I understand what you are saying. With Amazon and eBay all selling every bit of hardware ever manufactured, there is no hope for success in competing for the same sales. The small operator must sell expertise, instead. Want the cheapest RAID? Good luck to you; you'll find it somewhere in the online big-boxes! Want a RAID that actually works, first time, and so lets you get on with your work? Ask the Gurus, and then support their work with your purchase. I'm the ultimate small-time customer, buying to keep ancient Macs afloat. For lack of complex, evolving needs, I have bought little over the years, yet I always appreciate your treating me as though I were your best customer.

    The Sonnet card arrived. Nice bit o' hardware, but there is no change in the performance of my USB dongles. A mystery!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
    Posts
    9,119

    Default

    That's pretty much it. There is no way to compete with free shipping and zero support. There's also no way I'd want to.

    What I am planning is to become the Anti-Google, Anti-Amazon, Anti-Craigslist, Anti-Facebook site for my community. New direction - Anti Globalist - pro localist. Off to the races for me. I am looking at mixing social with networking with information and sales from anyone, as long as you are local.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    310

    Default Sonnet Card Does Not Help

    An intriguing strategy, and admirable to shift the model in a changed world. What will constitute "local?" Would caring about what the Gurus offer, supporting the work with purchases, and contributing to the Forums be enough (to be "local" to this cyber community), or would this strictly be based on geographical location? I'm in the Northeastern U.S.A., which I hope would be local enough!

    The Sonnet USB card does not help with the dongles. Does that suggest anything about the solution to the problem? These dongles that work perfectly in my MacBookPro7,1 will not work on my MacPro3,1, even though they run the same OS.

    The computer can not be wakened from sleep via a USB mouse attached to the Sonnet card. Is that normal for it; does this card sleep when the computer sleeps? That could explain the complaints about USB hard drives disconnecting when the computer sleeps. I know the Gurus recommend not sleeping computers, but I had to test this, having heard so much about it. Never even connected a USB hard drive yet; just discovered, quickly, that the computer requires a mouse in a built-in port to waken it from sleep.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
    Posts
    9,119

    Default

    So MacGurus will stay what it is, and I will look for things to DO with MacGurus that serve the community and provide a little income and support to our customers. What will be local is a new site that is going to be called Frugal Idaho. Fi will be the new endeavor that attempts to un-globalize and find a truly local niche. I can see offering social networking for something as simple as the school kids in the county. To get into that forum you have to be registered in one of the schools. I will not allow advertisers that are not qualified, by me, as decent respecting people. And I want things like a garage sale area, a how to area for self sufficiency - like how to raise chickens, or building low energy greenhouses in Northern Idaho, or what veggies grow well and when to plant em. Just a few things I have interest in writing about and offering a place to learn, lots of content will be the key..

    In deep sleep the PCI bus goes to sleep. So hence you can't wake from on a PCIe card. Sounds oike you either have a drive incompatibility or one of your USB devices is malfunctioning.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    310

    Default An Insoluble Mystery?

    "Frugal Idaho" -- Brilliant! If it wouldn't ruin the localness, and you'd not mind spreading your knowledge, would you consider affiliates? "Frugal Maine" could be an equal success!

    The trouble with the USB is a mystery. I have tried two completely different dongles for communicating with the radio transmitter, but neither works on my tower. The one I tried on my laptop works there, no problem, easy setup. That's why I suspected a problem (or an incompatibility) with the built-in USB on the tower, since every other device works both there and on the laptop.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
    Posts
    9,119

    Default

    With success will come imitation. Frugal Maine will happen if Frugal Idaho has any traction. The whole thing, localization, personalization, will be the next trend in my opinion. Gotta add that my opinion in this is very humble. I've no claim to fortune telling fame. I just think a lot of people are very tired of some nerdy believer in a wayward cause can adjust how and what you see and others see of you on a social media platform. And in all cases today, we are being sold off as a data stream to any bidder. I personally want to go back to being in a calmer backwater where I can say hello to someone without being targeted with whatever I looked at last at Amazon. I won't begrudge someone following a worthy path if Frugal Idaho shows itself to be worthy.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    maryland
    Posts
    564

    Default

    After my battles with USB ports on my MacPro5,1, I learned some stuff which was new to me. Perhaps new to Macgurus too; so let me share it.

    The built-in USB ports are 2.0. They never failed to work, even starting up external drives. I didnít try something like Bozocityís flight stimulator or any other dongle; however, booting High Sierra from external SSD seems like an even more complex task. It works from these built-in 2.0 ports, but slow.

    Installed Sonnet Allegro Pro USB 3.0 PCIe (4 ports). The external SSD failed to boot. Rick explained that the driver is loaded too late, and suggested I try his Lycom Card - USB 3.1, one TypeA, one TypeC port. I did. Again, the SSD failed to boot. Poor Rick tried to find out why, and gave up.

    The disappointments seem to be the same as discussed in this thread. But I found something else wrong here with USB/PCIe card setup, something new.

    One of the SSDís inside my MacPro has two partitions: one for Sierra, the other for Windows10 (bootcamp). This worked great even when the Sonnet card was inside - Windows10 always faithfully booting up and working. Of course no surprise, you guys may say - what does the card have to do with booting from a partition on internal SSD? Nothing, correct? Yet, I found this glitch.

    When I replaced the Sonnet card with the Lycom from Rick, Windows10 booting changed completely. Nothing was attached to the USB ports; only the internal card changed. During Windows boot, suddenly there was the blue screen of death, saying the system cannot be repaired. My Windows expert son pronounced it dead for good. As ususal, I donít give up; and did manage to get around that blue screen of death and get Windows10 to boot. But it got messed up and had to repartition, erase, and reinstall it frseh via bootcamp.

    It worked for a while, and the death screen again. Enough to make a grown man cry. Then I noticed something queer: during Windows10 installation, I had to insert a USB stick with drivers and stuff into the Lycom card. As long as the stick was inserted, all was well. When I took it out, the death screen appeared.

    Now I have that stick in all the time, and Window10 boots perfectly with the Lycom Card. Itís almost as if the card needs termination, like in the old SCSI setups. (Later, I learned that any USB stick works as well).
    marrand

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    310

    Default "Terminating" Failed

    Thanks, Marrand;

    That would have been a neat bug with a neat fix, had it worked on my Mac! "Terminating" the USB bus with a USB memory stick made no difference.

    Could it be possible that, instead of a problem with the Mac's USB, there is some issue with a bad preference that the system is remembering, even after deleting and reinstalling the simulator? Or, could this simulator, which works well on my MacBookPro7,1, somehow be incompatible with the MacPro3,1? (The developer says it should run well on both Macs.) Or, does the problem with the USB dongle not working truly sound like a problem with the MacPro's USB?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
    Posts
    9,119

    Default

    Have you tried an fresh OS install?

    Have you tried a different user account?

    Have you tried disconnecting everything except the simulator?
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    310

    Default Yet To TryÖ

    > Have you tried an fresh OS install?

    I actually have a clean install made as a test months ago for something else, but never used after, so it is fresh. I'll install the simulator there, and try that.

    > Have you tried a different user account?

    Hadn't thought that even a different user account might matter, but I see that the corruption may be there, even if the underlying OS were okay.

    > Have you tried disconnecting everything except the simulator?

    Meaning shutting down running programs, or removing other items from the USB bus? The only other items over USB are the keyboard and mouseÖ and, now that I think of it, a USB hub built into the monitor! I'll try disconnecting that.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    310

    Default Clean Installation Fixes the USB

    Sure enough, running the simulator from a clean installation on an auxiliary disk fixed the problem! After installing the simulator, the USB dongle worked perfectly, the first time, no problem. Thanks for the help.

    Now, I need to perform a clean installation on the startup disk. Would it be good enough to reinstall from the App Store, without wiping and reformatting the disk; or, is it still better to wipe and reformat, just as in the old days? Other than the problem with USB, the computer has shown no problems. DiskWarrior thinks the drive is okay.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
    Posts
    9,119

    Default

    Back it up. Boot to the backup. Download installer and flush the disk. Then install clean. Use Migration Assistant to move back in.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    310

    Default Failure!

    Mysteries abound. I wiped the boot drive, passed a surface scan 100%, clean installed El Capitan (the newest OS this old Mac runs), ran Migration Assistant, and, having seen how well the update to the simulator runs on my laptop, allowed the App Store to install it on my tower. Now, there is no response! Runs fine on the clean install on an emergency drive, utterly fails on this one. The transmitter will bind to the USB dongle, but there is no response from the software.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •