OLDER MAC USERS - No BLE? Go Wireless with jamstik+ and puc+.

Today’s secret word is “Dongle” and, yes, it is funny.

The jamstik+ and puc+ require Bluetooth 4.0 or BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) to connect wirelessly to your Mac, but not everyone has a device current enough to support BLE connectivity. SUCKS, RIGHT?!

Does my mac have Bluetooth 4.0?

 

Generally speaking, the following Mac Models (and later) support BLE 4.0 -

  • Mac Mini - Mid 2011.
  • MacBook Air - 2011.
  • MacBook Pro - Mid 2012.
  • iMac - Late 2012.

 

In this article, we will touch on a few “solutions” we have found for those of you with older Macs who want to go wireless.

 

PLEASE BE ADVISED - THESE “SOLUTIONS” ARE NOT OFFICIALLY SUPPORTED, BUT SOME HAVE WORKED IN OUR TESTS. WE CANNOT GUARANTEE THE SAME POSITIVE RESULTS WITH ALL APPLICATIONS OF ALL COMBINATIONS OF ALL DEVICES.

 

The devices listed below tested as described with an early 2011 and two DIFFERENT mid 2010 Macbook Pros (which are NOT equipped with BLE). They DO NOT CLAIM to be Mac compatible, they say NOTHING about MIDI support in the documentation for either, and each claims to require a PC driver download. The information under Bluetooth in “About This Mac” > “System Report” even changes from “No” to “Yes” next to “Bluetooth Low Energy Supported” and from “0x4” to “0x6” next to LMP Version when you insert either of the two working dongles and refresh the information. KEEP IN MIND - repeatedly inserting and removing them seems to sort of “confuse” systems after some time, resulting in an incompatibility message  - rather than a Bluetooth device list - in your Bluetooth Configuration Window.

In any event, the dongles that worked did so PERFECTLY - again,in our tests” - with the jamstik+ and puc+, and for around 12 bucks rather than thousands (to upgrade your Mac).

The dongles DID NOT WORK when tested with a Late 2009 iMac.

We received error message BCM20702A0 when we plugged either dongle into a 30-pin to USB female adapter connected to an iPad 2 and an iPhone 6 (which already supports BLE - this was just for fun perhaps?)

 

HERE ARE THE DONGLES WE TESTED:

(prices shown are prices at the time of this writing)

  

1. IOGEAR GBU521 - WORKED IN OUR TESTS

(approximate actual size)    

 

Amazon price - $11.28 - http://amzn.com/B007GFX0PY

 

 


2. ASUS USB-BT400 - WORKED IN OUR TESTS

(approximate actual size)

 

Amazon price - $12.29 - http://amzn.com/B00DJ83070

 



3. GMYLE® Ultra-Mini USB BT Dongle - DID NOT WORK

(approximate actual size)

 

Amazon price - $9.98 - http://amzn.com/B007MKMJGO

 



4. CME WIDI BUD - TESTING IN PROGRESS

(approximate actual size)

 

At the time of this writing, we are also working with CME and testing their up-and-coming WIDI BUD USB Dongle - originally made for connection with their Xkey Air - for compatibility with the jamstik+ and puc+. This dongle actually claims OFFICIAL support for BLE MIDI, though not necessarily with the jamstik+ or puc+. Stay tuned for results on this.

Price TBD - http://www.cme-pro.com/widi-bud/

 

As always, please contact us with any questions - we are happy to help!

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