Appledystopia: Independent Technology News

Fixing the Magic Trackpad

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Another solution is to put a cardboard shim into the battery compartment. The notion is that slightly smaller batteries may lose contact. Try this solution only if brand new batteries result in staggering trackpad behavior. Don’t try to put shrim in there…

Make sure to leave some space between your Magic Trackpad and keyboard. Sometimes when my trackpad is acting up, I notice it is in contact with the keyboard. When I move it so there is at least one inch between the trackpad and keyboard, it seems to work better. Testing this hypothesis with the RSSI monitor, it is clear that the trackpad has a stronger signal when there is space on all sides of the device.

Another possibility is that a wireless device is interfering with the signal. It could be your iPhone or some other device. Try turning it off and see if it helps. Some claim that cell phones interfere with the signal. You can try relocating your cell phone and see if that helps. However, if it usually works and just started “wigging out”, chances are it is the batteries.

It is best to eliminate all other options before suspecting the batteries, but I have found that my trackpad usually misbehaves when I have been using my computer all day and the battery life is down to 50% or less. In fact, the lower the battery life, the sooner the staggering happens. It seems as though the trackpad needs a certain amount of current to produce enough signal to stay connected.

This is bad design. Apple could have utilized a digitally controlled variable capacitor that adjusts current draw from the battery to keep it constant. Everything from LED flashlights to my inexpensive Braun electric toothbrush have this feature. My hunch is that Apple could not fit it into a small, attractive form — form over function. (continue…)

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