This 17" AL G4 has worked beautifully all its life with Bluetooth kb and mouse. Change the batteries occasionally and all remains fine. Then a few weeks ago, apropos of nothing at all, Bluetooth lost the ability to cover any distance. The keyboard 8" away types inaccurately, and sends repeating key signals on its own; the mouse 8" away jumps all over the screen. But place the kb or the mouse ON the G4 itself so the distance is 0" and Bluetooth works just fine. So the G4 lost its antenna, or the Bluetooth daughter board failed. (It did not fall or suffer shock.)
The kb and mouse work on another PC so for sure it's not them. We're using the same telephone we've had for years, a 5.8 GHz, and it doesn't interfere. Some claim the new coiled fluorescent light bulbs can interfere with Bluetooth, so I tested it with all lights off. No help.
Is there anything I can try short of replacement that might restore a broken Bluetooth? Must it be a hardware problem? I'm reluctant to re-install the Bluetooth kb & mouse software that came with the Apple kb, lest it cause internal confusion.
I've done the three things that are mentioned to do when Bluetooth fails: reset the PRAM and PMU (half-a-dozen times) and calibrate the battery. In addition, I removed the battery for a few minutes to assure that all memory was clear.
After that the kb was a bit better but the mouse was as bad as before or maybe worse. When 8" away it jumps around badly. [Note - This is a NEW Kensington mouse replaced under warranty. Performance the same as the old one.] The mouse still works fine when placed ON the laptop, so there is nothing here I see to support a conclusion except failure of the internal antenna or Bluetooth board. Probably.
I read through the repair process to replace Bluetooth parts and, complex as that is, I wouldn't entrust my machine to someone with zero experience doing that. The person with zero experience is me so self-repair is out. So am I wiser sending it off to PowerBookMedic, or giving up on internal Bluetooth and going with dongles? For that I'll need a dongle-based mouse like the Logictech. The Apple Bluetooth kb can work with or w/o a dongle.
BTW, something about Apple's Bluetooth software has always been curious. When setting up Bluetooth, one of the options listed is to allow Bluetooth devices to wake up the G4. But that option is only listed, not offered. It cannot be turned on; it's grayed out. Always has been, and no settings in the Bluetooth panel will energize it.
Appreciate any help.