I'm using OS X Mountain Lion. I've installed the Mindstorms NXT software successfully using the NXT Script.rb script from Lego's web site, which is supposed to tweak the install so that it is compatible with Mountain Lion.

I'm trying to use the remote control tool to control the NXT unit via Bluetooth. I can do it with USB. I'm able to pair the NXT with my computer, but it appears disconnected and doesn't show up in the available devices. However, if I go to Bluetooth preferences, highlight the disconnected NTX device, and then click the gear and choose "Edit serial ports...", it shows a green status and says it's connected. Soon after exiting this dialog, it says it's disconnected again.

I have also tried to scan for the device in the Mindstorms NXT software after pairing but it doesn't find anything. Has anyone succeeded in doing this? Do you have any advice for me?

1 Answer 1



I have the same problem with Mountain Lion and Mindstorms that I bought for Christmas. I have discovered the following so far:

  1. This is a known problem that Legos has not taken any action on. I believe it is related to two things: different bluetooth chips and Lion / Mountain Lion OS changes.
  2. The Macs with Broadcom Bluetooth chips supposedly will not work. However, the Cambridge Silicon chips supposedly will. You can check this out under the About Apple on your Mac (more information button). My MacBook Pro has the Broadcom chip.
  3. Some people have had success pre Lion with bluetooth. And there appears to be Leopard / Snow Leopard patches on the Legos web site. The lack of success for some must still be related to the Broadcom chips which are in the newer Macs.
  4. Some have had success with using Windows with Parallels. Usually they are using an external bluetooth dongle and there is some fiddling that needs to be done to override the internal bluetooth by using bluetooth explorer. It is not clear if using Windows through Parallels works with the internal broadcom chip.

Net, here are the approaches I have come up with to try: 1. Try my wife's MacBook with Cambridge Silicon chips and Snow Leopard to confirm it works 2. Create an external boot drive for Snow Leopard plus Mindstorms and see if that works on my MacBook Pro. However, I think the Broadcom chips may prevent it from working. 3. Buy a bluetooth dongle (not clear which ones work and which ones do not) and try it on Snow Leopard external boot drive and then Mountain Lion. 4. Set up parallels and add Win XP to my Mac and see if it works with the internal bluetooth and if not, try the external bluetooth.

The biggest cost for me will be #4 since it will require buying the Parallels upgrade and maybe Windows 7 if I can not get XP to work. I do not like doing this since I have had Parallels and it is "clunky" and at times conflicted with Mac OS and drive storage. I am hoping a Snow Leopard external drive maybe with a cheap bluetooth dongle will solve it.

I am also going to complain to Legos about supporting the Lion / Mountain Lion OS upgrade. However, I do not expect a positive response since they will probably stop supporting NXT 2 in favor of their new system.

**Successful Update!!!!!:

  1. I have successfully run Mindstorms using a MacBook with Snow Leopard plus the Cambridge Silicon Bluetooth chips. Plus, the flash player is version I created a simple program and downloaded it to the NXT brick using bluetooth. I shut down the NXT and Mac several times downloading new programs to the NXT brick using bluetooth. Each time you restart the brick or the NXT program, you must pair bluetooth via the NXT window button in the controller of the NXT program. Once set up it will run as long as you maintain the link and keep the NXT program and NXT brick on.

  2. I made an external Snow Leopard Boot disk to run off my MacBook Pro with the Broadcom Bluetooth chips. I updated it with current Apple updates through the internet to make sure it is current. I loaded the Adobe Flash player version to be consistent with the MacBook setup. (There has been some indication that the current Flash version creates problems so I took that out of the mix...I will explore this later). I added the Mindstorms NXT 2 program. I connected with the NXT brick via bluetooth; created a program and downloaded it successfully. Net, it appears to work!!!!

I now believe that the issues with Mountain Lion are related to 64 bit versus 32 bit on Snow Leopard. My understanding is that NXT 2 is a 32 bit program. Plus, you will notice that Mindstorms NXT 2 runs better in Rosetta mode which Mountain Lion does not support (Notice the watch comes up when you double click to start the NXT program...it means Rosetta). Net, it appears to work.

For your information: Full Snow Leopard installation and NXT takes up 15.74 GB. I added iWorks 9 so I would have a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation capability which would drive it to 16.7 GB. Thus, you could easily fit the whole works on a 32 GB thumb drive and have about 15 GB of space for data. This would make the whole arrangement very compact for travel with a MacBook Pro.

Anyway, I got it to work to my satisfaction and I am off to learn how to make robots!!**

  • 1
    Although this isn't a very easy solution, it is one. Unfortunately that Lego has been so neglectful of their Mac-based customers. Thanks for the detailed write-up. I found some of this information elsewhere also. We were able to get things working using a bootcamp installation on our iMac.
    – cayblood
    Jan 15, 2013 at 11:13

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