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Recently, I bought a Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball Mouse. While I am very happy with it overall, one issue is nagging me. Every so often, the mouse will experience a input lag, so movement is jumpy instead of smooth. This can be very annoying when I need to perform precise movements.

After doing some Google searching, I have found two possible causes of my problem.

  1. The GPU is performing intensive operations. This is unlikely, since it has happened during general useage and my GPU (Geforce GTS 620) can handle operations such as watching videos very well.
  2. There is interference in my the Logitech Unifying Receiver's frequency band. This seems the much more likely problem, so I have performed some former research.

After a look on Wikipedia, I verified the receiver uses the 2.4 GHz frequency band. However, the spec seems to suggest it jumps between frequencies in its band like Bluetooth, which makes it hard to verify whether this is the cause of my problem.

After a look at the frequencies used by nearby WiFi networks, I have found that two are in the 2.4 GHz range as well. Below is the output of sudo iwlist wlan0 scan | grep Frequency | sort | uniq -c | sort -n.

1                     Frequency:2.437 GHz (Channel 6)
3                     Frequency:2.412 GHz (Channel 1)

I am by no means an expert in wireless networking, but this does seem to help verify my theory that the receiver is in fact experiencing interference because it is jumping to these frequencies.

I can also verify that my USB WiFi adapter is adjacent to my receiver's USB port, which could be causing some problems as well. The WiFi adapter only supports the 2.4 GHz band, sadly, so preventing interference that way would be problematic, since I would be limited to jumping USB ports. Below is the output of iwlist wlan0 channel.

wlan0     14 channels in total; available frequencies :
          Channel 01 : 2.412 GHz
          Channel 02 : 2.417 GHz
          Channel 03 : 2.422 GHz
          Channel 04 : 2.427 GHz
          Channel 05 : 2.432 GHz
          Channel 06 : 2.437 GHz
          Channel 07 : 2.442 GHz
          Channel 08 : 2.447 GHz
          Channel 09 : 2.452 GHz
          Channel 10 : 2.457 GHz
          Channel 11 : 2.462 GHz
          Channel 12 : 2.467 GHz
          Channel 13 : 2.472 GHz
          Channel 14 : 2.484 GHz
          Current Frequency:2.412 GHz (Channel 1)

So, my question is, is it possible to change the frequency band of my receiver? If so, how? If anybody can come up with a better solution, please feel free to provide that as an answer as well.

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I have this problem often as well. It could be rf noise from other wireless devices, but also USB3.0 causes RF noise that influences the unifying receivers of logitech. Aside from moving the receiver with a USB hub, cable, different USB port, what sometimes helps for me is unpairing my mouse from the receiver, and re-pairing it. It seems to me that the frequency used between the receiver and the periferal is chosen when you pair it. I'm not sure if this is true, but it does seem to help for me. On linux you can do this with the package solaar. It is a GUI that lives in the system tray that shows you the periferals paired to your unifying receiver and allows you to unpair and pair periferals. Often when I do this (hurray for touchpads....) the mouse stops skipping.

  • Doing all of the above worked for me - plugging the Logitech Unifying receiver into a USB extension cord so it's further away from the computer and closer to the device, using a different USB port, and unpairing/repairing my devices. I'm not sure which was the most helpful, but figured I'd comment that you may as well try all of those things. – Timothy Zorn Jan 5 '18 at 19:06
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It seems that a solution to my problem was to move my USB WiFi adapter away from my Unifying Receiver. To do this, I plugged a USB extender into a USB hub, then plugged the adapter into the hub. The hub itself is unnecessary, but it seems to do the trick. I recognize that this is not an Ubuntu-specific solution, but can judge from peoples responses that it is impossible to change the Unifying Receiver's frequency range. Since my wifi adapter only supports the 2.4 GHz frequency range, this then meant that the only way to prevent interference was to move them apart.

  • I am giving this solution a try, and I am actually putting the receiver very near the mouse, for now it does seem a little 'snappier' and precise. – Marcel Valdez Orozco Oct 8 '15 at 0:11
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As far as I know there's no way to change neither the frequency nor the channel that Logitech Unifying receivers use, but you can try changing the channel of the WiFI router instead.

Alternatively use an extender USB cable, and don't forget to check your mouse batteries in fact low batteries might result in similar problems.

To find a free WiFi channel I recommend "WiFi Analyzer" by farproc available for Android devices, it's a must have.

  • Thanks for your answer. Sadly, the WiFi adapter can only use the 2.4 GHz channel, so I'll get interference anyway. Right now, I'm trying a USB cable extender. It seems to be working, but only time will tell. +1 for your answer. – Dillmo May 10 '14 at 14:12
  • I'm currently using at home several wireless devices all operating at 2.4 GHz including WiFi, Bluetooth and Logitech Unifying without experiencing any interferences. You should give a try to manually set your WiFi router's channel to a channel other than 6. In my lab we had troubles and we sorted them out this way. However, you're right an extender cable may help as well. Good luck! – fiod3s May 11 '14 at 13:53
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I had the same issue with a Logitech wireless keyboard. My mobile phone was interfering with the connection causing the keyboard to stop working.

After some research, I discovered that turning the keyboard off and then on again forces the receiver to choose the best available frequency.

I tried this and now have my phone sitting right next to my keyboard without any issues at all.

So, turn it off and on again seems like the best advice I can give :)

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