Airport Express Tips 4 You!
Here are a few things I've learned about installing, configuring, and using Airport Express:
(Apologies if this is all painfully obvious to you :o )
1. If you are about to get Airport and are also going to get cordless phones, do not buy 2.4 gigaherz cordless phones! I bought 4 of these phones for a home office and when one is used in the same room as the computer, the phone thoroughly cuts off the computer's wireless connection. It's there in the documentation, but of course, one doesn't read that until after they've made their purchases. :mad:
Solution Update! : By going into Utility > Airport Admin Utility > Configure > Channel ..., I was able to change my Airport channel ( I used channel 6), and the 2.4 gig cordless phone no longer seems to be affecting the wireless connection (Thanks "However" for this tip!:) )
2. In the Airport set-up documentation, the order of the steps is a little confusing and you may find yourself wondering why the Airport light keeps flashing amber. Go ahead and boot up your computer containing a wireless card and the light will change to green and your connection will begin. (Likely only a few of you will experience what I'm talking about.)
3. If you install an Airport Extreme card in your G5, you might miss the G5's tiny antenna wire that plugs in to the protruding edge of the Airport Express card. It's hard to believe til you see it, but yes, there is room in the edge for the plug! The antenna is stored coiled in a clip under the same plate the Airport Extreme card mounts under. And the slots seem very tight and intimidating, but go ahead and slide the Airport Extreme card through the slots and seat it firmly into the port. It works out fine.
3.a. Your G5 came with a small, plastic, T-shaped Airport antenna that plugs into its own port at the back of the G5. If you don't know where it is, it's likely still in the box your G5 came in. It serves as the external portion of the Airport antenna.
4. The "typical range" is stated to be 150 feet, or 45 metres in any direction from the base station. This is perhaps a bit optimistic in some situations. Neither of my wirelessly configured computers can find the base station signal in a specific room on the same floor and just 35 feet away from the Airport Express base station. The room is separated from the base station by just gyprock walls, but there are some appliances that may be contributing to the problem. The potential pitfalls of wireless are sometimes unpredictable.
4.a. Raising the base station does help increase its range. I put the Airport Express base station up on top of the cabinet where my stereo is located, and the signal strength increased by almost double (according to the signal strength display in the Internet Connect window).
By raising the base station, I moved it away from all the other cables coming out of the outlet, moved it from behind some furniture, and located it not far from the ceiling. According to much I've read, this all helps the signal strength.
I hope this helps someone - Good luck! :)
I will update this post as I discover more problems, fixes, work-arounds and breath-taking features of Airport Express. Please feel free to post your own helpful hints.
Interference with 2.4Ghz cordless phones is easily fixed by changing the Airport "channel," there are 11 to choose from, and it usually just takes selecting a different one to fix the interference.
Still, nothing wrong with 900Mhz or 5.8Ghz cordless phones, just don't feel like you have to give your 2.4Ghz phone away in order to get your computer wirelessly enabled.
Also, don't forget to enable security. Make yours a "closed" network, so you need to identify it by name/password or else it remains hidden to all.
I thought this would be dealign with wireless printing or send audio wirelessly. Both are supper cool features of the airport express.
The Airport Express Assistant sets these uses up so easily that I can't imagine anyone being troubled...
One thing, though, if your printer is an all-in-one, expect that if you want to do something other than printing (e.g., scanning) you'll have to plug in directly to the printer, since scan commands etc. won't work wirelessly with an Airport Express the way that printing does.
I've got the issue with the cordless phone. It's a little annoying. Any idea as to what channel won't cause this problem? I'm on 3 right now and no luck.
To address altrodesign's question here, I have revised my original post in this thread. Please see above. Thanks. :)
My Tower is located in a difficult position for signal reception. By raising the Airport base station, my G5 PM can now receive some signal sometimes. So I figured that extending the external antenna on the back of the G5 might make the signal adequate. Has anyone tried anything like these antenna extenders, or made one of their own, and how effective is it?
http://www.quickertek.com/products.html#g5omni (fifth from bottom of page)
http://www.harmonicinversion.com/qt/ (Fourth item from bottom of page)
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