Currently Being ModeratedAug 8, 2012 7:56 AM (in response to terydeb)
You do not mention where you installed the Express, but if it is extending the network using wireless only, it needs to be located approximately half the distance from the Time Capsule to the general area that needs more wireless coverage.
Many users locate an extending device much too far away from their main router, and as a consequence the device receives a very weak signal, which it tries to extend, but it has virtually noting to work with.....so things worsen....rather than improve.
Minimize obstructions in the signal path between the AirPort Express and Time Capsule as much as possible and be sure to locate the Express up as high as possible....never down low on a wall or behind furniture.
Unfortunately, even a normal sheetrock wall in a home will absorb 10-15% of the signal and a ceiling will absorb much more of the signal, as you might imagine.
Experiment with the location of the Express a bit, and power off both the Time Capsule and Express when you make any changes. Start the Time Capsule back up first and wait for a green light. Then start the AirPort Express.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 8, 2012 8:02 AM (in response to Bob Timmons)
The Express is extending using wireless only. It's one floor down from the Time Capsule, and is just about right underneath it. It's about halfway between the Time Capsule and the basement door. It's on one of the bottom shelves of a bookshelf; I was afraid that if I put it up higher the signal wouldn't reach down to the basement (putting it at the top of the shelf would put it within 6-8' of the Time Capsule, but would move it to perhaps 20' from the specific area I need covered).
I'm having problems in the living room, which always accessed the internet through the Time Capsule without a problem before. The house is a split level type, so the living room is off to the side of where the study and family room (where the Time Capsule and the Express are). I could try moving the Express off the bookshelf and onto the floor near the basement door. That would put it farther from the Time Capsule, though.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 8, 2012 8:18 AM (in response to terydeb)
I could try moving the Express off the bookshelf and onto the floor near the basement door. That would put it farther from the Time Capsule, though.
That would be a much better location for the Express since it should have a clear path to extend the signal down the stairs, rather than have to try to push it through a ceiling, which is probably absorbing half the signal or more.
Power off the Express and test with your laptop at the proposed location for the Express near the basement door. If the laptop can get a good, stable signal at that point, then it should be a good location for the Express.
Anything that you can do to minimize obstructions will help, but you have to keep in mind that trying to extend using wireless always involves compromises. For example, an "extended" network is much more susceptible to picking up interference from things like cordless phones, security systems, or other networks in the area.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 8, 2012 9:36 AM (in response to Bob Timmons)
I'm not doing a good job of describing the placement. The Express is pretty much across from the basement door -- you can see it from the bottom of the basement stairs. So it's not going through any doors or ceilings to get to the basement. The problem now is with stuff that always worked before -- my laptop in the place where I usually use it. I can try moving the Express to the floor near the door, but then I think it will be going through the wall, since I would have to put it to the right of the door.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 8, 2012 9:53 AM (in response to terydeb)
Thanks for the clarification. Are there any cordless phones relatively close to the AirPort Expess or in the signal path between the main router and the AirPort Express?
You seem to have a good handle on placement, so in that regard, I do not think that I will be able to suggest a better solution.
There are really no other settings that you can adjust on the AirPort Express to help things out there.
If you feel that the Express is not working correctly, an Apple Store or servicer could test the device for you, but I imagine that it will perform perfectly in the store.
I do not have a basement, but have experienced wireless stability issues in the past similar to yours when I tried to extend using wireless only. I did everything right as far as setup and placement. Still did not work well.
The only solution that worked for me was to connect both the main AirPort and the remote AirPort using an Ethernet cable. The improvement was amazing.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 8, 2012 10:27 AM (in response to Bob Timmons)
A good utility like WiFi Explorer might help indentify some potential signal and noise issues that are otherwise unknown. If you want to try a bit more scientific approach, post back for details.