7 Replies Latest reply: Nov 20, 2013 8:47 PM by andybrownapple
barthofstad Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Good day,

 

I have an Airport Express (AE) configured as base station with two airport express units acting as repeaters. All AE's are first generation with latest software updates installed. Configuration:

 

Airport Express 1 creating wireless network 2.4 GHz

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AE repeater 2 configured as "extend wireless network" connects to AE 1

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AE repeater 3 configured as "extend wireless network" connects to AE 2

 

 

All AE's display green light. AE number 2 does repeat and transmit the wifi signal, but it does in fact not repeat the wifi signal. If I take any mobile device near AE number 3, it does not connect to this AE.

 

Any ideas what could be wrong here?

 

Thank you,

Bart

 

Screen Shot 2013-01-28 at 4.02.35 PM.png

  • 1. Re: airport express repeater limitation
    Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (78,595 points)

    There is nothing "wrong" here, but the problem is that 3rd Express is not repeating the signal from AE2. It can't since you can only "extend" the wireless signal from the main router one time.

     

    In other words, Apple's "Extend a wireless network" feature works like the hub and spokes of a wheel. AE1 is the "hub" on your network and AE2 is a "remote" and the end of a "spoke". The remote connects directly to the hub through the spoke.

     

    You can have other remotes at the ends of other spokes on the network, but each one of them connects directly to the hub....not to another remote at the end of another spoke.

     

    AE3 in your case is located closer to the AE2 than it is to AE1. Since AE3 is picking up a signal from AE2 at the end of a "spoke", it cannot extend it again.  It can "join" the signal for use with AirTunes or a remote printer...but it provides no additional wireless signal coverage when it joins.

     

    If you want AE3 to "extend" you will need to see it displayed on the graphic as connecting directly to AE1. If you do this, you will see that both AE2 and AE3 are connecting to AE1.

  • 2. Re: airport express repeater limitation
    barthofstad Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you very much Bob. I suspected this limitation but Apple does not make mention of this in their documentation. Most articles state that everytime you repeat a signal in my configuration, the throughput speed is cut in half. Not that in fact it is not possible after one repetition. A hub and spoke model or star configuaration is not feasable here because of the range it has to cover and a lot of concrete walls.

    Best regards,

    Bart

  • 3. Re: airport express repeater limitation
    Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (78,595 points)
    I suspected this limitation but Apple does not make mention of this in their documentation.

     

    It is there, but Apple doesn't take much time to talk about it.

     

     

    Screen Shot 2013-01-28 at 8.57.19 AM.png

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4145

     

     

    It might be a bit clunky, but you could come out of the Ethernet port on AE2 and wire to AE3 if feasible. Setup AE3 to create a wireless network using the same wireless network name, security, password in Bridge Mode and it will effectively "extend".

  • 4. Re: airport express repeater limitation
    John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (36,380 points)

    barthofstad wrote:

     

    ... I suspected this limitation but Apple does not make mention of this in their documentation.

     

    This is explained here: Wi-Fi base stations: Extending the range of your wireless network by adding additional Wi-Fi base stations

    Important Note

    HT4145-8.png

    If another extended Wi-Fi base station ➋ is placed between the primary Wi-Fi base station ➊ and the extended Wi-Fi base station ➌, the extended Wi-Fi base station ➌ will not allow clients to join it. All extended Wi-Fi base stations must be in direct range of the primary Wi-Fi base station

    It is also untrue that "everytime you repeat a signal in my configuration, the throughput speed is cut in half. " This was true for WDS but not with an 802.11n "extended" network. The throughput is reduced but the effect is much less than 50%.

     

    The fact that you have a lot of range to conver including concrete walls means that you will have challenges with "extending" a network wirelessly. Wireless signals will be attenuated by such structures. If you can find a way to create a "roaming network" your troubles will be over.

  • 5. Re: airport express repeater limitation
    -burkminipup Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    not sure if you have figured out the solution or if this even solves what you are trying to do, but here is what i suggest. i also saw another post of yours with a time capsule, so i will include it in my solution (or more of a suggestion, really) and you can switch things up as they work out. here is the concept of my idea..

     

    AE Help.png

     

    HOPE IT HELPS!! i have no idea if this works, as i am far too poor to afford so many apple products HA

  • 6. Re: airport express repeater limitation
    barthofstad Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you very much; interesting way of solving the problem too but got it fixed already.

  • 7. Re: airport express repeater limitation
    andybrownapple Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    How di you fix it, I have the exact same problem?  I want to wire a airport extreme to a express and then wire that express to another express. Which sound very similar to what you did, please help!