8 Replies Latest reply: Mar 18, 2013 3:49 PM by rocket.man
rocket.man Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I have a 2 TB Apple Time Capsule as my primary wireless router.  Recently the TC has started to not send out any Wifi signal at all.  All Wifi devices that are connected to it cannot even see the TC nor can the Airport Utility.  The green light continues to glow happly!  I can reset the device by unplugging and replugging the power, it then reconnects and everything works wonderfully until the next random time it happens.

 

I read some support threads that suggested fixing the WiFi channels as this may be happening when it switches channels, which I did.  The problem still occurs.

 

Any input?

  • 1. Re: Apple TC drops wifi but green light glows
    LaPastenague Level 8 Level 8 (35,400 points)

    No wireless signal at all.. is that showing on iOS device or something other than a computer as well?

     

    How old is the TC?

     

    Grab a wireless tool like istumbler and load it onto a computer so you can actually see if signal has disappeared. I would be very surprised if it had.

     

    A complete signal dropout would indicate a failure of the wireless card or the power supply in the TC that is powering the card.. The TC should be returned and replaced under warranty.. or applecare if you have any.

     

    Do any computers run older OS.. up to Lion .. install 5.6 utility and connect to the TC by ethernet.. then you can access the log and see if the TC is showing issues and the wireless client connection should also show something. Later utility is useless.

  • 2. Re: Apple TC drops wifi but green light glows
    rocket.man Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, for the input.  The TC is appx 1 year old.  The signal will not show up on any ios devices.  Not the iPad, not the iPhone 5 and not on my MacBookAir, running os X mountain lion.

     

    Even when I run the airport utility the unti will not show up.  Meanwhile when I go check the TC the green light is glowing green as if nothing is wrong.  Then I unplug and plug it back in and ALL devices will then pick it up and act normally until it does it again.

     

    I will get istumbler and check the next time it happens.  I have a call with Apple support tonight but I expect they are going to tell me to take it in.

     

    Thanks,

  • 3. Re: Apple TC drops wifi but green light glows
    LaPastenague Level 8 Level 8 (35,400 points)

    If it is in warranty, I would certainly be looking to get Apple to replace it. It does sound like it is faulty.

     

    Does the TC get hot? They can be warm to hot during a backup.. but with the disk spun down should not be over hot.. stick it up on feet.. the rubber base does not help much in getting rid of the heat unless you sit it on a chunk of copper or aluminum. Otherwise put a set of bottle tops / pencils / rubbers. whatever you can find to elevate it and allow air underneath.. you want it >8mm off the bench at least (about 0.3-0.5") Make sure it has plenty of air access around the sides and is not in a restricted access area where the local environment is heating up as well.

     

    How long after each restart does it take to stop working? Is it a fairly consistent time.. ?? That could be helpful info.

     

    Have you tried a full lock down of the wireless?

     

    I am deeply suspicious of devices that auto everything.

     

    So use SMB names.. short, no spaces pure alphanumeric.

    Use a different name for 5ghz.

    Use fixed channels which you are doing.

    Use a fixed wireless mode.. this is not something we usually touch. But worth it in your testing.

    Use WPA2 Personal security with 10-20 character pure alphanumeric passkey.

     

    So normally something like this.

     

    Screen shot 2013-03-19 at 8.27.54 AM.png

     

    But now add radio mode into the mix.

     

    Screen shot 2013-03-19 at 8.29.15 AM.png

     

    This does reduce the wireless at 2.4ghz to G.. but it is just a test. See if wireless still drops out..

    Does 5ghz also drop out at the same time? Since you can now force some of the devices to 5ghz.

    if so I would be blaming hardware.

     

    But iStumbler may show you more.

     

    And the v5 utility can show you log info of the wireless clients.

    logwirelessclient.png

     

    You will need one computer linked by ethernet to get the chart when wireless drops naturally but you can also check the main log.

     

    v5 utility being of course useful tool cf v6 useless toy.

     

    To load v5 utility into ML.. do this.. although there are plenty of methods if you do a google for the info.

     

    How to load 5.6 into ML.

     

    1. Download 5.6 for Lion.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1482

    Click to open the dmg but do not attempt to install the pkg.. it won't work anyway.

     

     

    2. Download and install unpkg.

    http://www.timdoug.com/unpkg/

     

     

    Run unpkg on the desktop.. it is very simple.. drag the AirPortUtility56.pkg file over to unpkg.. and it will create a new directory of the same name on the desktop.. drill down.. applications utilities .. there lo and behold is Airport utility 5.6 .. drag it to your main utilities directory or just run it from current location.

     

     

    You cannot uninstall 6.1 (now 6.2 if you updated) so don't try.. and you cannot or should not run them both at the same time.. so just ignore the toyland version.. the plastic hammer.. and start using 5.6.. a real tool.

     

    For screen shots see this post.

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4668746?tstart=0

  • 4. Re: Apple TC drops wifi but green light glows
    LaPastenague Level 8 Level 8 (35,400 points)

    Recently the TC has started to not send out any Wifi signal at all. 

    I also forgot to say if the recently co-incided with 7.6.3 firmware.. that dog of an upgrade..

     

    Take it back to 7.6.1

     

    It has caused lots of people pain. If your TC is old enough, (early gen4 can) you can even go back to 7.5.2 which is far superior again. Just hold down the option key when you choose firmware.

  • 5. Re: Apple TC drops wifi but green light glows
    rocket.man Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Great info.  Thanks I'll give this stuff a try.

     

    Yes it does get VERY hot.  I have adequate space above and to the sides and have a ventalation fan drawing air over it.  I do not have it up on feet but I will do that.

     

    Don't know what version of firmware I'm running.  How can I tell?  Also don't see how to select firmware in airport express.  I'm a life long PC guy who is new to Apples so sometimes how they do things really confuses me.

     

    There does not seem to be any fixed pattern to the dropoff.  It can run days just fine and then drop it two times in the same day.  So I have to wait for it to happen to see what istumbler tells me.

     

    I have downloaded it and have it running.  I am in the same room with the TC not 10 feet away, no walls between my mac and the TC and istumbler has the 5ghz signal is 48 % (20% noise) and 48% (20% noise)  on the guest.  The 2.4 is at 51 (13% noise) and 58 (13% noise on the guest).  Shouldn't it be higher this close????

  • 6. Re: Apple TC drops wifi but green light glows
    davidsignal Level 3 Level 3 (525 points)

    LaPastenague's firmware answer is probably the correct answer.  You should downgrade your firmware before you start jumping through hoops unnecessarily troubleshooting other possibilites.

     

    Just hold the option key while hovering your mouse over the firmware version in the popup that appears when you select your TC in airport utility.

  • 7. Re: Apple TC drops wifi but green light glows
    LaPastenague Level 8 Level 8 (35,400 points)

    I have downloaded it and have it running.  I am in the same room with the TC not 10 feet away, no walls between my mac and the TC and istumbler has the 5ghz signal is 48 % (20% noise) and 48% (20% noise)  on the guest.  The 2.4 is at 51 (13% noise) and 58 (13% noise on the guest).  Shouldn't it be higher this close????

    5ghz is not great on lots of devices.. Actually if you open the system profiler and go to the wifi or airport  can you copy and paste the result here.

     

    Mine looks like this.

     

    Tardis24ghz:

      PHY Mode:          802.11n

      BSSID:          28:cf:da:b5:98:49

      Channel:          11

      Network Type:          Infrastructure

      Security:          WPA2 Personal

      Signal / Noise:          -55 dBm / -82 dBm

    Tardis5ghz:

      PHY Mode:          802.11n

      BSSID:          28:cf:da:b5:98:4a

      Channel:          36,1

      Network Type:          Infrastructure

      Security:          WPA2 Personal

      Signal / Noise:          -65 dBm / -89 dBm

     

    You notice from the next room.. but within 10feet of the TC through a plaster wall.. the 5ghz signal is already 10db down from 2.4ghz.

     

    Every 3db is half the power.. so half.. then half.. then half and then a bit. That is how much is lost. 10db is log scale and is huge reduction.

     

     

    Don't know what version of firmware I'm running.  How can I tell?  Also don't see how to select firmware in airport express.  I'm a life long PC guy who is new to Apples so sometimes how they do things really confuses me.

    The airport utiity will list the version on the summary page. Open the utility. I don't run v6 utility on this computer.. my desktop is Snow Leopard.

     

    But the version is right on the front page of the utility.

     

    I can open the laptop and give you the info if you need it.. best thing is to play.. you learn by playing around.. click furiously all over the place.. find the edit and open the full utility .. not just the pretty pictures.

     

    I am also a recent escapee from Windows.. when vista came out.. I thought enough is enough.. if they want to foist this rubbish on us.. i was working as computer tech.

     

    Just keep learning it bit by bit.. Mac OS is pretty logical albeit different.

  • 8. Re: Apple TC drops wifi but green light glows
    rocket.man Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks tons.  I've been able to downgrade and I've played around with the channel selection to get my best output.  Now let's see if the TC stops dropping off line.  Thanks to all for the help.

     

    I'm still going to register the problem with apple as my TC is almost 1 year old and if it turns out to be a hardware issue I don't want to hear "Oh, warranty is expired"

     

    Thx