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airport extreme gen 5 extended network with time capsule gen 1

790 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Jun 10, 2013 6:33 PM by Bob Timmons RSS
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Jun 10, 2013 12:04 PM

I setup a wireless network with my airport extreme gen 5, but wasn't able to get service on the third floor so I added my Time Capsule gen 1 to extend the network, but that seemed to weaken the signal. Why is this?

Airport Extreme, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.3)
  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,420 points)
    I added my Time Capsule gen 1 to extend the network, but that seemed to weaken the signal. Why is this?

     

     

    Assuming that you configured the Time Capsule correctly to "extend a wireless network", the next thing to check would the physical location of the Time Capsule.

     

    Remember that a 1st Gen Time Capsule does not have simulaneous dual band capability, so a drop in performance is to be expected in the area served by the Time Capsule.

     

    The Time Capsule....assuming that you are attempting to extend the signal wirelessly......needs to be located about half way between the AirPort Extreme and the general area that needs more wireless coverage. The reason for this is that the TC can only extend the quality of signal that it receives. If the signal is degraded by the time that it reaches the Time Capsule, then the Time Capsule will extend a poor quality signal.

     

    The more that you can limit or reduce obstuctions like walls or ceilings in the signal path, the better the performance will be.

     

    For best performance, you need to run an Ethernet cable from one of the LAN <-> ports on the AirPort Extreme to the area where you need more wireless coverage, then locate the Time Capsule at that point.  This will provide a much stronger and faster signal than trying to extend using wireless alone.

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,420 points)
    My Extreme is wired via eathernet and then my TC is about 100ft away because I can't get signal on the third story so I am trying to extend from the basement to the second floor hoping to get a signal on the third floor.

     

    When you say "extend", does this mean wirelessly....or....are you connecting the Time Capsule to the AirPort Extreme permanently using an Ethernet cable?

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,420 points)

    Thanks for the clarification.

     

    Frankly, I am not very optimistic that the Time Capsule will be able to deliver the performance that you need given the distance and number of obstructions like walls and ceilings in the wireless signal path.

     

    I would recommend that you consider running an Ethernet cable from the AirPort Exteme to the location where more wireless coverage will be needed and install the Time Capsule at that location.

     

    I assume that the AirPort Extreme is providing your wireless signal and not the FIOS router....which should have the wireless turned off to reduce the chances of interference.

     

    If you want to try to extend wirelessly, the Time Capsule needs to be configured to "Extend a wireless network". You can check this setting by opening AirPort Utility, clicking on the Time Capsule, and clicking Edit.

     

    Then click the Wireless tab and check the setting for Network Mode. It should read "Extend a wireless network". The settings should look like this:

     

     

    Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 2.34.44 PM.png

     

     

    Next questions.....how many walls and or ceilings must the signal travel through from the AirPort Exterme to the location of the Time Capsule?  How are the walls constructed?

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,420 points)

    Adding a new Time Capsule won't help a bit until we can figure out how to get your current set up working correctly.

     

    but then when I look at the extreme configurations afterwards it automaticly changed it to extend a wireless network as well

    Very strange, and very wrong. I cannot duplicate this error. The AirPort Extreme must be configured to "Create a wireless network".

     

    It might be best to power off the Time Capsule for now and concentrate on getting the AirPort Extreme working correctly. Once the AirPort Extreme is functioning correctly, then we will try a new approach to get the Time Capsule configured to "Extend" the network.

     

    Post back when you have the AirPort Extreme set up and working correctly in the "create a wireless network" setting as illustrated below:

     

     

    Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 3.13.02 PM.png

  • JohnTheAppleFan Level 3 Level 3 (690 points)

    I have an Extreme in the basement and my iMac on the 3rd floor (on the diagonally opposite side of the house) gets a good wireless signal.  

    There are two ways to go this:

    1) Using a software utility such as Stumbler to show channel contention can help show you how to tune your wireless devices.  Changing my channel from 1 to 11 improved the signal strength significantly since most of my neighbors also used channel 1.

    2) The signal strength jumped to Excellent when I added an Express to my office on the thrd floor to extend the wireless coverage from the Extreme in the basement.

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,420 points)

    At this time, temporarily move the Time Capsule to the same room or an adjacent room where the AirPort Extreme is located.

     

    Power up the Time Capsule and wait a full minute

    Hold in the reset button on the back of the Time Capsule for 7-8 seconds and release

    Allow a full minute for the Time Capsule to restart

     

    This Hard Reset will not affect any data or backups that you might have on the Time Capsule disk

     

    Click the fan shaped AirPort icon at the top of the Mac's screen and wait a few seconds for a listing of New AirPort Base Station to appear

     

    Just below that, click directly on the Time Capsule and AirPort Setup will open up automatically

     

    The example below, shows an AirPort Express. You will see and click on Time Capsule

     

    New AirPort Base Station.png

     

    AirPort Setup will take a minute to analyze the network, then announce that the Time Capsule will be configured to extend the AirPort Extreme network.

     

    Enter a device name that you want to use for the Time Capsule, then click Next

     

    AirPort Setup will take another minute to configure the Time Capsule. When you see the message of Setup Complete, click Done.

     

    Now move the Time Caspule to a location that is about half way between the AirPort Extreme and general area that needs more wireless coverage. The more that you can avoid obstructions, the better the signal will be.

     

    This is important, as a typical ceiling in a home will absorb 30-40 % of the signal. Using wireless only, the Time Capsule can only extend the quality of signal that it receives. It cannot improve the signal or make the signal go faster. It can only make what it receives go further.

     

    Power up the Time Capsule and check to see if the wireless signal has improved in the extended area. If is has, great. If it has not, this is an indication that you will need to run an Ethernet cable from the AirPort Extreme to the Time Capsule.

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