7 Replies Latest reply: Oct 6, 2010 4:09 PM by Chris Marshall3
kkeusch Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have recently set up a Time Capsule and Airport Express, the latter as an extension, without trouble. Needed further extension and purchased another AE. Although I get a green light on the second AE there is no extension of the WiFi to the area where the second AE is placed. I have re-set up all the components multiple times without success. Using Airport Utility 5.5.1 on a 27" late 2009 IMac, system 10.6.4. In advance thank you for any help.

IMac, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,135 points)
    Per chance are you attempting to cover an extended linear range with both AirPort Express Base Station's (AX)? That is, are you trying to extend the wireless range of the Time Capsule (TC) with the 1st AX, and then, trying to extend the wireless from that AX to the second one? Semi-graphically: TC >>> AX#1 >>> AX#2?
  • kkeusch Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Yes. I need to extend WiFi further than the first (In line) AX. The second AX has a Green light but does not increase the usable WiFi. I have the Radio Mode on TC set to automatic, how can one change it to 2.4 Ghz, which I understand is a "more robust" mode. Thanks for your help!
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,135 points)
    Ok, thanks for clarifying your network requirements for me.

    In order to "daisy-chain" the AirPorts to provide the greatest linear distance, all the routers will need to be reconfigured in the older "static" Wireless Distribution System (WDS) configuration. In this case the TC will be the main, AX#1 will be the relay, and AX#2 will be the remote base station in the WDS.

    There are two very important factors you need to understand about this type of WDS, and both relate to performance: 1) A static WDS can only operate in the 802.11g radio mode. That means you will lose the advantage of your 802.11n equipment. As such, the maximum bandwidth possible with be around 54 Mbps. Far less than either the 130 or 300+ Mbps available with "n." 2) For each base station added to the WDS, the overall maximum bandwidth is cut in half. So with a total of three stations, the maximum will be more around 13-14 Mbps ... approaching the bandwidth for 802.11b. At this bandwidth maximum, you can forget about HD video streaming ... even SD video will be questionable.

    If you still want to pursue setting up a static WDS, I can provide the instructions to do so.
  • kkeusch Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Yes, please help me with the instructions as you so kindly offered. I am quite an amateur in the wireless world. I look forward to your instructions.
    Thank you.
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,135 points)
    Ok, here is the basic steps to configure your base stations into a static WDS:

    (Note: To facilitate the WDS set up, temporarily connect the remote & relay base stations to the TC by Ethernet during the set up phase, and then, relocate them to the desired locations when complete. Also, jot down the AirPort IDs (wireless MAC addresses) for each of the base stations to be used in the WDS. The AirPort ID and is printed on the label on the bottom/side of the base station.)

    Main Base Station Setup - TC
    o Click the AirPort status menu in the menu bar and choose the wireless network created by the base station you want to set up as the main base station.
    o Open AirPort Utility (located in the Utilities folder in the Applications folder on a Macintosh computer, or in Start > All Programs > AirPort on a computer using Windows).
    o Select the main base station, and then, choose Manual Setup from the Base
    Station menu.
    o Enter the base station password if necessary. If the base station is using the default password of public, you will not be prompted for a password.
    o Click Wireless in the toolbar, and then, choose “Participate in a WDS network” from the Wireless Mode pop-up menu. Note: You will need to hold down the Option key in order to get this option on the AEBSn, 802.11n AirPort Express Base Station (AXn), or Time Capsule (TC).
    o Click WDS and then, choose “WDS main” from the WDS Mode pop-up menu.
    o Select the “Allow wireless clients” checkbox if you want client computer to connect to this base station.
    o Click the Add "+" button and enter the AirPort ID of the base station you want to connect to this base station.
    o Click Update to send the new settings to the base stations in the WDS.

    Remote Base Station Setup - AX#2
    o Open AirPort Utility; select the remote base station, and then, choose Manual Setup from the Base Station menu.
    o Enter the base station password, if necessary.
    o Enter the same network password as the main base station, if necessary.
    o Click AirPort in the toolbar, and then, click Wireless. Choose “Participate in a WDS network” from the Wireless Mode pop-up menu, and then, choose the same channel as the main base station from the Channel pop-up menu.
    o Click WDS and choose “WDS remote” from the pop-up menu.
    o Enter the AirPort ID of the main base station in the WDS Main field.
    o Click Update to transfer the settings to the base station.

    Relay Base Station Setup - AX#1
    o Open AirPort Utility; select the relay base station, and then, choose Manual Setup from the Base Station menu.
    o Enter the same network password as the main base station, if necessary.
    o Click AirPort in the toolbar, and then, click Wireless. Choose “Participate in a WDS network” from the Wireless Mode pop-up menu, and then, choose the same channel as the main base station from the Channel pop-up menu.
    o Click WDS and choose “WDS relay” from the WDS Mode pop-up menu.
    o Enter the AirPort ID of the main base station in the Main AirPort ID field.
    o Click the Add "+" button and enter the AirPort ID of the remote base station this relay base station will connect to.
    o Click Update to transfer the new WDS settings to the relay and remote base stations.

    (ref: Pages 42-46 of "Designing AirPort Networks.)
  • kkeusch Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you so very much. As soon as I follow your instructions I'l get back to you with the results.
    Ken
  • Chris Marshall3 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Hi Tesserax...you sure know some stuff here...just need to ask a basic question...don't a LOT of people buy the newish Airport Express n version to take a, say, TC wireless network and extend it once...then use a second AX to extend it again without having to resort to a WDS? i thought the point of having the "extend a network" setting was to do just that, namely daisy chain TCs, AXs etc...

    I have the same problem as kkleuch is it, to do a linear extension, and if I'd known, I wouldn't have replaced my 1st g mode AX (which I still have)...I was just going to change my TC setting to Bridge mode as it has been on the public address setting one, but this is getting expensive for a home network!