13 Replies Latest reply: Jun 21, 2012 12:48 PM by firstname lastname
firstname lastname Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

For many years I have been using my old reliable Snow Saucer base station, with my "Network" on channel 9.

 

I liked the fact that the Snow had one utility app for getting into the base station itself, and a different app for configuring the network itself.

 

Is there an app other the Airport Utility 5.6.1 for seeing details about the base station?  For instance, I might want to manually  program the MAC numbers of the computers that are allowed to use the base station.

 

I have just finished configuring a "New Network" using an Airport Extreme.  My laptop is currently reaching the internet using it.

 

My WiFi sniffer says that it is broadcasting on both Channel 1 and 149.

 

1) Why?  Are these the "default" channels for the two different 802.xxx  standards?

 

2) How do I determine which channel my laptop is receiving?  There must be an Airport Utility app for that or is it somewhere in the various System Preferences or Configuration panes?

 

2) How do I tell the Extreme which channels I desire to use (to avoid channels being used by my neighbors)?

 

Next step is to re-program the Snow Saucer to into Bridge Mode so that my old computers can use wireless on the "old" 802.xxx channel...


Safari, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • 1. Re: Extreme using BOTH channel 1
    Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (48,245 points)

    Is there an app other the Airport Utility 5.6.1 for seeing details about the base station?  For instance, I might want to manually  program the MAC numbers of the computers that are allowed to use the base station.

    There are currently two versions of the AirPort Utility (for Macs) for the latest versions of the AirPort base stations. Version 6.1, which has an iOS-like interface, and 5.6 which is more full-featured and includes the feature to restrict network clients by their MAC address. For Windows PCs there is version 5.6.1.

     

    My WiFi sniffer says that it is broadcasting on both Channel 1 and 149.

     

    1) Why?  Are these the "default" channels for the two different 802.xxx  standards?

    The newer AirPort base stations are simultaneous dual-band wireless routers. That means that they have two Wi-Fi radios, one on the 2.4 and the other on the 5 GHz radio band. Channels 1-14 are typical for the 2.4 GHz band; higher channels are used on the 5 GHz band. For the AirPorts, the default radio channel on both bands is set to "Automatic." With this setting, the AirPort attempts to find a channel for each band that has the least Wi-Fi interference or competition from other nearby Wi-Fis. Yours, most likely, chose those channels for that reason.

     

    2) How do I determine which channel my laptop is receiving?  There must be an Airport Utility app for that or is it somewhere in the various System Preferences or Configuration panes?

    Right-click or Option-click the AirPort icon in the OS X menu bar. The radio channel that your Mac is connected to will be revealed in the drop-down menu.

     

    2) How do I tell the Extreme which channels I desire to use (to avoid channels being used by my neighbors)?

    The "Automatic" setting does a pretty decent job already for doing this, but if you want to double-check, I would suggest using a utility like iStumbler. It will show you the Wi-Fis operating nearby and their respective signal strength. You will want to look for those with the strongest signal, and then, note which channels they are operating on. You can then elect to change channels to not use the same as theirs.

  • 2. Re: Extreme using BOTH channel 1
    firstname lastname Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Tess -- I think you are giving me some Lion-centric answers.  I'm using OSX 10.6.8.  Option clicking the Airport icon does not bring up a window for me.

     

    How do I get get control of the "automatic" channel selection? -- IIRC it resides on the base station, not in the computer Preferences/Network control panel.

     

    However now that I'm paying attention again, the Airport icon keeps going from ON to "Looking For Networks." I think that reduces my effective bandwidth.

     

    So I'd like to know how to force my system to stop doing that.

     

    iStumbler is what I'm using to see the local WiFi systems.

     

    I used Airport Utility 5.6.1; its not a PC app:

     

    http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/19858/airport-utility

     

    Version 6.1:

    • Configure and manage the new AirPort Express with simultaneous dual band 802.11n. It also allows you to configure the base stations for IPv6 and includes additional bug fixes.

     

    REQUIREMENTS

    • Intel
    • OS X 10.7.3 or later
    • AirPort Express
    • AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule

     

    RELATED LINKS
    Download AirPort Utility 5.6.1 (for Mac OS X 10.5.7 to 10.6.8) or AirPort Utility 5.6 (for Mac OS X 10.7) if you require the previous UI (allowing easier access to 'power user' features)

  • 3. Re: Extreme using BOTH channel 1
    Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (48,245 points)

    Tess -- I think you are giving me some Lion-centric answers.  I'm using OSX 10.6.8.  Option clicking the Airport icon does not bring up a window for me.

    True as I am running Lion on all of my Macs. However, interesting as the AirPort Icon's "Menu Extras" starting showing up in Leopard (OS X 10.5) and has continued with Lion.

     

    However, in addition to the AirPort Icon, System Profiler also provides details on your AirPort network connection.

    How do I get get control of the "automatic" channel selection? -- IIRC it resides on the base station, not in the computer Preferences/Network control panel.

    You would do this via the AirPort Utility. I see that Apple recently released v5.6.1 for both Leopard and Snow Leopard Macs. Unfortunately, I don't have either of these OS on any of my Macs, but I would think that it would be similar to the other 5.x versions which are pretty full-featured. In this case radio channels can be changed from "Automatic" to "Manual" for both radios. From there you can set the actual channel number. All of these options would be on the Wireless tab within the utility.

     

    However now that I'm paying attention again, the Airport icon keeps going from ON to "Looking For Networks." I think that reduces my effective bandwidth.

    This would indicate to me that the wireless network you are trying to connect to has very poor signal quality. Again, this may be due to Wi-Fi interference.

  • 4. Re: Extreme using BOTH channel 1
    firstname lastname Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    When my laptop is 2 feet away from the Extreme, iStumbler is showing 75% signal strength.  In my normal location 20 feet away, about 50%.

     

    Another topic -- today whole system almost unusable; the Chromatic Spinner is always up.

     

    Went into "manual" with Airport Utility.  Discovered that the Extreme base station has configured itself as a Bridge.  I don't understand why it has done that.  It receives the single IP number from my DSL line. Shouldn't it be "Distributing IP Numbers?"  Or "Sharing a Single IP Number?"  But not a Bridge !

     

    Activity Monitor is showing Network Peak speeds that are often in the single bytes and <100 Kb. Sometimes it gets into the MByte range.  The object of switching to the Extreme from the Snow Saucer was to improve this.

  • 5. Re: Extreme using BOTH channel 1
    Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (48,245 points)

    Went into "manual" with Airport Utility.  Discovered that the Extreme base station has configured itself as a Bridge.  I don't understand why it has done that.  It receives the single IP number from my DSL line. Shouldn't it be "Distributing IP Numbers?"  Or "Sharing a Single IP Number?"  But not a Bridge !

    Not sure why this happened either as it shouldn't. Yes, you want it to be set for its default, which is: Share a public IP address. Again, the "Chromatic Spinner" or "Beachball" indicates that some process or processes are taking up a considerable amount of CPU time on your Mac. One method of discovering what is, is to use OS X's Activity Monitor application's CPU tab.

  • 6. Re: Extreme using BOTH channel 1
    firstname lastname Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Oh I watch the Activity Monitor.  Except that when the Beach Ball is spinning, I cannot get it to show on the top of my screen.  Beach Ball precludes acting on clicks or moving my arrow.  When it finally appears, Beach Ball is gone and whatever was using the CPU is back to normal.

     

    And another weird thing:

     

    My old iBook which has only the old frequency works when connected to my original "Network" via the Snow Saucer acting as a bridge.  Snow is using Channel 6

     

    But since the Extreme also broadcasts on the old spectrum (on Channel 1) , I tried logging in to the "New Network."

     

    According to the pane via the Airport icon, I signed into "New Network" successfully.

     

    BUT when trying to access a web page, it says Not Connected.  Going from there to Network Diagnostics I am getting all sorts of weird setup instructions...

     

    Asking me if I use a DSL router; if I need a password ( DHCP) or not (PPoE) but it wants me to enter data about my Internet Provider. Or restart my DSL modem.

     

    Its like it does not recognize that the Extreme is doing all that.

     

    Maybe Extreme is still in Bridge mode???  well, still says IPv4 is "manually" -- accessing via my MPB using the current version of Airport Utility 5.6.1

  • 7. Re: Extreme using BOTH channel 1
    Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (48,245 points)

    Oh I watch the Activity Monitor.  Except that when the Beach Ball is spinning, I cannot get it to show on the top of my screen.  Beach Ball precludes acting on clicks or moving my arrow.  When it finally appears, Beach Ball is gone and whatever was using the CPU is back to normal.

    Then, I would suggest using OS X's Console application to look at your log files to see what is being recorded there for some troubleshooting clues. Start by looking at the "All Messages" category for patterns. Not sure if the Snow Leopard version has the Console Sender feature, but if it does you can use this too to quickly see what is getting recorded most.

     

    If you find somethng worth getting additional information on, just enter the message on an Internet search page to see what shows up.

  • 8. Re: Extreme using BOTH channel 1
    firstname lastname Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    There are a LOT of these:

     

    6/20/12 5:15:12 PMFirewall[67]Deny cupsd data in from {URL deleted} to port 631 proto=17

    I think the URL is the IP address of my DSL router. But when I put it into Safari a page appears ; can't tell if it is actually from the Internet or a Help file from my own computer:

     

    CUPS 1.4.7

    CUPS is the standards-based, open source printing system developed by Apple Inc. for Mac OS® X and other UNIX®-like operating systems.

  • 9. Re: Extreme using BOTH channel 1
    firstname lastname Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    I recently installed the Adobe "PDF Printer Driver Plug-in 8.5.1" :

     

    Installation instructions

    Copy the PDFPlugIn file and the Acrobat Distiller (PPD) file into the System Folder:Extensions:Printer Descriptions folder, replacing any existing files.

  • 10. Re: Extreme using BOTH channel 1
    Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (48,245 points)

    CUPS is used by Macs for printing. I wonder if you were having the beachball issue prior to installing the Adobe PDF printer driver. This driver is typically used when printing directly from Adobe Reader ... or when you what to print and send the output to a PDF file.

     

    I would think you need ot resolve this issue before restarting any troubleshooting of the AirPort ... or even need to.

  • 11. Re: Extreme using BOTH channel 1
    firstname lastname Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Well the Beach Ball has gone away, maybe needed a restart or two...

     

    I do have a printer connected to the Extreme with Ethernet; so maybe that is why the Extreme wants to set itself up with Manual addressing.

     

    Still don't know how to make the old iBook work on the new network.

     

    I can't find any way to manually enter the MAC addresses of computers that will be allowed on the Extreme's network.

  • 12. Re: Extreme using BOTH channel 1
    Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (48,245 points)

    I do have a printer connected to the Extreme with Ethernet; so maybe that is why the Extreme wants to set itself up with Manual addressing.

    If this printer is configured as a DHCP client, then the Extreme's DHCP server service will attempt to provide it with an Private IP address as it would any other DHCP client on the local network. On the otherhand, just connecting this printer to the Extreme would NOT force the Extreme to change any of its IP addresses.

     

    I can't find any way to manually enter the MAC addresses of computers that will be allowed on the Extreme's network.

    AirPort Utility (v5.x) > Select the AirPort Extreme > Manual Setup > AirPort > Access Control tab > MAC Address Access Control = Timed Access

  • 13. Re: Extreme using BOTH channel 1
    firstname lastname Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    OK, I've entered the MAC addresses of my computers...

     

    When I try to use DHCP, it says that there is a conflict with the addresses. x.x.x.2 is the lower and x.x.x.200 the upper.  Tried changing them to .201 and .401 but that didn't seem to be acceptable.

     

    Now I need to learn what it wants with these DHCP addresses and what devices (DSL router vs Extreme vs ???) are involved.