4 Replies Latest reply: Dec 15, 2012 5:11 AM by John Galt
mafotografix Level 1 (5 points)

I purchased this Airport Express on Jan 7, 2012. It was working fine.


I used it for airplay only to play my itunes music to my speakers. My speakers are connected to an amplifier that is inturn connected to the Airport Express via an optical cable. I have not use it with a printer. I do not use it as a wifi to access the internet.


It was working fine until about a month or so ago when after playing a few songs it would disconnect. Now after less than 2-3mins it would disconnect. When I try to manually reconnect with my iPhone or Macbook Air, it would say that is unable to connect to the Airport.


If I keep trying, eventually it will connect and then after 2-3 mins it would cut off again. The amber light would show contineously.


I am at wits end. I have not changed the arrangement at all since Jan. What could have happened?


About a month ago there were an update to Airport Utility. I ran that update. Could that be the problem?


I'd appreciate if someone could help me. The warranty will run out a less than a month. How timely isn't it.


Is the router broken. If so why does it still allow me to use Airplay but only for a few minutes (less than a song)?

Thanks in advance for any help and or advice.



Airport Express
  • John Galt Level 8 (45,958 points)

    Unfortunately there could be any number of possible causes. Your router could be at fault, or the Express, or something else that is affecting both. To troubleshoot this issue you would have to eliminate or significantly reduce one or more of these possibilities.


    Try performing a "hard reset" of the Express and configure it anew. Sometimes an internal parameter becomes corrupted that only a "hard reset" can fix.


    The following is an excerpt from:


    Resetting an AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule FAQ

    Hard reset

    1. Press and hold the reset button with a pen or pencil until you see the status light (LED) start to flash amber rapidly, which should occur after about five seconds.
    2. Release the button, and the AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule will hard reset.

    ... but read the entire document to ensure you do it correctly. An Express that has been "hard reset" will create an open network with the name "Apple Network nnnnnn" where nnnnnn = the last few digits of its MAC address.


    If you do not see the network with that name, the "hard reset" did not take effect, which will happen if you do not hold its little reset button long enough. In that case do it again.


    Following the "hard reset", reconfigure your Express.


    Failing that, position the Express closer to your wireless router. This may not be a practicable long term solution for you but it will minimize the possibility that wireless interference is causing the problem.


    Consider substituting another router, to eliminate that as the cause.


    Finally, you could take your Express to Apple who may simply offer you an exchanged unit. It will most likely operate perfectly well for them so you will not be able to demonstrate this failure mode, but you can explain you did all that I suggested above without success.

  • mafotografix Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks John for your suggestions. I went down each of the points you made.


    Yep, tried all that trouble shooting advise in the manual to hard reset and configuration (several times) before posting this help .... I have no problem resetting it, giving it a new network name, new password, etc., Airport Utility will detect it, Airplay would too, I can connect to it, play my music ... but only for 2-3mins. It's frustrating.


    I've have another Airport Express at another home in another state and it is still working well. This one was working well too for about 9 months, this problem surfaced about a month ago.


    My primary wireless router that I use to surf the internet is in a different location in the apartment. And the Airport Express is not connected in to it in anyway. Wifi on the wireless router is disabled and it is hardwired directly from my macbook to it. 


    I tried turning off my primary router since I don't use the Airport Express for it. And the problem still exists. So it must be the Airport Express.


    OK, so I finally called Apple tech support yesterday and they too couldn't figure out why it kept discounecting every 3 mins either and only rebooting the router would help each time to get a reconnection. So I sent it in since it's still under warranty.


    They didn't seem surprised when I brought it in. They understood the problem immediately and said they've been replacing it rather than repair it. This left me wondering if it's a common problem. Unfortunately they were out of replacements (they offered to ship one direct but it would take 7 days). Apple tech support is great!


    P/S: now that you've mentioned interferences, I wonder will my Apple TV cause a similar problem in future. You see I bought the Apple TV but its still in the box. I was going to upgrade my TV first.

  • mafotografix Level 1 (5 points)



    The replacement Airport Express arrived last evening.


    I've been using and testing it for the last 2 hours and it seems to be working fine. No glitch. No drops. No disconnections.


    I have not changed my set up or arrangements so I'm hoping its resolved, just a failed hardware issue.


    Luckily it was still within the first of year warranty.


    I'll keep testing it. Thanks again John Galt for your response.

  • John Galt Level 8 (45,958 points)

    Thanks for the update.