5 Replies Latest reply: Jun 18, 2013 6:40 PM by John Galt
KWBEAR Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

Until recently I had my old AP Extreme and two AP Express units (802.11g) configured as a WDS. In an effort of increase signal strength I performed hard resets on both AP Express units and now cannot get them to connect to my Macs. The paradox is that the two AP Express units are blinking amber BUT the AP Utility 5.6.1 displays green status indicators. I called Apple for tech support - I was willing to pay! - and was told that my units are considered "legacy" units and they no longer support them.


P.S. My Base Station, an AP Extreme, is working as far as connecting to the Internet and to my Macs as well as displaying a green status in Airport Utility 5.6.1.


Would like to add: I took both Express units to my local Apple store and they checked them at no cost. Both unit checked out as working properly. Also, In my numerous attempts to configure my WDS, several times I connected the Express units with an ethernet cable to forform the configuration.


Two documents that adress my problems (but haven't solved them) are <http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4262> and <http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1589>.


Message was edited by: KWBEAR

  • LaPastenague Level 8 Level 8 (45,315 points)

    For WDS to work properly, make sure everything is on the latest firmware.


    Setup with the following.

    Use SMB type names.. short no spaces and pure alphanumeric.


    Use fixed wireless channels.


    Start with no security.. I did find security was fine.. but if you run into trouble start with no security.. once you get it working .. apply security to the remote unit first.. and then apply it to the main extreme.


    Reboot the entire system if it seems not to connect.. this is important as you sometimes find things drop out.


    I found some help in a blog http://www.borrigan.com/itprojects/hello-world/


    I did not do it precisely like that but I did follow those guidelines. The site took ages to open.. I thought it was dead.


    Are you using a relay?


    Or are both express units connected via WDS to the extreme?

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (42,255 points)

    In addition to HT4262 you may find the description in the following manual helpful:




    I believe it was the last one containing any reference to WDS. Setting Up a Wireless Distribution System (WDS) begins on page 42.


    They must all use the same wireless channel.


    It is a tedious procedure even if you follow the instructions with care. Gather all the equipment together in one place, the more convenient to read their MAC addresses, and to "hard reset" them as necessary should something not work.

  • KWBEAR Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    G'day Mate!


    Many years ago I lived in The Alice for a bit and when I grow up I want to relocate to Hobart.


    I want to express my great appreciation for your suggestions, Fair Dinkum! While I can't say that modifying the name to eliminate spaces and special characters solved the problem the Express lights are now GREEN! (Still can't figure out what "SMB" means, tho'.)


    Using your advice and also checking and changing the Channel of all units to the same number - they might not have been set correctly - resulted in both Express LEDS displaying green. One VERY strange anomoly I discovered though. I had both Express devices plugged into the same electrical power strip when I configured the WDS. I then moved just one of the Express units to where I wanted it. The LED was only blnking Amber! When I moved the second Express unit to its nearby location both devices then displayed green LEDs. I don't understand this but I'm will to live with the lack of knowledge.


    The bottom line: After spending, I estimate twenty hours troubleshooting and reconfiguring the Airport Expresses I finally have them working.


    While I can't prove that your advice provided the the "cure", it certainly contributed. So, once again, I thank you you so very much.If I could I'd send you a 2-litre  NT Draught or any brew of your choosing.


    In case you didn't know - I didn't until I attacked this problem - the old Airport Express Setup Guide states: "If your network is protected by either a WPA Personal or a WPA Enterprise password you can't set up a Wireless Distribution System. If you want to set up a WDS, you must choose either the 128-bit WEP or Not Enabled security option."

  • KWBEAR Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)



    I very much appreciate your advice. One key element that you suggested is missing from all the other advice I've read - make sure all devices are set to the same wireless channel! I suspect, but cannot prove, that at least part of my problem was not paying attention to the channel settings. When I reconfigured everything for the umpteenth time I did carefully make sure all channels were set to the same number.


    All's well that ends well. I now have my AirPort Expresses both happily glowing Green. I was about to give up.


    Although my nome de plume is kwbear, I'm tempted to sign this as Richard Halley, but, alas, I do not compose music.





  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (42,255 points)

    KWBEAR wrote:


    - make sure all devices are set to the same wireless channel!


    It's at the very top of Page 46. Easily missed.