Airport Express blinking amber light/no network connectivity?

Discussion in 'Mac Peripherals' started by Laplace, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. macrumors member

    I have an airport express wth the cable modem hooked up directly to the ethernet port, and then the AExpress plugged into the wall. I am using a PB G4 to connect to the network, and using version 4.2 of Airport.

    At first I was setting up my airport express in the closet, and the LED was blinking amber and wouldn't allow my PB to see it as an available network. So I brought it out of the closet in to the open and got my network set up beautifully. Then, I unplugged the airport express to put it in its permanent position, but this time after plugging it back in, I was able to long onto the network but can't get to the internet now and the LED is blinking amber again, no more solid green.

    This second time around im positive it isn't interference, i brought it out into the open room with nothing around it, we dont have any 2.4 Ghz phones, no cordless phones at all actually.

    Im stumped, I have no idea, I tried turning on interference robustness and even changing the channels in Airport Admin Utility, but to no avail.

    Any ideas?
  2. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    This might be excessive, but, assuming the setup isn't so complicated that re-doing it will be a hassle, perhaps resetting the AE will help.

    Doing so isn't trivially easy: unplug it, then, while holding down the reset button (very small recessed grey button on the side), plug it in until it flashes green four times - this takes more than a few seconds, more like ten seconds or so of holding the reset button down. Keep it plugged in, then go to your Airport-equipped Mac.

    Now your AE is reset to factory conditions. Use Applications->Utilities->AirPort Setup Assistant to set it up. Make sure that the Ethernet port is enabled (not sure where it is in AirPort Setup Assistant, but it's in the Airport tab, Base Station Options... panel in AirPort Admin Utility, which perhaps you need to use after initially setting it up).

    I hope this helps.
  3. macrumors member

    I'll give it a shot when I get back to the house. I did this on the phone with the apple tech when I was having the initial problems and it started working, so maybe I'm having the same luck this time.

    I have to say it, this is my first Mac and part of the reason I switched was for ease and enjoyment of computing, and largely becuase of networking troubles in XP. Needless to say I am quite unsettled/annoyed that it doesn't "Just work", and it should! I am using all up to date, expensive as hell, Apple hardware/software and it doesn't "Just work".

    PS. I do absolutely love/enjoy the OS, this networking problem is really starting to rip the mickey out of me though. You'd think an electrical engineer would be able to figure out a problem like this.. :rolleyes:

  4. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    FWIW, the amber light has nothing to do with being in the closet - if in fact it was set to "Create a Wireless Network (Home Router)". The amber light means it cannot connect to the network itself.

    Any chance it was set up to "Join an Existing Wireless Network (Wireless Client)"? If so, it might have latched onto a neighbor's signal, which it lost when being transferred to the closet.

    Also, some ISPs (like the one my parents are forced to use) are very picky about the MAC addresses of clients using their services and might disallow service to an "unknown" device. Possible?
  5. macrumors member


    Yes, my ISP is picky as well, but I called yesterday and gave them the Express' MAC address ahead of time. So this isn't the problem. I really have no clue why it won't connect me to the internet now. My PB seems to join the network fine, but I cannot access the internet, and the LED is flashing amber. I was told by the tech support guy that flashing amber means interference, waiting to be setup, or can't connect to a network. But if it can't "connect to a network", and if my PB can't get to it to tell it that it "IS" the network and stop trying to connect to someone elses network, then how do you fix that? I think that is what has me stumped.
  6. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    Well, if you've set it up (possibly from scratch, as described above), I think we can rule out "waiting to be setup". If you can get to it from your PB, I think we can rule out "interference". So that leaves us with "can't connect to a network".

    This strongly suggests to me that the cable modem is refusing service to the AE. If you plug your PB into the cable modem, can you get out? Also, it's important to note that all AEs have two MAC addresses listed on them - one they display to the network they join, and one they display to devices connected to the AE. Perhaps you gave your ISP the wrong one? And, before you ask, I do not remember which one is which....
  7. dcv
    macrumors G3

    Might seem an odd question but what sort of residence do you live in? i.e. how close are your neighbours? YOU might not have any other 2.4GHz devices such as cordless phones, but if you are in an apartment block, or in a row of terraced houses, chances are your neighbours have one or more such devices that could be interfering. Is the closet situated by a party wall? You could try changing the channel that the airport express is operating on to rule out the possibility of interference from another network/phone/microwave oven etc.
  8. macrumors member

    That last bit of advice turned out to be correct. There are 2 MAC addresses for the airport extreme, one for WAN use and one for ......something else. ANYWAYS, I called my ISP got it straightened out. thanks jsw!

    2 cheers for AppleCare Support! Aren't they supposed to get you to check the easy stuff first? lol :p

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