anyone ever have an Airport base station go bad?

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by zimv20, Jun 4, 2003.

  1. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #1
    i'm helping a friend get her iMac back on its feet. it used to access the internet through one of the old-style base stations (via airport), but now it seems the base station is dead.

    when i plug it in, the 3 lights in the front show red. sometimes just the left one, sometimes all 3.

    i pushed the reset button, but it didn't help. doesn't seem like it's broadcasting anything (i couldn't see it from two different airport-enabled machines).

    anyone seen this? is the base station hosed? is there another way i can reset it (aside from sticking a bent paperclip into the reset hole)?
     
  2. Giaguara macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #2
    dunno. try it with an other mac that has airport card. and that mac with another base.

    but as the question - yes i have seen an old base station go bad.
     
  3. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #3
    i had my airport-enabled ibook w/ me. it couldn't see the base station. so i made the ibook a base station and the imac in question was able to connect w/ it. i concluded the issue was w/ the apple h/w base station.

    i had assumed that because of the red lights. from what i saw in the manual, they're supposed to be green. in the one you saw, do you remember what the lights showed?
     
  4. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #4
    Yeah, I had one bad Aiport BaseStation (also the first one).
    Just after about 6 months whenever I booted it, one red light would show on the front (the middle one).
    I had to go back to the reseller, and luckily I got a new BaseStation right away (warranty).
     
  5. Sherman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Berzerkeley
    #5
    Actually

    This is a very common problem. The capacitors that apple used in the original (Graphite) base stations weren't rated for high enough temps (85 instead of 105.

    Your base station probable makes an intermittent buzzing noise, this is bad. That is the capacitor death rattle. If you trust yourself with a sodering iron you can always go get new ones and desoder the old ones and put in some new ones, that's what I did with mine and it's back on it's feet.Drilled some holes in it for airflow while I was at it too.

    There are many websites that tell you in more detail how to fix this problem and what kinds of capacitors to buy. Go and search google for something along the lines of "Graphite base station capacitor" and you should find something useful.

    There are also a couple companies that will fix it for you for about $70, or there is one that will buy it from you at about $50(USD mind you). Put that money towards a new base station.

    If you want to check if your capacitors are bad, open up the case and inside you should see a grey box with a wireless card sticking out. Take out the card, and take off all the clips and the case will seperate into two pieces. Near the top of the board you will see where the power plugs in (the red and black wires inside the case). Right under that is a capacitor, if the top is bulging then congrats, your capacitor has died. There is also another one to the right that should be in about the same condition. Replace those and you'll be good to go.

    And don't blame apple, these capacitors were only rated for 5,000 hours, and most likely your ran it a lot longer than that before it failed. Mine ran close to 33,000 hours before it gave up. Only the very first months worth of base stations had the improperly rated capacitors.Otherwise, this is not apples fault and it's just parts failing long after they were expected to last.
     
  6. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #6
    Is your basestation hissing at you? Seriously, put your ear by it. If it's hissing, then the capacitors are fried. Apple used to exchange them if they went bad, but I don't know if they still do.


    Here is a website that has information about repairing them.

    http://www.vonwentzel.net/ABS/

    I've never done it, but it doesn't look too hard.
    Hope this helps.
     
  7. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #7

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