HELP! WDS Bridging on 3 Airport Extreme Bases Station

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by gotohamish, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. gotohamish macrumors 65816

    gotohamish

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Location:
    BKLN
    #1
    Hi

    I'll be blunt with what I'm trying to do:

    I have 3 brand new Airport Extreme base stations.

    The first (Base1) is connected to the net, wired from the DSL, and works fine.

    The second (Base2), was auto-configured to be a relay WDS base, and worked fine, but was a different network name... Q: If I configured that base to be the same network name, would they roam seemlessly?

    Also, for some reason, Base3 got an error each and every way when I tried to set it up the same as Base2 - automatically from the main base. Anyone know why? Does it need resetting?

    I need all 3 bases to be the same network, so we can walk from room to room without changing manually to a different base.

    I eagerly await your help and responses - thanks!!
    H
     
  2. GigaWire macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2001
    #2
    Quick and easy way:

    1. Make sure, if the network is secured, that it is WEP and not WPA.

    2. With your main station on and configured, plug-in the second one. Give it a minute to run through its startup, now open Airport Setup Assistant and you will add BASE 2 to extend the network of BASE 1.

    3. Do the same for BASE 3.

    4. Now your network will be one contiguous network and you can open Airport admin and make any changes you would like across the network.

    Again, this is the simplest way to do it.
     
  3. gotohamish thread starter macrumors 65816

    gotohamish

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Location:
    BKLN
    #3
    Thanks so much for the help - I'll be sure to give that a try. I have WEP enabled on the first base, but I don't think I set up a the second and third bases using Setup Assistant, but rather let the Admin window of Base 1 do it in the WDS pane - only this is where I got the "could not receive information" type errors.

    If anyone else has other tip or suggestions, please let me know - I appreciate all your responses.

    H
     
  4. gotohamish thread starter macrumors 65816

    gotohamish

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Location:
    BKLN
    #4
    Hi, the setup assistant doesn't offer what you said. There's nothing about joinging another base station. I've only seen this in the WDS pane of Admin and it doesn't work.

    :-(

    H
     
  5. DanGuy48 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #5
    EXTREME frustration

    Hello all,

    This is probably pointless (cause I'm not very knowledgeable at all about networking) but I'll give it a try. I'm trying to hook up two G4 flat panel iMacs via 2 Airport Extreme Base stations, NO airport card (WDS) and THAT seems to be a major problem. Airport Setup Assistant will not run without a card in one of the computers. Since I'm not moving either of the computers, I don't need a card and because they're so far away, I thought the two base station approach would work better. However, my work PC on the adjacent table sees the main station (where the DSL connection is) and says the signal is very weak. Perhaps that's part of the problem (all software is current).

    Basically, I'm just about at the point of returning the whole mess and I've been a Mac fan since mid-80s. I've had our PC guy over and he's stuck. I've spent probably 3 solid days on this. Since Setup assistant won't run, it immediately throws me into the Admin. Utility. I don't see the remote station at all. If I can see the main base station, it can't get out to my DSL on it. If I can the DSL connection out, then the base station, like now, won't show up in Admin. Utility. I've been to the Apple Store (where I bought it all) and the geeks said they had not done this. I've called AppleCare (I have it on both iMacs) and they said they don't support the configuration though everyone agrees it "should" work just fine. I'm really fed up and don't know where to go to get help. Any suggestions would be appreciated but, like I said, I'm not huge on networking.

     
  6. Darwin macrumors 65816

    Darwin

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    round the corner
    #6
    OK, so let me get this straight

    This is the setup you want?

    iMac 1 \
    --------------Base Station-------(via WDS?)-----Base Station
    iMac 2 /
     
  7. macreator macrumors regular

    macreator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    New York City
    #7
    I built a similar network for my home using three AirPort Extremes with only one of them actually connected to my cable modem. I had the second base station relay and had my third base station as a remote with my printer. With WDS you can NOT have a seamless network in the sense that as you walk through your house you must switch base stations. It helps to have different names for all your stations. You can only have a seamless network if the base stations were all connected via ethernet. It took me awhile to to get my network to work but basically if something isn't working right you will need to reset your base stations a bunch to get it on track.

    EDIT: I don't want to confuse you in that while you will need to switch base stations as you walk through your home, the stations are still on the same network meaning you can play a LAN game while you are on base station A and player 2 is on base station 3. You can also use a printer plugged into a base station even if you're not connected to the station the printer is plugged into.
     
  8. DanGuy48 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #8
    Extreme Frustration (con)

    Darwin, yes, that's basically it. I have a DSL line coming into the basement. I'm taking the DSL into Extreme Base Station (main) and then into the adjacent iMac. On a desk about 4 feet away is my Dell company laptop with built-in wireless card. It sees the Main station sometimes but can't seem to log on. It says the signal is very weak.

    In the opposite corner upstairs, of the house, is my wife's iMac. I have it hooked to another Extreme Base station (remote). I thought this would be a good way to do it, since it would avoid the speed bottleneck if I used Airport cards on flat panel G4 (15") iMacs (apparently can only use regular Airport cards, not Extreme...if I'm even remembering all this correctly now).

    Nothing seems to work as Apple says. For example, Airport NEVER shows up in the menu bar or anywhere else. I can only access the stations through Admin Utility, sometimes, depending on how I've configured them. I'm getting the feeling that I should be setting this up as if there were no wireless communication, just an "ethernet" connection between the two computers, since neither computer has a card. But then how do I get the stations to talk?................sigh................
     
  9. Darwin macrumors 65816

    Darwin

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    round the corner
    #9
    Remember that your Macs don't have Airport Cards, the Airport tab in the menu usually gives feedback on the strength of the computers wireless connection, to them they are using a normal ethernet connection so there is no error there

    How are you with configuring with WDS?

    I mean do you know how to do it?

    Here just a page from the Help Viewer:

    *
    **
    Extending the range of your AirPort network by setting up a Wireless Distribution System

    *



    You can set up multiple AirPort Extreme Base Stations as a Wireless Distribution System (WDS) to extend the range of your AirPort wireless network. When you connect base stations wirelessly in a WDS, you set up the base stations as a main base station, a remote base station, or, if you are using AirPort 3.1 or later, a relay base station.

    A main base station is connected to the Internet and shares its connection with remote and relay base stations. A remote base station shares the main base station's Internet connection. A relay base station shares the main base station's Internet connection and transfers the connection to other remote or relay base stations.

    All three base station configurations (main, remote, and relay) can also share the main base station's Internet connection with client computers wirelessly, or with Ethernet if the client computers are connected to the base station by Ethernet.

    When you set up base stations in a WDS, you need to know the AirPort ID of each base station. The AirPort ID, also known as the MAC address, is printed on the label on the bottom of the base station next to the AirPort symbol. To make it easier to set up a WDS, place all of the base stations on a table and plug them into a power supply.




    To set up a main base station and remote base stations in a WDS:



    1.

    Use the AirPort status menu in the menu bar to join the wireless network created by the base station you want to set up as the main base station.



    2.

    Open AirPort Admin Utility, located in Applications/Utilities.



    3.

    Select your base station and click Configure.



    4.

    Enter the base station password if necessary.



    5.

    Click Show All Settings, and then click WDS.



    6.

    Select the "Enable this base station as a WDS" checkbox, and choose "main base station" from the pop-up menu.



    By default, the "Allow wireless clients on this base station" checkbox is selected. If you deselect the "Allow wireless clients on this base station" checkbox, and later want to change the settings on the base station, you must connect to the base station's LAN port with an Ethernet cable. You will not be able to connect to the base station wirelessly.



    7.

    Click the Add (+) button to scan for base stations in range of your computer. Select the base stations you want to set up as remote base stations. Deselect the "Auto configure as a WDS remote base station" checkbox if you want to set up the remote base station manually. Click Rescan if a base station doesn't appear in the list.



    Click the Delete (-) button to remove base stations from the list.



    8.

    Click Update to send the new settings to the base stations in the WDS.



    As part of the automatic setup process, you can give each base station a name and password, and choose how the base stations receive IP addresses.




    If you want to add additional remote or relay base stations to the WDS after setting up the main and remote base stations, use AirPort Admin Utility again.

    Remote base stations need to be on the same channel as the main base station. Before setting up additional remote base stations, find the channel of the main base station in the AirPort pane of AirPort Admin Utility.

    If you are using access control, you need to enter the access control list on all base stations in the WDS.
     
  10. DanGuy48 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #10
    Extreme Frustration (con)

    Hi Darwin,

    Thanks for your reply. I've not meant to be tardy here but family health problems, work, blah, blah, you know how it can get. I had downloaded the instructions you have, and anything else I can find. The trouble starts immediately under #1, there is no Airport status menu that I can find. I assume that's because that must be created by Airport Setup, which won't run without an airport card.

    Under #2, when I launch Airport Admin utility, the base station doesn't show up there either, at least not when it's configured in a way that lets me get out onto my DSL connection, like now. If I change things so that I can finally see the base station, then I can't get out onto the DSL. It's almost like I have to treat it as an ethernet LAN to get out, which makes the base station invisible (maybe that's what I'm doing if the base station just allows me to passively transmit through to the DSL, but I assumed it must be working in some way since the lights on it flash during communication), and if I treat it as an Airport Base station, the computer doesn't know to talk to it by Ethernet, expecting a card I guess. Is that possible???

    By the way, I live in Frederick Maryland; do you or anyone reading this know anyone in this area that I might even pay to come out and fix this? I've not found anyone yet that I would feel confident in having a look at it, including as I mentioned, the Apple geeks; they were in fact useless, as was Applecare. Thanks.
     
  11. DanGuy48 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #11
    Extreme Frustration (con)

    Oh! One more thing. I downloaded something called Airport Management Utility (v 1.0). It DOES show my base station. However, under the status column, it's says OFFLINE in red. Meaning???

    .......sigh..........
     

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