Adding a third "hop" in a large house -> Airport Extreme / Express

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by spaceballl, May 27, 2009.

  1. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #1
    Hi All,

    I live in a fairly large house, and we have two airport devices. There is a time capsule on the second floor of one corner, and an airport extreme on the second floor of the other corner. The reason why they are in the corners is that the time capsule plugs into the cable modem / iMac directlly, and both of those are in one corner. As for the airport extreme, it also shares a wired connection with a tivo and a slingbox so it needs to stay where it is.

    I've had some slow connection issues, and I think the basic issue is distance / walls. If I turn off the Airport Extreme, I get a VERY weak signal in that corner of the house. Turning the Airport Extreme back on, I get a great WiFi signal, but the connection between the two base stations is pretty weak, so internet speeds can be mediocre at times.

    It occurred to me that there are two ways to fix the issue...

    1) Install a 3rd party antenna on my Time Capsule. Some hacking will be required, which I am fine with doing.

    2) Putting an Airport Express in between the two base stations.

    I'm curious to hear some opinions on the two options. Option 1 will keep me from installing new hardware in the house, but how well do the external antennas work? Option 2 will be an easy solution, but will it work well? How much latency is added? Curious to hear more feedback from those using a network of Airport base stations in a large home. Thanks!
     
  2. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #2
    Have you tried ethernet over power? You can get a pair of devices for about $100. One would plug into one of your routers with access to the internet and the other into your device. Of course if this is a laptop you're feeding it wouldn't be very ideal I guess.
     
  3. spaceballl thread starter macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #3
    Yeah I've tried those - not sure if the lines are too old in the house, but i really didn't get the best results... At this point, I'd prefer to just stick with keeping it completely wireless.
     
  4. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #4
    adding a second repeater in the middle, you could expect the signal at the far end to be 1/4 speed of connecting to the main base.
    With each jump you loose about 1/2 your speed, since 1/2 is going one way and 1/2 is going the other.

    If you're handy enough to mod and add an antenna, it's fairly easy (and not that expensive - should be <= the cost of an express) to run your own ethernet cables, if you can get access through the attic since you are on the second floor, either drop it down in a closet and run along the base boards, or with a little more handiness your can snake it down inside the wall, and add an ethernet wall jack right where you need it. (or go through basement if downstairs)
    the most expensive part of this is the tool to punch the wall jack, but you can fake it with a screw driver if you're only doing a couple.
    or you can crimp regular ends on the cable, but you will need the tool for that.
    Should be able to get everything at your local home store (Home depot or lowe's)
    lot's of how-tos online
     
  5. spaceballl thread starter macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #5
    Hmmm not sure if I follow this logic... do you have some more info about this? Or some test results I can look at?
     

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