Airport Express not being found by AirPort Utility on Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Juliat72, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. Juliat72 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    #1
    I have recently bought an Airport Express to play music via iTunes from my Mac.

    I have the Mac wifi open and it picks up great from the router (the Mac is also wired to the router as well) - the Airport Express is plugged into my stereo aux in the next room. I just want to be able to play music from the iTunes account on the Mac through the speakers on the stereo.

    When I first plugged it all in it found it and played fine, however now it doesn't and the light on the AEx is flashing orange.

    Was it fluke it worked before?
    Do I need to actually plug it into the Mac to set something up properly first?

    I can't have the AEx wired into the router due to location.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #2
    Assuming you've already done a power cycle on the AEX - Your best bet is to connect it via Ethernet to the network at least for the sake of troubleshooting to get it up and running again. Or do a factory restoral to start from scratch, that will clear any user settings and force it to be seen in the Airport Utility again via WIFI.
     
  3. Juliat72 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 7, 2014
    #3
    So, should it work on wifi without having to actually set anything up?

    Or have we missed something by not 'plugging' it in to the router or Mac first time round?
     
  4. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #4
    It will be seen the first time for configuring over wifi without setting anything up, but to actually be used on the network it needs to be configured for the local network. Brand new, out of the box, an AEX will show up via wifi in the Airport Utility for selecting and configuring for the first time. This requires the host computer to have wifi active so the utility can detect the AEX.

    No you've not missed anything by not connecting it by cable to the network first. However, once it's been configured to connect to the local network via wifi, an Ethernet (cabled) connection is a good troubleshooting technique if the AEX has become inaccessible over wifi.
     
  5. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #5
    In order to configure and airport, there has to be a network connection between your computer and the airport. either wireless or wired.

    Airport utility is setup to recognize the wifi network that airports broadcast as their defaults.
    If you try to configure the airport, your computer will drop any wifi connections and connect to the default network being broadcast by the airport.

    if the wifi on your computer is off, it can't do that.

    if you set up the airport over wireless, and wind up configuring the airport incorrectly, once it reboots, you won't be able to see the airport at all.

    as has been said your best bet is to have a wired connection to the airport. since this only requires a cable, there is less configuration to get wrong.

    you can plug the express into your router, and even if your computer is wireless you are still good, since express has a wired connection to the network.
     
  6. Juliat72 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    #6
    Sorry I must be thick or something as I can't find online anything that states how to set this up correctly...

    I can't plug it in long term to the router as it is in a different room (the mac is plugged into the router and has wifi turned on)

    How do I reset it so that it 'forgets' anything from last time it worked?

    Then, assuming it is like the first time we've done anything - how do we set this up so that we can use it with iTunes to stream to the stereo speakers via the AEx WIRELESSLY using wifi?

    Thanks
     
  7. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #7
    This Apple article explains how to reset your Airport Express: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3728

    You'll probably want to do a "Factory default reset." You have either Airport Express 1st-gen or 2nd-gen (more likely). Look at the pictures to find the reset button location and follow the instructions under "How do I reset my AirPort base station?"


    You said it worked at first, and now it doesn't. My guess is that the WiFi signal at the new Airport Express's location is weak -- on the borderline of useability. Signal strength/reception varies due to a lot of circumstances, and my guess is that it was strong enough at first but then the Express "dropped" the signal and has been unable to re-aquire it.

    If so, after a reset it might work again (or maybe not); it might work for a week and then stop working. If I'm right you want either get a better signal to it or connect it with an Ethernet cable (best for performance and reliability but understandably not acceptable in some cases).

    Can you move the router and new Express closer to each other, even though they are in separate rooms? Or move them so that the signal can travel through less wall/furniture mass? That *may* help. Also, you can use an application to see which channels are most congested and most clear in your particular location and change your network to the less congested channel. I use "WiFi Explorer.app" which I believe is free in the Mac App store.
     
  8. Juliat72 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 7, 2014
  9. Juliat72 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    #9
    OK it was all configured and worked fine again - then Mac was rebooted and it doesn't see it now on the Airport Utility

    I have moved the AEx so that it is actually in the same room as the wireless router and the Mac and that hasn't made it see it either.

    The wireless signal strength from the router is very good, so I can't see that being the issue at all.

    All I can assume is that I did something wrong on the configuration again - can anyone give me an idiots step by step guide to setting this up to purely play iTunes from the Mac to the speakers the AEx is plugged in to?
     
  10. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #10
    Thanks for moving the AEx into the wireless router room to try to eliminate that possible cause.

    I guess after the reboot the AEx is flashing orange again?

    It seems *very* strange to me that it stopped working when the Mac was rebooted! I can't think of anything that could cause that, though something obviously is. The AEx isn't "connected" or "talking to" the Mac -- it's connected to your wireless router. Maybe something about rebooting the Mac causes your router to do something...

    I'd bet you configured the AEx correctly (though I'll try to give instructions below). Instead, it's my guess that it's something about your wireless router or its configuration. You haven't said what brand/model you've got, so I'm guessing it's not an Apple device. Still, that should be OK, but it might have behavior/configuration options I'm not familiar with.

    What brand/model of wireless router are you using?

    I've got an AEx set up the way you are trying to do it and the only issues I ever had were related to signal strength (I believe), so I'm sure it can be done. However I'm using a Time Capsule as my base router. My AEx is configured this way:

    I'm using Airport Utility 6.3.1 (the latest) running on Mountain Lion (but should be the same for Mavericks, if that's what you're running).

    Select the AEx and click Edit.

    Base Station tab: give it a name and password if desired

    Internet tab: Connect Using: DHCP. You shouldn't have to set anything else on this tab. I'm assuming your wireless router is acting as a DHCP server -- that's the typical situation. I think after you update the AEx, the IPv4 Address, Subnet Mask, and Router Address should all be filled in for you.
    (Or, are you trying to use static IP addresses?) You don't need anything on the Internet Options button.

    Wireless tab: Network Mode: Join a wireless network; Wireless Network Name: pick your wireless router's network name; Security to match.

    AirPlay tab: Enable AirPlay, of course. Give it a speaker name if desired. I don't use an AirPlay Speaker Password.

    Click the Update button and that should do it. Pay close attention to see that it really stops working after the Mac reboot. Also, if it does stop working again, try simply unplugging and re-plugging the AEx power cord, if you haven't already tried that.

    Very strange problem -- I hope we can get it working for you because AirPlay is fantastic, in my opinion!

    -----------------

    I've one last idea. Assuming you get it working and then it stops working again: Use Airport Utility to edit the AEx device, go to the Internet tab and click the button labelled "Renew DHCP Lease". What I'm thinking is that the AEx is losing its IP address (which it normally gets from the router) and that by asking for new one it might start working again. (Not that that is a good solution, but such knowledge would help in troubleshooting.) This is just guess though -- I'm certainly not a networking expert!

    Good Luck!
     
  11. Juliat72 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    #11
    Clearly I am doing something wrong initially setting this up as it isn't visible at all on the Airport Utility, even though we did use it the other day once it was reset.

    So, if I hard reset the AEx and pretend this is the very first time - what are the actual steps I need to follow to set it up properly to the router?

    Thanks
     
  12. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #12
    Two questions for you! The first is you are using a Mac with Lion or later right? Try reverting the AirPort Express to 7.6.1. To do this hold Option and click on the version in AirPort Utility. Next, whenever you reset a base station for the sole purpose of AirPlay, ensure it is configured to "Join" the network and NOT wirelessly extend.

    Since the Ethernet line goes back to the main AirPort base station you can turn Wi-Fi off on the Mac.
     
  13. NewMiller macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Location:
    High Peak, UK
    #13
    AE not showing up on network

    I too have a problem in getting my AE 802.11g to link up with my network and would greatly appreciate some help. I use AE express to play music from my Mac through to a Bose system. I have a Belkin 54g router and MacBook Pro. My problems started after I downloaded OS X Yosemite. I'd previously downloaded the older version of Airport Utility 5.6.1 (Cory Mahler fix) for the AE 802.11g (v6 was incompatible with AE 802.11g) and this fixed my problem and it worked fine with Lion and Mavericks. After downloading Yosemite, the system worked for a few hours and then collapsed. I've reset the router and AE several times. I linked the router to AE via ethernet cable. When I try to get AE to join my network, using the Airport Utility Launcher, the AE icon shows up, says the settings have been updated but then hangs (little wheel whizzes round) and disappears. I've been at it for two days now and think perhaps that AE 802.11g is not compatible with Yosemite. I'd be grateful for any suggestions.
     
  14. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #14
    I think cabling the router to the AE was a good thing to try. However, connected that way there is no need for the AExpress to "join a wireless network," and it may be that the attempt to do so is part of the problem. I would turn off (at least temporarily) the AExpress' wireless mode, if you can get into it to configure it. Even with its wireless mode off, it should still appear on your local network if it is connected to the router via Ethernet cable.

    If you can't connect to it to configure it, you might try resetting it to factory defaults ("hard reset"). I'm not sure how to do this on an older Airport Express 802.11g unit, but there must be a way and it should be easy to find with an internet search...

    I don't know why Yosemite would have broken your setup, though.

    (Also, I would suggest it would have been better to post a new question, rather than tack onto an older one. But, no big deal.)
     
  15. NewMiller macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Location:
    High Peak, UK
    #15
    Problem seems to be solved

    I had another go at trying to get AE linked into to my wireless network. I connected AE again via an ethernet cable to my Belkin router. I tried several times to get it to show up on the Airport Utility Launcher to no avail. I moved the AE right next to the router and started again. I think I'd made an error previously by asking AE to join the network which I'd renamed (I assume you could name it what you wanted to). I suspect it didn't recognise this. I reverted back to the original wireless name and with a bit of hesitation it spluttered back into life. So, you were correct when you said Yosemite didn't have a problem with AE 802.11g using Launcher v5.6.1; although my problems started after I downloaded Yosemite. Anyway, thanks Brian33.
     
  16. Sherwen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    #16
    Cant find wireless network

    Hi guys ,

    I have a Airport express 802.11g , i am using a older airport utility because the 6.0 plus cannot work on it. once i downloaded the airport utility 5.6.1 i can now find my airport express.

    I am trying to make it join a wireless network but it cannot find any networks. which is weird because my phone and iPad is connect to my network fine.. Is this a common problem? anyone have any ideas??
    help please

    Sherwen
     
  17. NewMiller macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Location:
    High Peak, UK
    #17
    Can't find wireless network

    Hiya Sherwen,

    I've had lots of problems using AE 802.11g. At the moment I've got the system going and it seems to be stable. Have you tried resetting the AE back to factory settings with the end of a paper clip for 30 secs? Do this at the same time as plugging your AE unit into the nearest power socket to your router with an ethernet cable and see if your network picks up your AE. If it picks it up, go to your Applications folder and double click the Airport Utility Launcher 5.6.1app. Choose your AE and click the manual tab and check the settings. Make sure your security settings are the same as your router's and the 'wireless network name' is the same, as well as the channel you're using and the password. If they don't match it won't work. Good luck!
     
  18. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #18
    Is your main router set to wireless N only mode? I would perform a full reset as these were very finicky devices to get set up.
     

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