airport express range - 30ft????

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by cshehadi, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. cshehadi macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2007

    I've got an airport express downstairs next to my cable modem, and I use a Powerbook G4. When my powerbook is downstairs I can be 30ft away and the signal is strong. When I go upstairs, also 30ft away, the signal is weak. The staircase is open (no walls around it) and I'm in a room at the top of the stairs with an open door.

    I have three questions:

    1. Shouldn't the airport express be able to handle this range? The apple site says it's good for a range of 150ft.

    2. if I buy another airport express and put it upstairs, will this help? if the signal's already weak, then won't the second airport express have problems with it as well? It can't create a signal from nothing, can it?

    3. should I get rid of my airport express and get a new airport extreme? will that be able to go upstairs? I'd rather save myself that money if possible.

  2. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    Does your PowerBook connect well to other wireless points? More important, it your PowerBook a ti? The metal case did horrible things to wireless signals.
  3. cshehadi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2007
    it's hard to say if it connects well to other wireless points - it connects well at 30ft when I'm downstairs. I haven't used it anywhere else.

    As for it being a ti book - I don't know. I've had two metal-cased Powerbooks. the first one was less shiny - this one's shinier. Its CPU runs at 1.25Ghz. How do i tell if it's titanium or not?

    but from your answers - it sounds like it should work fine, upstairs at 30ft? Anyone else have experience with their signal working or not working when they go upstairs?
  4. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    It should absolutely connect at 30 feet! I asked about connecting to other wireless points because wireless signals can be flaky. Commercial buildings with metal stud walls and metal reinforced concrete can stop wireless signals cold. Also, the "g" frequency is the same as cordless phones and microwaves. Even fluorescent light ballasts can wreak havoc with the signal. Standard wood frame residential shouldn't be a problem, though.
    If yours is the 15" G4 PowerBook at 1.25 GHz then it has an aluminum case.
  5. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    Is the keyboard black or silver?
  6. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Maybe you could download and install iStumbler and see if any other wireless networks are using the same channel you have your Express set to?

    It should also show you a more detailed view of the signal quality, so as you walk upstairs, you can see exactly where it drops.
  7. cshehadi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2007
    it's silver - and backlit. The metal is shiny - I think it's aluminum

    Thanks for the tip to download iStumbler. There's a cordless phone in the (wooden frame) house and there is a network coming from a neighbor. (I just added WPA security!). I've made sure the channels are different. And I rewired my cable modem so the location of the airport is in a better spot.

    However - I'm now two feet from my airport express and the signal in iStumbler reads 67%. Is that normal? Surfing the internet seems fine. I'm just not sure if I'm supposed to be seeing a number near 100% when I'm this close to the Airport Express.

    I went upstairs and the signal drops to about 45% - 50% - but all of the signal bars in the Airport Menubar icon are "on" so I figure that's ok (?)

    My problem seems to be solved, unless these iStumbler signal percentages are lower than they should be.

    I'm curious what you all think.
  8. mikes63737 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2005
    You will never really get a 100% signal. A 60%-ish signal sounds like what you should get. A 40-50% signal is pretty good for being upstairs. We have a router downstairs that gets a signal of about 30% in my room (~35 feet) so it sounds like you're getting a good signal.

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