An observation about AirPlay dropouts using AirPort Express

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by kimjohnsson, Aug 16, 2016.

  1. kimjohnsson macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    #1
    Hi guys!

    For years, I've used an Airport Express in my kitchen solely for AirPlay purposes. The AP Express is set up to join my main wireless network. With this configuration, each time I flick the light switch or turn an electrical appliance on or off in the kitchen, or close to it, the music pauses for a couple of seconds. And that is literally every time.

    A couple of days ago I reconfigured the AirPort to extend my wireless network, and with that, all dropouts just disappeared. Not once has there been a dropout after this change. Totally worth the reconfiguration.

    I just thought I'd mention this if someone else has the same problem.

    Cheers,

    Kim
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #2
    Keep in mind that this will cause performance deficits in your network. Clients will now join the Express that is extending the network, which is going to halve their bandwidth. I recommend that you try doing a complete reset of the Express (unplug from power, press and hold reset, plug in and continue to hold reset until light blinks rapidly), and reconfiguring it to "Join a Network" mode. I have had similar issues like that fixed by simply doing a reset.
     
  3. LC Phil macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2016
    Location:
    Vienna
    #3
    Hi Kim,

    Oh. My. God. I had that issue with an Apple TV 3rd Gen when streaming music from an iPad/iPhone. It happened 2 out of 5 times when turning on the lights for the room (different circuit). Want to hear the even weirder part? The ATV was wired into a switch that then was wired into the TC on the floor above. The network cabling ran about 10cm away from the electrical cabling so it probably (?) wasn't that, but based on what you've reported it was probably something with the wireless!
    We had great signal strength, but we had to use the 5Ghz band as 2.4 was completely saturated (apartment building).

    I'm glad to hear you fixed your issue though. I only noticed ours a week before we were relocating overseas. But it was just bizarre!!!!

    Glad to see I'm not going crazy.

    Cheers,

    Phil
     
  4. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #4
    Wireless is a tricky thing to deal with, because channels that were great one moment are completely saturated the next. You are not crazy at all!
     
  5. LC Phil macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2016
    Location:
    Vienna
    #5
    Hi Altemose,

    I know! It's just bizarre that the 5Ghz band had a 'burst?' that was powerful enough to disrupt the wireless signal (didn't drop the connection though) when turning on the lights.

    They were electric light switches rather than typical push button/mechanical, so there might be something in that. Ah well!

    Cheers,

    Phil
     
  6. kimjohnsson thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    #6
    Oh...ok, I wasn't aware of extending a network has a performance cost like that. Bummer.

    During the years, I've reset the Express several times, but it has always worked the same way. Just the other day, however, I reconfigured it to "join" the network, as it started misbehaving quite badly again.

    Cheers,

    Kim
     
  7. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #7
    Putting an AirPort in "Extend a Network" mode essentially makes it a wireless AP, however it must use half of the bandwidth to connect to the main AirPort. If it works well in your scenario, then there is few reasons not to run it in that configuration, but you do potentially limit the speeds of any client connected to the Express.
     
  8. kimjohnsson thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    #8
    Of course, that makes perfect sense. Actually, I have a "spare" network that nothing else connects to, so I guess there's no real harm done.

    Cheers,

    Kim
     
  9. Darf Nader macrumors newbie

    Darf Nader

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    #9
    I have never gotten AirPlay to work properly over 5 Ghz EVER.

    You can see the details in my follow up to this post.
     

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