Extending reach of Airport Express for AirPlay

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jmorabito1976, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. jmorabito1976 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2014
    #1
    Hello All,

    I am stumped and wanted to turn to the experts for help. Here is the portion of my setup at home that will concern my question:

    Cable company supplied modem/router
    Airport Extreme Time Capsule
    Airport Express (1st Gen)
    Home Audio system
    Various iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, etc.)

    I have my Airport Extreme connected to my modem/router. I have wireless shut off on the modem/router, and wireless On on the Airport Extreme.

    I have the Airport Express set up wirelessly about 30' from my Airport Extreme. I ONLY use the Airport Express to airplay music to. I then come out of the audio jack into my whole house audio amp.

    IF I get too far away from my Airport Express, the audio starts dropping out. I am still at full strength on my WiFi to my Airport Extreme. This leads me to believe that when I am using Airplay I am going wirelessly from my iOS device directly to the Airport Express and not going through my WiFi in my home to the Airport Express. Is there a way to set up the Airport Express so that I Airplay to it THROUGH my home WiFi rather than independent of it? I do NOT need to use the Airport Express to extend my wireless network. I only use it to Airplay music too.

    I really appreciate the help. I also have a friend with a LARGE house and a similar issue, so I can't wait to hear the solution.

    Thank you,

    Justin
     
  2. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    Aug 24, 2013
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    #2
    Hello,

    I might be wrong, but I don't believe your are "going wirelessly from my iOS device directly to the Airport Express and not going through my WiFi in my home to the Airport Express".

    For me :

    - your iOS device is connected wirelessly to the Extreme.

    - your Express is connected wirelessly to the Extreme
    (if it is set up to "join an existing network")

    Nothing goes directly from your iOS device to the Express.
    (this could only happen if the Express was set up as an access point ("create a wireless network"))

    If if am wrong, I will be happy to learn something new :)
     
  3. jmorabito1976 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 31, 2014
    #3
    Bruno,

    I would agree with you 100% BUT the issue is I have dead spots in my home including:

    Kitchen
    Back Yard
    Driveway
    Master Bath

    and in all of these spots I have excellent WiFi reception. The really interesting thing is that all of the mentioned locations are in a circle around the closet that the Airport Express is in. I don't doubt that the way I have the Airport Express setup it wouldn't get great range, but I have to have it close to the amp. If I move it away from the amp, then I have to get audio from its audio out port to the amp.

    I would love to know how to set up the Airport Express to be reached through my wireless network, OR I could even hard wire the Airport Express into my network if that would help. I tried that once with bad results I think but I wasn't sure of the correct configuration.

    Thanks,

    Justin
     
  4. Bruno09, Mar 31, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014

    Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #4
    If you have excellent wifi reception in these 4 dead spots, I see no reason for them to be "dead" for Airplay.

    Just to be sure : your Express is set up to "join your (Extreme's) wifi network", not "extend it" ?

    Sure you could hard wire the Express, I do use one Express this way and it works perfectly (I don't use its wifi, the Express is used as a DAC, connected to a pair of Audioengine A5+)
     
  5. jmorabito1976 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 31, 2014
    #5
    Yeah the dead spots definitely do NOT coincide with bad WiFi areas. All of the behavior points to my iDevices going directly to the Airport Express. Does Airplay use Bonjour or something? I am not too clear on Bonjour.

    I don't have the Airport Express set to extend my network. If I plugged it in wired, could I go through a switch, or would the Express have to be plugged right into the Extreme (TC)? What other settings would I have to set up on the Express to get it to work when hooked up wired?

    I was thinking that if I hooked the Express up wired, and turned off the wireless in it, that would mean it would have to be talking over hard wire, right?
     
  6. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #6
    You should not need an additional switch : plug the Express into the Extreme or into your router (both devices have a switch in them).

    Then set up the Express as follow : Internet / Internet Connexion tab : Connect using "Ethernet".

    Wifi setup : you can choose to turn the wifi off, OR to "create a network" if you need to improve your wifi coverage.
    (use the same SSID, same security and same password as the EXtreme, in order to create a "roaming" network).

    Yes you are right but you need to do : Internet / Internet Connexion tab : Connect using "Ethernet".
     
  7. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #7
    The Express can or cannot be wired into a switch. It really doesn't matter so long as it sits behind the Extreme. One thing to note however, is if it is a managed switch you are going to need to tag traffic. If the switch is unmanaged you are good to go.

    As for your network dead spots, any time you hardwire in another AirPort Base Station it can create a roaming network. This will offer better coverage. You could use wireless extensions but I prefer not to do so.
     
  8. jmorabito1976 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 31, 2014
    #8
    So just to clarify if I hard wire to the Express from the Extreme then I am ensured that I am using my wifi (through the Extreme) to contact the Express, right?

    What is I have Wireless Access Point wired to my Extreme as well? I have a vendor that just sent me one to test at my house and I wanted to try it out. I was going to hang it off of the Extreme and use that for my wireless in the house instead of the wireless radios built into the Extreme. Would that cause a problem?

    Thanks,

    Justin
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #9
    As long as the Extreme maintains its functions as the main router and the AP sits behind it, then it should be fine. What AP are we talking about here? The Extreme is a pretty good piece of hardware. To hardwire it, simply connect a Ethernet cable from one of the LAN ports on the Extreme or the switch behind the Extreme to WAN port (Little Sun Icon) on the Express. Then fire up AirPort Utility and disable the Wireless under the Wireless Tab. Set the Network Mode to "Off". Also, ensure that the Express is in Bridge Mode as well.
     
  10. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #10
    Yes if the Express wifi is disabled.

    But why don't you set it up to "create a wireless network" ?
    As said above, you could create a roaming network Extreme + Express : this would improve your wifi coverage, if needed.

    No problem at all, but this Access Point could be the Express itself.

    EDIT : ninja'd
     
  11. jmorabito1976 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 31, 2014
    #11
    The sole purpose of the Airport Express in my home is to stream music from my idevices to the Express, and out the audio port to my amp. If I can force my iDevices to find the Express for Airplay over my Wifi network, I have really solved the problem. From there if I choose to expand my wireless network coverage with commercial APs, then it should be seamless in getting the Airplay signal off of wifi, routing it back to the Extreme, and over hard wire up to my Express, right? :cool:

    Thanks everyone for the help.
     
  12. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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  13. jmorabito1976 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 31, 2014
    #13
    Can't wait to try it out. I will report back. Thank you all for the assistance.
     

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