iPhone 4 can't find Airport Express Airplay on reconnecting to network

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by sjdigital, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. sjdigital macrumors regular

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    #1
    I use an iPhone 4 to stream music from my iTunes Match account via Airplay to my speakers which are connected to my Airport Express. It works exceedingly well apart from one small problem. If I leave my apartment (taking my phone with me), upon returning my iPhone automatically reconnects to my home network but it cannot find the Airport Express unless I reboot the phone. The same happens with my iPhone 5s.

    Any ideas how to fix this?
     
  2. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

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    #2
    I don't have the same issue but rather than rebooting, slide up the Control Center - enable Airplane Mode - disable Airplane mode.

    As to what's causing it, verify all OS's (phones and Apple TV) are up to date and restart everything (including the router).
     
  3. sjdigital thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Many thanks for the suggestion to use Airplane mode to see if it would trigger the connection. I'll reboot everything tonight and see what happens tomorrow when I come home. But all devices are fully up to date.
     
  4. waw74 macrumors 68030

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  5. sjdigital thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Before leaving my apartment this morning I unplugged the Airport Express, then rebooted the router and then powered up the Airport express once more. I checked that both iPhones saw the Airplay Express and could access the Airplay Speakers. On returning to the apartment this evening neither phone could find the Airport Express nor access the speakers until I rebooted them.

    It's not a major issue, but it would be nice to get to the bottom of it.

    Any other ideas guys?
    P.S. Switching airplane mode on and off didn't work either.
     
  6. Curun macrumors 6502

    Curun

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    #6
    I used to have a linksys router with DDWRT, it would do this. I think it had buggy broadcast support.

    It locked up all the time anyway. Replaced it with an Airport Extreme.

    I have friends with a 2Wire and no issues finding Airplay devices.

    I think it's just buggy broadcast protocol in some routers. Linksys/Dlink/Netgear and the like are notorious for buggy hardware. And while DDWRT has some great features... it's a continuous work in progress and not entirely stable.
     
  7. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #7
    Are you running the 7.6.4 firmware? I believe it had some fixes for iOS device issues.

    Also, what is the primary router on the network? I am looking for model number and firmware version.
     
  8. sjdigital thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    As I said above, all devices are fully up to date so the Airport Express firmware is indeed 7.6.4. The router is a Trendnet TEW-731BR with firmware 1.00b27. It's a rented apartment and the router was here when I moved in so replacing it isn't an option.

    When I came home today, I tried rebooting the router but that made no difference so I had to reboot the iPhone.
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #9
    Can you do me a favor and try downgrading the firmware on the Express to 7.6.1 and giving that a shot.
     
  10. sjdigital thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    A first glance I haven't been able to find that version anywhere for download. Can you point me in the right direction?

    But I have a discovered another issue which may or may not be related. As well as using the Airport Express to provide Airplay speakers I also use it to provide a wired Ethernet connection for a PC running Windoz 7. This PC is used primarily as a media device for streaming live TV and when not in use it is set to go into sleep mode. But when it is woken up, it can't get internet access via the Airport Express unless I restart the Airport Express. I've tried connecting my old laptop (Win XP) to the Airport Express and the same happens - resume from hibernate and no internet access without restarting the Airport express.

    All very odd I have to say.
     
  11. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #11
    If using a Mac with AirPort Utility 6 or later simply reboot your Express and select it when it shows up. In the little pop-up window, hold OPT on the keyboard and select it. A submenu will appear where you can select 7.6.1.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag88G8Ve35A

    This guy shows how to do it in a video! There may be an option in the iOS version as well but I am not sure...
     
  12. sjdigital thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    I had tried to see if this possibility was available but with iOS under the 'Older Versions' option it only lists 7.6.4 and when I use the Airport Utility under Win 7 there are likewise no earlier versions on show. As it's a brand new device I suspect it came with this firmware and the option to roll back may only be available if it has itself been upgraded from earlier versions.

    For now I've swapped it on my network with another box that also provides a wired connection to a wireless network which I was using for my VOIP phone adapter. As the phone adapter is always on, the failure of the Airport Express to provide an internet connection when an attached device wakes isn't an issue and it still provides the Airplay function, albeit I have to reboot my iPhone whenever I return home! And my other box works fine with my media player PC and provides an internet connection immediately the PC wakes from sleep.

    But I'll post another query about the inability of the Airport Express to provide an internet connection to a attached computer when it wakes from sleep.

    Many thanks for your interest and suggestions.
     
  13. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #13
  14. sjdigital, Mar 8, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2014

    sjdigital thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Thanks, but I already tried the 'Upload Firmware' option but as I haven't upgraded it I don't have any previous firmware to revert to. I'd need to get hold of the earlier firmware first but I haven't been able to track it down.

    P.S. silly me, it's available on Apple's site. I'll download it now and see if it works better.
    P.P.S. Turns out the page I'd found didn't actually have a download link. Doh!
     
  15. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #15
    I am going to guess we are dealing with an AirPort Express 1st generation. Is there anyway you can get your hands on a Mac just to try this? How far out of warranty is it? Also, this Express is set to "Join" a network right? Have you tried changing the channels to a non-overlapping 2.4 GHz channel?

    Start with congestion... Do you live within 3 or more wireless networks in sight when you click the Wi-Fi icon on a recent computer? If so, what are the signal strengths? You want to choose the channel that has the highest Signal to Noise ratio.

    I would personally zap the base station with the paperclip in the reset while it starts up. Wait for it to blink rapidly and then release and configure with AirPort Utility.

    EDIT: If you can access your main router control panel, then there is a firmware upgrade available... Looks like it may help your AirPort.
     
  16. sjdigital thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    No, it's a brand new Airport Express bought last weekend in London Heathrow Airport so that's probably why it came with the latest firmware and no evidence of any earlier versions. I already did the paper clip reset, but to no avail. And I've just updated the firmware on the router as you suggested, but that too made no difference.

    By way of comparison, the other wireless connector I'm using is a rebadged AirTies Air 4400 which is given away for free by Sky TV in the UK to enable customers to connect their set top box to the internet if they don't have a convenient cable connection nearby. With a little bit of ingenuity it can be configured to work with any device and not just the Sky box. I had the Airport Express connected to my Win 7 computer while doing the router upgrade and it took ages for the network connection to finally show no internet access. I unplugged the Airport Express and plugged in the 'Sky box' (which was already powered up) and it made the connection in a matter of seconds.

    I will be back in the UK at Easter so I may well take it back to my local Apple Store and see what they say. But for sure it's not very impressive so far.

    Thanks again for your interest and suggestions.
     
  17. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #17
    This really is sounding like a hardware issue but my final suggestion is this. Set your main router to WPA2 Personal security. On some routers this setting is called WPA2 PSK (Pre-Shared Key). What I have found is that the AirPort does not renegotiate when the key changes. However, if using WPA 2 all is fine. Give that a shot.
     
  18. sjdigital thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    Thanks again. I reset the wireless security to WPA2 PSK as you suggested but it hasn't made any difference. Putting the computer to sleep and then waking it when connected to the Airport Express still results in a loss of internet access. But if I swap the Airport Express for the reconfigured 'Sky' box and then wake the computer it gets internet access almost immediately.

    So I think we must have just about exhausted all possibilities so I'll bring it into the Apple Store when I'm home at Easter.

    Many thanks again for your suggestions. Much appreciated.
     
  19. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #19
    No problem... I look forward to hearing how Apple deals with it. Once I am back at my roaming network I will see if it is possible to downgrade the firmware in the iOS utility. 7.6.4 is a pretty good and stable firmware, but 7.6.3 was atrocious. No issues with 7.6.1 yet on my controller Extreme so I will see.
     
  20. sjdigital thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    I was in touch with Apple support yesterday and their tech people are to call me back this evening so perhaps that will help to clarify whether it's a hardware problem or not. More news when I have it.
     
  21. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #21
    Since you made it sound like you had an iOS device around. Go ahead and use AirPort Utility. I clicked on an Express on my roaming network. I then tapped Edit -->Version --> Older Versions. Let it scan for a moment and "Older Versions" appeared. Try going to 7.6.1.
     
  22. sjdigital thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    I'll try again this evening to see if there are older versions of the Airport Express firmware available.

    I had a long chat with tech support yesterday evening about the lack of internet connection but it got me no further along. But the thrust of their position was that it was a Windows rather than an Apple problem so out of curiosity I connected my ancient laptop with Win XP and everything worked perfectly. Waken the laptop from sleep or hibernate and it instantly gets an internet connection from the Airport Express! So clearly the problem is a Win 7 one and I shall pursue that further.
     
  23. sjdigital thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
    No, I'm afraid that under 'Older Versions' it only lists 7.6.4

    I've fiddled around with Win 7 settings, reinstalled Bonjour, switched off Firewall, etc., but all to no avail. I think I'll give up! I have the network functionality I need, i.e. Airplay speakers, my Win 7 PC connected to my network via my Sky wireless connector box with a sufficiently fast connection that I can stream BBC TV (which it couldn't do with its own wireless connection) and my VOIP adapter connected via WiFi using the Airport Express and so able to be located in my living room rather than beside the front door which is where the router is.

    Thanks again for all your suggestions. Pity we couldn't resolve it, but for sure it seems to be a Win 7 problem.
     
  24. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #24
    I have a Windows 7 desktop attached to my AirPort Extreme. Granted not a fair comparison due to the different hardware but it doesn't crash. It is possible that the NIC on the laptop has some sort of issue with the hardware in the Express. I honestly don't believe it is a Windows 7 issue, but I will personally plug one Windows 7 laptop into an Express tomorrow running 7.6.4, the difference is that mine is plugged in over Ethernet to the central Extreme.
     
  25. sjdigital thread starter macrumors regular

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    #25
    Since the Windows 7 machine works perfectly with my 'Sky wireless connector' (the rebadged AirTies Air 4400) does this not suggest that the conflict between it and the Airport Express is more likely to be a Win 7 issue rather than a problem with the NIC? But it will be interesting to see if you have any problems although if your Airport Express is wired to your router it doesn't exactly replicate my situation.

    Thanks again.
     

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