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AirPort Express Have I bought the wrong thing?

Discussion in 'Apple Products & Services' started by Bradders123, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. Bradders123

    Bradders123 Member

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    I've bought an AirPort Express plug in gadget.I mainly want to use the music from my or the kids iPhones to play music on the surround system wirelessly.The side bonus was that it states you can connect a printer.
    I've plugged it in but have not connected the internet box/connection as thats in the garage and not next to the surround system in the lounge.
    The unit is now flashing amber.Is it essential that the gadget is connected to the internet box in the garage?

    I maybe wrong but does this box create another wireless network in addition to the one that the BT box gives out? We already have all out laptops(4) xbox and playstation configured to be used on the BT box no problem. I only want a stereo output really.

    This looks like a time vampire unless you guys can tell me different? Heeeeelp.
  2. RobM

    RobM Well-Known Member

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    It has to be connected to your existing network in order to extend it. That can be by cable or WiFi - although it needs to be in range of your wireless network if you want that option.

    Run the Airport Utility (built into OSX, supplied with the Airport for Windows), which is the configuration utility for this. From there you can define how it works and interacts with your network.
  3. Matt_C

    Matt_C Active Member

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    As Rob says, yes it needs to be connected to the network for it to do anything. It doesn't need the "internet" but it does need a network connection - wired or wireless.

    What is it you have in the garage? A router I presume. Wireless? Guessing so, since most are and you mention iPhones.

    What you need to do is get the Airport Express (AEx) to link to the wireless signal from your router - once that's done it is on your network. You don't want it to broadcast a second wireless network, but instead become part of the one you already have. This will do two things; 1) widen/strengthen your wireless reception (ie, boost it) and 2) allow the AEx to use it's network functions for printers (from the USB) and music (from an iPhone/iPod/iPad)

    As Rob says, run the Airport Utility to identify the AEx and connect it to your wireless network. Once that's done you can connect a simple audio cable from the AEx to your AV amp (either analogue 3.5mm stereo jack to 2x phono/RCA or an optical cable, with a 3.5mm (miniTOS) on one end and a normal TOS on the other end). After that you can connect a printer to the USB port of the AEx and set it up as a network printer using the Airport Utility disc
  4. Bradders123

    Bradders123 Member

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    Thanks for the help guys. I think I've bought something thats out of my area of expertise.I went through the utility and the laptop lost its ability to get on the network and I spent quite a bit of time getting switched back on by copying settings off the kids laptop.
    It did recognise the plugged in module and it did warn me that I may 'temporarily lose connection' but it was permanently lost.
    It doesn't seem that straight forward to me for what its worth I may as well go back to the £5 piece of wire its probably more my level lol.

    Its painful because this was the first step to buying an iPad for the wife who wanted to print letters etc off.
    Dream over.....
  5. Matt_C

    Matt_C Active Member

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    It won't be impossible - it works for other people, so no reason it won't work for you. Have a read of the Airport Express threads in the forum, there will be some help in there. And check back here, no doubt someone will be able to give assistance (I can't talk you through it, I don't have one)
  6. Flashy

    Flashy Member

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    Don't give up just yet. You're not the only one who's not found setting up an AirPort Express troublesome, as both Azzin and I found. All I wanted to do was use mine to plug into my hi-fi so I could stream music from iTunes or my iPhone to it. I won't lie, it did take a while, but I got there in the end and it's an impressive piece of kit.

    Have a read through mine and Azzin's threads from February/March last year. They should at least make you feel a bit better about your situation. :)

    Also, they might give you a better idea about whether you've got the time and energy to get it up and running. I'm glad I stuck with it, and it's worth noting that there are countless people out there who have had no problems with set-up at all, so it might even be something very straightforward in your case. Also worth seeing whether there's any free tech support available from Apple direct. If you bought new, I think there is (90 days, maybe?).

    My thread: http://www.avforums.com/forums/appl...rt-express-set-up-help-knew-would-happen.html
    Azzin's: http://www.avforums.com/forums/appl...-express-wireless-n-god-give-me-strength.html
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  7. Bradders123

    Bradders123 Member

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    Thanks guys I'll put it down for now and give it another try later in the week after boning up on your threads. I'll keep you updated with progress.
    Am I correct in saying that this unit if its connected to the BT wireless box becomes the new wireless network transmitter and receiver for all the laptops? and connects to the wireless router via the cat 5 connection?
    OR
    It can be configured to be connected to directly via the laptop or iPhones/ iPods?
  8. Flashy

    Flashy Member

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    I don't know about it working with a printer, but with regard to playing music from iTunes/iPhones, I don't think you want it to serve as a wireless access point or to extend your existing wireless network, but just for it to join your existing network. From there, and with home sharing enabled in iTunes, it should be pretty straightforward to get it working with iDevices and your amp.

    Working from memory there, but I'll try to have a proper look next time I've got the PC on. The good thing is, once you've got it working it should stay working, and I've had no need to open the AirPort Utility for many months.

    Again, from memory, but I seem to recall having some trouble when trying to set up wirelessly, with the same loss of network that you mentioned. That was got around by plugging in a network cable for a wired connection and configuring it non-wirelessly to work wirelessly, as strange as that may sound.
  9. clockworks

    clockworks Member

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    You need to set the AE up to join your existing wireless network. IIRC, you do this by temporarily connecting it to your wired network (into your router or switch) with an ethernet cable, and running the Airport utility.

    Once it's configured, you unplug the wire, and move it to a mains socket close to your AV system. Connect the audio output to your stereo, and the ethernet cable to your printer.

    On a Mac, this configuration is painless. Never tried it with Windows.
  10. mikelj

    mikelj Member

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    For what it's worth, there no need to connect the AE via ethernet to perform the initial setup, a Mac can connect to it directly via wifi (like a peer to peer connection, I guess) using the Airport utility. I guess you can also do this on Windows via the Airport utility too.
  11. clockworks

    clockworks Member

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    I'm pretty sure that didn't work for me - maybe because the iMac I was using wasn't running wireless (the router was, though)? Or was it because the AE firmware needed updating?
    I really can't remember why, but connecting the AE to my router by ethernet made the whole updating and configuration thing very easy.
  12. mikelj

    mikelj Member

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    Yes sorry, wifi would have to be enabled on your iMac to do this (I have a MBP only, so as you would expect, I always have wifi enabled).
  13. Matt_C

    Matt_C Active Member

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    You shouldn't need to have wifi enabled on the Mac. So long as the Mac is connected to the network, either wifi or cable, then it's on the network. And with the AEx on the network - connected by cable - they are both on the same network.
  14. bpsmith

    bpsmith Member

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    I think he's referring to initial set up where it won't be on the network. Once the AE is set up though, only then it doesn't matter how you connect to the Airport Utility.
  15. clockworks

    clockworks Member

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    Yes, just for the initial setup. Once it was updated and set to bridge mode, it worked perfectly with my wired iMac, and the iPad remote app was also easy to set up.

    What did surprise me was the ease of getting the AEs to work with my new Windows server. Install iTunes, enable library sharing, and the AEs appeared on the menu bar and just worked. I can now play content from both computers, controlling everything from my iPad.

    I've even got the ethernet port on one of them connected to a Samsung Smart TV, in a room with no wired connection, and I can play video from the server on the TV - excellent!
  16. Matt_C

    Matt_C Active Member

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    Ah I see. I presumed since the talk was of cabling the AEx to the router directly for set up, that wifi wouldn't be needed, since both the Mac and AEx would be connected to the network for the set up.

    I didn't know you could pass a network connection FROM the AEx to a device using the ethernet socket on the AEx - I thought it was just the other way round (ie, connect an ethernet cable to send a network signal TO the AEx). Thats pretty clever!
  17. clockworks

    clockworks Member

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    To clarify:

    My AEs were wired to the router for initial setup. They are now wireless to the router. The iMac is wired, as is my HP microserver. iTunes/Airplay is working flawlessly on the server.

    The AE is marketed as being a print server, so I figured it might also be possible to use it as an ethernet access point (wireless bridge). It works fine, streaming DVD rips to the TV.
  18. Matt_C

    Matt_C Active Member

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    Did you have to do anything to get it to be an Ethernet access point or did it just do it?
  19. clockworks

    clockworks Member

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    I set it up in bridge mode for Airplay, and the ethernet port just worked with no other changes.

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