Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Beverly Hills, Ca.
Apple Airport Express experience
On Friday the 16th, I installed my Airport Express units in the 4 rooms where I have A/V receivers and I'm very happy with the final results of this new Apple product.
I must state there was some tweaking with Wi/Fi signal routing out of the airport extreme base station, having to adjust the Multicasting Rate in the Wireless Options section of the Airport Admin Utility. Reason"?" is, depending on how far or close the base station is to your unit (Airport Express), or if linking multiple Airport Express unit from each express station sending signals (relaying) to the other, adjustments must be made due to distance. This info, that I present is not in the installation booklet, or trouble shooting pages so pay attention.
If the unit placement is too close to the relaying Express Station, the selected Airport Express to sound source (A/V receiver) playing your iTunes music will stall and no music will play. Turning down the Transmitting Power will do the the trick, also rising the Multicasting decreases the range and help keep the Wi/Fi streaming flow in target. "Close range being less then 25' tune power down to 25% or below".
Now if relaying stations are too far, obviously increasing Transmitting Power is the remedy but don't assume that raising the Multicasting will improve range or signal, because it doesn't. Lowering the Multicasting will gives to longer range and will prevent the "buffer effect" where the music is streaming to the furthest Airport Express station starts hiccuping constantly, making the music stream seem like it is turning on and off in a pulsing (timing) pattern. Keeping the Multicasting tuned down and increasing Transmitting Power works the best on the unit with the most distance. "Far range being more than 50' increase power to 50% or more depending on structures and distance beyond 50'. "
The added bonus to using this unit (Airport Express) to your existing Airport Extreme base Station Wi/Fi access point, is when linking them together wirelessly, it will result in widening the over all range of your Wi/Fi field. Positioned strategically through out the home you can reduce dead spots where you once had weak or no Wi/Fi signal to a strong signal (I did). Also if you have X-box or PS2 and engage in online gaming, just plug in the ethernet cable into the proper jack on the same Airport Express unit streaming to your receiver. Connecting it this way, you eliminate stringing the ethernet cable across the room to your wired router (I was very surprised with the lack of noticeable lag).
Be advised that the 2.4g cordless phones/ base stations and microwave ovens do cause interference, causing the same turning on and off "buffer effect" of music being played. It is not a new problem with Wi/Fi and Streaming Data flow, it is just that we can now hear what the effect of the microwave oven does when in operation (cooking) then stopping, or walking in front of the Wi/Fi stream with the 2.4g cordless phone it really causes an interruption of streaming music/data as I clearly demonstrated (Funny to actually see/hear it's effect after reading the many manufacturer's disclaimer concerning Wi/Fi on this issue).
After making the few adjustments, the Airport Express units worked flawlessly streaming music from iTunes to the appointed room with the Express unit to Receiver. It is simply a joy to use, having a lot of music on your hard drive and not having to huddle next to the computer to listen to music or draping RCA cables to the nearest powered speaker/receiver.
Before installing the Airport Express I would just shuttle my iTunes music library on the iPod to connect to the Entertainment room with the powerful Home Theater Receiver to blast my music hits connected by RCA cables, but the pain of being tethered by wires to navigate/DJ is a bit bothersome. Now if you have a Mac, Clie/ Palm with Bluetooth, Salling Clicker the cramping pain that I mention is relieved, as you are now free from cables/wires to DJ your music from your computer using your iTunes library and your Clie with Salling Clicker (Bluetooth application for Clie/Palm models to control most Apple's "i" Programs wirelessly). So now I'm using Bluetooth to Navigate and Wi/Fi to Stream music together to enjoy in the selected room of choice to listen and enjoy in comfort. I can't ask for it to be any better, except the ease of streaming video wireless to any big screen monitor soon next.
Last edited by vision : 07-18-2004 at 10:39 PM.