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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

How to get better wireless range on Mac Pro


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LondonMike

 
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I have been using a Belkin N wireless modem/router which sits in my living room and talks quite effectively to my old G4 power pc with it's airport card which is located in my garage at the bottom of my garden (about 50ft away and through a couple of walls.

I also have a Mac Pro which sits about 3 feet from the G4 but which cannot 'see' the router.

Apple in their wisdom decided to give the Mac Pro a nice metal case which I suppose must be the culprit in reducing the range. It works fine if I bring it into the house but it is a pain to have to do this when I want to update software etc.

Does anyone know a solution that doesn't require me to have to have a phone line put into the garage?

I don't really want to fork out for an airport base station or any bit of kit if I am still going to be out of range.

Many thanks.
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Collin Bl

 
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With 2 of the round Flying saucer shaped Extremes and a Dr Bott aerial i got a usable connection in a studio separated from the house by 112ft/32 mtrs but when i changed to the 802.11n Extreme -Single antenna - it did the deed on its own easily. This was sort of thru windows as it seemed to line up. If your walls are brick/concrete that will shorten things a bit.
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rzj90059

 
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One thing you can do is "Internet Sharing". Go to "Sharing Preferences" on your PPC and click on "Internet Sharing". Next run an ethernet cord from PPC to Mac Pro, and voila, you got internet.

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LondonMike

 
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I tried the internet sharing option but it doesn't work.
I knew it sounded too easy to be true. Any ideas?

Perhaps I'll have to go the 'Extreme' route.

thanks
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LondonMike

 
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further to my previous post
looking at 'network diagnostics' on the mac pro, i have..
Green Light--Built-In Ethernet
Green Light--Network Settings
Green Light--ISP
Red Light--Internet
Red Light--Server

I get the message -"this computer appears to have a working internet connection, but cannot find"(whatever address I enter)". You may have typed the address incorrectly"

Makes no sense to me!

aargh!
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rzj90059

 
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LOL, I know it can be frustrating at times but make sure you are sharing your Airport connection through your ethernet.

Check out my Blog Post, although most likely you did it right.
http://techyguy.info/?p=10

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LondonMike

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rzj90059 View Post
LOL, I know it can be frustrating at times but make sure you are sharing your Airport connection through your ethernet.

Check out my Blog Post, although most likely you did it right.
How to Share Your Internet Connection on a Mac | R.Zambrano
I had a look at your blog post (very nice) and followed the directions. I have however omitted to say that I am on 10.4.11 on both machines, could that make a difference? It looks like your screen shots are probably 10.5.x.

Also at one point I did actually get green lights all the way down and STILL it wouldn't load a page. Huh?!!
I'll just keep fiddling as I am now getting obsessed!
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LondonMike View Post
Apple in their wisdom decided to give the Mac Pro a nice metal case which I suppose must be the culprit in reducing the range. It works fine if I bring it into the house but it is a pain to have to do this when I want to update software etc.
Actually Apple solved the "metal case" problem long ago with the G5 desktops. The Mac Pro desktops Airport works just fine.

Instead of moving your computer into the house...what about moving your wireless router closer to the garage?

By the way...is your garage attached to your home, or a separate building? And if it's a separate building...how far is your garage from your wireless router?

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rzj90059

 
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@LondonMike
Thanks for the compliment. As far as any other option goes, that is my only "free" solution. Other than that, I can suggest buying an airport and placing within your Belkin's range and using it to only further extend your network. Although that requires you to buy it.

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LondonMike

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
Actually Apple solved the "metal case" problem long ago with the G5 desktops. The Mac Pro desktops Airport works just fine.

Instead of moving your computer into the house...what about moving your wireless router closer to the garage?

By the way...is your garage attached to your home, or a separate building? And if it's a separate building...how far is your garage from your wireless router?

- Nick
My router sits in my living room so the signal has to travel first into the kitchen then out the patio doors, down about 40-50 ft of garden then through into the garage.
As I said, my old G4 PPC with an ordinary airport card has no trouble at all but the Mac Pro (desktop) xeon Quad core with an 'extreme' card fails.

To move the router into the the kitchen would mean trailing leads from room to room or drilling a hole through the wall as my phone line only comes in to the living room.

Perhaps rzj90059's solution of placing an airport in the kitchen is the simplest solution. Would it have to be connected to my belkin with an ethernet cable (same issue)or could it be wirelessly done?

However, I am still frustrated that the Mac Pro is a step back in connectivity and that I still can't get the 'sharing' thing to work!

Thanks to you both for your help anyway.
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dtravis7

 
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The Connection Sharing really should work. I have done it here on every Mac in the house from old to new. There has to be something wrong somewhere but in reading what you posted, I can't see what is going on.

Also the very fact you have to take the Mac Pro right next to the router to even get a signal shows something is wrong. It might be the AE Card. Did you buy it new or used or did it come installed in the mac Pro? I thought I read you put it in yourself but I can't find it. Tired I guess.

I am sure you have it in right as it would not even show up if it was not installed correctly and the Antenna is one cable.

Can you outline the exact steps you are taking setting up Internet Connection Sharing? I know you have Tiger 10.4 on both systems but I know tiger very well and have it installed on my older G4 with standard Airport card. I would love to help you if I can.

If that Powermac G4 can surf the net without an issue out there, you should be able to share the connection to the Mac Pro.
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LondonMike

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
The Connection Sharing really should work. I have done it here on every Mac in the house from old to new. There has to be something wrong somewhere but in reading what you posted, I can't see what is going on.

Also the very fact you have to take the Mac Pro right next to the router to even get a signal shows something is wrong. It might be the AE Card. Did you buy it new or used or did it come installed in the mac Pro? I thought I read you put it in yourself but I can't find it. Tired I guess.

I am sure you have it in right as it would not even show up if it was not installed correctly and the Antenna is one cable.

Can you outline the exact steps you are taking setting up Internet Connection Sharing? I know you have Tiger 10.4 on both systems but I know tiger very well and have it installed on my older G4 with standard Airport card. I would love to help you if I can.

If that Powermac G4 can surf the net without an issue out there, you should be able to share the connection to the Mac Pro.
Hi
Well,the AE card came pre-installed and works fine in the adjacent room to the router so it's really just a question of range, it can't make it to the end of the garden.

As for sharing, perhaps it is easier if you gave me a step by step procedure as I've done so many different permutations that I've lost track.
However I will go through it now as I write.

In the G4 which is connected as I type I go to
system prefs> sharing>internet. Hit the 'start' button to share my connection from 'airport' and tick' built in ethernet'
At this point I get a warning message "If your computer is connected to a network, turning on Internet sharing may affect the network settings of other computers and disrupt the network. Contact your system administrator before turning on Internet sharing."

Maybe this is where the problem lies? ( BTW I am using Mac Address Filtering on my router as opposed to a password- it works just fine for all other computers that want internet access wirelessly but could this be a potential problem for the ethernet connection? I have already entered the mac address of my mac pro's ethernet just in case)

Next I launch Safari on the Pro (connected with a cable)
The page doesn't load and I hit 'network diagnostics'.

As in my earlier post I get green lights for
Built In Ethernet
Network Settings
ISP
then red lights for
Internet
Server.

Next it asks me to select location
I use 'Automatic' > continue

Choose network port configuration
I use 'Built - In Ethernet > cont..
then it asks "do you use a dsl or cable modem"
If I say yes it asks me to restart the device. I did that the other day..no result.
If I say no it asks for me to restart any other device......

Anyway as I said I've tried every permutaion I can think of and figure that the problem lies either with the router or the ISP...

My head is done in.... sorry for the long winded post.
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LondonMike

 
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Oh sorry but I forgot to add the bit where I create network from my MP by clicking the greyed out airport icon and put in the name I set on the G4 ie. myg4.local
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LondonMike

 
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No response for a few days.
I guess that means I have foxed the great and the good of the Mac techie world.
Ah well....I'll just have to struggle on on me own.
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dtravis7

 
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Opps, sorry. Forgot all about this thread as I got busy.

That MAC Filtering in the router maybe causing your issue. Since your Mac Pro is going through essentially another router (That is what is happening in the Macbook), the MAC Filtering might be an issue. Try it!

It sounds like you have the Internet Sharing set up correctly.

BTW, that message when you click Start is normal and just warning it could affect other systems on the network but it's never done that here as it's a totally different IP address than any Router I use.
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