Troubleshooting an Airport base station's WAN port?

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Troubleshooting an Airport base station's WAN port?

Postby BrevCampagnolo » Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:39 pm

So I've got this Apple Airport Extreme base station that proved troublesome elsewhere. It does not appear to be communicating with my DSL modem, despite being configured identically to my LinkSys WiFi router, which works fine. The status light continues to flash orange and the link light on the WAN port remains dark. And I'm certain it's configured correctly because I always do that sort of thing by cutting and pasting from an archived text file (been bit by that snake too many times, especially the configuration entries with no 'echo').

So the RJ45 is confirmed good when I plug it back into the LinkSys. Ditto for the modem. Which makes two negative proofs that it's the base station's WAN port that's at fault. Is there anything else I can do, particularly something more in the nature of a positive proof? I dunno, I'm a networking imbecile, so I always have to ask.
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Re: Troubleshooting an Airport base station's WAN port?

Postby Karlsweldt » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:18 pm

Just that one device having problems, or other devices have problems too? Check that LAN cable to ensure it is a "straight" through cable, between routers and devices. A "crossover" cable is normally used between two stand-alone units, or the primary port of a router and another. Holding the RJ45 plugs side by side, wire colors should be identical with a "straight" cable. With a "crossover" cable, four wire colors are different. Common error. Me too.
Another cause may be the firewall does not fully trust that connection.
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Re: Troubleshooting an Airport base station's WAN port?

Postby BrevCampagnolo » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:25 pm

I can't remember the last time I saw a crossover cable. All I'm doing is unplugging the cable from my WiFi router and plugging it into the Airport. Since the cable works fine on my LinkSys, stands to reason it's not the cause of the Airport's problems.
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Re: Troubleshooting an Airport base station's WAN port?

Postby Karlsweldt » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:54 pm

Is the device "seen" on your network setup? Use a working system, go into command prompt mode (start > run > type cmd) and then type in ipconfig/all and any active networking paths will be displayed. When done with the prompt window, just type exit to close. If the unit is "seen", you are half-way to success. Could be a problem with the MAC address. Ideally, all systems in a private or home network should start the IPA with the same group ID.. 123.456.789.xxx.
Are all network protocols and services active on that Airport? No duplicates?
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Re: Troubleshooting an Airport base station's WAN port?

Postby evasive » Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:53 am

BrevCampagnolo wrote:I can't remember the last time I saw a crossover cable. All I'm doing is unplugging the cable from my WiFi router and plugging it into the Airport. Since the cable works fine on my LinkSys, stands to reason it's not the cause of the Airport's problems.


Most devices are auto-revert these days but there is always the possibility these two are not which would mean you need to use an actual cross-over cable. How about plugging your airport into your wifi router (yeah, just for sh*ts and giggles to see if there's ANY signal at the airport LAN port).

If all else fails, factory reset the bl**dy thing:
http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT3728
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Re: Troubleshooting an Airport base station's WAN port?

Postby BrevCampagnolo » Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:11 am

I made some progress but the overarching problem is unsolvable.

The chief problem was that there's a "Status" indicator in the Airport utility's interface that indicates there's something the software doesn't like. Not necessarily something that's wrong, just something it thinks looks suspicious. Like when I switched off all WiFi security on my router so I could get the Airport device to connect so I could read its hostname from the router's control interface. The problem was that whenever there's a status message in the Airport utility that the user hasn't dismissed, the device clams up. I'd not been getting a link light of any sort on the WAN port until I told it to 'Ignore' those conditions, then the link light went steady green. When I configured the device in "Extended" mode (Apple's equivalent to wireless repeater), it also reported that condition as an abnormality and shut down all throughput until I told it to ignore the condition (which I found absurd).

But that still didn't cure my problem. It turns out (I am told by the Apple faithful), these devices have a history of being persnickety about which gateway devices they will play well with. PPoE gateways (which is what I have) are a particular problem. So even though I had a solid green link light, it wasn't passing any traffic through the WAN port. The individual who owns the Airport is on cable modem with a MAC address log-on and I was not able to get the Apple device to show any evidence of communicating through its WAN port with it either. However, I could connect it to my (LinkSys) router, lan port to lan port, with the Apple device in "Bridge" mode.

When I noticed the configuration utility offered an "Extended" (repeater) wireless mode, I thought that might be just the ticket, but according to the Apple faithful, the only way to make that work with other non-Apple wireless devices would be with WEP security. And that was a non-starter.

All of which served to remind me why I tend to give all Apple products a wide berth.
-- Campy

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Re: Troubleshooting an Airport base station's WAN port?

Postby Karlsweldt » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:48 pm

Don't know if these links will help, in a search for "status indicator problems"..
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/22 ... 0&tstart=0
Re possible firmware update..
http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1708
Any possibility there is another similar setup nearby that is causing interference? Has been years since I worked with a Mac.
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Re: Troubleshooting an Airport base station's WAN port?

Postby evasive » Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:35 am

Karl may be onto something there. I have encountered 2 of these in my entire career so far. With one of them it didn't want to play nice either, I updated the thing and it went nicely. What you could try is do a manual setup so not use DHCP for the WAN link. It should allow you to do so.
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