Airport Express interference from cordless phone

Discussion in 'Apple' started by magdalena, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. magdalena

    magdalena Guest

    I'm helping a friend solve periodic disconnect problem with her Airport
    Express and DSL. I've heard about cordless phone interference with
    AExpress. Is the issue the phone's base station or the actual phone.
    IOW, if my friend plugs the phone's base far away from the AE but keeps
    the phone itself in the office that has the AE plugged into the wall,
    the interference problem will go away?
     
    magdalena, Jan 14, 2007
    #1
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  2. magdalena

    Tom Stiller Guest

    In article
    <>,
    magdalena <> wrote:

    > I'm helping a friend solve periodic disconnect problem with her Airport
    > Express and DSL. I've heard about cordless phone interference with
    > AExpress. Is the issue the phone's base station or the actual phone.
    > IOW, if my friend plugs the phone's base far away from the AE but keeps
    > the phone itself in the office that has the AE plugged into the wall,
    > the interference problem will go away?


    It might, if the phone is a listen-only device. However, if the phone
    is a normal two-way device, there is a transmitter in he handset as well
    as in the base station.

    Your friend might try setting the base station to use a different
    channel or replacing the phone with one that operates in a diferent
    frequency band.

    --
    Tom Stiller

    PGP fingerprint = 5108 DDB2 9761 EDE5 E7E3
    7BDA 71ED 6496 99C0 C7CF
     
    Tom Stiller, Jan 14, 2007
    #2
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  3. magdalena

    David Empson Guest

    magdalena <> wrote:

    > I'm helping a friend solve periodic disconnect problem with her Airport
    > Express and DSL. I've heard about cordless phone interference with
    > AExpress. Is the issue the phone's base station or the actual phone.
    > IOW, if my friend plugs the phone's base far away from the AE but keeps
    > the phone itself in the office that has the AE plugged into the wall,
    > the interference problem will go away?


    The problem is due to the phone using the same frequency band as the
    Airport. Assuming you can both talk and listen on the handset, then both
    it and the base station will be transmitting on the same frequency, so
    proximity of either the handset or the phone base station to either the
    Airport Express or any computer using it wirelessly may interfere with
    the wireless network.

    Have you established that the problem is definitely related to the
    cordless phone? If the disconnect happens quite often, it should be
    possible to prove it is the phone's fault by turning off the cordless
    phone system for a while (both base station and handset) and confirming
    that the problem only occurs while the cordless phone is switched on
    and/or actively on a call.

    You might be getting interference from neighbours also using devices in
    the same frequency band. You might also be getting random dropouts due
    to poor signal or the type of building material or large metal objects
    in the area of the wireless network.

    Assuming you have proved that your friend's cordless phone is the cause,
    there are three possible solutions:

    (a) The phone might have a setting to select a different channel within
    the 2.4 GHz band. If so, moving it a reasonable distance from the
    channel used by the Airport Express may solve the problem (but might
    interfere with another wireless device nearby, e.g. if you neighbour
    also has a cordless phone or a wireless network).

    (b) The Airport Express can also be set to use a different channel. It
    defaults to "Automatic", which probably means that it uses channel 1.
    You can set a specific channel: try 6 or 11. This is done using Airport
    Admin Utility, which is located in the Utilities folder within the
    Applications folder. You may run into a similar problem getting
    interference from other nearby cordless phones or wireless networks.

    (c) Replace the cordless phone with another model or brand, preferably
    one which uses a different frequency band. In New Zealand we can buy
    phones that operate on the 1.8, 2.4 or 5.8 GHz bands but I'm not sure
    what you have in the US. The one that can interfere with an Airport
    network is 2.4 GHz, so pick either of the others. Judging from the
    phones available here, 5.8 claims to have longer range and better voice
    quality, but costs more.
    --
    David Empson
     
    David Empson, Jan 14, 2007
    #3
  4. magdalena

    Tim McNamara Guest

    In article <1hrz61c.1tusw6l1wby9luN%>,
    (David Empson) wrote:

    > (c) Replace the cordless phone with another model or brand,
    > preferably one which uses a different frequency band. In New Zealand
    > we can buy phones that operate on the 1.8, 2.4 or 5.8 GHz bands but
    > I'm not sure what you have in the US.


    Yes.
     
    Tim McNamara, Jan 14, 2007
    #4
  5. magdalena

    Ilgaz Öcal Guest

    On 2007-01-15 00:08:52 +0200, Tim McNamara <> said:

    > In article <1hrz61c.1tusw6l1wby9luN%>,
    > (David Empson) wrote:
    >
    >> (c) Replace the cordless phone with another model or brand, preferably
    >> one which uses a different frequency band. In New Zealand we can buy
    >> phones that operate on the 1.8, 2.4 or 5.8 GHz bands but I'm not sure
    >> what you have in the US.

    >
    > Yes.


    Are they selling DECT/GAP phones in USA? It is 1800 Mhz and GSM like
    standard which even allows chaining, using different headsets and
    receivers with good security.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DECT

    Ilgaz
     
    Ilgaz Öcal, Jan 14, 2007
    #5
  6. In article <>,
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Ilgaz_=D6cal?= <> wrote:
    >On 2007-01-15 00:08:52 +0200, Tim McNamara <> said:
    >
    >> In article <1hrz61c.1tusw6l1wby9luN%>,
    >> (David Empson) wrote:
    >>
    >>> (c) Replace the cordless phone with another model or brand, preferably
    >>> one which uses a different frequency band. In New Zealand we can buy
    >>> phones that operate on the 1.8, 2.4 or 5.8 GHz bands but I'm not sure
    >>> what you have in the US.

    >>
    >> Yes.

    >
    >Are they selling DECT/GAP phones in USA?


    The frequencies used for DECT are not available in the US. There's a
    few proprietary 2.4Ghz DECT-alikes, and there's also something new called
    "DECT 6.0" (which is a version of DECT at 1900Mhz), but I don't know
    if there are any DECT 6.0 phones yet.

    Currently US cordless phones use 900Mhz, 2.4Ghz, and 5.8Ghz. For some
    reason people think the higher frequencies are better, but it ain't
    so. Anything but 2.4Ghz is best for 802.11b/g/n users. Or switch
    your WiFi to 802.11a and use the 5.2Ghz band where phones don't live.
    But don't do it in my area :).
    --
    There's no such thing as a free lunch, but certain accounting practices can
    result in a fully-depreciated one.
     
    Matthew T. Russotto, Jan 15, 2007
    #6
  7. magdalena

    magdalena Guest

    In article <1hrz61c.1tusw6l1wby9luN%>,
    (David Empson) wrote:

    > magdalena <> wrote:
    >
    > > I'm helping a friend solve periodic disconnect problem with her Airport
    > > Express and DSL. I've heard about cordless phone interference with
    > > AExpress. Is the issue the phone's base station or the actual phone.
    > > IOW, if my friend plugs the phone's base far away from the AE but keeps
    > > the phone itself in the office that has the AE plugged into the wall,
    > > the interference problem will go away?

    >
    > The problem is due to the phone using the same frequency band as the
    > Airport. Assuming you can both talk and listen on the handset, then both
    > it and the base station will be transmitting on the same frequency, so
    > proximity of either the handset or the phone base station to either the
    > Airport Express or any computer using it wirelessly may interfere with
    > the wireless network.
    >
    > Have you established that the problem is definitely related to the
    > cordless phone? If the disconnect happens quite often, it should be
    > possible to prove it is the phone's fault by turning off the cordless
    > phone system for a while (both base station and handset) and confirming
    > that the problem only occurs while the cordless phone is switched on
    > and/or actively on a call.
    >
    > You might be getting interference from neighbours also using devices in
    > the same frequency band. You might also be getting random dropouts due
    > to poor signal or the type of building material or large metal objects
    > in the area of the wireless network.
    >
    > Assuming you have proved that your friend's cordless phone is the cause,
    > there are three possible solutions:
    >
    > (a) The phone might have a setting to select a different channel within
    > the 2.4 GHz band. If so, moving it a reasonable distance from the
    > channel used by the Airport Express may solve the problem (but might
    > interfere with another wireless device nearby, e.g. if you neighbour
    > also has a cordless phone or a wireless network).
    >
    > (b) The Airport Express can also be set to use a different channel. It
    > defaults to "Automatic", which probably means that it uses channel 1.
    > You can set a specific channel: try 6 or 11. This is done using Airport
    > Admin Utility, which is located in the Utilities folder within the
    > Applications folder. You may run into a similar problem getting
    > interference from other nearby cordless phones or wireless networks.
    >
    > (c) Replace the cordless phone with another model or brand, preferably
    > one which uses a different frequency band. In New Zealand we can buy
    > phones that operate on the 1.8, 2.4 or 5.8 GHz bands but I'm not sure
    > what you have in the US. The one that can interfere with an Airport
    > network is 2.4 GHz, so pick either of the others. Judging from the
    > phones available here, 5.8 claims to have longer range and better voice
    > quality, but costs more.


    If we determine that the phone is the culprit, and she decides to get a
    new, higher frequency phone, does she only need to replace the one
    that's near the Airport Express? Or does she also need to replace the
    one in her kitchen, which is two rooms away from the Airport Express?
     
    magdalena, Jan 15, 2007
    #7
  8. magdalena

    larwe Guest

    magdalena wrote:
    > I'm helping a friend solve periodic disconnect problem with her Airport
    > Express and DSL. I've heard about cordless phone interference with
    > AExpress. Is the issue the phone's base station or the actual phone.


    Microwave ovens are also a problem. During lunch hour, my entire area
    of the office goes black - Wifi unavailable. My cube is right next to
    the kitchen area :(
     
    larwe, Jan 15, 2007
    #8
  9. magdalena

    David Empson Guest

    magdalena <> wrote:

    > In article <1hrz61c.1tusw6l1wby9luN%>,
    > (David Empson) wrote:
    >
    > > magdalena <> wrote:
    > >
    > > > I'm helping a friend solve periodic disconnect problem with her Airport
    > > > Express and DSL. I've heard about cordless phone interference with
    > > > AExpress. Is the issue the phone's base station or the actual phone.
    > > > IOW, if my friend plugs the phone's base far away from the AE but keeps
    > > > the phone itself in the office that has the AE plugged into the wall,
    > > > the interference problem will go away?

    > >
    > > The problem is due to the phone using the same frequency band as the
    > > Airport. Assuming you can both talk and listen on the handset, then both
    > > it and the base station will be transmitting on the same frequency, so
    > > proximity of either the handset or the phone base station to either the
    > > Airport Express or any computer using it wirelessly may interfere with
    > > the wireless network.
    > > [snip]

    >
    > If we determine that the phone is the culprit, and she decides to get a
    > new, higher frequency phone, does she only need to replace the one
    > that's near the Airport Express? Or does she also need to replace the
    > one in her kitchen, which is two rooms away from the Airport Express?


    It also depends on where the computer is located. If it is in the
    opposite direction from the kitchen then this combination might be OK,
    but I expect you will still get interference between the phone base
    station, cordless phone and Airport Express.

    Depending on the construction of the walls, two rooms isn't very far for
    Airport. I get a good signal from my Airport Extreme base station
    through two wooden and plaster walls, and a reasonably good signal
    through the floor below that point as well.

    Also of note: if you get a 5.8 GHz phone and still have a 2.4 GHz one,
    both phones will need their own base station plugged into the telephone
    line, rather than being able to share a single base station for the
    entire system, and it might be difficult or impossible to do things like
    transfer calls between handsets. It would be better to get a complete
    set of new phones.


    --
    David Empson
     
    David Empson, Jan 15, 2007
    #9
  10. magdalena

    matt neuburg Guest

    magdalena <> wrote:

    > I'm helping a friend solve periodic disconnect problem with her Airport
    > Express and DSL. I've heard about cordless phone interference with
    > AExpress. Is the issue the phone's base station or the actual phone.
    > IOW, if my friend plugs the phone's base far away from the AE but keeps
    > the phone itself in the office that has the AE plugged into the wall,
    > the interference problem will go away?


    I don't know about the Airport, but if I set my actual cordless phone
    next to my Logitech cordless mouse, the mouse stops working. So in this
    case it matters where you put the phone itself. m.

    --
    matt neuburg, phd = , http://www.tidbits.com/matt/
    Tiger - http://www.takecontrolbooks.com/tiger-customizing.html
    AppleScript - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0596102119
    Read TidBITS! It's free and smart. http://www.tidbits.com
     
    matt neuburg, Jan 15, 2007
    #10
  11. magdalena

    magdalena Guest

    In article
    <>,
    magdalena <> wrote:

    > I'm helping a friend solve periodic disconnect problem with her Airport
    > Express and DSL. I've heard about cordless phone interference with
    > AExpress. Is the issue the phone's base station or the actual phone.
    > IOW, if my friend plugs the phone's base far away from the AE but keeps
    > the phone itself in the office that has the AE plugged into the wall,
    > the interference problem will go away?


    Thanks to all who posted tips. My friend replaced all her cordless
    phones with a brand new 5.8Hz 4-phone set and I redid her Airport setup,
    with phone help from Apple. She's been back on for a day and a half
    without cutouts from phones or microwave oven. A friend with a laptop
    came by to test today and he got on the network effortlessly. I wasn't
    there, but my friend said when he logged on there were two choices:
    airport (the name I gave her network) and "computer to computer" or
    something like that. I didn't set up a second option. Any clues as to
    why that choice appears?
     
    magdalena, Jan 18, 2007
    #11
  12. magdalena

    David Empson Guest

    magdalena <> wrote:

    > Thanks to all who posted tips. My friend replaced all her cordless
    > phones with a brand new 5.8Hz 4-phone set and I redid her Airport setup,
    > with phone help from Apple. She's been back on for a day and a half
    > without cutouts from phones or microwave oven.


    Excellent.

    > A friend with a laptop came by to test today and he got on the network
    > effortlessly. I wasn't there, but my friend said when he logged on there
    > were two choices: airport (the name I gave her network) and "computer to
    > computer" or something like that. I didn't set up a second option. Any
    > clues as to why that choice appears?


    A "computer to computer" wireless network is also known as an "ad hoc"
    network. It is one which is established by a computer rather than a
    dedicated base station. There are some technical limits on what can be
    achieved with a computer to computer network.

    On Mac OS X, you can create one of these using the "Create Network" item
    under the Airport menu. Other people will then see your network under a
    "Computer to Computer" heading in the Airport menu, separated from the
    list of normal networks.

    Other operating systems can also create ad hoc networks.

    So, this means that somewhere in range of your friend's laptop, there is
    a computer which has created a network. It might be one of the computers
    at your friend's house, or it might be one close by, such as an adjacent
    neighbour.

    --
    David Empson
     
    David Empson, Jan 18, 2007
    #12
  13. magdalena

    Ilgaz Öcal Guest

    On 2007-01-18 02:42:33 +0200, magdalena <> said:

    > . I wasn't there, but my friend said when he logged on there were two
    > choices: airport (the name I gave her network) and "computer to
    > computer" or something like that. I didn't set up a second option. Any
    > clues as to why that choice appears?


    If he has actual Airport station, computer to computer network is needless.

    Computer-computer network means, one computer acts like Airport base
    station and shares Internet, Printers etc. As it is a software based
    solution which computer must be on to do its job, it isn't preferred.


    Ilgaz
     
    Ilgaz Öcal, Jan 18, 2007
    #13
  14. magdalena

    magdalena Guest

    In article <1hs5i54.1sk2p9vxy5andN%>,
    (David Empson) wrote:

    > magdalena <> wrote:
    >
    > > Thanks to all who posted tips. My friend replaced all her cordless
    > > phones with a brand new 5.8Hz 4-phone set and I redid her Airport setup,
    > > with phone help from Apple. She's been back on for a day and a half
    > > without cutouts from phones or microwave oven.

    >
    > Excellent.
    >
    > > A friend with a laptop came by to test today and he got on the network
    > > effortlessly. I wasn't there, but my friend said when he logged on there
    > > were two choices: airport (the name I gave her network) and "computer to
    > > computer" or something like that. I didn't set up a second option. Any
    > > clues as to why that choice appears?

    >
    > A "computer to computer" wireless network is also known as an "ad hoc"
    > network. It is one which is established by a computer rather than a
    > dedicated base station. There are some technical limits on what can be
    > achieved with a computer to computer network.
    >
    > On Mac OS X, you can create one of these using the "Create Network" item
    > under the Airport menu. Other people will then see your network under a
    > "Computer to Computer" heading in the Airport menu, separated from the
    > list of normal networks.
    >
    > Other operating systems can also create ad hoc networks.
    >
    > So, this means that somewhere in range of your friend's laptop, there is
    > a computer which has created a network. It might be one of the computers
    > at your friend's house, or it might be one close by, such as an adjacent
    > neighbour.


    There's only one computer in her house (her iMac) and there are no
    neighbors for miles around!
     
    magdalena, Jan 19, 2007
    #14
  15. magdalena

    magdalena Guest

    In article <1hs5i54.1sk2p9vxy5andN%>,
    (David Empson) wrote:

    > magdalena <> wrote:
    >
    > > Thanks to all who posted tips. My friend replaced all her cordless
    > > phones with a brand new 5.8Hz 4-phone set and I redid her Airport setup,
    > > with phone help from Apple. She's been back on for a day and a half
    > > without cutouts from phones or microwave oven.

    >
    > Excellent.
    >
    > > A friend with a laptop came by to test today and he got on the network
    > > effortlessly. I wasn't there, but my friend said when he logged on there
    > > were two choices: airport (the name I gave her network) and "computer to
    > > computer" or something like that. I didn't set up a second option. Any
    > > clues as to why that choice appears?

    >
    > A "computer to computer" wireless network is also known as an "ad hoc"
    > network. It is one which is established by a computer rather than a
    > dedicated base station. There are some technical limits on what can be
    > achieved with a computer to computer network.
    >
    > On Mac OS X, you can create one of these using the "Create Network" item
    > under the Airport menu. Other people will then see your network under a
    > "Computer to Computer" heading in the Airport menu, separated from the
    > list of normal networks.
    >
    > Other operating systems can also create ad hoc networks.
    >
    > So, this means that somewhere in range of your friend's laptop, there is
    > a computer which has created a network. It might be one of the computers
    > at your friend's house, or it might be one close by, such as an adjacent
    > neighbour.


    Although things are hunky dory in general, I haven't been able to get
    her HP Photosmart All-in-One printer to work when connected to the
    Airport Express. The printer does show up as being on the airport
    network, but when I tell it to print something, the "jobs stopped"
    message comes up. I click "start jobs," and it reverts back to "jobs
    stopped." The printer works fine when plugged directly into the iMac.
     
    magdalena, Jan 19, 2007
    #15
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