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Author Topic: Airport Express or Extreme?  (Read 4553 times)

Debbie Dunkley

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Airport Express or Extreme?
« on: September 12, 2016, 10:16:40 am »

I am thinking about getting a second Airport Express as back-up to the one I use at shows to control my QU16, QU-PAC and DMX lighting. 
After spending some time over the past few weeks becoming more familiar with Airport Utility in troubleshooting connection to an Android Tablet, I'd like to switch out my Cisco E2500 that I take now as back-up and bring a second AE instead. However, I can pick up an Airport extreme for the same or less money and wondered if that would be of any benefit to me.  This would only be used for remote control mixing. I have been very happy with the AE so I would need a good enough reason to get the Extreme. One down side ( for my purposes) is the size but I'd like to know if anyone could point out a good reason to get the Extreme over the Express.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Airport Express or Extreme?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2016, 11:06:52 am »

I am thinking about getting a second Airport Express as back-up to the one I use at shows to control my QU16, QU-PAC and DMX lighting. 
After spending some time over the past few weeks becoming more familiar with Airport Utility in troubleshooting connection to an Android Tablet, I'd like to switch out my Cisco E2500 that I take now as back-up and bring a second AE instead. However, I can pick up an Airport extreme for the same or less money and wondered if that would be of any benefit to me.  This would only be used for remote control mixing. I have been very happy with the AE so I would need a good enough reason to get the Extreme. One down side ( for my purposes) is the size but I'd like to know if anyone could point out a good reason to get the Extreme over the Express.

Please follow the group think recommendation and get an Access Point.  Don't buy something you don't need (a router) that can introduce issues.

The Ubiquity stuff is one of the favorites however if that is too much I can recommend a few others.

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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Airport Express or Extreme?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2016, 11:14:05 am »

Please follow the group think recommendation and get an Access Point.  Don't buy something you don't need (a router) that can introduce issues.

The Ubiquity stuff is one of the favorites however if that is too much I can recommend a few others.

The AE has been so reliable for my purposes - it seems only natural to duplicate it. However, if there is a preferable option which would be a straightforward set- up process for me (most important), then I would consider it. There have been quite a few threads regarding WAP options and I remember reading good things about the Ubiquiti product. It was said however, that it is not that straightforward to set up and what with my recent troubleshooting issues ( Samsung tablet), the last thing I need is to get into something above my abilities.
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Milt Hathaway

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Re: Airport Express or Extreme?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2016, 11:47:02 am »

The AE has been so reliable for my purposes - it seems only natural to duplicate it. However, if there is a preferable option which would be a straightforward set- up process for me (most important), then I would consider it. There have been quite a few threads regarding WAP options and I remember reading good things about the Ubiquiti product. It was said however, that it is not that straightforward to set up and what with my recent troubleshooting issues ( Samsung tablet), the last thing I need is to get into something above my abilities.

I prefer the Extreme over the Express as the Extreme has a better antenna array in it, and I like having the extra ethernet ports available.

BTW, there is nothing about having an access point with an internal router that will "cause issues", if that AP is set up properly in the first place. Since you already have an Extreme, there's no reason not to stick with that system.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Airport Express or Extreme?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2016, 12:13:18 pm »

I prefer the Extreme over the Express as the Extreme has a better antenna array in it, and I like having the extra ethernet ports available.

BTW, there is nothing about having an access point with an internal router that will "cause issues", if that AP is set up properly in the first place. Since you already have an Extreme, there's no reason not to stick with that system.
I tend to agree with Milt having both these units.
As for not needing and router, it may come in handy if you ever need to network a rack of RF mic receivers.
That said, a commercial quality WAP should have better RF stability than a "wireless router" for home use.
If you mix on a tablet regularly, the extra expense could make your life easier. :)
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Airport Express or Extreme?
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2016, 01:08:16 pm »

I tend to agree with Milt having both these units.
As for not needing and router, it may come in handy if you ever need to network a rack of RF mic receivers.
That said, a commercial quality WAP should have better RF stability than a "wireless router" for home use.
If you mix on a tablet regularly, the extra expense could make your life easier. :)

The most common "stores & rides in the console case doghouse" setup I see is the Ubiquity Bullet 5Ghz AP with a "stick" antenna (the model has been posted in another thread).  These are "A" level firms that can afford some IT & RF consultation, granted, but they're in the business of sound for which excuses are unacceptable.  And note that none of them are using their setups for mixing the show; these are setup and system tuning tools that do not require fail-safe show time use.

Mixing over any public spectrum that allows promiscuous devices will be subject to interference, dropouts and other problems.  While I understand the attraction of ditching the big copper multi, the reality is that it's replaced with fibre that costs more than copper, or replaced with different copper (redundant CAT cabling).

The rest remains amateur hour.  Again, I understand pub managers not wanting to give up any space for FOH; I understand that psychotic wedding and event planners don't want visible technology... but until those folks are willing to tolerate absolute failure of audio as part of the wireless price tag I'm not joining the Marconi Circus.

Perhaps its different at other levels but in the Varsity leagues you get fired if you have a show stopping failure.  You don't get hired by others because of that reputation and your only recourse is to fire people and spend money on new gear to show potential clients that you learned from whatever happened.  THIS is why no major show, tour or event is mixed without some kind of physical connection between the control surface and the electronics package that manipulates the 1s and 0s.
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Milt Hathaway

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Re: Airport Express or Extreme?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2016, 01:39:33 pm »

(I should know better than to take the bait.)
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 08:42:02 pm by Milt Hathaway »
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Airport Express or Extreme?
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2016, 03:50:50 pm »

While I understand the attraction of ditching the big copper multi, the reality is that it's replaced with fibre that costs more than copper, or replaced with different copper (redundant CAT cabling).

 but until those folks are willing to tolerate absolute failure of audio as part of the wireless price tag

And there is the problem.
These types of clients are convinced the RF solution will work perfectly, even though they have experienced dropped cell calls that proves the oposite  ::)
Yes, it's nice to give a client and extra table or cut FOH from a bar floor but there is a tradeoff that MUST be explained to that client.
This wireless mixing is far from "mission critical" reliable! Fantastic for setup and tuning though  :)
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Rob Spence

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Re: Airport Express or Extreme?
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2016, 04:53:24 pm »

While on one hand I agree with Scott that you really only "need" an AP, a properly set up router doesn't introduce issues and since most folks in the weekend warrior group use their iPads during the week for other things, having DHCP for them is convenient and the DHCP server is usually in the router box. Also, being able to access the Internet at home by just plugging in one cable can make firmware updates easier.

For Debbie, having a spare of exactly the same thing has value. If both are set up the same and correctly, you have an easy solution should an update make something behave funny. Just use the spare till you solve it.

I believe that the best spares are plug replaceable.

I also believe that Debby isn't going to gain anything she doesn't already have by going to yet a 3rd type of box. She already has a spare that isn't a AE. What would be the advantage to her to buy another not identical unit?


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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Airport Express or Extreme?
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2016, 04:54:40 pm »

While on one hand I agree with Scott that you really only "need" an AP, a properly set up router doesn't introduce issues and since most folks in the weekend warrior group use their iPads during the week for other things, having DHCP for them is convenient and the DHCP server is usually in the router box.

For Debbie, having a spare of exactly the same thing has value. If both are set up the same and correctly, you have an easy solution should an update make something behave funny. Just use the spare till you solve it.

I believe that the best spares are plug replaceable.

I also believe that Debby isn't going to gain anything she doesn't already have by going to yet a 3rd type of box. She already has a spare that isn't a AE. What would be the advantage to her to buy another not identical unit?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

Thanks Rob  ;)
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Airport Express or Extreme?
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2016, 04:54:40 pm »


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