Panther: More on problem with AirPort connection

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
November 11th, 2003 • 11:56 pm

Something is definitely not right with Panther and AirPort-based connections, at least in my setup. I haven’t been able to get things to improve in the past couple of days. My AirPort software is up-to-date (3.2) — although the AirPort Admin Utility hasn’t requested that I update the firmware on the AirPort Base Station itself in a while… (It’s still at v3.84.)

Typically, what happens is that, all of a sudden, my computer running Panther appears to lose its connection to the AirPort Base Station. The status in Internet Connect disappears (except for the name of the AirPort network), and if I try to access the Base Station using the AirPort Admin Utility, it cannot find it.

Then I try to turn AirPort off and back on on the computer. Sometimes, this brings the AirPort connection back to life, and I can see the AirPort Base Station again (which is still connected to the Internet, so the problem is not with the Base Station itself as far as I can tell).

Other times, I have to take more drastic measures, such as restarting the Base Station itself. Presumably, this sends a new signal to Panther which sort of “wakes up” and sees the Base Station again. But then I have to reestablish the connection to the Internet again.

Restarting the computer usually works as well, although it is really the last ditch resort. (Logging out and back in doesn’t work. Switching users doesn’t work either.)

I have yet to determine why all of a sudden the connection between the computer and the Base Station is interrupted. There is absolutely no new interference in my office. This is clearly caused by a bug in Panther. It might be related to sleep issues. I often find that the connection has been lost when I return to my computer after it’s been asleep for a while (although the only thing that’s supposed to be asleep is the monitor). It might also simply be that the problem occurs after a while, whether the computer asleep or not.

Also, this morning I was actually using the computer, trying to access a web site, when all of a sudden the connection was lost again. So there were no sleep-related issues in that particular case.

It’s all very frustrating, as can easily be imagined.

57 Responses to “Panther: More on problem with AirPort connection”

  1. Jan Voorburg says:

    Any news on your problem?
    After changing my graphite base station for the white (extreme) version I experienced the same problem you described. This happens on only one of four Macs in the network so I guess the base station is not to blame

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Jan: I am afraid I’ve given up on AirPort and switched to a wired Ethernet connection for my G4. I still have AirPort on on the G4, however, so that I can monitor the Base Station and reconnect/disconnect to the Internet if needed. But my primary connection to the Base Station is now via Ethernet. (The BS is in the same room as the G4, so it doesn’t require too much cabling.)

    Of course, since I have made the change, I haven’t seen a single connection drop. In fact, this confirms my suspicion that it’s a software-related issue that tends to crop up during “intense” (relatively speaking) wireless networking activity.

  3. Jan Voorburg says:

    I’ve opted for the same solution.
    Is it a coincidence this happens to the mac closest to the base station?

  4. Pierre Igot says:

    I don’t know… I’ve seen the same problem on my wife’s PowerBook, which is in another room (still not very far from the Base Station, and with three or four bars of reception normally).

  5. Jan Voorburg says:

    It seems that the recent airport firmware update has solved my problem.
    Hope it helped you too.

  6. Pierre Igot says:

    Well well well. I installed the AirPort Card Firmware update on the PowerBook G4 last night and turned the second AirPort Base Station back on in the other half of the house (roaming network). And, well, everything worked.

    Last night.

    Too soon to tell if it’s more than a coincidence, but maybe, just maybe, things have finally been fixed.

    I’ll post a new entry when I can say for sure that things are working reliably.

  7. Kiernan says:

    I am new to wireless networking. While both my PB g4 and win xp can access the internet fine, I cannot get the admin utility to bring up the tabs to change my security features etc. I set up the base without WPA or Wep, planning to utilize once nw was up and running. Now, when I open admin utility the base is there with the correct IP ending in .1.1, when I select configure it asks for my base password, I enter it and click ok, but then I get nothing— the screen goes blue and the admin utility never opens to allow me to change the security features etc. If I enter an incorrect PW it tells me so. So I know my pasword is ok. I just do not get anything but a blue screen after entering the PW. I have tried connecting to the base directly with an ethernet cable, but I get the same blue screen thing. Any ideas?

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