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My house should be a model for some sort of "cone of silence" - wireless signals do not like to travel far. As well, it's fairly large and I have a detached garage that I need to have wireless coverage in. So, like every good Mac fanboy, I have an all-airport wireless network that I am trying to juggle to get the coverage I need. I am failing miserably. Here's what's up.

"Main" (let's call it that) Airport Extreme (AE, current model) is in the basement, where my internet connection comes in. Its wireless range covers about 1/4 of the house.

I ran Cat5 cables from that location to the attic and the garage (neither place has wireless signal on my MBP, although there is very faint signal if I use my iPad).

In the garage, I plugged in to the wired Ethernet cable another Airport Extreme (current model, let's call it "Garage") and told it to "extend the Main network". Works like a charm, full signal in the garage. I am assuming (from the speed I am getting, measured by that this connection to the Main AE is happening over the wired link.

Encouraged by this success, I plugged in to the Cat5 cable another (older model, let's call it "Attic Old") AE in the attic, again told it to "extend Main network" and BOOM! whole wireless network is brought to its knees: no device can connect, Airport "radar" icon cycling through circle segments. Hmmmm. Try another cable - same problem. Switch Garage AE to attic on same cable, network works. Switch attic AE to garage, same problem. Aha! Maybe the older version AE does not support extending a network over the wired connection! Off to Apple to buy a brand new AE, let's call it "Attic New". Received yesterday, tried today, .... same problem!!!! I am out of ideas, hoping someone here has wisdom?


Desired end state: one big wireless network bubble, with:

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