Apple AirPort Express

http://a688.g.akamai.net/7/688/51/b209b66ae08394/www.apple.com/home/images/2004/06/airportexpressimage_060704.jpg

Click here to go to Apple's website for the Airport Express

Hardware

SOC: Broadcom BCM4712KFB wireless network processor - handles 10/100baseT ethernet, and USB

Note, this Broadcom chip has a 200MHz MIPS32 processor core

Audio: Texas Instruments PCM2705 DAC - USB stereo DAC.

Flash: AT45DB321B - SPI 4MBytes flash, CBGA package.

Ram: HY5DU281622ET-5 - 16MBytes DDR 200MHz.

Antenna: main antenna and aux antenna, both are traces on the circuitboard. One connector for external antenna.

Pictures:

Ipodding dissection: Airport Express internals

The FCC page for the Airport Express has much better pictures of the wireless circuit boards and components. See circuit boards with antenna detail. There seems to be a connector on the main antenna trace.

Power: 14.35dBm in 802.11b & 18.04dBm in 802.11g

Features

Converts RTSP (iTunes) broadcast streams received via 802.11g to audio line-out on its 1/8" headphone jack. The user pushes audio to the Airport Express and the Airport Express then delivers the audio to a powered speaker or stereo system.

Wireless access point.

Repeater for Airport Extreme base stations (and can be convinced to work with the Linksys WRT54G by AP gurus). Also said to work with a Buffalo AP that supports WDS.

USB print server.

Question/Answer

Question: Is the green button an antenna connector

Answer: No, the green button is a dual color LED which shows the status of the AP.

Here the different modes:

  1. Light is Off = AirPort Express is unplugged.

  2. Light is Flashing green = AirPort Express is starting up.

  3. Light is Solid green = AirPort Express is on and working properly.

  4. Light is Flashing yellow = AirPort Express may be out of range, or there may be a problem with your Internet service provider.


Question: Do you have the FCC-ID of this device?

Answer: FCC-ID: BCGA1084 FCC page

Links

In Depth Preview: http://www.notebookreview.com/default.aspx?newsID=1894

Comments

Well, I got mine today and I'm very impressed. I have it hooked up working as an AP, connected to my receiver so that I can wirelessly play music from my Powerbook, and I'm also sharing my Deskjet 970 printer with it. As of yet I have three problems with it, it doesn't have an external Antenna connector which wasn't it's purpose, but it still would have been nice. It also should have a web-config ability, and it should have better sound quality. The Bass just seems to be kind of lacking, it's almost like the audio is recompressed, but it still sounds good, I'm playing this through a ridiculously nice stereo system. There's my gripes, but this unit is very handy and I'm extremely pleased with it. I think that everyone should buy one of these, it's so convenient having a mobile base station.

#2: bought mine today (2 Aug 2005). Plugged it in, plugged speakers into it, and was streaming audio to it three minutes later from a Mac. It shows up as "Airport Network XXXX" and as far as I can tell can only be administered using Apple's software (for PC and Mac) and only takes streams from iTunes. There is a ~2 second delay in the streamed audio. Conclusions: works well out of the box, setup is so simple it's stupid. Wonderful.

If anyone can figure out how to open this device without causing serious damage, please let me know. At a first attempt, I couldn't find any parts of the case with enough play to separate the two halves. The screenshots linked above seem to show that someone sawed theirs apart to open it. The two halves feel very solidly connected, but I imagine there must be a point where there's a plastic clip inside that I might be able to manipulate with just a little cosmetic damage, rather than all-out hacksaw and chisel gouging.


CategoryMacintosh CategoryAccessPointHardware

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