Hosing my WiFi set up

I have been wanting to put shelves up in my office above my desk for some time. The problem has been that the ones that are sold at Lowe’s or Home Depot are not really what I wanted (too short) and I’m not a super handy guy with building stuff (that’s more my dad and brother) so I’ve just been putting it off. For an embarrassingly long time.

Last a couple of weekends ago my dad had volunteered to help me out in putting up some shelves.

On Saturday at 8:30 we started. All in all the process went really, really well. Only one extra trip to the hardware store (it’s usually about 3) and the shelves were nice and level.

Since I wanted the shelves above my desk we needed to move it, and all of the electronics that were on it, and plugged into the outlet behind it. This included a UPS / Battery backup that all of my electronics were plugged into.

We moved everything away from the wall, and then I moved it back. No. Big. Deal.

Now, the timing may have just been coincidental, but the next morning I needed to do some work for my job-y job from home. I took my laptop into my office (with the brand new shelves) and plugged it into the UPS.

I noticed the lights flicker and discovered that the WiFi router (my trusty AirPort Extreme) seem to have reset itself.

No big deal. I just rebooted and we were all good.

Later that day I plugged in my iMac and then stuff got real. The lights went out. I figured that the breaker tripped, but the sprinklers next to the breaker were on so I waded out through to the box and turned the breaker back on. Or so I thought. I came back in and the lights were still off.

At this point I freaked out because, well, that’s kind of what I do. I went back out and turned the breaker off and then back on. Lights are back.

OK, lets try this again. I plug the iMac back in and … crap. Lights are off again.

Back to the breaker (at this point the sprinklers are off) so off and on the breaker went.

OK, one last time and … mother f!

Somehow I was able to go from being able to have my UPS plugged in and everything being fine, to not.

OK. Swap out the UPS and put back the Surge Protectors. Everything powers on and we’re good.

Except we’re not. The light on my AirPort Extreme is suddenly not a solid green, but instead a flashing amber. I consult the internet and get a very unhelpful message

These are some typical reasons for the status light to flash amber:

The base station hasn’t been set up, or it was reset and needs to be set up again. Use AirPort Utility to set up your base station.

A firmware update is available for the base station.

The base station is set up to use Back to My Mac, but Back to My Mac isn’t working or the password is incorrect. If you’ve upgraded to macOS Mojave, you should remove the base station from your Back to My Mac network, because Mojave doesn’t support Back to My Mac.

The base station can’t connect to the Internet, such as when Internet service is down at your location, the base station can’t acquire an IP address from your primary router, or the WAN Ethernet connection to your router isn’t working.

The base station is set up to wirelessly extend the range of your network, but is too far away from the primary Wi-Fi base station.

If your base station is an AirPort Time Capsule, its internal hard disk is experiencing an issue that requires repair.

And suddenly my entire WiFi is down. And I am sad.

I tried a ton of things to get the AirPort Extreme Back, but nothing is working. I finally throw in the towel and decide to to use the WiFi access point from my Fios router.

This means that I have to update the WiFi on:

  • 3 iPhones
  • 2 iPads
  • 1 MacBook
  • 2 MacBookPros
  • 1 iMac
  • 2 Wemo Switches
  • 2 Raspberry Pi
  • 3 Apple TVs (2 4th Gen and 1 3rd Gen)
  • 1 WiFi connected Scale
  • 1 Ring Doorbell
  • 1 Ring Chime (connected to Ring Doorbell)

It also means that I need to plug my Netgear switch into my Fios router instead of the AirPort Extreme. No big deal, right? Except that it was because I forget that the port that the Cat5 cable is plugged into on a router is important.

I spent an embarrassingly long time trying to figure out why my Sonos and Hue Lights weren’t on my network.

Emily kept telling me to take a break and relax and that was, in that moment, the last thing I wanted to do.

I was able to get all of the iOS and MacOS devices connected back to the internet (via WiFi) and decided that I needed to forget the network and watch game 5 of the World Series.

By the end of the 7th we had the game off and were catching up on CW Comic Book shows.

It was a rough day. But I learned a couple of things:

  1. LAN Port 1 on the Fios Router is the right port
  2. Sometimes, you just need to take a step back and think instead of just react
  3. I have a crap ton of WiFi devices

I’m still working on trying to get the AirPort Extreme back to working so that I don’t need to get a new WiFi router ( have I mentioned how awful the Fios one is? ).

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