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ghporter Sep 14, 2013 11:08 PM
AirPort Extreme on Wire Shelving
Since I can't find any real information on this from Apple, I'm asking here. Where in an AirPort Extreme is the antenna located? What sort of directionality is built into the antenna, at least in a vertical versus horizontal sense? What affect, if any, will placing an AirPort Extreme on wire shelving have?

I'm putting a wire shelving system in my den/office, and I'm planning to put my Extreme on top of it - it'll be much higher up than it is currently, for (hopefully) better coverage throughout the house, and since I'm putting a bunch of other stuff on that shelving, like printers, DSL modem, etc., I can make cable management much more structured. But since I can't find out anything about where the antenna in the Extreme is or its directionality, I don't know if putting it on a big, wire shelf will redirect the antenna coverage area, shield the antenna, something else, or nothing at all. If needed, I can raise the device above the shelving with a number of nonmetalic approaches, but that's an extra step I don't want to bother with if I don't have to.
Mike Wuerthele Sep 15, 2013 12:25 PM
I can't imagine where a wide mesh like a wire shelf will cause any problems with the Airport at all, regardless of antenna location. It's not like your shelf is a rudimentary Faraday cage or anything, or be dense enough to block.
ghporter Sep 15, 2013 09:05 PM
As it turns out, I just found an article on iFixit on accessing the antennas in the model A1354 Extreme, which is what I have. There are three "patch" style antennas located at front right, rear right and rear left around the perimeter of the device. So "on" the wire shelf won't be a problem, but I think it would be prudent to have the device above the upright parts of the wire shelving, rather than having an upright (or two) anywhere near a corner of the device.
reader50 Sep 15, 2013 09:47 PM
If you want to completely avoid shelving or other possible obstructions, you could mount it on the ceiling. Like supermarkets do, to avoid their shelf & fridge shadows.
ghporter Sep 16, 2013 06:50 AM
I thought about that, but it would be difficult, since the room has a 10' ceiling. What I'm looking at is making a PVC support to place the router about 6" over the top of the uprights. It turns out that standard wire shelving uprights are about 1" in diameter, which is about the same as the outside diameter of 3/4" Schedule 40 PVC pipe. I can build a simple frame to raise the router and mount it on the top of the shelving, giving me the distance I want from the uprights. And without making it look like I threw it together with "what was lying around," too. I have to finish thinking it out, but I'll try to get pictures once I have it all set.
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