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Reduce travel gear by one device with AirPort Express Other Hardware
I recently bought an Airport Express, and to me, it's really the ultimate MacGyver tool for my needs. At home, I use it to extend my wireless LAN; when traveling, I use it to create a new wireless network to free me from the cords required in the typical hotel room. No hints there, obviously; that's what it was designed to do.

But what I also figured out is that I can use the USB port on the AirPort Express to charge my phone, so I can leave the iPhone's charger at home.

[robg adds: I know this hint is relatively simple ... but as someone who will admit to having traveled with both an AirPort Express and an iPhone charger, it's definitely a tip I'm going to take advantage of on my next trip. I figured if I overlooked the obvious, maybe some others have as well.]
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Reduce travel gear by one device with AirPort Express | 19 comments | Create New Account
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Reduce travel gear by one device with AirPort Express
Authored by: wislon on Apr 21, '09 08:04:54AM

But why not just use your macbook to charge your phone, I've never carried my charger! Good idea about the Express for Wireless though.



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Airport Express but no laptop?
Authored by: hamarkus on Apr 21, '09 08:16:20AM

My point as well, do people travel with an Airport Express and without a laptop? (Or with a laptop but no laptop charger?). Maybe if you travel with an iPhone alone but abroad or outside of 3G coverage (or with an iPod touch alone).



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Airport Express but no laptop?
Authored by: norcalscan on Apr 21, '09 08:45:37AM

That's exactly the reason. I no longer need to lug around a huge laptop when I travel, and worry about it getting stolen or damaged. My iPhone can get me my google maps, nearby restaurants, casual surfing if the hotel TV stinks, and my email. This is a great idea.



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Reduce travel gear by one device with AirPort Express
Authored by: ashill on Apr 21, '09 08:20:41AM

Because the iPod doesn't charge via USB when the laptop is asleep. For that reason, I still bring my old firewire iPod cable to charge the iPod overnight. I wish Apple still supported Firewire for synching the iPod.



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Reduce travel gear by one device with AirPort Express
Authored by: 44sunsets on Apr 24, '09 05:34:50AM

Maybe it's just the older laptops? I have a MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo (late 2006) and it charges via USB just fine when asleep.



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Dumb Question
Authored by: Anonymous on Apr 21, '09 08:37:19AM

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but exactly how do you use an AirPort Express to access a wired internet connection in an hotel?

Do I need a cable of some sort?



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Dumb Question : a half-answer
Authored by: gabester on Apr 21, '09 08:45:22AM

I would think you would plug your Airport Express into the wall outlet, then plug in the RJ-45 ethernet that the hotel supplies. Or some hotels might have wireless that the Express could bridge but that seems unlikely.

I've long used my Express to charge my iPods when I realized the battery was low and I didn't want to wake my Mac up by plugging in a USB device and/or leaving it running overnight while the iPod charged.
g=



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Dumb Question : a half-answer
Authored by: Anonymous on Apr 21, '09 09:59:10AM

Thanks.

I've always stayed in hotels with wireless access, so I didn't know that a cable was supplied.



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Reduce travel gear by one device with AirPort Express
Authored by: Clint MacDonald on Apr 21, '09 09:16:41AM

I think it is a brilliant hint!



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Reduce travel gear by one device with AirPort Express
Authored by: cmac6126 on Apr 21, '09 09:50:05AM

I've been doing this for a while too. Also comes in handy when I'm travelling out of the country and don't want to be stung with the data roaming charges, I just hook the Express up and create my own personal network for surfing while in the hotel. I'd recommend getting both the retractable RJ-45 and USB-Dock Connector cables for added compactness when travelling. Only a few dollars each on eBay.

We have two Expresses in our house. I discovered that my original Express would work fine, but the newer N-speed has a problem. It continually connects and disconnects with the iPhone USB so it doesn't charge properly. I have to admit I have not tried the newer Express to do this since the last firmware update. I'm guessing the OP is talking about a new Express and that this bug is fixed? Or maybe it's just my Express? I'd be interested to hear other folks experiences with the newer model.

At home we leave the original Express USB plugged into a spare iPhone dock and stereo in the kitchen for as a handy local charger and remote music station. The Remote app has saved me many trips upstairs to the study!



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Reduce travel gear by one device with AirPort Express
Authored by: eagle on Apr 21, '09 12:40:58PM

One warning: if your cellphone battery gets too low, it cannot be charged by USB - it can only be charged by your AC charger... so you might want to take that charger along anyway.

I used to do exactly what you say here, but have started carrying my AC charger again, because my phone was useless to me after its battery went too low to be charged via USB.



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Reduce travel gear by one device with AirPort Express
Authored by: asmeurer on Apr 21, '09 12:46:45PM

If you do create an ad hoc wireless network in a hotel room (or anywhere, for that matter), make sure it is encrypted (not just password protected). Otherwise, anyone within proximity of the network could potentially see any data that you send or receive over the internet, such as emails or text on a non-secure webpage form.



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Reduce travel gear by one device with AirPort Express
Authored by: xbpr on Apr 21, '09 04:36:55PM

Can you configure an Airport Express with an iPod Touch or iPhone?

I was recently at a hotel that only had wired internet available. I thought about picking up an express and connecting it to the wired network to enable surfing wirelessly with the Touch.



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Reduce travel gear by one device with AirPort Express
Authored by: Wintermute on Apr 22, '09 12:16:45AM

I had planed to buy a new charger for my iPod, for travelling purposes since I ordinarily don't lug a laptop about. But since I have a docking station, with a charger, AND a AirPort Express connected to the stereo in my living room out goes the charger.

Actually quite obvious, and as such a brilliant hint.

---
There are 10 kinds of people in the world…
Those who think binary, and those who don't.



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Reduce travel gear by one device with AirPort Express
Authored by: tooki on Apr 22, '09 12:45:02AM

This has not worked for me when I've tried it. Using the original 802.11g version of the Express and original iPhone, it would never charge.



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Reduce travel gear by one device with AirPort Express
Authored by: e_whizz on Apr 22, '09 01:49:20AM

Great idea. I've had no issues charging my iphones (1st and second gen) when the battery was sooo low and had been off becuase of that for several days. I don't think I've ever used the Apple Supplied iphone chargers!

But my main reason for replying is that the Airport Express power supply design is rather poor. Its at the upper limits of the components (filtering caps etc) when run on 240V. I've seen several die catastrophically (spewing out the insides of the regulator caps and chips).

So I'd be hesitant charging my phone or plugging in any other device that requires the limit of the USB spec in current to do its thing: this includes charging the iPhone!

Maybe the newer Airport expresses are a bit better?



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Reduce travel gear by one device with AirPort Express
Authored by: thoughton on Apr 22, '09 04:00:00AM

Doesn't work for me with a first gen Airport Express. The very first time I connected my 1st gen iphone it bleeped and started charging. Since then it doesn't do anything when I connect it. My 3G iphone also cannot charge from that USB port.



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Reduce travel gear by one device with AirPort Express
Authored by: cmac6126 on Apr 22, '09 10:20:36AM

Seems folks have different experiences with this.
I'd like to work out what's going on with my two Airport Express.

Can you post what version of iPhone, Express and also voltage you've tried?

For me:
1st gen iPhone, 1st gen Express , 110v - works
1st gen iPhone, 2nd gen Express, 110v - does not work

Cheers



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Reduce travel gear by one device with AirPort Express
Authored by: RevJonn on Apr 22, '09 11:44:11AM

G series AEx - old iPhone = Charges
G series AEx - New (3g) iPhone = Charges

N Series AEx - New (3g) iPhone + Doesn't Charge...

The only reason i'm keeping hold of a g AEx!



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