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> Dead Airport Express: Over 700 Reports Already!, 2006-10-20 - Your reactions
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linathael
post Oct 20 2006, 09:52 AM
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More than 4 months ago, we have started collecting references of dead
Airport Express (APX) via our dedicated webpage.
So far, over 700 reports have been recorded from users. In most cases, the APX dies suddenly, with a small noise ("pop"), and then usually a smoked/burning smell can be identified.
While so many reports from users have already been published worldwide, Apple keeps ignoring the issue, and even worth, lock almost systematically all topic related to the short lifespan issue of APX in Apple's Discussion Forum (see our previous news about it). While USA-based Mac-dedicated websites are not really relaying the problem, a newspaper from Sydney has published an article about this issue, without generating much reaction from Cupertino, and hardly any serious answer from the Local Apple Representatives.

Today, based on over 700 reports, the average lifespan of the dead APX manufactured in 2004 and 2005 are illustrated hereafter:





Based on our information, the average lifespan of an APX manufactured in 2004 is 16.32 months (mean, and 17.28 months when using Geometrical mean stats). As shown by the schema, the APX manufactured in 2005 (by Foxconn) keeps dying according to the time frame and rate we could expect based on the calculated lifespan of 16 months. . We think Apple has used/is using another company to manufacture the APX (serial number format: 6Fxxxxxxxxx), we have only few reports concerning dead APX with such numbering (even though it corresponds to production lot made in 2005 and 2006).

The web is filled up with reports concerning dead APX, one can easily test it by performing a search in Google with "airport express dead" as keywords (such as Harald's or The Sydney Morning Herald websites). Many users have also decided to crack opened up their defective APX in order to confirm the Jen's report that was published couple of weeks ago. If the Fairchild component DM0165 is almost always identified as defect, it must not be the only one. Many users have tried to revive their dead APX by replacing the defective DM0265 by a new one. In most cases, the new DM0265 burns within a couple of seconds, or the heat generated is so high than the modified APX can not work more than a couple of minutes.

Following our request, Fairchild has been investigating to identify reports of bad production lot for the DM0265, but none were identified (or reported as such to us). Concerning the Samsung, the manufacturer of the powerboard, on which is sitting the Fairchild DM0265, we could not get any comments or answers to our questions.
However, many users have tried to power their dead APX via an external or alternative powerboard or source, and it might be the solution while waiting for the hypothetical recognition of the issue by Apple. We ask all users to share and provide comments, idea or reports about it to the dedicated topic in our forum: here.
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Harald.Nowak
post Oct 20 2006, 02:28 PM
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The Airport Express that can be seen on "Harald's" homepage http://www.unet.univie.ac.at/~a8800274/Apple/ turned out to suffer the exact same problem as all others do:

After having replaced the fuse, i plugged it in, which resulted in a short flash of the LED, some smoke and an exploded Fairchild DMO, that spilled its contents over the blue condensator - quite the same phenomenon as many others have experienced, only that with my Airport Express the first thing that happened was that the fuse was gone - only after having replaced the fuse the "normal course of events" took place. I will soon add pictures of this little catastrophy on the homepage.

I would be interested if anyone knows what voltage and current an external power supply would have to provide to power the Airport Express?! I would well settle for this solution, because importing the DMO from fairchild is quite expensive and as far as I read it will propably not work for longer than a few seconds.

regards,
Harald Nowak

This post has been edited by Harald.Nowak: Oct 20 2006, 02:45 PM
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jade
post Oct 20 2006, 06:48 PM
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My Airport Express is also defective. After about 11 months of use. During the past 2 months or so the Airport would disconnect and stop broadcasting a signal. It might take anywhere from 2 minutes to 30 to rebroadcast. At first I thought it was my cable modem or wire, but this has been eliminated. During the last occassion a few weeks ago, I tried to reset the router, but it refused to reset fully. I took it to the Apple Store and they were also unable to reset the system as well. I didn't have my original receipt so I haven't been able to performa a warranty exchange. Right know it is broadcasting a signal, and can be used to print, but not for music or internet.
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linathael
post Oct 20 2006, 07:00 PM
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QUOTE (Harald.Nowak @ Oct 20 2006, 03:28 PM) *
The Airport Express that can be seen on "Harald's" homepage http://www.unet.univie.ac.at/~a8800274/Apple/ turned out to suffer the exact same problem as all others do:

After having replaced the fuse, i plugged it in, which resulted in a short flash of the LED, some smoke and an exploded Fairchild DMO, that spilled its contents over the blue condensator - quite the same phenomenon as many others have experienced, only that with my Airport Express the first thing that happened was that the fuse was gone - only after having replaced the fuse the "normal course of events" took place. I will soon add pictures of this little catastrophy on the homepage.

I would be interested if anyone knows what voltage and current an external power supply would have to provide to power the Airport Express?! I would well settle for this solution, because importing the DMO from fairchild is quite expensive and as far as I read it will propably not work for longer than a few seconds.

regards,
Harald Nowak

Hello harald,

welcome on hardmac forum
voltage are 3.3 and 5 volts smile.gif
it turns out that Apple has probably changed the manufacturer, because in France the new APX have a serial number starting with 6Fxxxxxx
I would be very interested to get my hand on a defective APX with such type of serial number.
I am almost sure that Apple has modified the original APX boards assembled/manufactured by Foxconn
We need to get the information shared as much as possible.


QUOTE (jade @ Oct 20 2006, 07:48 PM) *
My Airport Express is also defective. After about 11 months of use. During the past 2 months or so the Airport would disconnect and stop broadcasting a signal. It might take anywhere from 2 minutes to 30 to rebroadcast. At first I thought it was my cable modem or wire, but this has been eliminated. During the last occassion a few weeks ago, I tried to reset the router, but it refused to reset fully. I took it to the Apple Store and they were also unable to reset the system as well. I didn't have my original receipt so I haven't been able to performa a warranty exchange. Right know it is broadcasting a signal, and can be used to print, but not for music or internet.

really bad customer satisfaction policy, because according to the serial number of your defetive APX they could determine when it was produced, or even sold if you bought it from an AppleStore.
by the way if you have an AppleCare for an Apple hardware unit, your APX is included in the warranty.
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linathael
post Oct 23 2006, 02:11 PM
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Back to update you regarding the Airport Express short lifespan Issue:
French users are collecting docs and info in order to prepare an action against Apple France. The goal is to demonstrate a internal defect in the Airport express station, if this is acknowledge by the Judge, then according to the French laws, Apple will have to replace free of charge all defective APX (purchased in France), regardless of the warranty.
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hdalgaard
post Nov 1 2006, 03:13 PM
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Here is an other photo of the burnt interior of a dead Airport Express model A1088 bought in Denmark December 2004:
http://echoone.com/feedback/dead-airport-express.jpg

I liked the Airport Express and have bought a new one - in hope that they have improved its lifespan since then.

-Henrik
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linathael
post Nov 1 2006, 07:15 PM
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QUOTE (hdalgaard @ Nov 1 2006, 03:13 PM) *
Here is an other photo of the burnt interior of a dead Airport Express model A1088 bought in Denmark December 2004:
http://echoone.com/feedback/dead-airport-express.jpg

I liked the Airport Express and have bought a new one - in hope that they have improved its lifespan since then.

-Henrik

Tanks Henrik
Is the warranty of one or two years in Denmark?
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hdalgaard
post Nov 7 2006, 05:03 PM
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QUOTE (linathael @ Nov 1 2006, 07:15 PM) *
QUOTE (hdalgaard @ Nov 1 2006, 03:13 PM) *

Here is an other photo of the burnt interior of a dead Airport Express model A1088 bought in Denmark December 2004:
http://echoone.com/feedback/dead-airport-express.jpg

I liked the Airport Express and have bought a new one - in hope that they have improved its lifespan since then.

-Henrik

Tanks Henrik
Is the warranty of one or two years in Denmark?

Apple gives 1 year of warranty in Denmark. Danish consumer law furthermore give 2 years of rights to complain, and if I can prove it was defective when I bought it I have the right to get if fixed or replaced. I think it is hard to prove though as it has been working throught its warranty period. I certainly hope Apple has improved the quality of the my new one.

QUOTE (linathael @ Oct 20 2006, 07:00 PM) *
..... snip....
voltage are 3.3 and 5 volts smile.gif
it turns out that Apple has probably changed the manufacturer, because in France the new APX have a serial number starting with 6Fxxxxxx
I would be very interested to get my hand on a defective APX with such type of serial number.
I am almost sure that Apple has modified the original APX boards assembled/manufactured by Foxconn
We need to get the information shared as much as possible.

really bad customer satisfaction policy, because according to the serial number of your defetive APX they could determine when it was produced, or even sold if you bought it from an AppleStore.
by the way if you have an AppleCare for an Apple hardware unit, your APX is included in the warranty.


Have you successfully powered your APX with 3.3 and 5 volts?
I would be interested in trying this out - a quick experiemt with 2+1 1.5 volt batteries did not work, but they were probably a bit too weak with 3 and 4.5 volts. I connected the black wires to minus the orange to 3.3 volts and the red to 5 volts. Is this what I should do if I get my hands on an 2 adjustable power supplies?

This post has been edited by hdalgaard: Nov 7 2006, 04:55 PM
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linathael
post Nov 7 2006, 05:08 PM
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QUOTE (hdalgaard @ Nov 7 2006, 05:03 PM) *
QUOTE (linathael @ Nov 1 2006, 07:15 PM) *

QUOTE (hdalgaard @ Nov 1 2006, 03:13 PM) *

Here is an other photo of the burnt interior of a dead Airport Express model A1088 bought in Denmark December 2004:
http://echoone.com/feedback/dead-airport-express.jpg

I liked the Airport Express and have bought a new one - in hope that they have improved its lifespan since then.

-Henrik

Tanks Henrik
Is the warranty of one or two years in Denmark?

Apple gives 1 year of warranty in Denmark. Danish consumer law furthermore give 2 years of rights to complain, and if I can prove it was defective when I bought it I have the right to get if fixed or replaced. I think it is hard to prove though as it has been working throught its warranty period. I certainly hope Apple has improved the quality of the my new one.

QUOTE (linathael @ Oct 20 2006, 07:00 PM) *
..... snip....
voltage are 3.3 and 5 volts smile.gif
it turns out that Apple has probably changed the manufacturer, because in France the new APX have a serial number starting with 6Fxxxxxx
I would be very interested to get my hand on a defective APX with such type of serial number.
I am almost sure that Apple has modified the original APX boards assembled/manufactured by Foxconn
We need to get the information shared as much as possible.

really bad customer satisfaction policy, because according to the serial number of your defetive APX they could determine when it was produced, or even sold if you bought it from an AppleStore.
by the way if you have an AppleCare for an Apple hardware unit, your APX is included in the warranty.


Have you successfully powered your APX with 3.3 and 5 volts?
I would be interested in trying this out - a quick experiemt with 2+1 1.5 volt batteries did not work, but they were probably a bit too weak with 3 and 4.5 volts. I connected the black wires to minus the orange to 3.3 volts and the red to 5 volts. Is this what I should do if I get my hands on an 2 adjustable power supplies?

not personaly, but some have tried, it gets very hot
we are currently having members dissecting dead APX.
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hdalgaard
post Nov 9 2006, 02:13 AM
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QUOTE (linathael @ Nov 7 2006, 05:08 PM) *
QUOTE (hdalgaard @ Nov 7 2006, 05:03 PM) *



Have you successfully powered your APX with 3.3 and 5 volts?
I would be interested in trying this out - a quick experiemt with 2+1 1.5 volt batteries did not work, but they were probably a bit too weak with 3 and 4.5 volts. I connected the black wires to minus the orange to 3.3 volts and the red to 5 volts. Is this what I should do if I get my hands on an 2 adjustable power supplies?

not personaly, but some have tried, it gets very hot
we are currently having members dissecting dead APX.

Thank you for the tip - it works - my Airport has now been playing for the last hour fed by a borrowed power supply!
Photo: Slightly Hacksawed Airport playing from 3.3 and 5 volts

Next: where to find a smaller power supply :-)
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linathael
post Nov 9 2006, 09:06 AM
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QUOTE (hdalgaard @ Nov 9 2006, 02:13 AM) *
Thank you for the tip - it works - my Airport has now been playing for the last hour fed by a borrowed power supply!
Photo: Slightly Hacksawed Airport playing from 3.3 and 5 volts

Next: where to find a smaller power supply :-)

Brilliant smile.gif
thanks for your email smile.gif
Does it get hot or not?
is the DM0265 dead? if yes how can it work? is it only the wifi feature that is working or the airtunes?
I am very interested to get updates, because since our last news related to Airport short life span issue, we have colelcted 100 more reports...
we a reaching 800 dry.gif
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hdalgaard
post Nov 9 2006, 02:17 PM
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QUOTE (linathael @ Nov 9 2006, 09:06 AM) *
QUOTE (hdalgaard @ Nov 9 2006, 02:13 AM) *

Thank you for the tip - it works - my Airport has now been playing for the last hour fed by a borrowed power supply!
Photo: Slightly Hacksawed Airport playing from 3.3 and 5 volts

Next: where to find a smaller power supply :-)

Brilliant smile.gif
thanks for your email smile.gif
Does it get hot or not?
is the DM0265 dead? if yes how can it work? is it only the wifi feature that is working or the airtunes?
I am very interested to get updates, because since our last news related to Airport short life span issue, we have colelcted 100 more reports...
we a reaching 800 dry.gif


It has been running well now for 5 hours and it is not getting hot. The DM0265 is dead, and I have not looked at replacing it because of the reports that it would likely burn off in a few minutes. I will let it run off the lab power supply for a few days and look for a permanent solution with spare parts from http://conrad.de .

It really needs 3.3 volts - if I turn it down to 3.1 it shuts off. It will be interesting to see if it can work off a cheap powerbrick. The 5 volt should likely be accurate as well.

The scariest part of the repair is the hacksaw job. Fortunately you can see where not to cut too deep on the photos and the wifi part is somewat protected.

This post has been edited by hdalgaard: Nov 9 2006, 02:19 PM
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linathael
post Nov 9 2006, 05:05 PM
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QUOTE (hdalgaard @ Nov 9 2006, 02:17 PM) *
It has been running well now for 5 hours and it is not getting hot. The DM0265 is dead, and I have not looked at replacing it because of the reports that it would likely burn off in a few minutes. I will let it run off the lab power supply for a few days and look for a permanent solution with spare parts from http://conrad.de .

It really needs 3.3 volts - if I turn it down to 3.1 it shuts off. It will be interesting to see if it can work off a cheap powerbrick. The 5 volt should likely be accurate as well.

The scariest part of the repair is the hacksaw job. Fortunately you can see where not to cut too deep on the photos and the wifi part is somewat protected.

thanks for those comments
It looks promising smile.gif
So which feature has been restored?
which feature is lost when you shut the 3.3V tension line off?
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azeorth
post Nov 9 2006, 09:59 PM
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Please sign the petition that I created. http://www.PetitionOnline.com/deadapx/
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hdalgaard
post Nov 9 2006, 10:05 PM
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QUOTE (linathael @ Nov 9 2006, 05:05 PM) *
thanks for those comments
It looks promising smile.gif
So which feature has been restored?
which feature is lost when you shut the 3.3V tension line off?


Low voltage just turns it off. The music stops and the light goes out.

I have carefully soldered out the 3 main capacitors to check them.
The big black one in the corner is worn totally down. From new it was at 10 µF - now it is down to 0.1 µF.

Capacitors age fast when they get hot. This could be where the problems start. There seems to be a common problem:
Capacitor Plague, but the blown cap does not have the bulged top shown there.

This post has been edited by hdalgaard: Nov 9 2006, 11:45 PM
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linathael
post Nov 10 2006, 09:49 AM
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QUOTE (hdalgaard @ Nov 9 2006, 10:05 PM) *
Low voltage just turns it off. The music stops and the light goes out.

I have carefully soldered out the 3 main capacitors to check them.
The big black one in the corner is worn totally down. From new it was at 10 µF - now it is down to 0.1 µF.

Capacitors age fast when they get hot. This could be where the problems start. There seems to be a common problem:
Capacitor Plague, but the blown cap does not have the bulged top shown there.

very nice investigation
could you make photos of your investigation, you could even write a report that we could publish on hardmac. smile.gif
still I surprised that while the DM0265 has blown out, the APX is still working fine, confirming that the faulty part is the power board.
keep it up , and do not hesitate to send me photos comments, we will publish it, I think it brings a lot a information by itself: lianthael at macbidouile dot com
and I was planning to publish an update regarding the APX issue as the counter is going to display over 800 reports of dead APX over the week-end, 797 this morning...
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hdalgaard
post Nov 10 2006, 03:45 PM
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QUOTE (linathael @ Nov 10 2006, 09:49 AM) *
very nice investigation
could you make photos of your investigation, you could even write a report that we could publish on hardmac. smile.gif
still I surprised that while the DM0265 has blown out, the APX is still working fine, confirming that the faulty part is the power board.
keep it up , and do not hesitate to send me photos comments, we will publish it, I think it brings a lot a information by itself: lianthael at macbidouile dot com
and I was planning to publish an update regarding the APX issue as the counter is going to display over 800 reports of dead APX over the week-end, 797 this morning...


The music is still playing. smile.gif
Conrad has not sent me shipment notifications yet (if they do). I will try to take good pictures of the repair. So far I had to reattach the alligator clips as they got a bit loose - for a moment I thought it died.
It is not a good idea to have 230 volts in the open after the hacksaw operation, so this is why I try with a new powerbrick, rather than replacing the DMO and what else may have failed.
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sulka
post Jan 17 2007, 01:12 PM
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My AX died (pop, dead). I called Apple and as expected, they refused to replace the device. I next demanded that I want a written statement about Apple refusing to fix the device as I thought it's inexcusable for a company to not replace or fix a pretty expensive device for a lower rate than getting a new one. This changed the tone of the discussion significantly and in the end the representative rather got me a replacement device than the statement.

I now have a brand new replacement AX which should be good for another 16.32 months. :)

So - when calling Apple about fixes, if they refuse to fix, demand to get the refusal in writing. Chances are you'll get what you want and if not, you'll have a piece of paper that makes further negotiations on getting your stuff fixed much easier.
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linathael
post Jan 17 2007, 01:28 PM
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QUOTE (sulka @ Jan 17 2007, 01:12 PM) *
My AX died (pop, dead). I called Apple and as expected, they refused to replace the device. I next demanded that I want a written statement about Apple refusing to fix the device as I thought it's inexcusable for a company to not replace or fix a pretty expensive device for a lower rate than getting a new one. This changed the tone of the discussion significantly and in the end the representative rather got me a replacement device than the statement.

I now have a brand new replacement AX which should be good for another 16.32 months. smile.gif

So - when calling Apple about fixes, if they refuse to fix, demand to get the refusal in writing. Chances are you'll get what you want and if not, you'll have a piece of paper that makes further negotiations on getting your stuff fixed much easier.

Thanks Sulka for your comment
could you indicate where are you located?
I will publish an update about this story i nthe coming days, as numbers of reports of dead APX increase, we also get interesting information from graphic of dead APX over the last 2 years.
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linathael
post Jan 26 2007, 03:04 PM
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we have published an update abou this issue:
news: http://www.hardmac.com/news/2007-01-26/#6360

dedicated forum topic: http://forum.hardmac.com/index.php?showtopic=725
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tallday
post Jul 16 2007, 08:49 AM
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Mine burned up in a slightly different way than most posts. The melt-down happened at the capacitor marked "222." I tried to raise this issue on the Apple AirPort Express forum but was told this was "not considered appropriate for the discussions" (actual quote from the administrator).

More photos available.Attached File  IMG_0466.jpg ( 287.08K ) Number of downloads: 815
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cheerful
post Jul 16 2007, 10:38 AM
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tallday, that's a huge and clear picture! thanks. really huge! btw, it appears like it is bleeding blood too! biggrin.gif
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linathael
post Jul 16 2007, 11:17 AM
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QUOTE (tallday @ Jul 16 2007, 09:49 AM) *
Mine burned up in a slightly different way than most posts. The melt-down happened at the capacitor marked "222." I tried to raise this issue on the Apple AirPort Express forum but was told this was "not considered appropriate for the discussions" (actual quote from the administrator).

More photos available.Attached File  IMG_0466.jpg ( 287.08K ) Number of downloads: 815

we have identified the faulty components as being capacitors (lower specification than required).
last reports published:
http://www.hardmac.com/news/2007-01-26/#6360
http://www.hardmac.com/news/2007-04-19/#6670
and we are now close to 1500 reports of dead airports sad.gif
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davidw1234
post Aug 14 2007, 07:16 PM
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I have just received writen response from Apple Customer Relations for UK customers (based in Cork, Republic of Ireland). They say ".... Apple will not offer a replacement or repair of your Airport Express Base Station..... We would also like to confirm that Apple does not have a repair extension program (sic) for this product."


My serial no is between the range HS428xxxxxx to HS518xxxxxx.

Does anyone have any ideas where to go next with this? How is the class action getting on in France?

Thanks

David
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linathael
post Aug 14 2007, 09:15 PM
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QUOTE (davidw1234 @ Aug 14 2007, 08:16 PM) *
I have just received writen response from Apple Customer Relations for UK customers (based in Cork, Republic of Ireland). They say ".... Apple will not offer a replacement or repair of your Airport Express Base Station..... We would also like to confirm that Apple does not have a repair extension program (sic) for this product."


My serial no is between the range HS428xxxxxx to HS518xxxxxx.

Does anyone have any ideas where to go next with this? How is the class action getting on in France?

Thanks

David

We have recorded over 1500 reports of dead APX from this news, and we know that some french users have launched legal action against Apple in France. There is not way to launch class-action in France, but we follow the current users who initiated legal action to bring Apple to court based on hidden defect in APX leading to shorter than expected death of the device (knowing that such defect is covered in French law by unlimited warranty).
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Chris_McKite
post Dec 4 2007, 07:57 PM
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Hi there,
two years ago I purchased a Airport Express in Germany. I kept on working fine until some weeks ago, where the music wouldn't play anymore. Everything else works just fine. The Errror is "Couldn't find Speakers attached to the Airport "name-of the airport"..."

Does anybody know if this problem is common? Does it have anything to do with the issues described here in the thread?

Thanks for an answer.

The Model is a 1088 and my serial number is also between the range HS428xxxxxx to HS518xxxxxx.
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linathael
post Dec 7 2007, 03:09 PM
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QUOTE (Chris_McKite @ Dec 4 2007, 07:57 PM) *
Hi there,
two years ago I purchased a Airport Express in Germany. I kept on working fine until some weeks ago, where the music wouldn't play anymore. Everything else works just fine. The Errror is "Couldn't find Speakers attached to the Airport "name-of the airport"..."

Does anybody know if this problem is common? Does it have anything to do with the issues described here in the thread?

Thanks for an answer.

The Model is a 1088 and my serial number is also between the range HS428xxxxxx to HS518xxxxxx.

http://www.hardmac.com/news/2007-10-22/#7356
http://www.hardmac.com/news/2007-04-19/#6670
yes the first APX are dying usually rather quickly, from that time it seems that average lifetime is 18-20 months
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papapa
post Aug 13 2008, 05:55 PM
Post #28


Green Apple


Group: Banned
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Joined: 13-August 08
Member No.: 9,535



I see that your initiative had a great success. I'm happy that people react to your petition. I wish you all the best.
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the7trumpets
post Jul 15 2010, 03:31 AM
Post #29


Green Apple


Group: Members
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Joined: 15-July 10
Member No.: 12,840



I know it's bad form to troll up an old post, but I wanted to let you know that I'm currently LOOKING for old dead airport expresses. If you still have one and suffered from this issue, I would be delighted to have your broken airport express.

Just drop me a PM.
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drahu
post May 24 2011, 04:58 PM
Post #30


Green Apple


Group: Members
Posts: 1
Joined: 24-May 11
Member No.: 14,412



Guiness Record !

I burned my AirPort Express in 11 days !!!!!!!


It smell burned, but I'm under warantly.


Please take note a this review in your stats.

If someone interresed i can furnish more informations.


I'm in France, and i bought it in France.

Model No : A1264
S/N 6F1155392UF

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