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Thursday, October 18, 2012

PS3 Repeatedly Cannot Connect to WLAN


Background

I have a PS3 (CHECHL04 80GB model from 2008 or so) which we are using predominantly for watching movies from the Playstation Store. Up to recently the PS3 was connected via cable to an Apple 1 TB Time Capsule which I used as WLAN router. The Time Capsule itself was connected to a cable modem.
Then, once in a sudden the Time Capsule quit its service... I wrote about this earlier.

Current Setup

I replaced the Time Capsule with a combination of an Apple Airport Express and a Synology DS212j NAS, the cable modem remained the same. Unfortunately, the Airport Express only has one LAN cable socket instead of the 4 like the Time Capsule or an Airport Extreme - which I did not buy due to budget reasons. The one cable socket I reserved for the connection of the DS212j, so the PS3 had to connect to the network via WLAN from now on.

Problems, Problems, Problems - WLAN & PS3 sucks

Everything started without problems - I configured the PS3 network settings (more or less everything on auto mode, the wlan password, ...) and it worked without problems. ... once ...
The next time I switched on the PS3 (I wanted to watch a movie together with my wife..) nothing worked - no connection to the network possible.
What followed was a couple of days nightmare of configuring the network settings again and again and trying all kind of permutations of the network parameters over and over. The wlan was always detected, I verified passwords and IP addresses (automatic and manual), tried the same on the Aiport Express side. Nothing worked...

At Long Last - The Helpful Hint

During my configuration exercises I scanned as well a thousand forums and blogs, without finding a helpful answer right away. In the end one discussion was helpful - unfortunately I cannot find it again to link it here.
In this thread, one author said that there is one speciality of apple wlan devices: if they are working in environments with many wlan routers around (what is the case for me), it switches to wlan channel 13 which causes problems for many client devices - and especially the PS3. The author adviced to manually set the wlan channel of the Airport to a channel lower than 12 or 10 (can't really remember).

I followed this advice and it worked like a fly and ever since. I tried a fixed channel 3 and 6 without problems. I set the PS3 network settings to mostly standard and automatic, no special tricks.

I hope this blog helps other frustrated PS3 network configurators ;)