Yesterday I had the opportunity to do some more testing with the Silent Disco broadcast system. This time around I was only trying to gauge the distance capability of the system. Using the AirPort Extreme base station connected to the MacBook Pro via ethernet I setup the broadcast station on my second level porch. Again, the router was not connected to a modem or internet service provider.
I initiated playback through the Airfoil speaker application on both the MacBook and an iPhone. I connected headphones to the iPhone and started walking away from broadcasting station. I was able to go nearly one full city block away from the base station and maintain music without drops. I estimate this distance at around 300 feet. It is important to note that this was with little to no obstruction in the sight-line between me and the base station. Signal dropped dramatically at the one city block distance. Additionally, as the number of obstructions between me and the base station increased there was a noticeable sound performance loss. This was true for connection and sound quality. The obstructions consisted of buildings, both brick and wood. However, obstructions like this are are not something you would typically encounter on a dance floor.
This test also highlights the potential gains that might be experienced from locating the AirPort Extreme base station at a high elevation relative to the dance surface. Mounting your Airport Extreme a few feet over the crowd (12 to 15 feet off the ground) should increase signal strength for all users and assure that the entire area experiences good signal strength.
As the system continues to function as planned, the next test will be to host more users.
This content has been appended to the original artcile which can be found here.