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Using Apple Time Capsules at UCSD

Learn how to set up and use a Time Capsule safely for backup at UCSD by following these instructions.

Apple Time Capsules are designed for home networks, and have some unexpected and unpleasant effects when used in an enterprise environment such as UCSD. They share wireless channels with UCSD equipment, and can cause wireless interference. Because UCSD must use most available channels to achieve strong coverage, this interference is unavoidable. When wireless Time Capsules are in use, they disrupt available radio channels in the area and cause wireless drops and outages. Because of this, wireless Time Capsules are not permitted on UCSD's network.

To use a Time Capsule at UCSD, you must use it on the wired network only, using the instructions below. When configuring the Time Capsule for the first time, you will briefly connect to it wirelessly. After configuration and connection of the Time Capsule to the wired network, you will be able to back up to your Time Capsule wirelessly from your wireless laptop or other wireless device.

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Register your Time Capsule

Register the Time Capsule online.

Form instructions:

  • Enter your @ucsd.edu email address.
  • Make sure your department, location etc. is clearly specified.
  • Indicate that the machine is a Time Capsule (in Machine OS section).
  • Enter an appropriate machine name (no spaces, accented characters or capitalization), e.g. “chem-timecap” or “ludkowski-tc”. Note this down as your "registered device name". If you have already configured your Time Capsule, this can be a name different to the one you provided in Airport Utility.
  • Include the Ethernet/MAC address of your Time Capsule.

After hostmaster registers your machine, they will confirm this by e-mail.

Configure your Time Capsule (for the first time)

You may skip to the next set of instructions if you have already set up your Time Capsule using Airport Utility, even if on another network.
  1. Before setting up the Time Capsule, be sure to run Apple’s software updates. You want to be running the latest Airport Utility Application (This application will be used to configure the Time Capsule). Also, have the device name you noted earlier available before continuing.
  2. Power on the Time Capsule. Do not attach the Ethernet cable to the Time Capsule until instructed to do so.
  3. The Time Capsule will begin to flash amber. On your computer, turn Wi-Fi on. You do not need to be actively connected to the guest or protected network. Open the application Airport Utility. (The application can be found in Applications->Utilities.) Airport Utility will pick up the Time Capsule's signal. After a few moments you should see Airport Utility gather information on the Time Capsule and prompt you with a window to create a network. Enter a name in both fields for the network and base station. For simplicity, you may use the registered device name you noted above.Image of
  4. Enter a password you wish to use to access the Time Capsule for configuring using Airport Utility (make a note of this). Click on Next and proceed to the next screen. The screen will display a message indicating the Time Capsule cannot access the Internet (this is normal). Do not connect the Ethernet cable until the Time Capsule has been completely configured. This is necessary to avoid causing interference with UCSD’s wireless networks. Click Next and proceed through a series of windows until the Time Capsule is made available on the Airport Utilities open screen.

Prepare your Time Capsule for use on the UCSD network

  1. Open the application Airport Utility. (The application can be found in Applications->Utilities.) You will notice a Time Capsule icon on screen flashing amber with a red number listed. Select the Time Capsule with your cursor and a small window will open. Select the Edit button and a larger window will open with tabs.Edit window
  2. It should default to the Base Station tab. Do not make any changes here. Click the Wireless tab and in the Network Mode drop-down, select OffDo not select update until instructedwireless tab
  3. Select the Network tab and in the dropdown for Router Mode, select Off (Bridge Mode)Network tab
  4. In the Disks tab, check the box for Enable file sharing. In the dropdown for Secured Shared Disks, select With a Disk Password. This password is independent from the password entered for the Time Capsule configuration, which is used for managing the Time Capsule. The password you are now entering will be used to connect to the drive for backups. Check the box for Remember this password in my keychainDisks tab
  5. Click Update. A small window will appear asking you if you’re sure you want to continue. Click Continue and the Time Capsule will begin to update the changes made.
  6. Quit Airport Utility and proceed to connect the Ethernet cable to the Time Capsule. The Time Capsule activity light will turn a solid blue when the connection is established. It may take a few moments to establish the connection.

Set up backups on your wireless laptop

On your laptop, set up Time Machine to make use of this Time Capsule.
  1. Connect your laptop to UCSD-PROTECTED.
  2. In the Finder, select Go -> Connect to ServerGo->connect to server
  3. Enter the name of your Time Capsule in the format afp://registeredname.dynamic.ucsd.edu and select Continue.
  4. A window will appear asking for the name and password for your Time Capsule. The name field will default to the name of the user account that’s in use. You only need to enter the password that was created for accessing the disk (created in step 4 of the previous instruction). Check the box for Remember this password in my keychain. Once the password is accepted, a window will appear with a view of the drive.
  5. The Time Capsule is now mounted. Go to System Preferences -> Time Machine. Set Time Machine On, then click Select Disk. Your Time Capsule disk should be present. Select this disk to be your backup drive.
  6. Time Machine will begin to back up your laptop. The first backup is always the longest. Please allow ample time for this backup to complete.

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Note: this page has a friendly link that's easy to remember: http://blink.ucsd.edu/go/timecapsule