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  1. #1

    Angry Does SB3 actually work? I'm not so sure...

    I've got Comcast highspeed cable modem hardwired to Linksys WRT54GX2 router. My PC is also hardwired to the Linksys router. I've got SB3 in an adjacent room wired to my stereo. BUT I SPEND MORE TIME FIXING INTERRUPTIONS THAN LISTENING TO MUSIC. I've done all the things suggested in this forum to fix dropped signals, including changing router channels, checking my signal strength, on and on and on. No change in the inconsistent SB3 end result. I do not live in an unusually high interference area. Can someone please help me identify the problem? I have spent countless hours ripping my CDs to create a 100GB digital library and invested hundreds of dollars in SB3 and routers and connections. I do not with so spend my leisure time constantly re-configuring a product that does not really work as described.

    Frustrated,
    emm

  2. #2
    Senior Member radish's Avatar
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    Can you post the results from the Server & Network Health page of your slimserver? It's also worth trying it for a while connected with a cable to make 100% sure the problem really does lie with the wireless segment and not somewhere else.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Michaelwagner's Avatar
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    Just for the sake of consistancy, let me extoll briefly on the beauty of copper. Copper was discovered by ancient man something like 5,000 years ago, and to this date, no good substitute for copper has been found.

    How hard would it be to put real cat5 or 6 ethernet cables into the wall behind your stereo?

    If you don't like mucking with things, wireless may be a timewaster. It's cute, but nothing beats copper.

    Faster by a long shot, more constant than taxes or death, not effected by neighbours with portable phones or late night trips to the microwave for popcorn.

    Here in Canada, electricians will install it for about $50 a cable run, i.e. about the same cost as the wireless card in a squeezebox.

    And did I mention that it just works?

  4. #4
    Yes I think copper is the only solution. Wireless is a great idea but I have never used any wireless device without dropouts, from my wireless router to my cell phone.

  5. #5
    Here are the results from my Server & Network Health monitor at Slimserver. As far as I can tell, these results have absolutely no bearing on the performance of my slimserver. First of all, the monitor is certain I've got a SB2 when in fact I have an SB3. And my PC is a new laptop with 1.2G RAM and 100GB hard drive with a 1.83GHz P4. My confidence in the data is shaken and stirred.
    emm

    Server & Network Health

    Performance monitoring is currently enabled on your server. Performance statistics are being collected in the background while your server is running.

    Disable Performance Monitoring

    Reset Counters

    Update Page



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    192.168.1.103
    Please queue up several tracks to play on this player and start them playing. Then press the Reset Counters link above to clear the statistics and update this display.

    Summary
    Control Connection : OK
    Streaming Connection : OK
    Player Signal Strength : OK
    Buffer Fullness : Low
    Server Response Time : Occasional Poor Response


    Warnings
    The playback buffer for this player is occasionally falling lower than ideal. This is a Squeezebox2 and so the buffer fullness is expected to drop at the end of each track. You may see this warning if you are playing lots of short tracks. If you are hearing audio dropouts, please check our network signal strength.

    Your server response time is occasionally longer than desired. This may cause audio dropouts, especially on Slimp3 and Squeezebox1 players. It may be due to background load on your server or a slimserver task taking longer than normal.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Player Performance : 192.168.1.103
    The graphs shown here record the long term trend for each of the player performance measurements below. They display the number and percentage of measurements which fall within each measurement band.

    It is imporant to leave the player playing for a while and then assess the graphs.


    Player Signal Strength
    This graph shows the strength of the wireless signal received by your player. Higher signal strength is better. The player reports signal strength while it is playing.
    < 10 : 0 : 0%
    < 20 : 0 : 0%
    < 30 : 0 : 0%
    < 40 : 0 : 0%
    < 50 : 2 : 0%
    < 60 : 16 : 3% #
    < 70 : 44 : 9% ####
    < 80 : 147 : 30% ###############
    < 90 : 280 : 57% ############################
    < 100 : 0 : 0%
    >=100 : 0 : 0%
    max : 88.000000
    min : 49.000000
    avg : 77.646217

    Buffer Fullness
    This graph shows the fill of the player's buffer. Higher buffer fullness is better. Note the buffer is only filled while the player is playing tracks.
    Squeezebox1 uses a small buffer and it is expected to stay full while playing. If this value drops to 0 it will result in audio dropouts. This is likely to be due to network problems.

    Squeezebox2 uses a large buffer. This drains to 0 at the end of each track and then refills for the next track. You should only be concerned if the buffer fill is not high for the majority of the time a track is playing.

    Playing remote streams can lead to low buffer fill as the player needs to wait for data from the remote server. This is not a cause for concern.

    < 10 : 263 : 54% ##########################
    < 20 : 24 : 5% ##
    < 30 : 15 : 3% #
    < 40 : 10 : 2% #
    < 50 : 12 : 2% #
    < 60 : 10 : 2% #
    < 70 : 16 : 3% #
    < 80 : 14 : 3% #
    < 90 : 9 : 2%
    < 100 : 116 : 24% ###########
    >=100 : 0 : 0%
    max : 99.999968
    min : 0.000000
    avg : 35.236264

    Control Connection
    This graph shows the number of messages queued up to send to the player over the control connection. A measurement is taken every time a new message is sent to the player. Values above 1-2 indicate potential network congestion or that the player has become disconnected.
    < 1 : 135 :100% ##################################################
    < 2 : 0 : 0%
    < 5 : 0 : 0%
    < 10 : 0 : 0%
    < 20 : 0 : 0%
    >=20 : 0 : 0%
    max : 0.000000
    min : 0.000000
    avg : 0.000000


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Server Performance
    The graphs shown here record the long term trend for each of the server performance measurements below. They display the number and percentage of measurements which fall within each measurement band.
    Server Response Time
    This graph shows the length of time between slimserver responding to requests from any player. It is measured in seconds. Lower numbers are better. If you notice response times of over 1 second this could lead to problems with audio performance.
    The cause of long response times could be either other programs running on the server or slimserver processing a complex task.

    < 0.002 : 4410 : 96% ###############################################
    < 0.005 : 107 : 2% #
    < 0.01 : 13 : 0%
    < 0.015 : 8 : 0%
    < 0.025 : 12 : 0%
    < 0.05 : 16 : 0%
    < 0.1 : 9 : 0%
    < 0.5 : 33 : 1%
    < 1 : 4 : 0%
    < 5 : 2 : 0%
    >=5 : 1 : 0%
    max : 7.409971
    min : 0.000047
    avg : 0.005795

    Timer Accuracy
    Slimserver uses a timer mechanism to trigger events such as updating the user interface. This graph shows how accurately each timer task is run relative to the time it was intended to be run. It is measured in seconds.
    Timer tasks are scheduled by the server to run at some point in the future. As only one timer task can run at once and the server may also be performing other activity, timer tasks always run slightly after the time they are scheduled for. However if timer tasks run significantly after they are scheduled this can become noticable through delay in the user interface.

    < 0.002 : 693 : 83% #########################################
    < 0.005 : 39 : 5% ##
    < 0.01 : 46 : 5% ##
    < 0.015 : 28 : 3% #
    < 0.025 : 4 : 0%
    < 0.05 : 0 : 0%
    < 0.1 : 8 : 1%
    < 0.5 : 14 : 2%
    < 1 : 3 : 0%
    < 5 : 3 : 0%
    >=5 : 2 : 0%
    max : 7.100116
    min : 0.000000
    avg : 0.030442

    Timer Task Duration
    This graph shows how long each timer task runs for. It is measured in seconds. If any timer task takes more than 0.5 seconds this is likely to impact the user interface.
    < 0.002 : 793 : 94% ###############################################
    < 0.005 : 29 : 3% #
    < 0.01 : 0 : 0%
    < 0.015 : 0 : 0%
    < 0.025 : 5 : 1%
    < 0.05 : 2 : 0%
    < 0.1 : 0 : 0%
    < 0.5 : 10 : 1%
    < 1 : 0 : 0%
    < 5 : 1 : 0%
    >=5 : 0 : 0%
    max : 1.649644
    min : 0.000043
    avg : 0.006688

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    223
    (I'm sure someone from Slim or familiar with the stats will make some sense from the system health page. The one thing I believe is the case is that the SB firmware is known to report the SB3 as an SB2, so that fact alone shouldn't shake your faith in the data; other threads have covered that topic).

    Meanwhile, my suggestion is a simpler one - it seems as tho you're saying you've had trouble with other wireless devices dropping connections as well? If that's the case, of course the SB would be subject to the same wifi instability. Make sure your WAP is on the latest firmware and try to situate it somewhere that provides the best signal path. You may want to consider getting the antenna-based signal amplifiers if wifi drop-outs and signal strength are a problem. Also, a variety of types of wireless interference can cause wifi problems, from microwaves to cordless phones, etc. Try to rule out any electronic device that could be causing signal interference, however unlikely they may seem.

    Trying a wired connection, at least to see if the problem goes away is of course the surest advice.

    I have a similar setup to you and don't have any connection or dropout problems, so I assure you there is a way to get your setup working, you may have to sort out some network problems first. Worst case, I guess it's possible the SB is defective in some way (perhaps the wifi card or antenna) so if networking is ruled out consider exchanging it.

  7. #7
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    Massachusetts
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    Need to live with it

    Quote Originally Posted by emm
    I've got Comcast highspeed cable modem hardwired to Linksys WRT54GX2 router. My PC is also hardwired to the Linksys router. I've got SB3 in an adjacent room wired to my stereo. BUT I SPEND MORE TIME FIXING INTERRUPTIONS THAN LISTENING TO MUSIC. I've done all the things suggested in this forum to fix dropped signals, including changing router channels, checking my signal strength, on and on and on. No change in the inconsistent SB3 end result. I do not live in an unusually high interference area. Can someone please help me identify the problem? I have spent countless hours ripping my CDs to create a 100GB digital library and invested hundreds of dollars in SB3 and routers and connections. I do not with so spend my leisure time constantly re-configuring a product that does not really work as described.

    Frustrated,
    emm

    Do you want a honest answer, OK you deserve one.. In a few cases it works great, in most cases acceptable and in some cases - it will not work. Why - wireless is a mess - and the SlimSoftware is not able to make up for it. The SB3 hardware is nice - I bought a wireless SB3 to just to discover that I need to wire it up.. here goes the extra money. My old IMac can stream the same music on the same network under the same conditions nicely to an Airport Express Airtunes. SB3 is not working on the same conditions for uninterrupted music.. So the honest answer is - we both bought a medicore product for a premium price.. I guess we need to live with it.

    Cheers

  8. #8
    Senior Member Michaelwagner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emm
    Yes I think copper is the only solution. Wireless is a great idea but I have never used any wireless device without dropouts, from my wireless router to my cell phone.
    I just struggled for half an hour to get my wireless laptop to connect up. Damned Zero Config. Works most of the time. Not today for some reason.

    I really like copper. I strung it all through my factory. What I paid the electrician was less than the cost of that many wireless cards.

    When I can't get cat5, I use homeplug (which is ethernet over power copper).

    Anyways, your server health does seem to indicate a problem. There are other people on this list who are better at reading those results than I am. But the occasional bad server response part is a problem.

    Oh, the SB2 and SB3 are almost identical inside, so in many places, Slimserver doesn't identify them separately.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoundBoy
    Do you want a honest answer, OK you deserve one.. In a few cases it works great, in most cases acceptable and in some cases - it will not work. Why - wireless is a mess - and the SlimSoftware is not able to make up for it. The SB3 hardware is nice - I bought a wireless SB3 to just to discover that I need to wire it up.. here goes the extra money. My old IMac can stream the same music on the same network under the same conditions nicely to an Airport Express Airtunes. SB3 is not working on the same conditions for uninterrupted music.. So the honest answer is - we both bought a medicore product for a premium price.. I guess we need to live with it.

    Cheers
    I'd be happy to take that SB3 off your hands if you're really not happy with it, you certainly don't have to live with it.

  10. #10
    To hardwire my SB3 to my PC, what exactly is the type of cable I should use? CAT5? some other? I'm a novice so please be specific.

    thx
    emm

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