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  1. #1
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    Wireless network issues with Squeezebox radio

    I've just bought a new Squeezebox radio. So far, not very happy it as it seems to be a pretty bad performer with my wireless network.

    I live in an apartment, with lots of wireless networks around me. My network is dual band 802.11n (apple airport extreme) - this allows other devices to work flawlessly. Unfortunately slimdevices saved a buck or two by not supporting 802.11n (speed, range and 5 GHz)

    The squeezebox is in my bedroom next to the room with the AP, just 6-7 meters away from the AP. I'm mostly playing Apple Lossless from an iMac running SC 7.4.1. Until I tweaked the channels used on the 2.4 GHz network, there was constant stuttering (many times a minute) - now there is stuttering on average every 10 minutes or so. Looking at the network test on the squeezebox, the bandwidth is maxed most of the time (I tested at 2000 kbps) - but there are periods of a couple of seconds with 0 bandwidth. Interference, maybe.

    Is there a way to increase buffering on the squeezebox radio, to avoid problems caused by its inferior wireless networking? Or other ways to tweak it? Wires and moving AP are not possible - and the squeezebox radio has to be where it is, as it will replace my bedside radio alarm.
    Last edited by xyzzy01; 2009-11-06 at 22:19. Reason: Missing zeroes in number

  2. #2
    Senior Member brucegrr's Avatar
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    Pretty big jump to assume out of the gate the radio has inferior wireless networking? Not supporting the N standard makes the radio inferior? Lots of slim/logitech devices running quite fine on older routers that predate the N standard.

    Interference. Lots of things could be causing interference. That's where I would start.

    You tweaked the settings. Strength? Different channels? What kind of signal strength do the neighboring wireless networks have?

    Lots of things to look at before blaming it on inferior hardware.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by xyzzy01 View Post
    I live in an apartment, with lots of wireless networks around me. My network is dual band 802.11n (apple airport extreme) - this allows other devices to work flawlessly.
    Streaming music (or video) reveals wireless issues that otherwise would go unnoticed.

    I can play WMA Lossless on 4 SB's in perfect sync on my old 802.11g router, and my server is also wireless (laptop). So don't blame it on SB hardware.

    Wireless can be tricky, try turning the router or radio a few degrees (or move them a little).

    I had problems with my SB classic, it wouldn't connect to my wireless, moving it 10 cm solved the problem.

    Good luck.
    Vote for "Nap feature": http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=14208

    Sboxes: Duet, Classic, Radio, 2 Boom's
    Server: HP Laptop, Core i5-540M, 4Gb DDR3, WOL (Wake-on-lan), 1.7watt suspended, Windows 7, LMS 7.7
    Router: Linksys WRT54G wireless

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by brucegrr View Post
    Pretty big jump to assume out of the gate the radio has inferior wireless networking? Not supporting the N standard makes the radio inferior? Lots of slim/logitech devices running quite fine on older routers that predate the N standard.

    Interference. Lots of things could be causing interference. That's where I would start.

    You tweaked the settings. Strength? Different channels? What kind of signal strength do the neighboring wireless networks have?

    Lots of things to look at before blaming it on inferior hardware.
    I shouldn't have used the word inferior, as it doesn't get anything resolved - they don't magically fix the design retrospectively. I used it because I was frustrated, and these problems wouldn't be there if the device supported 802.11n. Better range and speed are both good, but the best feature is 5 GHz which I'm the only one using here - while there are 30ish network using 2.4 GHz around me.

    What I tweaked was the channel in the 2.4 GHz band - it went from completely unusable to annoying. Strength in the airport preferences is already at 100% (I've also turned on interference robustness there). The signal strengths of the neighbouring networks range from strong to very faint and appearing after a many minutes in Kismac.

    I should add that I can stream youtube HD, spotify and last.fm with no problems on a laptop in the same spot. I also use these services extensively elsewhere - my iMac, AppleTV, a laptop and iPod Touch all do a bit of streaming.

    I think that the network is tweaked as much as I can - locations aren't flexible. Thus I was hoping for a way to make it use a one minute buffer or something similar.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mnyb's Avatar
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    You can use squeezeboxservers "bitrate limiting" feature it's in the audio setting for each player, it will load the server a bit as transcoding to mp3 is taking place and you need to have lame installed.

    Bitrate limiting provide two things.

    1. lower transfer rate alac is already transcoded to flac wich is aprox 800kb/s on 16b/44.1 kHz material
    using even the highest setting of 320kbs mp3 is doing a lot of good here.

    2. The radios internal buffer will last proportionally longer.

    The radio is probably good (i have a boom btw) but i doubt that you hear any sound-quality loss if using bitrate limiting.
    This feature is there to solve exactly this kind of problems.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Main hifi: Touch + CIA PS +MeridianG68J MeridianHD621 MeridianG98DH 2 x MeridianDSP5200 MeridianDSP5200HC 2 xMeridianDSP3100 +Rel Stadium 3 sub.
    Bedroom/Office: Boom
    Kitchen: Touch + powered Fostex PM0.4
    Misc use: Radio (with battery)
    iPad1 with iPengHD & SqueezePad
    (in storage SB3, reciever ,controller )
    server HP proliant micro server N36L with ClearOS Linux

    http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

  6. #6
    Senior Member aubuti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xyzzy01 View Post
    I should add that I can stream youtube HD, spotify and last.fm with no problems on a laptop in the same spot. I also use these services extensively elsewhere - my iMac, AppleTV, a laptop and iPod Touch all do a bit of streaming.
    I'm not sure what the transfer rate of YouTube HD is, but the others you mention are way below that of Apple Lossless. So the fact that those stream well doesn't really say anything about the ability of your wifi network to handle ALAC. As Mnyb suggested, you may want to look into bitrate limiting, to get the data stream down to a level you know your wifi network can handle.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by xyzzy01 View Post

    ... the best feature is 5 GHz which I'm the only one using here - while there are 30ish network using 2.4 GHz around me.
    If I were in your shoes, I'd hook the Radio up to a 5GHz 802.11n WAP running in channel-bonded (40MHz) mode. This would give you plenty of bandwidth, and it should work well since you are the only one in your area using the 5GHz band. I realize it's not as convenient as having a 5GHz radio built into the Squeezebox itself, but it's a reasonable kluge given your circumstances.
    Last edited by gweempose; 2009-11-09 at 20:19.
    2 Squeezebox Receivers
    1 Squeezebox Classic
    1 Squeezebox Boom
    3 Squeezebox Radios
    3 Squeezebox Controllers
    1 iPod touch w/ iPeng
    1 HTC EVO w/ Squeeze Commander

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by xyzzy01 View Post
    I've just bought a new Squeezebox radio. So far, not very happy it as it seems to be a pretty bad performer with my wireless network.

    I live in an apartment, with lots of wireless networks around me. My network is dual band 802.11n (apple airport extreme) - this allows other devices to work flawlessly. Unfortunately slimdevices saved a buck or two by not supporting 802.11n (speed, range and 5 GHz)

    The squeezebox is in my bedroom next to the room with the AP, just 6-7 meters away from the AP. I'm mostly playing Apple Lossless from an iMac running SC 7.4.1. Until I tweaked the channels used on the 2.4 GHz network, there was constant stuttering (many times a minute) - now there is stuttering on average every 10 minutes or so. Looking at the network test on the squeezebox, the bandwidth is maxed most of the time (I tested at 2000 kbps) - but there are periods of a couple of seconds with 0 bandwidth. Interference, maybe.

    Is there a way to increase buffering on the squeezebox radio, to avoid problems caused by its inferior wireless networking? Or other ways to tweak it? Wires and moving AP are not possible - and the squeezebox radio has to be where it is, as it will replace my bedside radio alarm.
    If there are that many b/g access points around you, I'll bet some of them are increasing the interference by setting themselves to channels other than 1, 6, 12 -- the only non-overlapping channels in the 2.4Ghz unregulated band.

    Suggest you tell the Apple access point (through it's really stupid, non-browser client) to broadcast on channel 1 in the hope that your SB Radio will connect first to it instead of drifting between channels on overlapping ap's. Alternatively, if you do a site survey and most of the aps' are on low channels, you can set your to 12.

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