PDA

View Full Version : It's all gone pear-shaped.... and for no good or obvious reason



donmacn
2014-01-29, 12:05
Hi folks,

It's one of those days when I wonder why I persevere with these things..... definitely!

I posted this in the Boom forum, but I'm taking it over here because it seems I was too hasty and it's a wider issue..
-----------
This morning, I tried to turn on a Boom that hadn't been used for a good few days. Nothing - wouldn't connect. This evening I thought I'd try and sort it out. It's the "downstairs boom", connected via a powerline wifi extender. It would connect to the network (signal strength +70%) and it would connect to MSB.com; but wouldn't connect to either version of LMS that's running.

So, I took it upstairs, connected it next to the PC and vortexbox, and it connected OK - once I'd asked the vortexbox LMS to 'take it over'. OK. Too it downstairs again - nothing. Now it won't even connect.

While checking the LMS settings to see which players were connected to which LMS, I thought "hang on, where's the Kitchen Boom?" This is one of the most frequently used players, hasn't moved for weeks or months, and it too can't connect. I've tried factory resets and re-entering the wifi password - it still can't connect to the network.

Is there different hardware or software architecture for these things vs the SB3, Touch or SB1?

I'm about to start the chore of switching off all devices, rebooting the router and powering it all back up again, but that gets old pretty quick.

Any other suggestions?? Everything else seems to be working and playing OK.
-----

And that's where I was wrong - everything else is not playing OK. My 'bedroom SB3' now cannot connect to the network.... So it seems like the whole thing has collapsed, after a period of stability with the introduction of the vortexbox and its LMS. Nothing (that I can think of) has happened to provoke this, but clearly some obscure computer or network reason has popped up.

Ta

D

garym
2014-01-29, 12:39
Reboot everything Start with router

donmacn
2014-01-29, 12:49
so, I'll set out what steps I take to try and fix this..

Just powered everything down, and started again, router first, giving it lots of time to reboot before turning on the PC & vortexbox.

This time, in case there's any conflict between different versions of LMS (now running 7.8 on both PC and vortexbox) I have stopped the PC version, and set it not to start on system start. As I get more and more music onto the vortexbox, I'm pointing all the players at that, and I can see the PC version being mainly switched off, and as a back up only. Do separate installations of LMS conflict with each other?

Next I turned on one of the players - Bedroom SB3 - which is normally wifi connected. It wouldn't connect first time; did a factory reset; and it still won't connect. Interestingly (if I believe it) the router's web interface/control panel shows the player. It's correct mac address is showing, but it doesn't have an associated IP address.

I had tried (last time I had issues) to use reserved IP addresses. This was working fine until today. It's a high-end, Netgear D6200 router, only about 5/6 weeks old.

Also interesting is that all the other wifi devices in the house seem to be working and connecting fine......

If there's nothing more obvious, then could it be a problem with the router and the 'reserved' IP addresses under DCHP??

Going to try the Touch now.

As always, extremely grateful for any thoughts or suggestions.

Ta

D

donmacn
2014-01-29, 12:50
Reboot everything Start with router

Thanks gary - learnt that lesson last time. Our posts crossed. Wasn't the magic bullet it was last time round.

D

donmacn
2014-01-29, 12:54
hmmm.

I had tried to connect the 'Bedroom SB3' a couple of times, as mentioned above. I then came through to the PC to make the last couple of posts. Went back into the bedroom - and it's now connected......

How does that work? A 'sticky' connection with the router? Something intermittent in the router itself??

Off now to try the Touch and Kitchen Boom

donmacn
2014-01-29, 13:37
So:

Touch (wifi) connected no probs;
SB1 (powerline ethernet) connected no probs;
Garage SB1 (powerline ethernet) connected fine;
SB3 in the cellar connected fine.

but still the two Booms just can't get through. I've done several factory resets; the see the network SSID instantly, they offer wireless strengths of 70 and 80+ percent, but they just can't connect to the network.

This leaves me with two questions I think:

1) If the PC version of LMS had been 'off' and I switched it on; would it try to 'take over' players?? Could there be a conflict in there? I'd have thought a factory reset would clear this though.

2) Assuming there isn't a Boom firmware issue, or both Booms decided to 'die' on the same day - at the very beginning, when I was trying to get the first troublesome Boom to connect I 'deleted' both their MAC addresses from the reserved address list on the router. I assumed that meant they would revert to 'random' IP allocation via the DCHP server - but would that maybe 'block' them somehow?

Any other suggestions why it would be just the two Booms? As I said above, the one in the kitchen is probably the most used of all the players and has never really given any problems till now.

Ta

D

donmacn
2014-01-29, 14:20
sorry folks, I'm sure this is getting boring......

I can now connect the 'kitchen boom' to the server and play music, but only in the same room as the router. Once it's connected, if I switch it off, and move it to its normal location - where it's lived for years and years - it won't connect.

As I said, in it's normal spot, it still reads 80% wifi signal, so it doesn't seem to me that the router power has dropped?? Could the Boom's network ability have deteriorated somehow? Though why it would happen so quickly, and to both Booms at the same time, seems like too much of a coincidence to me.

Ta

Donald

donmacn
2014-01-29, 15:13
.... and finally.

Getting that Boom connected was driving me nuts. It wouldn't connect in location A in the kitchen, but would in location B in the same room; then I'd take it one room further away, wifi strength dropped to 50% but it connected and played. Back to location A - nope. Back to location B again - nope! Different power socket, but still in location B - no... and then finally yes!

I guess it seems to me there's some sort of intermittent fault with the Boom's network card. Is that possible? A bad connection? A poor power supply - strong enough sometimes to light up the display, but not to sustain a connection?? I'll try searching the forums.

I'm back where I started, with one Boom downstairs not working - and the Kitchen Boom having to be moved to a different place - but at least it's playing again for now.

I'll leave it at that unless anyone has any observations or similar experiences with a flaky Boom?

Sorry to drag you all along like this!

D

SlimChances
2014-01-29, 15:18
Any source of wireless interfeence present? New cordless phones, microwave, garage door openers etc. Try changing the Routers wireless channel below 11 and not on auto (I have mine set at 7 and no problems with boom or radio any more)

donmacn
2014-01-29, 15:23
Any source of wireless interfeence present? New cordless phones, microwave, garage door openers etc. Try changing the Routers wireless channel below 11 and not on auto (I have mine set at 7 and no problems with boom or radio any more)

hi - thanks.

I looked for anything new - but couldn't see anything that's changed.

There are three things though that might be deteriorating and causing more interference - the cordless phone is getting long in the tooth, as is the microwave. We also have a wireless 'fuel level' gauge for our heating oil. All these things have been fixtures for a long time, but I do wonder if they might be causing problems.

The router is set to 'auto' but I think it's on channel 6. Based in north of Scotland - not sure what the differences might be with the US? Also, we live in a detached house, so no neighbours networks to consider. I'll look into setting a specific channel if you reckon it might be worth it.

Ta

D

SlimChances
2014-01-29, 15:35
Setting the channel to a fixed number below 11 is easily done and may help isolate the problem

d6jg
2014-01-29, 15:46
You said it is a fairly new router. Id say it sounds highly like interference and the advice to try some different channels is the way to go.

donmacn
2014-01-29, 16:01
thanks guys,

I can login to the router admin easily enough, and I can see where to alter the channel. No probs with that. But, not being in any way an expert on these I wondered if that would cause further problems? Do the various clients just adjust automatically, or would I need to disconnect/connect everything?

Is there any 'rule of thumb' for the channels in the UK? Lower numbers = better range for example? Or the other way around?

(edit) .. and thinking further, after a bit of googling... it seems folk change channels to avoid local congestion with other networks. As I've said, this really isn't an issue for me. So, within my house, do different channels suffer more or less from interference generated by other devices??

Ta

D

SlimChances
2014-01-29, 16:44
I believe there are other threads on this topic. Quoting Garym here (http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?100731-Radio-WiFi-woes-is-it-hardware-or-software&highlight=router%2Bchannel)

yes, check with something like the program "inSSIDer" what channels nearby wifi networks are using. Use 1, 6, or 11 if possible. Don't channel use > 11, even if outside US. Don't use "auto channel" in router. Don't "hide" SSID in your router (this is zero security anyhow, as you'll discover with inSSIDer).

garym
2014-01-29, 16:55
I believe there are other threads on this topic. Quoting Garym here (http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?100731-Radio-WiFi-woes-is-it-hardware-or-software&highlight=router%2Bchannel)

and inSSIDer seems to be a paid program now. Try netstumber or vistumber (win7) for same thing. use fixed channel and 11 or lower, even though UK has > 11 channels.

durks
2014-01-30, 00:09
On these two specific questions:


Is there any 'rule of thumb' for the channels in the UK? Lower numbers = better range for example?

No. The only issue is interference/contention on the channels.

Additionally, there is overlap between the various channels in the 2.4GHz band (i.e. '802.11b/g') so, for example, channels 1 and 2 interfere with one another. As a result, the usual practice in a large wifi installation is to use only three of these channels: 1, 6 and 11.


So, within my house, do different channels suffer more or less from interference generated by other devices??

No. This entire bit of the spectrum is unlicensed and unregulated, so any domestic device which uses it (e.g. portable phone, microwave oven, baby alarm etc. etc.) can be doing more or less anything.

donmacn
2014-01-30, 01:24
Durks et al.

Thanks for that. So, does a fixed channel have any other 'performance' benefits beyond easing channel congestion? Or to put that the other way around, if I don't have to deal with congestion issues, will moving to a fixed channel make a difference?

I'm not rejecting the advice at all, I'll probably give it a go this evening, just trying to understand why it might make a difference.

ta

D

durks
2014-01-30, 04:09
So, does a fixed channel have any other 'performance' benefits beyond easing channel congestion? Or to put that the other way around, if I don't have to deal with congestion issues, will moving to a fixed channel make a difference?

No (unless you have, for example, some 'broken' wifi client which might itself either prefer some particular channel, or which might refuse to work on others.)

It makes the entire setup more deterministic though; i.e. you are manually in control of what's happening.

And on your previous question:

Do the various clients just adjust automatically, or would I need to disconnect/connect everything?

A 'well-behaved' wifi client should follow the SSID, i.e. it should adaptively switch channels when/if the transmitter changes its channel. Are the Booms well-behaved? I don't know - I don't have one to play with - but I have no reason to doubt it.

donmacn
2014-01-30, 06:23
thanks again,

Before I went to work today I switched the router to channel 1. We'll see how that goes. If all goes well, I'll probably leave it there. If not, then I'll try channel 11 at the other end.



Are the Booms well-behaved? I don't know - I don't have one to play with - but I have no reason to doubt it.

Until yesterday, I'd have said the Booms were very well behaved - but they're certainly on my 'naughty step' at the moment! The kitchen one, in its new location in the room (ironically on top of the microwave...) seems to have dealt with the channel switch, and to have stayed connected for the last few hours. The one downstairs is still giving me the cold shoulder and not connecting to the network - in the same place it's always been located... it'll connect upstairs right next to the router.

I do wonder though, in the absence of anything else that's different, why two players, an SB3 and 1 of the Booms, would go from being really stable to not connecting. I wonder if something's gone wrong with the router, but maybe it's just one of these annoying things that's sent along to stop us getting complacent!

cheers

D

d6jg
2014-01-30, 14:10
You said it is a new router. It may be a "faster" wifi butworsesignal strength. If you have still got the old router try using it as a Wireless Access Point instead of the routers wi-fi.
You switch wireless off on the active router.
You make an old router into a WAP by connecting to it with a single machine cabled. You give it a static IP and switch off its DHCP server.
If for example the active router is 192.168.1.2 make the WAP 192.168.1.2. Plug the WAP into the active router (LAN port to LAN port). Connect a device to the WAPs wireless and see if you can surf etc.
Then try your Boom back in its original position.
I googled the Netgear router and I see it's an expensive one (for a home device) but that doesn't unfortunately mean it is guaranteed to work with everything.

d6jg
2014-01-30, 14:35
Correction. If active router is 192.168.1.1 then make WAP .2