View Full Version : Wi-Fi dropouts

2005-11-30, 11:53
Just received my SB3 this morning and I had it up and running in 5 minutes flat. What a cracking piece of kit, superbly finished and so easy to use.

Only problem I am discovering is the Squeezbox needs a pretty good Wi-Fi signal otherwise you get stuttering in the replay. Unfortunately my hi-fi rack is in a bit of a black spot (an alcove) and the SB3 antenna is at 90 degrees to the main Linksys one. I do have a 12db external antenna attached to the router and a Linksys Power Booster to ensure I have good coverage throughout the house except, of course, where I need it.

Slimserver is running on a Dell 3.2Ghz machine with the music library hosted on the second HD. It is hardwired to a hacked Linksys WRT54g router, power boosted, external high gain antenna and into the ether. SB3 is about 30 yds away but behind two brick walls. Basically I need to get the signal around a corner!

Signal strength is 60%

One option is using an AP as a Wi-Fi relay but I reckon what I will do is hardwire the SB3 to the QNAP (it only measures 210 x 60 x 182), stick it in the hi-fi rack, connect a Wi-Fi bridge and use that to add extra music.

Been looking for a WiFi AP/repeater but Linksys do not make such a thing (their latest range includes one but it is not compatible with the SB3) and there are questions over using another manufacturers devices (D-Link?) with any success.

Any other ideas (short of moving the stack - just had the room redecorated) are welcome.

2005-11-30, 12:21
You could use a homeplug device - can be good if your mains wiring is recent.

2005-11-30, 12:35
Nice idea! Do these things really work and if so which makes are the best?

2005-11-30, 12:56
They do work - I've had a low speed one for a while - the speed can vary a lot from 1 to 10 mbits/sec - max is supposed to be 14. There is a new high speed one where the max speed is 85 - I'd advise going for that.

There are many makes (http://www.homeplug.org/en/products/products.asp ) - a lot use the same chipset - but I think it is best to use them as an ethernet cable extenders rather than a full LAN.

2005-11-30, 13:06
A review and more detail if needed

2005-12-01, 03:45
Genius! Have just orderdd a pair of the high speed units. Thanks for the advice.

SB3 is a life changing device and the forum is a great place to visit!

2005-12-01, 04:46
Wow! Is this really as good as it looks?
So if wasn't too bothered about having wireless internet broadcast around my house, I could just buy a SB3, the devolo MicroLink dLAN Highspeed Starter Kit (http://www.devolo.co.uk/uk_EN/produkte/dLAN/mldlanhsstarterkit.html) and connect an ethernet cable from my cable modem to the 'plug', then connect the 'plug' downstairs to the SB3 and I'd have effectively a networked SB3?
Man if that's true, then I might not bother with a wireless router. But even if I do bother with one, then the bandwidth won't be used up by the SB3.
I'm thinking this might be my own best bet cos the walls in the house are quite thick (plus there's a microwave in between the PC upstairs and the lounge downstairs - but I suppose that's only a concern when it's working right?).

2005-12-01, 04:52
They work but throughput can vary a lot even within the same house and same wiring - it will depend on your how many socket ring mains, switchboard, fuses etc. If the wiring is old then chances of good throughput is doubtful.

Just make sure you order from a supplier who will take it back if you're not happy/ can't get the throughput.

I use it to access a wireless dead spot rather than deploy a repeater, WDS or bridges. Others have used them to relocate the WAP to a better location.

2005-12-01, 05:10
As Run-DMC once said: "It's tricky"
Do I get a wireless router or do I get one of these devolo MicroLink dLAN Highspeed Starter Kits?
House was re-wired a few years ago I think; new (UK) style fuse box with approx (at work so cannot tell for sure) 8 fuses: ~4 of which are for the socket mains. So sounds as if it should be good enough.

I want to order the SB3 today and at the same time, cos of postage saving etc, I want to order the other necessary bits - wireless router or MicroLink dLAN kit.

I guess with 'g' wireless being 108 Mbps & devolo MicroLink dLAN Highspeed being 84 Mbps it's whichever one is going to be least affected. All my commercial audio will be FLAC --best, so bandwidth is going to be important in my case.

Anyone anymore thoughts - or just try and see...

Thanks for quick responses btw.

2005-12-01, 05:26
I don't think you will get 108 with the SB3 - just like you won't get 85mbps with the homeplug.

You probably won't know what quality of wireless or homeplug signal you get at the SB3 until you try it.

If you a number of pieces of computer kit (e.g. server, laptop, sb3, desktop) then wireless will probably be the better option as it will also give you the possibility of wireless control (e.g. PDA, Nokia 770).
I think the homeplug is good for a simple network ( 2/3 home pcs mainly browsing internet) or getting network access into awkward places which would otherwise result in many pieces of wireless kit to extend range.

2005-12-01, 06:37
Ok, I thought you might say that bpa. And yes after reflection I do see a wirelss router having more advantages (so long as it performs well enough in my situation). It's a shame I can't test it with someone else's wireless kit. I'd just not seen these 'plug' dLANs before - smart idea.

And I know the speeds are the max and these are not going to be possible with the SB3 &/or in reality.


2005-12-01, 07:38
Another alternative for the original poster. Don't know if it is allowed in EU though.

http://www.radiolabs.com/products/wireless/wireless-range-extender.php?PHPSESSID=a0511b5eb671154f135bf82bc60 5bce7

2005-12-01, 09:32
No they are technically not allowed in the UK. The Linksys Power Booster falls into the same category and Linksys UK refused to supply one although eBay had no such conscience! The WRT54g is also hackable and can be made to do some amazing stunts including turning the gain up to 100% (they are 70% factory). I use Hyperwrt firmware. Finally a really good antenna helps, externally mounted and directional.

2005-12-01, 09:45
Finally a really good antenna helps, externally mounted and directional.

So the WRT54G & WRT54GS fit that bill right. Any point in getting the WRT54GS if you can't use the speedbooster with SB3?

So many questions from me today eh!? I'm sure my questions will change once I get this little SB3 beauty :)

2005-12-02, 03:50
I like the WRT54g because it has the twin diversity antenna and also you can easily remove one and connect a high gain one. Then you can piggy back it with the Limksys Power booster (see eBay). Never seen the advantage of speedbooster. More important to get a quality high power signal

2005-12-02, 05:48
So, getting the Linksys HGA7T High Gain Antenna (http://www.broadbandstuff.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=26_97&products_id=315&osCsid=247202fb40d1a5fa4857451decfa1968) for the WRT54G would be worthwhile?

2005-12-02, 08:46
Actually I have no experience of the Linksys antennae but I use this company: http://www.wirelesspro.co.uk/store/catalog/default.php?cPath=1_2_6

The 14db patch antenna is the one I have with a short pigtail from the WRT54g. They have a wide range depending on your particular requirements.

2005-12-04, 09:15
Update on my WiFi dropout problem. I tried the Devolo dLAN 85Mbit units and all I can say is SUPERB!

I get a reliable 32Mbit link minimum, they provide a totally reliable/secure connection and are a doddle to set up.

Although I use them in combination with the WiFi (for portable devices) these things are exceptional for anything that needs semi permanent LAN connection. So a big thank you to bpa for the suggestion. Highly recommended.