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View Full Version : Choppy play on Synched SB3 + 2x SB2s causes Synch delays/Unsynched



ajmitchell
2006-01-29, 03:43
Hi all,

I have sold 2 sb1s which were working perfectly with 2 sb2s. My intention was to upgrade the sb1s to sb3s and gradually add more sb3s but now I am not so sure. Here's my latest problem after adding one new Sb3.

If I synch the 2 SBs and leave the Sb3 on its own everything is fine.

If I add the Sb3 to the synched Sb2s then play gets very choppy on the audio (multiple stuttering and drop outs etc although it muddles along!). This has the effect of slowing the track play time and the SB3 becomes unsyched finishing a typical 5min song 10 to 15 seconds late. The main Sb2 (with no problems) waits in silence until the SB3 finished before restarting the next track simultanously. However, within a few seconds they have become unsyched again with choppy play largely on the SB3.

The type of track seems to make no difference, neither does the coding rate. For various reasons, I cannot use wired on the SB3 except as a test. In fact, all the boxes are using wireless. All are getting signal strength above 40%.

My main question is have people synched SB2 amd Sb3s on the same wireless network without problems?

Setup: mp3's + WinXp + not as a service (slim.exe) + SlimServer Version: 6.2.2 - 5886 - Windows XP - EN - cp1252 +netgear WGT624 wireless B&G

tim
2006-01-30, 08:36
I've had a similar experience with 3 sb2's (two wireless and 1 wired). It seems to happen frequently when my wireless strength drops below 50% or so. I remedied the situation, for the most part, by changing channels and using an external antenna. I think wireless networking is a big pain to deal with. Especially with WPA. You might try using channel 12 or 13 on your router. Experiment with your router set up. I know that the EU has more channels available than we do here in the US.

ajmitchell
2006-01-30, 11:25
Thanks Tim but its actually the SB3 not the SB2 causing the problem. The SB2 (working fine) and the SB3 (not working) get approximately the same strength.

Anyway: has anyone synched SB2 amd Sb3s on the same wireless network without problems? Surely there are quite a few out there with this set up?

snarlydwarf
2006-01-30, 11:42
You shouldn't see choppy play on either the sb2 or sb3 unless you're doing transcoding on the server or streaming something uncompressed. The buffer size is pretty healthy on the sb2/sb3 and should cover up any small network burping.

What sort of files are you playing?

Are you transcoding (perhaps accidentally -- if you've somehow retained the sb1 configuration, you may have left some transcoding setting lying around).

ajmitchell
2006-01-31, 09:09
> You shouldn't see choppy play on either the sb2 or sb3 unless you're doing transcoding on the server or streaming something uncompressed

I agree I shouldn't see it, but there it is nevertheless. The computer has plenty of capacity Athlon 2800 1GB RAM CPU useage very low throughout. No other PC activity.

All files Mp3 => on testing the size of the file makes no difference 128kps or 320 kps.

Has anyone else got SB2 (ideally more than one) and SB3 networked wirelessly together?

Thanks

Alex

Ben Sandee
2006-01-31, 09:28
On 1/31/06, ajmitchell <ajmitchell.22ibrb (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
wrote:
>
>
> > You shouldn't see choppy play on either the sb2 or sb3 unless you're
> doing transcoding on the server or streaming something uncompressed
>
> I agree I shouldn't see it, but there it is nevertheless. The computer
> has plenty of capacity Athlon 2800 1GB RAM CPU useage very low
> throughout. No other PC activity.


It sounds like you are running out of wireless bandwidth -- I know it may
not make sense though. The stops and starts sound like what I hear
unsynchronized if I've got really low wireless connection strength.

Ben

ajmitchell
2006-02-01, 09:34
I have bought another SB2 in order to test my system. If the new wireless SB2 works ok, I am tempted to conclude that there is a problem with my SB3 (or possibly all SB3s if no one can confirm that this combination works!). However if the new SB2 does not work your hypotheses about wireless or file decoding may apply (somehow). I should get the new SB2 in a couple of days. BTW, I had 2 SB1s and 2 SBs running perfectly last week!

Alex

abdomen
2006-02-01, 11:22
I have bought another SB2 in order to test my system. If the new wireless SB2 works ok, I am going to conclude that there is a problem with my SB3 (all possibly all SB3s if no one can confirm that this combination works). However if the new SB2 does not work your hypotheses about wireless or file decoding may apply (somehow).

Alex
I look forward to learning how things work out. I must say I agree with those who have implied that network saturation is the likely culprit based on your description (i.e. all three players on wireless).

If it is cheaper/easier than running CAT5 to one of the SBs, a solution might be to place a second wireless access point right by the one you already have, and configure things like this:


Wireless AP (set to channel x)
^ ^*
__________________________| |
SBa--| |
SBb--| Wireless AP (set to channel y)|
^
SBc------|


This connection marked with ^* uses one of the switched ethernet ports on each of the wireless APs. The two plain ^ "connections" are wireless.

Disclaimer I haven't (yet) needed to try this myself, but I think it would be likely to do the trick.

Edit: So much for my ASCII art-- the consecitive spaces don't get rendered. The idea in English: connect a second Wireless AP, set to a different channel, into the first with an ethernet wire. Set two of your SBs to connect to the SSID of the old AP, and one to the SSID of the new AP.

JazzHarper
2006-02-01, 21:03
I've experienced the same problem, once. I have one SB2,
one SB3 and a Linux host for slimserver, all wireless (Netgear
802.11b router). They had been in sync over many Ogg Vorbis
tracks but the SB3 lost it completely when the server started
streaming a FLAC track. I don't know why that would make a
difference--I am under the impression that Ogg tracks are
transmitted as FLAC.

The SB3 was the one that went choppy and lost sync. Skipping
to the next track did not help. It was very annoying--couldn't
have happened at a worse time. I attributed the sudden occurrance
to interference from a neighbor's network/microwave/phone.
I've just avoided syncing them since.

ajmitchell
2006-02-02, 02:37
The SB3 was the one that went choppy and lost sync. Skipping to the next track did not help.
I've just avoided syncing them since.

Thanks for that observation. I am hoping to do a definitive test this weekend and thereupon decide whether to keep my Sb3s (and add more) or collect SB2's. I actually want a server running about 7 SBs eventually.

ajmitchell
2006-02-08, 16:15
Hi all,

I borrowed a friends SB1 with my Sb2's and like the Sb1's I sold (surprise surprise) they worked flawlessly. The bottom line is its only my SB3 that doesn't work and then only wirelessly. It seems to have a problem both on its own and synched with others. I read another post about faulty internal cards.....could this be the answer. I cannot do much with it and think I will send it back; unless others can help??

I am disappointed because I wanted to buy 3-4 more SB3s and now can't see this as an option.

Alex

abdomen
2006-02-13, 15:11
This is just a followup to my earlier post about using two wireless access points to increase the amount of wireless bandwidth available for a multiple Squeezebox setup. The following blog posting has a very good explanation of how to do just that, and why it can be helpful. Ignore that it focuses on Xbox 360.

http://www.jakeludington.com/xbox/20060207_xbox_360_wireless_networking.html

Mockbeggar
2006-02-13, 17:23
I'm getting the same choppy play on my Sq3. Lot's of bandwidth. Lots of computer power. A bit distressing.

abdomen
2006-02-14, 00:40
I'm getting the same choppy play on my Sq3. Lot's of bandwidth. Lots of computer power. A bit distressing.
I am not trying to be flip, but unless your slimserver machine itself is unable to keep up, the choppy play is almost certainly caused by insufficient network bandwidth. Keep in mind that wireless signal strength will not reveal interference, other devices consuming bandwidth, or other issues preventing successful data transfer.

Post some details of your setup (is it wireless?) in a new thread and you are likely to get good help. You can always contact Slim support, if need be-- they are wonderful. If your setup is in fact wireless, you might start by disabling any turbo mode on your access point and experimenting with several different channels to see if the problem is caused by interference that can be dodged. You can also take look at this page:

http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?RouterStatus

Oh, the NetTest plugin may help diagnose the situation.

http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?PluginDiagnostics

Best of luck!

ajmitchell
2006-02-18, 03:25
Thanks Abdomen but I can add more Sb2s and Sb1s without problem, but not my new Sb3. Only the Sb3 has a problem in testing so far.

Michaelwagner
2006-02-18, 15:22
It is indeed odd that the SB1s (with their considerably smaller music buffer) had no problems and the SB3s have problems.

The only difference between an SB3 and an SB2 is the internal antenna on the SB3 (and some very early SB2s had a different wireless card).

Are you close to other neighbours? Any chance they might have wireless networks too? Wireless interference is one way this can happen ... some people report that the SB3 can be more susceptable to some types of interference because of the antenna configuration.

You might try downloading netstumbler and see if there are other people in your area using the same (or adjacent) channels and intefering with your wireless signal.

Mockbeggar
2006-02-19, 18:59
I'm getting the same choppy play on my Sq3. Lot's of bandwidth. Lots of computer power. A bit distressing.


I tried turning off the non-essential computers that were on the network, and that seems to have cleared up the problem. Thanks for the advice about bandwidth. That seems to be the problem.