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View Full Version : Help with wireless system setup - how to avoid dropouts?



emm
2006-02-19, 13:29
My setup: Laptop connected to wireless router. SB3 in a different room configured to access wireless router.

Problem: When I hardwire the "wireless" router to my laptop (ethernet cable), SB3 works flawlessly in the other room. When I want to unplug my laptop from the router to use the laptop wirelessly in another room, SB3 stutters and suffers dropouts.

Solution: ??? Can anyone help me configure this properly? I'm guessing it's been done about a million times. Do I really need to keep my laptop plugged into my router to get SB3 to work wirelessly?

emm

Mark Lanctot
2006-02-19, 18:16
I gather you're running SlimServer on the laptop?

Yes, as you've found out, that usually does not work well. Each packet has 2 wireless hops - one from the card to the router, then from the router to the SB.

There's not really any way around it - it's a poor network configuration. You really need a SlimServer wired to the router.

As a short-term solution you should try limiting the bandwidth of your streams - just keep lowering it until you get smooth playback.

This sort of network configuration hasn't really been done a million times because it rarely works. It's not the Squeezebox/SlimServer's fault either, you cannot reliably send a continuous data stream greater than a few hundred kbps over 2 wireless hops. (Google "Wireless Distribution System" - connecting 2 routers together wirelessly to extend coverage. This halves effective bandwidth.)

ceejay
2006-02-20, 00:46
While agreeing with Mark that wireless is really not a good idea for a server, there is one simple thing you might try... switching to a different wireless channel (eg the highest or lowest available to you). If you're getting interference then it may be that you have enough bandwidth for one hop but not two.

Ceejay

cjhabs
2006-02-20, 14:24
I have the same configuration and had the same problem. I ended up configuring a wireless bridge so that the signal strength was increased in the locations where I use my laptop and at the Squeezebox.

As Mark mentioned, the bandwidth is halved in this configuration and my Squeezebox shows between 45% and 51% while sitting right next to the repeater. However it now seems fine playing my FLACs - however I only got it going this afternoon so time will tell!


I gather you're running SlimServer on the laptop?

Yes, as you've found out, that usually does not work well. Each packet has 2 wireless hops - one from the card to the router, then from the router to the SB.

There's not really any way around it - it's a poor network configuration. You really need a SlimServer wired to the router.

As a short-term solution you should try limiting the bandwidth of your streams - just keep lowering it until you get smooth playback.

This sort of network configuration hasn't really been done a million times because it rarely works. It's not the Squeezebox/SlimServer's fault either, you cannot reliably send a continuous data stream greater than a few hundred kbps over 2 wireless hops. (Google "Wireless Distribution System" - connecting 2 routers together wirelessly to extend coverage. This halves effective bandwidth.)

emm
2006-02-20, 19:25
Thanks for the info, Mark. I tried switching channels with no improvement. I may have to be content hardwiring my laptop to the router when I wish to play SB3.

emm

dnighorn
2006-02-20, 21:27
I have a Dell laptop running Slimserver with my music on an external USB hard drive. All music is stored using Apple Lossless. The entire network is wireless - both the laptop and SB2 connect via the wireless network. I've never had any dropout problems. Are you working over a long distance? If the network is not otherwise taxed (huge downloads or other traffic), then you should not be having problems. I am listening right now and posting this message on a second laptop also connected via wireless.

A thought - make sure that your wireless router is configured for 'g' only. This optimizes its operation and my provide you more headroom.

The bottom line is that wired is the best possible configuration but you should be able to make this work on an entirely wireless configuration.

David

emm
2006-02-22, 21:59
I tried different configuration settings as suggested in this thread but I think I'm going to have to keep my laptop hardwired when I want to broadcast to SB3 for now. Thx for all the help.

emm