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danco
2006-02-26, 01:34
Problems with wireless connection seem common, so I reckon it's time for a wiki entry. I haven't added anything yet, but am posting a first attempt here for corrections and improvements.

Here goes.

Many people have no problems connecting wirelessly, but quite a few have issues. There are two main places where problems can occur.

1. Failure to connect to the network.
2.Failure to find SlimServer.

The Squeezebox needs to get an address from the DHCP server (which is usually the router). A correct address will usually begin with 198.162. An address beginning with 169 is one that a device assigns itself when it is unable to connect to the DHCP server.

A common cause of failure to connect is an incorrect password for an encrypted network. The Squeezebox does not show spaces at the end of the password, and it is easy to include these by error. You should test your network by turning encryption off temporarily. It is also possible that the network is set only to make connection to devices with specified MAC addresses, but this is not a default and should only happen if you have chosen to make this setting. Some routers don't work well with the Squeezebox, see the router section of the wiki.

2. If the Squeezebox has connected to the network but still cannot find the SlimServer, a probable cause is a firewall on your computer. Try turning the firewall off, though in some cases the firewall needs to be uninstalled to enable the connection, and it can be reinstalled later. If this is the problem, you can set the firewall to accept traffic on the ports needed by the Squeezebox, which are 3483 (both TCP and UDP) and 9000 (TCP). For safety, if you are disabling or uninstalling the firewall, disconnect the router from the internet if possible.

Mark Lanctot
2006-02-26, 12:25
Sounds good!

Yes, it seems these sorts of problems come up at least 5X a day here.

If we had a single, common wiki entry to refer to it would save a lot of time.

john.c.cochrane
2006-02-27, 02:34
Sounds like an excellent idea. I've wasted days and and days trying to get my squeeze box to communicate flawlessly. I'm not there yet.

I found that anytime the signal strength drops below 60% or god fobid lower that you will hear drop outs and wose still the squeeze box will re-boot.

I purchased high gain antenna for my Linksys, this made a big difference but it's still not perfect

Wirrunna
2006-02-27, 05:47
Danco,
Looks good.
May I suggest a third point along these lines:
3. Low signal strength.

3. If the signal strength is low, the data transmission speed is adversely affected and the music may suffer dropouts or the SB will not connect. If you think you have this problem, a simple way to test for this is to move the SB close to the wireless access point or router and listen to some music (using headphones if you cannot connect to your amplifier) and see if the dropouts have disappeared. If they have, then your options are:
1. revise the positioning of the router or SB for better signal,
2. change the antenna on the router to one with higher gain, or build a directional reflector from http://www.freeantennas.com/
3. connect via cable.
If you still suffer from dropouts and the signal strength is over 90% then the fault may be in the server.
Maybe also add a line saying how to display signal strength ?

edited to add link to directional antenna reflector.

ceejay
2006-02-27, 06:35
Danco

definitely a good idea, though I think it needs some more detail... here are a few suggestions:

(1) expanded discussion on MAC addresses - you've referred to MAC filtering but I think its worth a little more. Should also point out how to check that the SB's idea of its MAC address is the same as the one on the label (and how to fix it if not)

(2) I couldn't find it just now but someone recently posted a link to some templates for making your wireless more directional, that should be in here somewhere

(3) something that should be done early in the troubleshooting process is to try different wireless channels, eg 1 and 11/13 (depending on where you are). Maybe a link to a resource that discusses the huge overlap between wireless channels.

(4) checking for interference from microwaves and 2.4GHz cordless phones (yours or your neighbours)

(5) turning off any turbo / enhanced / 108Mbs modes on the router

(6) making sure you have the latest nightly software and corresponding firmware in your SB

(7) checking you have the latest firmware in your router

(8) commentary on what you should do when you are asked, in setup, for the IP address of your slimserver - this throws a lot of people. If slim is running and you have a connection you shouldn't be asked for this- but if you do answer, make sure you are putting the right address in

(9) some people have acheived success by giving up on DHCP for their SB and manually assigning an address in the right range.

Doubtless there are other suggestions....

HTH

Ceejay

moby_uk
2006-02-27, 06:48
I agree, this is a great idea. Is it worth including a section on diagnosing performance issues? Some suggestions:

- Checking server load through top or task manager
- Verifiying WLAN performance through a test download on another WLAN connected device
- Using the net test plug-in.

I'll be happy to write some more detail on these if you want.

Phil

pablolie
2006-02-27, 07:34
Moreover, since DHCP sometimes inexplicably does not work despite the SQB ability to join the wireless network, a guide on manual configuration of a compatible IP address on the SBQ would make sense.

i.e. if you DHCP server serves addresses out of a certain range, how to assign an address that avoids IP conflicts, yet remains compatible with the chosen subnet address range.

I know my SQB failed to get an IP address from my DHCP server -a first- but now runs happily with a manually assigned IP address, and I've never looked back and tried to debud it again.

MrC
2006-02-27, 10:40
Problems with wireless connection seem common, so I reckon it's time for a wiki entry. I haven't added anything yet, but am posting a first attempt here for corrections and improvements.

A while back, I started a Wireless wiki entry in CeeJay's beginner's guide - have a peek there too. That was mostly on securing the network. Perhaps a merging of the everyone's ideas will be warranted.

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

ceejay
2006-02-27, 17:26
I think we need to beware of making any one page too big and unwieldy - although the opposite problem of fragmenting into pages with only 5 lines of content is just as bad!

My suggestion would be to

(1) split MrC's piece on Wireless Security (currently in BeginnersGuideToNetworks) off into a page on its own, replaced by a single sentence and a link. Say "WirelessSecurity"

(2) have another new page, say "WirelessTroubleshooting" with the thoughts that are beginning to accumulate in this thread. Also linked in from the BGToNetworks, cross-referencing with the WirelessSecurity page

As far as the troubleshooting page goes, I think the logical flow is to point out that the SB has to

(a) find a signal

(b) connect to the network

(c) connect to slimserver

[these are the same 3 points identified in the thread so far, but in a different order]. Then we can hang all of the tips and troubleshooting onto this structure.

I'm ok to move MrC's stuff out into another page and tidy up the main BGToNetworks - if that's ok with everyone. I might try to get a picture in now we've been shown how to do that.

It might also make sense to take advantage of the space by pulling the firewall stuff in from the main BeginnersGuide page (which is definitely too big). Note that Street_Samurai is currently looking at making some other changes to the main BeginnersGuide page, so best to avoid other changes there just at the moment.

Do we have a volunteer to collate and write up the troubleshooting page? Is that you, Danco?

Ceejay.

danco
2006-02-28, 00:51
Yes, I reckon a post such as my one that started the thread does imply willingness to start such a page.

I'll leave it a few more days for other people to make further suggestions, and then I'll put up a version.

danco
2006-03-02, 10:00
I have now set up a page called NetworkProblemsBeginnersGuide.

I had intended to call it BeginnersGuidetoNetworkProblems, to be consistent with the other Beginners' Guides, but wiki would not take this, possibly it was too long.

Feel free to comment and modify it. I left a few phrases in italics, which were things I did not know about.

I also have a page called NetworkProblemsSecondGuide, which I haven't started writing.

My intention was that the Beginners' Guide covered connecting to the router and the SlimServe, while the Second Guide would cover making a *good* connection (interference, network health, etc.

ceejay
2006-03-02, 16:26
Hi Danco

Thanks for starting this. I've popped in and made a few minor changes (a few typos and a couple of extra suggestions). I'm sure there's room for a lot more, though.

I looked at pulling out the stuff to do with Wireless from the BeginnersGuideToNetworks into a separate page, as discussed previously, but I fear there might be a bit of overlap between this and your new page.

How do you think we ought to work this?

Ceejay

Millwood
2006-03-02, 16:54
Once you have an IP address for the SB, you should try to ping it from your server machine if things don't work. If you can't, the SB is not really on the network.

Sadly, the firmware is still not solid, so the SB can be on for a while and then drop off.

Michaelwagner
2006-03-02, 19:00
I have several SB1s and SB3s and they all have the MAC address printed on the bottom.

Therefore, I changed the section about MAC addresses to say all squeezeboxen have their MAC address printed on the bottom. AFAIK this is a true statement.

I also changed a few other words in that area.

I don't know about the SLiMP3.

danco
2006-03-03, 00:46
Hi Danco

Thanks for starting this. I've popped in and made a few minor changes (a few typos and a couple of extra suggestions). I'm sure there's room for a lot more, though.

I looked at pulling out the stuff to do with Wireless from the BeginnersGuideToNetworks into a separate page, as discussed previously, but I fear there might be a bit of overlap between this and your new page.

How do you think we ought to work this?

Ceejay

My own feeling is that it does no harm to have material repeated. I concentrated on problems, so there is stuff that is explained in more detail on your page.

danco
2006-03-03, 01:05
I thought I had done a portion on connecting to the computer (firewalls and such) but I must have forgotten to save it, as I can't see it now.

One point that needs discussion, as we seem to disagree. One of you writes

"One simple fix in case of DHCP problems is to assign a fixed IP address: pick one in the same range as the ones your DHCP server is handing out, but above where it is likely to reach. For example, if your PCs are getting addresses 192.168.0.2 to 192.168.0.4, try 192.168.0.15".

On my router, the addresses handed out are different. The dynamic addresses start at 192.168.1.11, with the range from 2 to 10 being reserved for static addresses. If 15 was actually in the dynamic range, would there be any issues in setting it manually?

danco
2006-03-07, 00:37
There is now a portion about firewalls on NetworkProblemsBeginnersGuide in the wiki.

And NetworkProblemsSecondGuide is now up, but may need some more input.

The Beginners Guide is about getting the SB to communicate with the SlimServer, while the Second Guide is on getting a good connection without dropouts and the like.

ceejay
2006-03-07, 00:45
One point that needs discussion, as we seem to disagree. One of you writes

"One simple fix in case of DHCP problems is to assign a fixed IP address: pick one in the same range as the ones your DHCP server is handing out, but above where it is likely to reach. For example, if your PCs are getting addresses 192.168.0.2 to 192.168.0.4, try 192.168.0.15".

On my router, the addresses handed out are different. The dynamic addresses start at 192.168.1.11, with the range from 2 to 10 being reserved for static addresses. If 15 was actually in the dynamic range, would there be any issues in setting it manually?

That was me. And no, your DHCP server should be ok with another device assigning itself an address within the range it is going to use... at least until the DHCP server wants to hand out the same one! Hence the suggestion to pick an address above where its likely to go. Feel free to amend/elaborate as you wish, I was just trying to make the point that manually assigning an IP address seems to work for quite a few people...

Regards
Ceejay

Michaelwagner
2006-03-07, 08:05
Actually, many (most?) DHCP servers will even step around a statically assigned IP address, but then you have a race condition, because I think it can happen that the server goes to hand out your address just as you announce yourself.

Best to keep beginners clear of that can of worms where possible.