View Full Version : Variability in wireless signal strength; dropouts

2006-07-22, 16:51
Since I have installed Slimserver 6.3.0 and a second Squeezebox V3, I have been experiencing:

1. Erratic performance on the first Squeezebox: dropouts, and sluggish/frozen responses on the VU meter. This is an intermittent problem.
2. Enormous variability in the wireless signal strength. Sometimes it will be well over 95%, and then a few hours later it will drop to 15-20%.
3. Occasional problems in the way albums are listed on the Squeezebox. For example, tracks 1-5 of a particular album will be listed as one album, and tracks 6-11 will be listed as a separate album with the same title.

I have tried a lot of different approaches to deal with these issues. Problem # 1 seems to resolve after I unplug the Airport Extreme Base Station for a while, and Problem # 3 seems to resolve when I rescan the library.

I am using Mac OSX 10.4.7, and have "instructed" Slimserver to use iTunes (leaving the Music Folder and Playlists Folders blank).

Any advise will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

2006-07-22, 17:08
This is either 2 or 3 different problems, with different sources.

The third one, the compilation albums not working, is a problem with 6.3. Watch the forums for progress on fixing it.

The reason it wasn't caught before release, as I understand it, is that it only fails when compilation albums aren't explicitely marked as such, and so Slimserver has to guess that they're compilation albums. The guessing logic changed, it only fails for some taggers, etc.

Next: Is the first squeezebox wired or wireless? If wireless, it could be the same problem as 2.

problem 2: wireless signal strengh varying ... This is a whole can of worms. There are entire threads, spanning pages, on this forum about wireless issues. It's very complicated. It depends on your wireless access point, the size of your house, who your neighbours are, whether they like popcorn (I'm not kidding).

A good place to start is to check if the access point is running the most current firmware, to ensure that all your antennas are snugged, to get a copy of netstumbler and see if anyone is operating on the same channel as you (if so, change channels), that's the short version. The long version, as I say, runs to many pages. Use the search forum function and search for wireless.

2006-07-22, 17:49
As far as wireless problems are concerned I found the simplest solution was simply to do away with wireless for audio streaming altogether - there are too many variables outside of one's control such as neighbours, microwaves, cordless phones etc. My solution was to run CAT5 wire inside existing electrical conduit into the ceiling and reticulating to all rooms where I have an SB3. Never had a connection / stutter or break in comms issue since.

2006-07-23, 03:10
That has been my theory all along - that nothing beats copper. For approximately the $50 a unit that the wireless card adds to the SB price, you can hire an electrician to wire your house with Cat 5 or 5e or 6.

Of course, you have to be owning and not renting.

For those who rent, a slightly trickier option is powerline ethernet. Not especially popular, although I'm not sure why, works well enough to run SB streams over.