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View Full Version : networking novice considering switch to wired from wireless due to dropouts



markmarz
2006-08-17, 06:14
Hi,

New user of Squeezebox, running latest released (6.3.1) Slimserver on a new HP laptop (dv5220us, 120gb hd, 1gb ram, lightly loaded) serving mostly .flac files over wireless. The .flac files reside on a WD 250gb network drive.

Occasional dropouts have turned me towards a wired solution. Got a Transporter on order and will not be keeping it if I can't find a dropout solution. But I'm confused on basic network setup. I know just enough about networks to hook up a wireless router using large diagrams and lots of little words.

Suppose I run a wire between the router and my laptop, and another wire between the laptop and the Squeezebox. There is already a wire between the router and the WD network drive. So then everything between the network drive and the Squeezebox will be wired. I assume I'll then have to tell the Squeezebox to hook up to my wired ethernet network rather than wireless.

Once that's done, how does the Squeezebox pull from the internet for (say) internet radio? Or Squeeze Network? Will it be necessary to 'switch' the Squeezebox between wired & wireless to hear .flac vs internet?

Thanks!
Mark M.

aubuti
2006-08-17, 06:31
The diagram you want to have in mind is a bicycle wheel, and the key little word is "hub". The router is the metaphorical hub, and all the other things on your network are like spokes. So you want to have the following connections:

- internet (e.g., cable or DSL modem) to the WAN port on the router

- laptop to one of the LAN ports on the router

- SqueezeBox to one of the other LAN ports on the router

- WD network drive to another one of the LAN ports on the router

Note that all of these connections are using ethernet (aka Cat5) networking cable.

You do *not* want to run a wire directly from the Squeezebox to the laptop.

Good luck, and post back if you are still having problems.

markmarz
2006-08-17, 07:56
Thanks very much! So the fact that the Squeezebox is connected to the router & the router to the internet & to the network drive makes everything flow over the wire & wireless not needed.

It will take me a while to schedule an electrician to lay in some Cat5 so it'll be a while before I report back.

Thanks again,
Mark M.

aubuti
2006-08-17, 14:39
In many cases cat5 installations doesn't require an electrician's expertise, but does require painting/plastering skills and patience to fish the lines. As an alternative, you might look into powerline ethernet adapters, which have been discussed recently in several threads in the forums. They use the electrical wiring in your house as network cabling, and by almost all reports they work very well. In the area where I live they are much cheaper than having an electrician come to run cat5, unless for some reason you already have the walls open.

fathom39
2006-08-17, 15:04
Also, while the walls are open consider installing at least level 5e if not level 6 cabling. Home runs to each room from your wiring "closet" where your router will be housed. If you do this yourself, do not be dazzled by a crimping tool and resist the urge to make your own ends. Instead, terminate the cable at each end and then use patch cables to reach your device on the one end and your router on the other.

matt24
2006-08-17, 17:47
As for the wireless dropouts, it could be something as simple as a channel change. I recently noticed while I was on the phone (which is a DECT cordless on 2.4GHz) I would have drop outs and my laptop would have trouble reconnecting to the WLAN during the call.

I changed from Channel 6 to 3 on the wireless router and it's been many months of perfect wireless performance for me ever since.

While software like netstumbler help to navigate around other WLAN, it doesn't help with the miriad of other 2.4GHz devices out there, which need to be avoided also.

stinkingpig
2006-08-17, 19:24
On 8/17/06, matt24 <matt24.2cpndb1155862201 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
wrote:
>
>
> As for the wireless dropouts, it could be something as simple as a
> channel change. I recently noticed while I was on the phone (which is
> a DECT cordless on 2.4GHz) I would have drop outs and my laptop would
> have trouble reconnecting to the WLAN during the call.
>
> I changed from Channel 6 to 3 on the wireless router and it's been many
> months of perfect wireless performance for me ever since.
>
> While software like netstumbler help to navigate around other WLAN, it
> doesn't help with the miriad of other 2.4GHz devices out there, which
> need to be avoided also.
>
>

A lot depends on location. In urban areas, the spectrum is crowded, and
constantly changing. Changing channels to the best available channel can
still result in a bad connection with lots of drop out.

--
"I spent all me tin with the ladies drinking gin,
So across the Western ocean I must wander" -- traditional

Secret Squirrel
2006-08-18, 05:50
MarkMarz,
First alittle background, I am not a fan of wireless. My company uses it at our work sites and vans but it a necessary evil IMO. I built a new house a few years along and wired the place for network myself with Cat 5e. I LOVE it, but I agree with fathom39...don't attempt to use a crimping tool. I haven't found anyone but an electrican that can successful use it everytime.
All that said, before calling the electrician I would advise buying some long cables and giving your layout a test. As stated by other the powerline network seem to work, but I can not verify that but they're probably less expensive than having an electrician wire your house.
BTW, my new house is a "ranch" house so adding a new port is not that large of feat. "Fishing" is only about 18 inches and running cable through the basement is a breeze.
Best of luck!

I love my squeezebox!
Secret

TiredLegs
2006-08-18, 10:42
I recently ran Cat5e throughout my home, a townhouse condo with three levels plus an attic. I've now got ports, in some cases multiple ports, in two bedrooms, the kitchen, living room, dining room, den, and utility room (where the LinkStation NAS for my SB3 now resides).

I used up an entire 500 foot roll of Cat5e, and had to go out and buy a second one, at least half of which got used. It took me four days to run all the wires, with some drilling and lots of fishing in really difficult to access places. While I was in there, I added RG6 coax cable to a few of the rooms. I spent about $300 on parts (cables, connectors, jacks, etc.), for work that would have cost me $2000 to $3000 to have an electrician do. It was a major pain, but now that it's done, I've got hard wired Ethernet in every room. Yee haa! What a joy to not have to deal with WiFi any more. In addition, I'm using some of the extra ports for audio distribution with baluns.

All in all, it was one of the best investments of time and money I've ever made.

Mark Lanctot
2006-08-18, 10:46
I recently ran Cat5e throughout my home, a townhouse condo with three levels plus an attic. I've now got ports, in some cases multiple ports, in two bedrooms, the kitchen, living room, dining room, den, and utility room (where the LinkStation NAS for my SB3 now resides).

I used up an entire 500 foot roll of Cat5e, and had to go out and buy a second one, at least half of which got used. It took me four days to run all the wires, with some drilling and lots of fishing in really difficult to access places. While I was in there, I added RG6 coax cable to a few of the rooms. I spent about $300 on parts (cables, connectors, jacks, etc.), for work that would have cost me $2000 to $3000 to have an electrician do. It was a major pain, but now that it's done, I've got hard wired Ethernet in every room. Yee haa! What a joy to not have to deal with WiFi any more. In addition, I'm using some of the extra ports for audio distribution with baluns.

All in all, it was one of the best investments of time and money I've ever made.

How was fishing? I find that prospect very scary. I'm naturally clumsy and I just know I'll either lose it or snag it.

Kyle
2006-08-18, 10:59
Yesterday's Wall Street Journal had a very favorable review of powerline adapters. For a couple of hundred bucks, it might be worth trying before calling an electrician. Here's a link: http://ptech.wsj.com/ptech.html.

tommypeters
2006-08-18, 11:11
BTW, if I have a router with built-in 4-way switch, one longish Cat5e patch cable could be used to make it able to connect one item in another room - like a SB3 - to that switch.

But if I want to connect several items in that room? I presume I connect another switch at the end of the long cable and connect those items to that switch.

Yet another room? One longish cable from that second switch, to a third switch in this room - with more things connected to it?

What to think of, what are the limitations (cable lengths,, number/type of switches...)?

fathom39
2006-08-18, 12:32
How was fishing? I find that prospect very scary. I'm naturally clumsy and I just know I'll either lose it or snag it.

Just like real fishing... your line can get tangled and snagged. Right angles are a treat. Also, watch out for wallboard scraps discarded in between the studs during original construction.

markmarz
2006-08-19, 15:00
Hi,

Thanks all for the very helpful posts. After considering for a few minutes I realized that in my particular setup I can move the cablemodem & router downstairs behind the stereo stuff and wire everything (network drive, squeezebox, laptop) to the router back there with short cat5 patch cables. Back there behind the stereo cabinets where all the snarly cables and wires live. Peacefully coexisting with dust bunnies.

Means a $19 service call to Comcast to relocate my broadband connection.

Only thing left wireless to the router will be my 'main' pc upstairs which will be just fine.

Thanks again,
Mark M.