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View Full Version : SB3 responds with long delays & blank screens



DanielFriedmann
2006-11-06, 18:53
With both SlimServer 6.5.0 and 6.5.1 (23 October and 6 November) I have serious issues with a slow responding interface and blank screens.

I'm using a Squeezebox3 connected to my Dell 6400 notebook (1,73Ghz DualCore with 2GB RAM) and a Zyxel Router over 54MBit W-LAN.
All music is either FLAC or high-quality MP3 encoded. The SB3 is just 3m away from my router and 1-2m away from my notebook - all in the same room.

At least every minute the screen of my SB3 blanks for a couple of seconds, the remaining time counter gets stuck, or the scrolling stops. When I try to navigate through the menus with the remote, the SB3 freezes for some time and refreshes with a different screen depending on the keys I pushed. While the menu doesn't scroll, the little bars on the right move according to the music which keeps playing.
The SB3 doesn't lose the connection when listening to webradio nor do I hear interruptions while the interface is frozen or refreshing.
This strange behaviour makes my SB3 virtually unusable and was quite embarrassing when I proudly presented it to my friend...

Like mentioned before, this does happen with the latest release and with two different betas. From what I've seen so far, my SB3 has never reacted smoothly but always had big problems. This is getting really frustrating since I imported it from the US to Ireland and cannot get my local dealer to replace it for a test or so. I wouldn't go as far as saying that I'd regret buying the SB3 but it currently doesn't make fun using it because of these issues.

Please, could anybody tell me what to do to get a usable and constant responding SB3?

Thanks a million!
Daniel

stinkingpig
2006-11-06, 20:41
On 11/6/06, DanielFriedmann
<DanielFriedmann.2gvqdn1162864501 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> With both SlimServer 6.5.0 and 6.5.1 (23 October and 6 November) I have
> serious issues with a slow responding interface and blank screens.
>
> I'm using a Squeezebox3 connected to my Dell 6400 notebook (1,73Ghz
> DualCore with 2GB RAM) and a Zyxel Router over 54MBit W-LAN.
> All music is either FLAC or high-quality MP3 encoded. The SB3 is just
> 3m away from my router and 1-2m away from my notebook - all in the same
> room.
>

Physical distance has practically nothing to do with wireless signal
quality... I've observed plenty of terrible performance in the same
sort of setup. Try the network performance plugin.
--
"I spent all me tin with the ladies drinking gin,
So across the Western ocean I must wander" -- traditional

azinck3
2006-11-06, 21:02
With both SlimServer 6.5.0 and 6.5.1 (23 October and 6 November) I have serious issues with a slow responding interface and blank screens.

I'm using a Squeezebox3 connected to my Dell 6400 notebook (1,73Ghz DualCore with 2GB RAM) and a Zyxel Router over 54MBit W-LAN.
All music is either FLAC or high-quality MP3 encoded. The SB3 is just 3m away from my router and 1-2m away from my notebook - all in the same room.

At least every minute the screen of my SB3 blanks for a couple of seconds, the remaining time counter gets stuck, or the scrolling stops. When I try to navigate through the menus with the remote, the SB3 freezes for some time and refreshes with a different screen depending on the keys I pushed. While the menu doesn't scroll, the little bars on the right move according to the music which keeps playing.
The SB3 doesn't lose the connection when listening to webradio nor do I hear interruptions while the interface is frozen or refreshing.
This strange behaviour makes my SB3 virtually unusable and was quite embarrassing when I proudly presented it to my friend...

Like mentioned before, this does happen with the latest release and with two different betas. From what I've seen so far, my SB3 has never reacted smoothly but always had big problems. This is getting really frustrating since I imported it from the US to Ireland and cannot get my local dealer to replace it for a test or so. I wouldn't go as far as saying that I'd regret buying the SB3 but it currently doesn't make fun using it because of these issues.

Please, could anybody tell me what to do to get a usable and constant responding SB3?

Thanks a million!
Daniel

This is almost certainly a wireless networking problem (as you probably already suspect). But you can eliminate all other variables by wiring the SB3 to the router for a spell and seeing if you can reproduce the problem. I imagnine the problem will go away immediately, then you can proceed troubleshooting the wireless network in full confidence that it's the culprit.

Triode
2006-11-07, 11:29
Please try the two sets of tests described here and report back:
http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?DiagnosingPerformanceIssues

DanielFriedmann
2006-11-07, 17:06
Thanks for your replies.

FYI, all tests mentioned below were made with release version 6.5.0 and default firmware 64.

Well, I do have some issues with my wireless network which sometimes disconnects for no reason. However, when navigating though the SB3 menus the delays don't seem to be connected to my network which I tried to verify by checking my network traffic while changing menus. I didn't realise any network problems during these tests.

Then I connected my SB3 to my router using a CAT5 cable instead of the wireless connection. My feeling was that the SB3 responded faster but still I got several delays of a few seconds which I don't regard as acceptable for a 300+ Euro geek gadget. And I speak about 5 to 15 second delays and not "just a sec".

I activated Performance Monitoring and found quite a lot of entries with a response time over 0.5. Since I don't know if you need the whole log.txt or only these lines, I start with the latter:

IR Delay > 0.5 : 2.82136
IR Delay > 0.5 : 2.71721
IR Delay > 0.5 : 4.66706
IR Delay > 0.5 : 0.89237
IR Delay > 0.5 : 0.80329
IR Delay > 0.5 : 0.63851
IR Delay > 0.5 : 0.54150
IR Delay > 0.5 : 2.56850
IR Delay > 0.5 : 2.46968

Starting here I connected the SB3 by cable.

IR Delay > 0.5 : 0.71343
IR Delay > 0.5 : 0.61053
IR Delay > 0.5 : 4.28481
IR Delay > 0.5 : 3.62464
IR Delay > 0.5 : 1.28825
IR Delay > 0.5 : 1.18805
IR Delay > 0.5 : 3.90816
IR Delay > 0.5 : 4.23744
IR Delay > 0.5 : 3.92139
IR Delay > 0.5 : 0.69280
IR Delay > 0.5 : 0.59571
IR Delay > 0.5 : 0.71602
IR Delay > 0.5 : 0.61903
IR Delay > 0.5 : 3.80171
IR Delay > 0.5 : 2.12766
IR Delay > 0.5 : 2.03784
IR Delay > 0.5 : 1.75890
IR Delay > 0.5 : 1.66015
IR Delay > 0.5 : 1.43049
IR Delay > 0.5 : 1.33170
IR Delay > 0.5 : 1.11850
IR Delay > 0.5 : 1.01470
IR Delay > 0.5 : 0.83462
IR Delay > 0.5 : 0.73707
IR Delay > 0.5 : 1.96402
IR Delay > 0.5 : 1.90040
Web Page Build > 0.5 : 0.71458 Page: setup.html
Select Task > 0.5 : 0.72338 Slim::Web::HTTP::processHTTP
Web Page Build > 0.5 : 0.55677 Page: setup.html
Select Task > 0.5 : 0.57755 Slim::Web::HTTP::processHTTP
IR Delay > 0.5 : 5.59791
IR Delay > 0.5 : 0.74200
IR Delay > 0.5 : 2.05985
IR Delay > 0.5 : 1.97601
IR Delay > 0.5 : 1.77793
IR Delay > 0.5 : 1.69172

I don't see any and only feel a slight difference between wireless and cable connections so I guess that the problem might be located somewhere else.

To see if my SlimServer (run on my Dell which is connected wireless to my router 1.5m away and shows a perfect network connection) could be the problem, I connected my SB3 to the SqueezeNetwork. I chose some webradios and navigated though the menus and experienced the very same response delays like being connected to the SlimServer.

Then I switched off the Performance Monitoring and navigated through the SqueezeNetwork and I was surprised that there weren't many delays anymore. Well, obviously the Performance Monitoring caused some of the delays even when not connected to the SlimServer which seems to be a little bit strange.

Anyway, then I had to connect to the SlimServer again without Performance Monitoring enabled, to see if the wired SB3 would also run smooth now. Well, I rushed through several menus and it seemed to work fine as well, however, when I changed from Album to Artist in the Browse menu, my SB3 took a break of breathtaking 11s and even blanked the screen for 2s. This really drives me crazy...

Again I have to say, that even though I mainly listen to FLAC files I don't get any drops, so the connection is stable enough (quality for wireless connection is about always 80% according to SB3) to transfer quite a lot of data constantly. As long as I play music it isn't interrupted even if the menus are delayed or the screen is empty for a few seconds.

Your help is highly appreciated and I know that it is hard to really understand my problems even though or even because I write so much.

Please advise what I should test or which information you need for further troubleshooting.

Daniel

DanielFriedmann
2006-11-07, 18:23
I have to reply to myself since I did another test which is worth to be mentioned:
I connected my notebook with a cable to my router and kept the SB3 in wireless mode. Probably not very surprisingly for you guys the menus reacted just like I expected - without noticeable delays. What I don't understand is why the screen still blanks from time to time for up to 10s while the music is played without interruption.

From my point of view, there is something wrong with the wireless network and this applies only to the connection of my notebook. As long as the notebook is connected with a cable, the SB3 can be used both wireless and with a cable.

This means that my issue with the Squeezebox is in fact a WLAN issue which is more or less off-topic here, however, I still hope that somebody can point me to the right direction how to resolve this annoying problem and be able to use my SB3 without limitations.

radish
2006-11-07, 19:31
So the notebook is periodically losing it's connection for a few seconds? Sounds like ZeroConf - Windows will sometimes disconnect, look for a stronger signal, and then reconnect to the old one. You can disable it if your wireless card came with it's own config utility, there's usually some option to disable ZeroConf and use that instead.

Millwood
2006-11-08, 07:08
I continue to have a version of this problem with my wireless set up. Often in the morning, my SB3 behaves as described. If I hold the power button down until it resets, all goes back to working well.

I have two access points, and this may be related to the reset going back to the stronger one. But I continue to suspect that there is some queue which doesn't get cleared, either in the server or firmware.

DanielFriedmann
2006-11-08, 09:01
I've never heard of ZeroConf but I'm using the default Windows tool for my integrated wireless LAN card from Intel. I've tried to use the Intel tool many times but it has a major issue if a connection drops from time to time. It then automatically puts this connection into a manual mode which means that I'd have to connect to my router manually at least once an hour after the connection was dropped again. That's why I chose to use the default Windows tool.

I think I'll try the Intel tool once again since I changed the location of my router to be a bit more centralised. I share this router with 3 others and none of them seems to have similar regular issues than me although I have the latest and best notebook of all. Well, how can it be the best if it has so serious issues with the wireless connection...?!

DanielFriedmann
2006-11-08, 09:04
If that solved my problems I'd be pleased to reset it once a day or so. I hope that I don't lose any configuration but that but since you didn't mention it you probably don't have to. I'll give it a try.

Millwood
2006-11-08, 09:57
Power button is probably better described as restart or reboot. No settings are changed if you let it reconnect. You do get access to the settings menus if you want, but if you wait it will reconnect on its own.

DanielFriedmann
2006-11-08, 10:06
I've just seen that Dell offers an update for the Intel wireless card, released only last Friday.

Key fixes/enhancements:
* Addresses intermittent connectivity/wireless disable issue on some 3945ABG cards.

I frequently checked the Dell support pages for updates but I guess and really hope this one will finally fix my issues with dropping wireless connections. I'll keep you informed...

DanielFriedmann
2006-11-08, 10:46
I though it would be much better with the new driver but it became even worse. After I installed the new Intel PROSet/Wireless Software 10.5.0.4, my connection dropped even more frequent so that I could hardly continue using the Internet at all. Even some reboots didn't help.
I had to remove the driver immediately and am now using the internal WZC tool again. How frustrating since I don't see any possible solution but trying a new installation of Windows which I won't do for sure as all other programs and services are running fine.

Triode
2006-11-08, 11:32
Looking at the test results you posted, these indicate that the only thing being reported as delayed are the remote (IR) messages. As it does not indicate other activity being delayed this would tend to confirm that the problem is with the network, not the server. If you run a network test, does this periodically reduce in rate?

If you are able, can you connect the SB3 to the server PC over a wired connection to prove this as the case? Unfortunately this then becomes a hardware/driver specific issue which means its difficult to diagnose remotely.

fmeharg
2006-11-09, 10:01
Hi,
You may already have tried this but I had similar problems with wireless connection cutting out/slow etc and they were all solved by upgrading the firmware on my wireless router.
Cheers,
F.

bobthefish
2006-11-09, 10:31
Hi,
You may already have tried this but I had similar problems with wireless connection cutting out/slow etc and they were all solved by upgrading the firmware on my wireless router.
Cheers,
F.

Regardless of the way the SB3 connects to my Zyxel Router (wired or wireless) the connection breakes up after about an hour or so (working fine until then) and than periodically breakes up and comes back on. Unfortunately the playing song repeats after the first breakdown eternally...
I am pretty sure that the problem is the Zyxel Router (Prestige 660HW-67) since the setup starts to work fine again after I switch off the router an back on.
I seriously think about trying an other router unless somebody can convince me that the problem is somewhere else or can give me an hint what parameter to change in the router.

Mark Lanctot
2006-11-09, 17:14
Regardless of the way the SB3 connects to my Zyxel Router (wired or wireless) the connection breakes up after about an hour or so (working fine until then) and than periodically breakes up and comes back on. Unfortunately the playing song repeats after the first breakdown eternally...
I am pretty sure that the problem is the Zyxel Router (Prestige 660HW-67) since the setup starts to work fine again after I switch off the router an back on.
I seriously think about trying an other router unless somebody can convince me that the problem is somewhere else or can give me an hint what parameter to change in the router.

Did you do the troubleshooting as described on the first page of this thread?

Also take a look at:

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

and try looking for other, interfering wireless networks.