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View Full Version : Intermittent sound w/wireless SQB3



mikec@silentpcreview.com
2006-12-27, 19:36
I've been running a SQB3 for about a year, and I've mostly been happy with it.

It got put aside for a while due to network problems, but with a new router in place, I'm using it again -- but with totally unsatisfactory results.

The router is a Linksys WRT54G 54mbps. The router works perfectly fine through the 4 ethernet PCs and several in-line network boxes. It also works fine with a wireless laptop PC.

The router sits one floor below the SQB3, a total of about 10-12 ft w/ floor/ceiling in between. The signal strength registered by the SQB3 is 80~90%. WPA encryption is on. The SQB3 and the silmserver PC can see each other fine. I am running silmserver 6.5.0 on a powerful Win XP machine w/ AMD A64-x2-5000+, 2 gigs of RAM and dual HDDs.

The main problem is the sound cutting in and out, intermittently, constantly. It's unlistenable. The audio signal level indicators on the SQB3 will drop down to zero when the dropout in sound is long enough. The sound is either on or off, nothing in between. The pauses can be as short as a split second and as long as many minutes. In between dropouts, the sound can go as short as a split second or as long as a minute or two.

Just to satisfy my frustration and curiosity, I tried moving the SQB3 downstairs within 3 feet of the router and powered it up. Plugged in headphones on the back of the SQB3. Trhough the wireless connection -- now reading 91-96% signal strength constantly -- the sound was just the same as before, totally intermittent, on/off unlistenable.

Then I tried running it with an ethernet cable. Absolutely no problems!

So the obvious solution is to run an ethernet cable upstairs.... precisely what I don't what to do, precisely why the SQB3 was such a great tool for me. My computers are downstairs, except for my wandering notebook, and my stereo and video stuff is upstairs. I'd rather the two did not meet, and I don't want to drill holes through floors/ceilings.

Any suggestions, please???

mikec@silentpcreview.com
2006-12-27, 21:48
For what it's worth, I'm coming to the assessment that this is a radio hardware problem in my SQB3. I can't think of anything else.

jeffmeh
2006-12-27, 22:15
It sounds like you are experiencing some radio interference on your wireless channel. Have you tried changing your wireless channel? Are there other networks in range that are conflicting with yours? How about a microwave oven, cordless phone, or another electrical device?

I experience the same symptoms occasionally when the microwave is running.

Also, from posts here it appears that 6.5.0 is not recommended, and that you should try a 6.5.1 nightly.

I hope this helps.

SuperQ
2006-12-27, 23:47
Any suggestions, please???

First thing.. Run the network test! :)

crank it up to 2000kbps, it should stay at 90%+ for atleast 10min.

Next thing is change wifi channels. 1, 6, or 11.. just change the linksys router, all the clients will auto-change.

mikec@silentpcreview.com
2006-12-28, 00:34
Wow, great advice guys. I changed the router wireless setting to ch1 from ch6 and the problem was immediately resolved!

I thought I had no wireless devices anywhere near either the router or the SQB3, so the idea of RF interference did not even occur to me. Obviously, there had to be something, and there is: a wireless keyboard with a receiver positioned out of sight that I've been using forever... I plum forgot it's wireless. The router was moved onto my desk from a shelf about 4-5 feet away. I guess that made enough of a difference.

It's only been a few minutes, but I suspect the problem is fixed. I'll confirm in the next 24 hrs. Meanwhile, thank you for your sage advice! :)

Diana
2006-12-28, 02:05
...I thought I had no wireless devices anywhere near either the router or the SQB3, so the idea of RF interference did not even occur to me. Obviously, there had to be something, and there is: a wireless keyboard with a receiver positioned out of sight that I've been using forever... I plum forgot it's wireless. The router was moved onto my desk from a shelf about 4-5 feet away. I guess that made enough of a difference.

It's only been a few minutes, but I suspect the problem is fixed. I'll confirm in the next 24 hrs. Meanwhile, thank you for your sage advice! :)


The problem may not have been inside your house. Your neighbours' wireless networks can interfere with yours, too. See

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/24311/98/

Very glad you've fixed your problem. Best wishes.

mikec@silentpcreview.com
2006-12-28, 17:54
The problem may not have been inside your house. Your neighbours' wireless networks can interfere with yours, too. See

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/24311/98/

Very glad you've fixed your problem. Best wishes.
True, I see a couple other wireless networks, but they are very weak in signal strength, and they've been there all along.

Anyway, 24hrs later, the wireless CH switch I made last night + increasing the distance between the router and the wireless keyboard system to about 6 feet has completely cured the problem.

Diana
2006-12-29, 01:51
...24hrs later, the wireless CH switch I made last night + increasing the distance between the router and the wireless keyboard system to about 6 feet has completely cured the problem.

Wireless keyboards - ? another source of 2.4GHz interference to add to microwave ovens, cordless phones and Bluetooth devices. Useful to know. Makes you wonder what else to keep an eye out for!