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View Full Version : Pros/cons of unplugging my SB3?



Brian Ritchie
2007-06-01, 17:45
Before I go to bed, I turn off the SB3 (well, put it into standby, with the Big Red Button). Then I power-down the PC, and turn off the cable modem and wireless router.

So far, I'm not in the habit of unplugging the SB3 as well. Though I've set it to show the time (dimly) in standby, once the network's gone, the screen goes blank.

Sometimes when I start everything else up, the SB3 wakes up as well, and is ready for use by the time I come downstairs. Sometimes it stays blank, and I have to hit the Red Button; and sometimes it goes blank after "Connecting..." and I have to hit the Red Button several times (e.g. once to get it to start "Waking...", then again when it reaches "Connecting...", which makes it cycle back to "Waking...", which might work this time...)

However, after turning everything else on yesterday (and making sure SlimServer was running), the SB3 had trouble connecting to SS. When I looked more closely, I noticed that the SB3 was still trying to use the previous day's IP address for the PC, which was different from yesterday's.

Presumably - and not unreasonably - the SB3 didn't treat the loss of network as a reason to re-quiz the router/DNS for the server's IP address. Pressing the Red Button during the "Connecting..." phase, or using the left arrow to go back one step, didn't fix it. Going back a couple of steps and re-running the network connection bits from scratch did the trick. (Thankfully it didn't ask for my WPA password again.) But that got me wondering whether I'm not quite doing things the right way.

Given that I will definitely not be leaving the PC, nor even the network, running overnight, should I *definitely* be unplugging the SB3 as well? Or is this likely to shorten its lifespan somehow?

OTOH, could my present behaviour have helped to wear out the poor thing's wireless card (which was replaced recently)? Does the SB3 go mad if it can't find the network?

-- Brian

Pale Blue Ego
2007-06-01, 18:30
I don't think it will hurt anything, especially if the SB screen is dark.

One thing you might do is assign the slimserver PC a fixed IP address in your router settings. Then the Squeezebox won't have any trouble finding it after a disconnect.

thesil
2007-06-03, 08:20
Why do you power down everything at night? Many studies have shown it shortens the life of the PC..and then there is the added inconvience of rebooting every day. Just a thought...

Eric Seaberg
2007-06-03, 08:34
You're shortening the life of your PC by turning it off and on MORE than if you just keep it on all the time. I've got 12 Digital Audio Workstations in our post-production facilities that have been on continuously for the last three-years! NO PROBLEMS!

Otherwise, like has already been mentioned, give your SERVER and SB3 a static IP address. I do this and it works flawlessly IF I turn the network off for some reason. All of my computers in the house ARE DHCP, but that's it. Music server (Mac MINI) and main Mac G5 are static, as well as my SB3s and Transporter. Keeping my server and G5 also keeps my backup system from guessing where things are when I do weekly backups.

bhaagensen
2007-06-03, 08:38
Why do you power down everything at night? Many studies have shown it shortens the life of the PC..and then there is the added inconvience of rebooting every day. Just a thought...

Save power; good for both the environment and personal economy, and reduce noise perhaps ?

Skunk
2007-06-03, 08:58
I've got 12 Digital Audio Workstations in our post-production facilities that have been on continuously for the last three-years! NO PROBLEMS!


Moore's law would dictate that you're using chips 1/5 the speed of current technology after three years, so the useful life is not that long anyway.

IMHO the ecological and security issues are a bigger deal for the average PC.

thesil
2007-06-03, 09:24
Noise?? from a PC;only if the fan is not working properly. As far as the ecology, it takes more power to boot up a PC on a daily basis than it uses by running all the time. I have 2 PC's and one MAC that run all the time with no problems. By the way, if you use the energy saver on your PC, you wont have to worry about wasting energy and Al Gore will love you.

CatBus
2007-06-03, 09:41
Noise?? from a PC;only if the fan is not working properly. As far as the ecology, it takes more power to boot up a PC on a daily basis than it uses by running all the time. I have 2 PC's and one MAC that run all the time with no problems. By the way, if you use the energy saver on your PC, you wont have to worry about wasting energy and Al Gore will love you.

You're just going to have to accept that some people are more sensitive to noise than others. I have a super-quiet fanless PC that makes more noise than I'd like (due to the 2.5" hard drive suspended inside a noise-suppressing enclosure). How much is too much noise? When you can hear it at all, that's how much. Consider that this forum is for a music device--and some people here like to hear music and ONLY music. Eventually I plan to replace the mechanical hard drive with a solid state drive, and I'll finally have a quiet PC. I can guarantee I would find all of your computers too noisy.

Brian Ritchie
2007-06-03, 18:32
Save power; good for both the environment and personal economy, and reduce noise perhaps ?

That's pretty much it - don't see much point in leaving things on when I'm not using them; plus a dollop of health-and-safety (we both have memories of our dads going round last thing at night making sure everything was turned off).

And it's running Windows, so it needs rebooting pretty frequently anyway :-)

We've always done this, for each PC we've owned, and they all survived into a grand old obsolescence :-)

Not that I'm at all rigorous about it; I usually leave the VCR, PVR, cable TV box and SB3 on (albeit on standby). I used to leave the hifi amps on all the time, but have decided that I can't tell any difference.

The PC is quite noisy, and always has been (my requirements spec gets more thoroughly debugged with each incarnation!); but that doesn't matter given its location.

Last night I decided to turn off the SB3's socket - but ended up leaving the PC on overnight for once (to let MusicIP analyse at least some of 12,000+ tracks). The SB3 was none the worse for it when I turned it on again this morning - better if anything, for it connected all by itself for once.

-- Brian

MelonMonkey
2007-06-04, 13:02
Wow, shortening the life of the product versus shortening the life of the planet... Which will I choose.

Don't be a tool. Turn off crap you're not using.

If you keep the display turned ON for the Squeezebox you're going to drastically affect its lifespan much more so than you will turning on and off the server.

This brings up a HUGE gripe I have with the SB3 product. It can't be turned off. Powering off the server will make the display go "dim" but the unit is still on. In fact the display is still receiving power and is still energized, just displaying no pixels at any of its supported intensities. You can still see it glow red in an otherwise dark room. And it stays warm.

It's bad enough the power bick is always consuming juice, but the SqueezeBox should really be made to completely turn off after a while of no server connection (save for the juice required to run its IR sensor I suppose).

Marc Sherman
2007-06-04, 13:09
MelonMonkey wrote:
> Wow, shortening the life of the product versus shortening the life of
> the planet... Which will I choose.
>
> Don't be a tool. Turn off crap you're not using.

It's not quite so simple. Reducing the lifespan of the device means that
you have to replace it more often, and there's a lot of nasty stuff that
you really don't want to landfill in most consumer electronics.

- Marc

MelonMonkey
2007-06-04, 13:15
Reducing the life of the product is arguable, reducing the life of the planet isn't.

Most people do not wear out products. They only wear their desire and tastes for them. Long before the functional life of the product has expired. This goes for computers and electronics probably moreso than for anything else.

You're not going to break your current PC/server any quicker by turning it on and off.

Mark Lanctot
2007-06-04, 14:35
It's bad enough the power bick is always consuming juice, but the SqueezeBox should really be made to completely turn off after a while of no server connection (save for the juice required to run its IR sensor I suppose).

This is a switching supply, much maligned by audiophiles but extremely efficient. It powers the IR sensor as well, so it would have to be kept permanently on at any rate.

bhaagensen
2007-06-04, 15:54
This brings up a HUGE gripe I have with the SB3 product. It can't be turned off.


How do I make the HUGE larger. Btw. someone measured the power consumption: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=34789&highlight=power+consumption

Of course the few watts the SB is pulling might not be the end of the world, but it adds... Given that the forums, and in particular SD themselves seems stocked up on technically competent and ambitious people, I was a bit surprised when I realised the not-solution chosen for turning off the device. I mean, if you can't turn the thing off, don't put an off-label on the remote. Feels like a cheap trick.

On a side note the OLPC project are speaking about doing entire suspend/resume cycles in the 35ms range. Common, even though you don't care about the environmental issue, at least the technically inclined among you got to admit that it would be cool if the next SB/Transporter/??? could do that? SD, consider that a feature request. (OLPC runs Linux, LinuxBIOS on flash based storage)

mswlogo
2007-06-04, 19:15
Before I go to bed, I turn off the SB3 (well, put it into standby, with the Big Red Button). Then I power-down the PC, and turn off the cable modem and wireless router.

So far, I'm not in the habit of unplugging the SB3 as well. Though I've set it to show the time (dimly) in standby, once the network's gone, the screen goes blank.

Sometimes when I start everything else up, the SB3 wakes up as well, and is ready for use by the time I come downstairs. Sometimes it stays blank, and I have to hit the Red Button; and sometimes it goes blank after "Connecting..." and I have to hit the Red Button several times (e.g. once to get it to start "Waking...", then again when it reaches "Connecting...", which makes it cycle back to "Waking...", which might work this time...)

However, after turning everything else on yesterday (and making sure SlimServer was running), the SB3 had trouble connecting to SS. When I looked more closely, I noticed that the SB3 was still trying to use the previous day's IP address for the PC, which was different from yesterday's.

Presumably - and not unreasonably - the SB3 didn't treat the loss of network as a reason to re-quiz the router/DNS for the server's IP address. Pressing the Red Button during the "Connecting..." phase, or using the left arrow to go back one step, didn't fix it. Going back a couple of steps and re-running the network connection bits from scratch did the trick. (Thankfully it didn't ask for my WPA password again.) But that got me wondering whether I'm not quite doing things the right way.

Given that I will definitely not be leaving the PC, nor even the network, running overnight, should I *definitely* be unplugging the SB3 as well? Or is this likely to shorten its lifespan somehow?

OTOH, could my present behaviour have helped to wear out the poor thing's wireless card (which was replaced recently)? Does the SB3 go mad if it can't find the network?

-- Brian

Set the SlimServer and the SqueezeBox to fixed IP's.
Things will behave much better when rebooting things.

I have my PC set to wake on lan. So everything shuts down on it's own. I hit power (red button) and it's up in about 4 seconds. You have to hit power a second time because the squeezebox needs the server up to know what the power on was for (it decides what to do on coming out of standby, since it wasn't there on first power up it doesn't know what to do).

It's a little glitchy but works.

I pick IP's either out of DHCP range or at the opposite end of where they are allocated from to avoid conflicts.

mswlogo
2007-06-04, 19:23
You're shortening the life of your PC by turning it off and on MORE than if you just keep it on all the time. I've got 12 Digital Audio Workstations in our post-production facilities that have been on continuously for the last three-years! NO PROBLEMS!

Otherwise, like has already been mentioned, give your SERVER and SB3 a static IP address. I do this and it works flawlessly IF I turn the network off for some reason. All of my computers in the house ARE DHCP, but that's it. Music server (Mac MINI) and main Mac G5 are static, as well as my SB3s and Transporter. Keeping my server and G5 also keeps my backup system from guessing where things are when I do weekly backups.

I've been using PC's since 286. At work we leave them on, at home I shut them off. Doesn't seem to to make any difference in reliability. If anything I think the work ones tend to burn out before home ones. Both usually outlast their useful technology life. I have a bunch of CRT's you want em?

Dust tends to kill them and the longer they are on the more dust they pull in. Fans tend to burn out running 24/7 too.

And to the person running servers for 3 years. 3 years is nothing either way. Try 5, 8 or 10 years and then you'll see the differences.

GlennT
2007-06-05, 10:33
Board creep and motor fatigue are two big factors that used to plague PCs, and both have improved significantly over the years. More items are integrated or mechanically fastened down these days, and drive technology is simply better. Even if you leave you computer on, most are set to spin down the drives anyway. This has been reasonably true for the last 10 years, save the unfortunate few that had budget build Quantum Bigfoot drives in the late 90's (5.25" drives take more ummf to spin up).

I'm a network administrator, and I've never noted a difference. I have a PC at home that is nearly 7 years old, all original components, and has been powered on and off daily through that entire span of time. The one next to it ran for 9 years, before being mothballed, then recommissioned for Slimserver.

That said, my slimserver is on 24/7, just as our servers at work are on 24/7, for availability. Power consumption is minimal anyway, but I see no reason to leave something on based solely on the old "lifespan" arguement.

Dynamic addresses (i.e. DHCP) have never been a great option for servers. As already mentioned, if you assign the slimserver a static IP, or reserve it in your DHCP server, your SB won't have trouble finding the server anymore. I actually like the reserve option, since the IP will "return", even if you reinstall or switch the OS.

Deaf Cat
2007-06-06, 04:32
Talking of turning things off, my pc and related bits have there own MCB, (slight mis calculation of the postitioning of the stereo gear :( oops) So I'm thinking its easier to flick the MCB rather than reach behind the desk and flick a good number of power points off.

For me its nice to sleep knowing everything is off and no power is being used needlessley, same goes for the AV gear all off over night, but that does get a warm up time before use :).

Don't know how (I don't talk pc) but my SB (touch wood, fingers crossed etc) always finds the network after being off, only when its decided to change its mac name then it does have trouble.