View Full Version : Can I plug an SB3 directly into my laptop?

2007-12-28, 09:22
Can I plug an SB3 into my laptop's CAT5 port to run powered speakers, or do I have to have some sort of network arrangement?

2007-12-28, 10:22
Should be able to, I would think. Used to run my Netgear MP101 exactly that way, ie without a router. **Think** you need a crossover cable rather than a straight one, but I may be wrong. I'd google home networking or something similar. Could you borrow a cable to try it - they're cheap enough though?

2007-12-28, 11:17
A safe bet is to buy a very simple switch with ethernet only connectors, there are heaps of possibilites, D-link provides some very reasonably priced alternatives.

Just make sure there's a dhcp server in the switch, if not, you will have to set a fixed ip address in your laptop and you don't want to do that. (At least I don't)
Normally, You can configure the switch so that your laptop's mac address always gets the the same ip address, allowing the config of the SB3 to connect to a fixed ip address.

I'm using such a setup myself with a D-Link DI-604 switch, because I'm having issues with wireless coverage.... Our house is too large :-)

This is much better than using special setup and crossed cables. In this case, simpler is not better.


Harald N

2007-12-28, 11:29
A simple crossover ethernet cable is the most that you'll need. But you'll need to set the laptop's nic & the SB to static IP addresses on the same subnet. (E.g. laptop=, SB=

I've put together a couple of SB setups wiring the SB directly to a mini-itx based linux slimserver using a very short crossover cable and static IPs. With the wired=>wireless bridging on the SB turned on, I can even tie the whole thing (the SB AND the server) wirelessly to the local network.

2007-12-28, 11:42
The downside with using the hardwired cabling is that you have to set fixed addresses in both the SB3 and the laptop, if the laptop stay fixed there, then that's fine and it will work...

But if you're moving the laptop around you will have to reconfigure the ip addresses on the network card every time you hook the pc up to another hardwired network. That makes the "switch" solution simpler because you don't have to do that.

2007-12-28, 12:04
Agreed. But, if what the OP is trying to achieve here is a temporary setup (like taking the laptop, SB and powered speakers to a party to provide background music) then the crossover solution is viable and setting and clearing a couple of IPs isn't much of a price to pay. Even if time==$$$, that's still cheaper than a cheap router.

2007-12-28, 13:51

Simplest to do the x-over cable and if it gets too much hassle, then you could always add a switch later. You don't burn any bridges by doing this.

You can set an autoconfiguration ip-address on your network card (if you're running windows?) This means:
if there's no dhcp server around, then you'll get at default IP adress that will apply when you're using the hardwired setup.

And if you additionally configure the card to automatically receive IP addresses, then you will also get the IP address when there's a dhcp server around.

In which way, the laptop will work at home with your squeezebox, and on the road with other networks. No reconfiguring at all.

Was that clear as fog?


Robin Bowes
2007-12-28, 14:06
haraldo wrote:
> Yeah
> Simplest to do the x-over cable and if it gets too much hassle, then
> you could always add a switch later. You don't burn any bridges by
> doing this.

Let me also correct something else: a switch would be no help in this
situation; switches do not, as a rule, run DHCP servers. I presume
you're talking about one of the many domestic router boxes which come
with a 4-port switch attached.


2007-12-28, 14:52
Thanks, guys. I think I'll just play through my external sound card.