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copernical
2008-04-06, 23:06
I sometimes get the following message from my controller.
"couldn't connect your SB to your wireless network. Make sure it is within range of your wireless network. (Lost Squeezebox)"

I can usually overcome this by switching off and on again, or if this doesn't do it, by doing a factory reset.

When the SB is working, all seems pretty normal. The signal strength for the player is between 10% and 30%.

But overnight the gremlins get in! :-)

I have a new SB Duet, wireless network with Linksys wireless router WRT54GL (802.11g), Squeezecenter 7.0.1, controller updated regularly.

I think maybe there is a preferred order in which to get the equipment started, but not sure.

Any help appreciated.
Thanks
Mike

SuperQ
2008-04-07, 07:32
10-30% is a bit low. I would suggest all the normal tricks to get that up to atleast 50%. Try changing channels. (1,6,11) Change orientation of the antennas. Change location of AP or squeezebox receiver. Add higher gain antennas to the AP. Mod SBR with higher gain antennas. Add second AP closer to SBR.

copernical
2008-04-08, 01:30
Thanks for this SuperQ. Good to have some ideas of things to try. I'm afraid I am not very clued up on the jargon of networking though. Could you point me somewhere I can find out about changing channels? I can move the SB receiver locally to a more exposed position rather than surrounded by my HiFi stuff. I'll give it a try.
Thanks again

davis
2008-04-08, 01:57
It's probably your wireless network signal strength.

The "channels" available are slightly different radio frequencies (basically). It may be that you have a neighbour with a wireless system on the same channel, and that's causing interference.

The option for changing your radio channel is generally in your wireless router's "Setup" or "Wireless Configuration"-type page; at least, it has been on any Linksys Wireless AP I've ever seen.

I'm guessing that changing the radio channel won't make a huge difference: two things seriously affect wireless signal strength: distance, and line-of-sight. The closer you are, and the fewer walls/floors/things you have in the way, the better the signal will be. (Up to a point, wireless often breaks within a distance of about a foot).

If you can't get the SB and AP any closer together, how much chance have you got of running cables? Very little performs as consistently well as copper :)

copernical
2008-04-08, 02:33
Thanks Davis and SuperQ

I've shifted the SB receiver to be on the top of all my HiFi stuff, so it's a bit closer to the router which is on the floor above. It is now also less surrounded by nearby HiFi equipment which does seem to have been shielding it - my signal strength has now gone up to between 46% and 51% and the SB got online at the first attempt without any intervention after having been switched off. So, fingers crossed, that was the problem.
Thanks again

copernical
2008-04-08, 04:31
Oh Dear! I spoke too soon.
A few hours later and I had the same problems. Difficulty to get the SB to connect to the network and when it finally did, the signal strength was again down to 10% without my having moved anything. I can't understand how it is changing so much.

I'm certainly not going to mess around trying to run a cable. That was the whole reason why I bought the SB - because of the wireless connection. I'm only going down one floor and sideways about 20 ft. Admittedly it's through a floor and a wall - but hey surely it can manage that?

ncarver
2008-04-08, 09:11
If you have metallic items in your walls/floors this can severely limit distances for Wifi. We had to span a distance of only about 20' for one connection, yet had to go to directional antennas on both ends to get 100% reliable connections (heat pump pipe and electrical wiring issues).

My Duet units are now about 50' from the access point (through floor and walls), but function reliably. Have a Dlink "n" unit with 3 external "rubber duck" antennas, one of which has been replaced with a 14dB directional antenna pointed in the general direction of the Duet units. With a basic "g" unit with a single antenna, I doubt that we would be able to get consistent connections.

Your wireless router has two external antennas? First, try re-orienting them (along with the unit itself to make major changes). If you still cannot get enough signal, you may need to get a directional antenna (I assume the antennas unscrew from the Linksys unit).

As other people suggested, you can also try changing the router/access point channel (use its web interface, and try 1, 6, 11), though unless you have really close neighbors running wifi, this is unlikely to help.

JimC
2008-04-08, 11:38
Oh Dear! I spoke too soon.
A few hours later and I had the same problems. Difficulty to get the SB to connect to the network and when it finally did, the signal strength was again down to 10% without my having moved anything. I can't understand how it is changing so much.

I'm certainly not going to mess around trying to run a cable. That was the whole reason why I bought the SB - because of the wireless connection. I'm only going down one floor and sideways about 20 ft. Admittedly it's through a floor and a wall - but hey surely it can manage that?

If I had to guess, I'd say that you have external interference that's reducing your wireless signal strength. 2.4GHz is a very crowded spectrum, with all kinds of devices competing for bandwdith and signal.

If possible, I would use either NetStumbler (for Windows, get it here (http://www.netstumbler.com/)) or iStumbler (for Mac, get it here (http://www.istumbler.net/)) and look at the wireless networks in your area. Try to find a channel that's either a minimum of 4 steps apart from other routers and use that. If you can't find one, look for a channel between the channels used by the two weakest router signals in the list and use that.

The other nice thing is that both of these apps can graphically display signal strength so you can see any fluctuations in what's being received by the antenna in your computer. You can compare that to changes in the Controller's signal strength to see if they match, which would help isolate whether this is a Controller- or network-specific issue.


-=> Jim

pfarrell
2008-04-08, 11:48
JimC wrote:
> If I had to guess, I'd say that you have external interference that's
> reducing your wireless signal strength. 2.4GHz is a very crowded
> spectrum, with all kinds of devices competing for bandwdith and
> signal.

A new neighbor installing their own WiFi can cause troubles. as well as
my microwave oven, which kills all WiFi in my house.

> You can compare that to changes in the
> Controller's signal strength to see if they match, which would help
> isolate whether this is a Controller- or network-specific issue.

There are several steps before you need to drag wire, even if it is a
network problem. You can, for instance, try another WiFi access point/
router. Or get a Linksys WG54GL and change the firmware.


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

Mnyb
2008-04-08, 12:09
WRT54GL is good (with for example Tomato firmware).

When I got my WRT54GL I cranked upp the wifi power and got consistent 90-93% strength insted off 68-73% as i had with my netgear.

This will not always be the trick as communication is two way, but as most com is TO the box (the audio stream etc), this can help a lot.

ModelCitizen
2008-04-08, 12:23
my microwave oven, which kills all WiFi in my house.
You've mentioned this a few times over the last 2 or 3 years Pat. Have you ever thought about getting a new Microwave? I can recommend my Sharp one, which never interferes with my wifi network.
;-)

MC

pfarrell
2008-04-08, 12:28
ModelCitizen wrote:
> You've mentioned this a few time over the last 2 or 3 years Pat. Have
> you ever thought about getting a new Microwave? I can recommend my
> Sharp one, which never interferes with my wifi network.

Well, I have considered it. But my day job is using ZigBee networks
which also share 2.4gHz. So I keep it as a test case of evil interference.

I bet mine is 15 years old. New ones are likely to be much better.

The best part is that when we are 'cooking dinner' in it, it gives me an
excuse to not keep working on my laptop.


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

JimC
2008-04-08, 15:29
ModelCitizen wrote:
> You've mentioned this a few time over the last 2 or 3 years Pat. Have
> you ever thought about getting a new Microwave? I can recommend my
> Sharp one, which never interferes with my wifi network.

Well, I have considered it. But my day job is using ZigBee networks
which also share 2.4gHz. So I keep it as a test case of evil interference.

I bet mine is 15 years old. New ones are likely to be much better.

The best part is that when we are 'cooking dinner' in it, it gives me an
excuse to not keep working on my laptop.


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

If yours ever breaks, I have a 19-year old microwave that must weigh just shy of 1 metric ton. When in use, it simply obliterates wireless networks and 2.4GHz phones. I'd have to make sure the wife was OK with giving it away, since she's had it nearly as long as I've known her. It will have to go before I am old enough to need a pacemaker... no need to make it easy to collect on my life insurance.


-=> Jim


-=> Jim

copernical
2008-04-10, 07:33
Thanks for these comments Jim. I am also inclined to think that it is something to do with my wifi signal strength. This morning I logged it varying between 2% and 48% in the course of 30 minutes without me making any changes.

Once it connects it can usually sustain the streaming of music even down to a quoted 2% strength. It often has problems connecting in the first place, presumably when the signal is very low - but of course I cannot check this until it connects.

I got NetStumbler but it says 'no wireless adapter found'. Not sure what that means or what it needs me to do.

I tried changing channels anyway, tried 1,6 and 11 all seem the same.

I guess there must be something in a neighbour's house which is intermittently interfering. They certainly have a wifi network.


If I had to guess, I'd say that you have external interference that's reducing your wireless signal strength. 2.4GHz is a very crowded spectrum, with all kinds of devices competing for bandwdith and signal.

If possible, I would use either NetStumbler (for Windows, get it here (http://www.netstumbler.com/)) or iStumbler (for Mac, get it here (http://www.istumbler.net/)) and look at the wireless networks in your area. Try to find a channel that's either a minimum of 4 steps apart from other routers and use that. If you can't find one, look for a channel between the channels used by the two weakest router signals in the list and use that.

The other nice thing is that both of these apps can graphically display signal strength so you can see any fluctuations in what's being received by the antenna in your computer. You can compare that to changes in the Controller's signal strength to see if they match, which would help isolate whether this is a Controller- or network-specific issue.


-=> Jim

FredFredrickson
2008-04-10, 07:39
It's fairly common for Microwaves to disrupt wifi, but it depends on placement. My apartment is long, so the kitchen (and microwave) sits between the kitchen table and the other room with the router.

The microwave will disrupt anything in the kitchen and beyond, but everything closer to the router is just fine.

I don't think you'll get much different with any microwave. You can only change placement.