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MeSue
2008-09-05, 08:58
Has anyone here been able to overcome the problem of microwave ovens interfering with the wireless signal? I even looked up the frequency of the micro and set my router to use the channel farthest from it, but it didn't help.

I have found that if I am listening to my local library and I only need the microwave for a few minutes, if I start the micro at the beginning of the song it doesn't get interrupted. The screen might blank out for a while but it keeps playing. If I want to do a baked potato or anything long, I guess I'd have to queue up "Freebird" or "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." :-)

If it's internet radio, though... forget it.

lanierb
2008-09-05, 09:22
My microwave doesn't interfere with my wifi at all, even the SB3 that is farthest from the router with the microwave half way in between. (It does interfere a little with my cordless phone if you stand right near it though.) So anyway, I doubt this is router related so I guess this means there's something different about your microwave.

CatBus
2008-09-05, 09:28
Has anyone here been able to overcome the problem of microwave ovens interfering with the wireless signal?

Changing channels won't do anything--they interfere all over the spectrum. The ONLY thing you can do is shielding and placement. Newer microwave ovens are better shielded, so simply getting a new oven may help. If you happen to have a nice dense brick wall anywhere, you may be able to contain the EM pollution from the microwave a bit. If you can, move the microwave, player, or router in such a manner that the microwave is nowhere near either wireless device. Or maybe consider a toaster oven.

You could also get some Cat5 cable and fix your wireless problems permanently...

slimkid
2008-09-05, 09:29
Has anyone here been able to overcome the problem of microwave ovens interfering with the wireless signal? I even looked up the frequency of the micro and set my router to use the channel farthest from it, but it didn't help.

I have found that if I am listening to my local library and I only need the microwave for a few minutes, if I start the micro at the beginning of the song it doesn't get interrupted. The screen might blank out for a while but it keeps playing. If I want to do a baked potato or anything long, I guess I'd have to queue up "Freebird" or "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." :-)

If it's internet radio, though... forget it.

In short, yes. Run a cable. :(

As for it working sometimes, it is a race between SB buffer capacity and the thickness of said potato. Mp3 and thin potato will yield better results then flac and frozen steak.

K

maggior
2008-09-05, 09:38
I must be lucky because my microwave never interfers with my WiFi. My microwave is newer (2 years old) so perhaps it is well shielded.

I have my duet set up righ next to my microwave and expected there to be problems when the nuke was fired up. But no, it just continues on playing music.

mvalera
2008-09-05, 10:03
MeSue how old is your microwave? I think you may have a particularly leaky model. You may want to replace it.

Mike

MeSue
2008-09-05, 10:04
Newer microwave ovens are better shielded, so simply getting a new oven may help...Or maybe consider a toaster oven.

I just got this one last year when we remodeled the kitchen. It replaced a 25 year old one! I do have a toaster oven, too, and I use it a LOT more than the micro.


You could also get some Cat5 cable and fix your wireless problems permanently...

Yeah, that is always a problem here... we have wood floors, wood walls, and wood ceiling (no attic). Hubby hates to put new holes in the wood, so it is very difficult to run cables.

Repositioning the router might help, but I'd hate for it to mess something else up. It's a minor nuisance, but I can live with it. Just thought some of you might have some ideas I hadn't thought of.

MeSue
2008-09-05, 10:07
MeSue how old is your microwave? I think you may have a particularly leaky model. You may want to replace it.

Mike

It's a Panasonic, just bought in spring of 2007. Replacing it isn't going to happen... not after the cursing I had to hear while hubby installed it. ;-) Plus, I like it.

maggior
2008-09-05, 10:17
Do you feel a warming sensation from within when you use it? ;-)

Seriously, excessive leakage could be dangerous. I don't know if strong WiFi interference would indicate a leak that is strong enough to be unhealthy.

Yeah, my wife has to listen to grumbling when I do home improvement projects too. :-). It's a husband's God-given right.

mvalera
2008-09-05, 10:30
It's a Panasonic, just bought in spring of 2007. Replacing it isn't going to happen... not after the cursing I had to hear while hubby installed it. ;-) Plus, I like it.

Weird... llike I said it just may be extra-leaky. I personally have never had a problem with microwave interference, at least nothing I've ever noticed in terms of dropouts etc.

Even the Boom we have in the kitchen here mounted right above a microwave has no problems when I'm using both.

Mike

CatBus
2008-09-05, 10:31
Yeah, that is always a problem here... we have wood floors, wood walls, and wood ceiling (no attic). Hubby hates to put new holes in the wood, so it is very difficult to run cables.

Some people here have had luck with power line networking. I have no experience with it so I can't say. Sounds like a plausible solution for you though.

MeSue
2008-09-05, 10:32
No warming sensation... but maybe that is why it was so cheap on Amazon.com. Is there a way to test for unhealthy leakage?

Secret Squirrel
2008-09-05, 10:42
No warming sensation... but maybe that is why it was so cheap on Amazon.com. Is there a way to test for unhealthy leakage?

Yes, there are EMF meters out and about but they're pretty expensive for just one use. Maybe you can rent one or have an appliance repairman check it, but that would be expensive too!

Sorry I can't lend you one :(

SS

maggior
2008-09-05, 10:44
This issue piqued my curiosity, so I poked around the 'net a bit. I thought these articles interesting:
http://tech.yahoo.com/blog/null/80239
http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/consumer/microwave.html

It seems you can get detectors, but their accuracy is questionable. I think unless the door or door seal is broken, there shouldn't be any harmful leakage.

Anything I read on interference issues suggested distancing the equipment from the oven. Apparently the interference levels drop quite dramatically as you move away from the oven.

Slow day at work, so it made for some interesting reading :-).

4mula1
2008-09-05, 10:54
My Panasonic microwave absolutely clobbers my 2 SB3s. One is sitting on top of the microwave and the other is in the living room which is next to my kitchen. When the microwave is on the one in the kitchen stops playing as soon as the buffer runs out, and the one in the living room will start to stutter. Once the microwave is done everything's kosher.

I don't think I'll buy another Panasonic microwave after seeing MeSue has the same brand.

maggior
2008-09-05, 11:08
Ours (which doesn't interfer at all) is a Sharp for what it's worth. My wife doesn't really like it because it burns her microwave popcorn.

MeSue
2008-09-05, 11:12
Well, I DO get perfect popcorn out of mine. Everything is a trade-off. I wonder if loading up the cabinet between the SB and microwave would help... must buy more dishes!

andyg
2008-09-05, 11:18
FWIW, I bought the top-rated Consumer Reports microwave a few years ago, it does not interfere at all with any of my wireless devices, even a Boom that is 2 feet away.

It's a Kenmore 6325 from Sears.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/search_10153_12605?keyword=kenmore+6325&gobutton.x=0&gobutton.y=0&gobutton=find

pfarrell
2008-09-05, 11:19
MeSue wrote:
> Has anyone here been able to overcome the problem of microwave ovens
> interfering with the wireless signal? I even looked up the frequency of
> the micro and set my router to use the channel farthest from it, but it
> didn't help.

Happens all the time for me. Everytime the microwave is on, all WiFi in
my house stops.

The solution is to run Ethernet cables


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

Dogberry2
2008-09-05, 11:48
I've never had an interference problem of that sort, but then again, both microwave ovens are a fair distance from the router, and neither lies between the router and any sort of WiFi receiver (either Slim or PC). However, I do plan to put a Boom in a cubby directly above the kitchen microwave, just as soon as I: b) get a Boom, and first a) build a cubby above the microwave to put it in. (I just finished the cubby the microwave sits in a couple months ago, and am not eager to undertake another such job, but it's the most logical place to put a Boom, exactly between the kitchen and dining room.)

Perhaps over the weekend I'll do some experimenting with one of my Duet receivers in that approximate location, while nuking a potato or something, to see whether the "logical place to put a Boom" is going to be problematic.

froth
2008-09-05, 11:57
I have my Squeeze Boom sitting right beside my Microwave and I do get interference with it once and a while. Not every time so I find that interssting. My Micro is only a couple of years old and btw, I had 20 year old one before and I still was able to have children. ;)

iPhone
2008-09-05, 11:59
Well, I DO get perfect popcorn out of mine. Everything is a trade-off. I wonder if loading up the cabinet between the SB and microwave would help... must buy more dishes!

A couple of quick questions. Is the unit a stand-alone or is it a built-in? Is it plugged into a tested 3 prong grounded outlet? Is the inside waveguide cover damaged? Many of the waveguide covers are made from re-enforced coated card stock. These can become damaged when people clean over then to hard which can cause a high reflection which will cause interference.

Have you checked the door interface seal to make sure it is not damaged, has a crack, seam, or bend in it? Any area that is not prefectly sealed will allow interference to leak out at these frequencies.

I can set my Boom on top of our Sharp Microwave without issue. 9 out of 10 of the Microwave Oven interference problems I solve end up being improper ground.

MeSue
2008-09-05, 12:19
It's a built in that hangs above the stove. It is plugged into a 3 prong outlet. What I'm guessing is the waveguide cover is plastic on mine.

The door does not have anything I would call a seal, really. The door is surrounded in black plastic and it is flat metal surrounding the opening on the inside. I assume the two flat parts touch each other when it is closed, but you can't tell by looking at it because it's inset. Maybe this is where the leakage is.

ModelCitizen
2008-09-05, 12:45
I think iPhone might be on the right track.

My microwave is possibly ten years old, even my wireless phone is six years old. My microwave sits eight feet from my kitchen SB3 and my main wireless phone station is two feet from my wireless router. I use the UK three prong earthed wiring system.

I have never experienced any wireless network interference problems.

There are no other wireless networks near my house (I also use channel 13, but I think that is probably immaterial).

Go figure (as they say).

MC

st2000
2008-09-05, 13:23
MeSue wrote:
> Has anyone here been able to overcome the problem of microwave ovens
> interfering with the wireless signal? I even looked up the frequency of
> the micro and set my router to use the channel farthest from it, but it
> didn't help.
>
> I have found that if I am listening to my local library and I only need
> the microwave for a few minutes, if I start the micro at the beginning
> of the song it doesn't get interrupted. The screen might blank out for
> a while but it keeps playing. If I want to do a baked potato or
> anything long, I guess I'd have to queue up "Freebird" or
> "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." :-)
>
> If it's internet radio, though... forget it.
>
>

Wow, lot's of postings.

No doubt it's unhealthy to be exposed to microwave radiation. However
unless you dropped it or torqued it (i.e. damaged it or improperly
installed it), I doubt your are getting any more microwave related
interference then from ovens where people are experiencing acceptable
results with their SBs.

It's more likely it's an electrically noisy appliance. Remember you are
essentially consuming several hundred watts powering a magnatron
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cavity_magnetron) or what ever that thing
was called they smuggled out of Europe and perfected a MIT's RADAR lab
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_Laboratory).

I would inspect the outer cover of the micro wave. Is it metal? Is it
securely in place? Does the metal cover form a continuous skin with
little or no holes for EM radiation to leak out from? Could it be
better grounded?

For that matter, is your outlet you plug your microwave into (3 prong of
course) properly wired? You can buy an inexpensive 3 prong tester or
check it with a AC volt meter. You should get about 110 volt across the
slotted holes and 110 across the smaller slotted (hot side) hole and the
round ground hole and a negligible amount of voltage across the wide
slotted (cold side) hole and the round ground hole. If not, forget
everything else and fix your outlet!**

You might also try fixing your transmitter. Just replacing the antenna
with a better one can double the power output.

Also move things around. Point source radiation (like the light from a
flash light) will diminish at a rate of 1/(distance * distance). So,
every time you double the distance from the offending noisy appliance,
you cut the noise by 1/4. Conversely, every time you halve the distance
to your wifi transmitter, you quadruple the power!

There are other things you could try (ground plain comes to mind) but
they are beyond this mailing list (and me for the most part) :-). (I'd
1st try a better antenna at the transmitter!)

**If you have never tested an outlet, please use one of those
inexpensive outlet testers. Actually I'm talking my self into getting
one now. How's that for an endorsement.

pfarrell
2008-09-05, 13:29
stuart wrote:
> No doubt it's unhealthy to be exposed to microwave radiation. However
> unless you dropped it or torqued it (i.e. damaged it or improperly
> installed it), I doubt your are getting any more microwave related
> interference then from ovens where people are experiencing acceptable
> results with their SBs.

It does not take an "unhealthy" amount of 2.4 gHz radiation to mess up
WiFi. WiFi uses 2.4 because its unregulated at low power. So does a
microwave oven, bluetooth, zigbee, and a bunch of other stuff.

All the data transfer units in the 2.4gHz range are low power, so they
are sensitive to noise, multi-path distortion, and a zillion other things.

I spent nearly three years working with ZigBee, and I'm amazed that any
of this stuff works at all.

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

MeSue
2008-09-05, 13:35
I know hubby has an outlet tester. I will have him check it when he gets home. I think he may have had to install or move that outlet when we redid the kitchen last year... I seem to recall that was part of the cursing.

andynormancx
2008-09-05, 13:56
My Panasonic microwave absolutely clobbers my 2 SB3s. One is sitting on top of the microwave and the other is in the living room which is next to my kitchen. When the microwave is on the one in the kitchen stops playing as soon as the buffer runs out, and the one in the living room will start to stutter.
We have a brand new Panasonic that also clobbers any wifi signal in the kitchen when it is on. Ironically one of its key selling points was a new design of magnetron that was supposed to be:

- smaller (despite this the oven is 3 inches deeper than the old Panasonic it replaced)
- uses less power
- interferes less with wifi signals

Hmmm...

alanj
2008-09-05, 14:15
Interesting.

I've replaced an old noname microwave with a brand new panasonic.
Old one never interfered, but the new one kills the SB3 every time. Panasonic seem to be the common item here don't they.

I have found that simply closing the kitchen door or even standing in the doorway blocks enough to allow the SB3 to carry on working, although I'm not sure I'm entirely happy being a human shield!

ModelCitizen
2008-09-05, 14:49
I have found that simply closing the kitchen door or even standing in the doorway blocks enough to allow the SB3 to carry on working, although I'm not sure I'm entirely happy being a human shield!
This could be frightening stuff.
I'm still not entirely comfortable with a house full of wifi and little children (with associated growing brains). My wife much less so.

I hope it does not take another twenty years to find out for certin that it's a bad mix.

MC

pfarrell
2008-09-05, 14:58
ModelCitizen wrote:
> This could be frightening stuff.
> I'm still not entirely comfortable with a house full of wifi and little
> children (with associated growing brains). My wife much less so.

WiFi is microwave. Same stuff. With enough power, it can cook raw meat.
Its supposed to be safe in low dosages.

As I said upthread, there is tons of stuff in the 2.4gHz range, from
microwave ovens, WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee and others

CatBus
2008-09-05, 15:15
ModelCitizen wrote:
> This could be frightening stuff.
> I'm still not entirely comfortable with a house full of wifi and little
> children (with associated growing brains). My wife much less so.

WiFi is microwave. Same stuff. With enough power, it can cook raw meat.
Its supposed to be safe in low dosages.

As I said upthread, there is tons of stuff in the 2.4gHz range, from
microwave ovens, WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee and others

When considering environmental hazards, please always remember that toxicity is a function of dosage, ALWAYS. At a high enough dosage, water is toxic. At a low enough dosage, certain poisons actually have medicinal value. People get excited about wifi because it's "radiation". But remember that the color blue is radiation too.

That said, I'm pretty sure my very first microwave magnetized all the knives in the drawer next to it. But that was the kind with the hand dial for setting the time, like a washing machine, and it weighed about 100 pounds.

4mula1
2008-09-05, 15:20
We have a brand new Panasonic that also clobbers any wifi signal in the kitchen when it is on. Ironically one of its key selling points was a new design of magnetron that was supposed to be:

- smaller (despite this the oven is 3 inches deeper than the old Panasonic it replaced)
- uses less power
- interferes less with wifi signals

Hmmm...

It's all relative. All of those points with the exception of the first should all refer to previous Panasonic microwaves, not the wifi friendly brands everybody else is buying.

snarlydwarf
2008-09-05, 16:14
Well, I DO get perfect popcorn out of mine. Everything is a trade-off. I wonder if loading up the cabinet between the SB and microwave would help... must buy more dishes!

Buy something with high copper or iron content in the glaze... need that for the shielding effect.

So maybe rust-red glaze on theme.

st2000
2008-09-05, 16:27
snarlydwarf wrote:
> MeSue;337093 Wrote:
>> Well, I DO get perfect popcorn out of mine. Everything is a trade-off. I
>> wonder if loading up the cabinet between the SB and microwave would
>> help... must buy more dishes!
>
> Buy something with high copper or iron content in the glaze... need
> that for the shielding effect.
>
> So maybe rust-red glaze on theme.

Oh oh, Or how's about that "other metal" glaze called "Fiesta red"
(a.k.a. uranium)?:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiestaware#Red_Fiesta

....(how far off topic can we get and still have fun? really?)

4mula1
2008-09-05, 16:52
snarlydwarf wrote:
> MeSue;337093 Wrote:
>> Well, I DO get perfect popcorn out of mine. Everything is a trade-off. I
>> wonder if loading up the cabinet between the SB and microwave would
>> help... must buy more dishes!
>
> Buy something with high copper or iron content in the glaze... need
> that for the shielding effect.
>
> So maybe rust-red glaze on theme.

Oh oh, Or how's about that "other metal" glaze called "Fiesta red"
(a.k.a. uranium)?:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiestaware#Red_Fiesta

....(how far off topic can we get and still have fun? really?)

Is Fiesta Red microwave safe? Do you even need the microwave? If my wife told me to nuke a bag of popcorn I'd throw it in the Fiesta Red bowl and be done!

Brian Ritchie
2008-09-05, 17:50
When I bought a Duet, I decided to put the receiver in the kitchen. Usually, it's sync'd with the living-room's SB3, as both can be heard in the dining-room.

Alas, our (moderately old) Matsui 800W oven really clobbers the receiver; and when it's sync'd, it takes the living-room with it (the SB3 is OK on its own). So I have to remember to unsync the kitchen before using the microwave.

I guess it's not too surprising, as the receiver's only a foot or so away from the microwave (the router is in the opposite direction, but upstairs); but I'm jealous of those of you whose 'waves don't seem to interfere! Current kitchen ergonomics make any other arrangement difficult. Another reason for that house extension we keep putting off :-)

-- Brian

BigTony
2008-09-06, 01:44
You really need to get an engineer to test that your oven is not leaking microwaves, its a pretty easy test, but requires the right gear (I use microwave analysers in my work) it is possible that there could be a fault with your oven.

BT

Lesu
2008-09-06, 02:27
To sum up after reading all of the posts on this thread.
It seems there is something special about Panasonic microwaves that makes them interfere with SBs, so there probably isn't a fault on the unit.

Wired connection appears to be out because no holes are wanted in the woodwork.

IMO this leaves mains dataplug connection as the most likely solution.
I use the Homeplug system and it worked straight out of the box, no dropouts and good data transmission rates. Just plug in at the router and SB ends and connect up.
It also means that if you want to move the SB, you just unplug the dataplug and plug in at the new location.

maggior
2008-10-15, 12:11
The other day I noticed that the microwave was creating havoc with my Duet in the kitchen. It would just clobber it requiring me to clear out the playlist and start over again. I was reminded of a posting I made here boasting that my Duet was immune to the effects of my microwave.

So I thought back on what had changed since then and remembered that I had moved the setup to another room for a party my wife was having with her friends from the MOMS club. It seemed like the problems started after that.

I figured perhaps I didn't put things back exactly as they had been. As an experiment, I moved the microwave to the left about an inch and the duet to the right a couple of inches and voila! no more issues. A mere 3 inches of additional separation made the difference! I was pleasantly surprised.

If you are having issues with the microwave causing interference, you might want to just add a little more separation - it may make all of the difference.

jaw5279
2008-10-15, 12:48
I also have a Panasonic microwave and get stuttering from my duet whenever it is used and I have music going. As soon as it cuts off, all returns to normal. This is a mid level model that I got from Amazon a couple of years ago. The Duet hardware is several rooms/walls away.

MeSue
2008-10-15, 12:49
As an experiment, I moved the microwave to the left about an inch and the duet to the right a couple of inches and voila! no more issues. A mere 3 inches of additional separation made the difference! I was pleasantly surprised.

Wow! That's pretty crazy that only 3 inches made a difference.

Both my Boom and Micro are mounted, though, so I can't easily move them. Here, it hasn't been too bad working around it by timing the microwave with song starts and doing my stirring at song transitions.

Ben Sandee
2008-10-15, 12:53
On Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 2:48 PM, jaw5279 <
jaw5279.3hc85b1224100201 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:

>
> I also have a Panasonic microwave and get stuttering from my duet
> whenever it is used and I have music going. As soon as it cuts off,
> all returns to normal. This is a mid level model that I got from
> Amazon a couple of years ago. The Duet hardware is several rooms/walls
> away.


I had this happen for the first time with the Boom in my Kitchen. It only
happens for FLAC files (due to the increased bandwidth) so I turned on
bitrate limiting (320Kbps) and the problem was solved. If you haven't tried
that, you might prefer the small decrease in quality over the stuttering due
to bandwidth issues.

Ben

maggior
2008-10-15, 13:01
I didn't encounter stuttering. The music would stop and the SBR would cycle through the lights showing it was reestablishing its connection with the server. The song would start from the beginning, and then just stop until it started playing from the beginning again. This would start minutes after the microwave was done and would continue until I cleared the playlist and started again.

The controller is on the side of the SBR opposite the microwave. It never has a problem and is part of what gave me the idea of moving them apart a little bit.

So the stuttering problem might be different than what I was experiencing.