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View Full Version : How good a wireless signal is good enough?



pablolie
2008-10-16, 20:54
I just "upgraded" my wireless router to a Linksys WRT610N. Dual band, does N and all, but the main reason I got it was because it supposedly works very smoothly with the Duet. Which it does - the Controller connectivity issues have utterly vanished since I switch to this router.

Now to the reach however. Because it is one of these sleek design newagey rounded things with integrated antennas, the reach is not that great. Here is what I get for now:

Name: bedroom_elkhorn
Model: receiver
Firmware: 47
The IP address for this player is: 192.168.1.105:29500
The Ethernet MAC address for this player is: 00:04:20:16:30:f6
Wireless Signal Strength: 51

Name: GymBoom
Model: boom
Firmware: 32
The IP address for this player is: 192.168.1.29:38139
The Ethernet MAC address for this player is: 00:04:20:1e:12:54
Wireless Signal Strength: 81

Name: KitchenBoom
Model: boom
Firmware: 32
The IP address for this player is: 192.168.1.103:42029
The Ethernet MAC address for this player is: 00:04:20:1e:1b:80
Wireless Signal Strength: 44

Name: livingroom-elkhorn
Model: Squeezebox v3
Firmware: 112
The IP address for this player is: 192.168.1.109:52744
The Ethernet MAC address for this player is: 00:04:20:12:8f:78
Wireless Signal Strength: 75

The bedroom and the kitchen ones are cause for a little concern, even though they are playing alright. The kitchen is far away, the bedroom is a bit of a mistery, because it is close. I have not tried yet to experiment with moving the wireless router for a few feet... so I just wanted to grt a general feel from the community... would you be happy with the wireless signals as they are?

Thanks...p

SuperQ
2008-10-16, 21:10
Really, all those numbers don't matter. As long as you can get the network test to pass reasonably (95% or better) you have enough signal. I use 1000kbps as a rule of thumb for FLAC playback, but you can get by with 512kbps for mp3.

Andrew B.
2008-10-21, 00:14
You could experiment with different wireless transmission channels on the router. Try 6 if you are in the US or 7 if you are in Europe. It improved reception at one of my locations quite significantly.

Andrew

cparker
2008-10-21, 05:28
For Info, I have a SB3 that is about 30% signal, still works fine for 320 CBR mp3, not tried FLAC yet, still ripping my collection :)

androidtopp
2008-10-21, 05:28
Yes, channels 1, 6, and 11 are spaced (in the US at least) such that they don't "overlap" with any other channels. 1 and 2, for example, while they are separate, do share a little bit of spectrum. So you could try a site survey, see what channels nearby routers are running on, and try to set your wireless channel as far away as possible from close-by strong signals.

This helped me in an apartment - my Wii's wireless connection was worthless if I used channel 1, but channel 6 was perfect.

BiT
2008-10-21, 06:44
I'm currently getting about 30/40% And I can still play MP3 files properly...

If I move my SB3 10 centimeters I love about 20%. Very weird.
I'm probably getting one of those internet through your power lines packages soon. So I can change the spot of my SB to a better one :)

maggior
2008-10-21, 07:48
I have 4 squeezeboxes of various types spread throughout the house. I find that mine will work down to 30% signal. As a rule of thumb, I try to get the signal to be 50% or higher to give me some buffer since the signal strength will fluxuate. My library is all mp3 (~190kbps), but I have played FLACs with success.

Based on my experience, you shouldn't have any trouble with the signal strengths you are seeing.


As a side note, one benefit to having SBs spread through the house wirelessly (aside from having music everywhere!) is it is a great tool to help adjust your wireless access point to ensure you are getting good coverage throughout the house. I recently had to relocate my router/WAP to the basement. I had to switch my antennas out with high gain ones. Then, by moving it around and refreshing the summary page on SqueezeCenter, I was able to find the optimum positioning for it.

androidtopp
2008-10-21, 08:01
As a side note, one benefit to having SBs spread through the house wirelessly (aside from having music everywhere!) is it is a great tool to help adjust your wireless access point to ensure you are getting good coverage throughout the house.

That should be a marketing point. "Think of your multi-squeezebox purchase as a wireless site survey...with AWESOME side effects."

DeVerm
2008-10-21, 21:05
It is important to understand that signal strength is not the important thing to watch; the signal-to-noise-ratio is what counts and many routers will list that in dB (or they list both signal and noise in dB, subtract them and you have the ratio). Also, some routers give a "signal quality" which is basically the good value but converted to some percentage presentation.

In other words: a weak signal is okay as long as it's still stronger than the noise.

cheers,
Nick.

maggior
2008-10-22, 09:00
True.

I do this with all of my SBs too. I'm running DD-WRT which gives you a pretty good status of noise, SNR, and signal. Based on the MAC, I can easily tell which is which since DHCP clients are listed right below, with host names and the last part of the MAC.