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View Full Version : Help! SB3 drops out...Router Issue?



dpac996
2008-11-09, 07:46
Hello All:
I am having a recurring problem where my Squeezebox drops off the wireless network. I have nailed it down to these events taking place:

Hardware/Connection List:
-Verizon ActionTec Fios Router
-PC running Win XP Pro w/ latest slim server (ethernet)
-Squeezebox (wifi)
-Dell Vista laptop (wifi)
-Sony Xbox 360 (wifi)
-Sony PSP (wifi)

Reducing the problem to just the bare minmum for music:

ROuter, Server, Sb3 (all the others are off): from a reset of the router, no problems with the streaming. Hours of reliable connection.

When I power on the Laptop, still the sb3 works fine...Now when i turn the laptop off (or simply switch the wifi radio off) the sb3 drops out. Nothing but nothing can restore the connection to the server unless I reboot the router, or simply, switch the laptop's wifi radio back on. The same thing happend with the Sony xbox. It seems that the sb3 is happy when the other devices are on the network, but as soon as they are off the sb3 connection is terminated....any ideas?

Millwood
2008-11-09, 11:37
Superstition

The SB wireless units, and particularly the controller, do not play well in a mixed B-G network where B devices come and go, thus switching the network from G to mixed.

I can't prove this, but in my case I can reproduce the controller going off the net for a few minutes anytime I turn my B laptop on.

I've gone back to B only, which is in fact good enough for my purposes.

In some of my earlier flailing, I had an SB3 that would go off the net in the sense that it was associated, according to it and the router, but could not be pinged and could not communicate. This was with a Linksys WRT110. I haven't seen it with the replacement Netgear 824.

All this isn't very useful, I'm afraid, execept that if your laptop is B only, try running the wireless B only and see what happens.

dpac996
2008-11-10, 10:39
If there was a general problem with B/G I would think there would be thousands of similar complaints. There are probably tens of thousands of users operating in a similiar network, a few wireless devices that come and go with time. My problem is that when I switch OFF the laptop the SB3 drops..unless I reboot the Router...at which point the Sb3 is happy enough.

I guess I have to research the technical detail and all known issues on mixed mode broadcasts/devices to see what this problem really is. This is ludicrous! So much for standards!

Goodsounds
2008-11-10, 11:07
I've had no problems with two SB3s on a mixed B-G network.

A number of people I know have had trouble with the integrated "modem"/routers supplied by their broadband carrier. Though not the one you cite. Many are odd one-off boxes, made by companies you never heard of and with features and approaches that differ somewhat from mainstream products. If you have a way to substitute a different router-wireless access point as a test, I would try that.

Addendum:

I just noticed the list of devices you have connected - your dropout might be because you are running out of bandwidth. I recall seeing some posts here that the effective throughput on a mixed B-G can be quite a bit south of 10 MB - if you have your fiberoptic connection wailing, and some other things going on, you may have your internal system at or beyond capacity. Search around, or google it, you may be surprised to see how low actual wifi bandwidth can be.

mr-b
2008-11-10, 16:52
Hi

I've reported something similar - http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?p=353684#post353684.

If you reboot your SB3 does it report successfully obtaining an ip address? Can you ping that address from the SC server or other network node? I suspect that there's some SB/router incompatibility with renewing a DHCP lease or somesuch.

Phil Leigh
2008-11-11, 00:45
As a first step I would make sure that your server and squeezebox are both using static IP addresses.

mr-b
2008-11-11, 01:39
Why?

This shouldn't be necessary at all. (Although my server does in fact have a static address for ease of router port-forwarding.)

I think the only way to debug this is either to have some form of detailed wireless/ip logging on the SB (no idea if this is possible) or else take a packet trace just before the SB drops off the network.

Phil Leigh
2008-11-11, 04:46
Why?

This shouldn't be necessary at all. (Although my server does in fact have a static address for ease of router port-forwarding.)

I think the only way to debug this is either to have some form of detailed wireless/ip logging on the SB (no idea if this is possible) or else take a packet trace just before the SB drops off the network.

Because there is a possibility that you may have an intermittant ip/mac conflict on your network between the laptop and the SB. Since your SB is presumably not a device that "comes and goes" (unlike a laptop) then giving it a static IP address makes a lot of sense and eliminates this possibility. While you are at it, you might want to check that the SB MAC address in your SB and in your router ARP table matches the sticky label on the bottom. Just to eliminate another possibility.

The less variables there are in a system each time it boots up the better.

I don't know why people get so hung up about DHCP. IMO the best approach is to use DHCP for transient connections and static ip for permanent ones. YMMV.


You can do a packet trace using Ethereal.

However, when you turn off the laptop wi-fi, one of the first things that happens is that the ARP table in the router and server are going to be rebuilt...

on the server, in a command window, type arp -a with the laptop on - you should see ip/mac entries for your router, SB and laptop. Now turn off the laptop wi-fi and arp -a again - only the laptop should have gone. Check the mac addresses carefully and make sure they all tally with your actual hardware.

If everything looks OK, then consider using Ethereal...

mr-b
2008-11-11, 05:21
The reason why DHCP should be used is because SB is intended to be a consumer device and it should "just work". DHCP is a pretty old standard now, so there's really no excuse. Ask most consumers to get involved with configuring static IPs or swapping routers when their other wireless devices work fine and they're going to cease to be SB customers pretty quickly!

I'd like the SB to work as an easy-to-use consumer device for purely selfish reasons. It will become more popular, and then hopefully get more features and a lower price. ;-)

Currently I've borrowed a Netgear router and all seems to be OK. I'll try going back to my Linksys (WRT54GX v2) later and dig out Wireshark (new name for Ethereal) to try to spot any smoking guns.

Phil Leigh
2008-11-11, 07:05
The reason why DHCP should be used is because SB is intended to be a consumer device and it should "just work". DHCP is a pretty old standard now, so there's really no excuse. Ask most consumers to get involved with configuring static IPs or swapping routers when their other wireless devices work fine and they're going to cease to be SB customers pretty quickly!

I'd like the SB to work as an easy-to-use consumer device for purely selfish reasons. It will become more popular, and then hopefully get more features and a lower price. ;-)

Currently I've borrowed a Netgear router and all seems to be OK. I'll try going back to my Linksys (WRT54GX v2) later and dig out Wireshark (new name for Ethereal) to try to spot any smoking guns.

I agree in principle, but it seems in practice that DHCP can have issues (that are router related) in some setups.

I use a Linksys WAG54GS that is fine in this context.

dpac996
2008-11-11, 07:13
Today. I've been looking for an excuse to wipe the dust off my communication networks text. We used Ethereal to trace the data packets...O what fun!!

The other thing I want to try is to pull the power from the SB3 while the laptop is connected. I've only been looking at it one-sided. If the laptop is booted when i terminate the sb3 then my problem becomes more isolated, and shouel be easier to remedy. When i last looked at the router via its server app, It was configured for DHCP. I could just as easily assign static, I suppose, but I thought I did do that when I 1st setup the SB3. I gave it a 192.168.1.5 after I previously had it running with 192.168.1.4 (the laptop is 192.168.1.3). In both .4 and then .5 the SBs still dropped when I shut off the laptop. Excuse the verbose style. I have a head cold a mile wide and my forward vision feels more like peripheral.

Phil Leigh
2008-11-11, 07:18
Today. I've been looking for an excuse to wipe the dust off my communication networks text. We used Ethereal to trace the data packets...O what fun!!

The other thing I want to try is to pull the power from the SB3 while the laptop is connected. I've only been looking at it one-sided. If the laptop is booted when i terminate the sb3 then my problem becomes more isolated, and shouel be easier to remedy. When i last looked at the router via its server app, It was configured for DHCP. I could just as easily assign static, I suppose, but I thought I did do that when I 1st setup the SB3. I gave it a 192.168.1.5 after I previously had it running with 192.168.1.4 (the laptop is 192.168.1.3). In both .4 and then .5 the SBs still dropped when I shut off the laptop. Excuse the verbose style. I have a head cold a mile wide and my forward vision feels more like peripheral.

i'll be online for an hour or so...if i can help i will...

mr-b
2008-11-19, 02:23
I managed to find time to do take a couple of traces. However I hit a major stumbling block in that Wireshark (Ethereal) can only see packets destined for the network that the machine it's installed on (with Wireshark in promiscuous mode).

So taking a trace on the SC server (or wireless laptop) didn't pick up some of the conversations which makes diagnosis pretty hard. I guess you'd need a wireless router that was capable of a packet snoop facility to see everything. Maybe OpenWRT etc.? (Mine won't run it) Anyone hacked a SB yet? ;-)

What I did see on the wireless trace after a SB reboot was:

SB - DHCP discover broadcast
router - DHCP offer
SB - DHCP req for its old ip address
router - DHCP ACK
SB - ARP for SC server on its ip address
This all looks normal.

Then no more traffic seen (as it's between SB and router/SC) and I didn't have a corresponding trace going on the SC server - plus I didn't fancy trying to merge the two!

One other observation is that when my router has crashed and after a reboot, the SB and receiver's ip addresses usually alter (within the DHCP range), however the controller's stays the same. This shouldn't matter of course but normally DHCP-allocated ip addresses stay sticky even after reboots. I can't recall the exact reasons for this though ...