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View Full Version : Squeezebox reconnecting to worst signal in WDS configuration



Squid
2009-04-04, 11:17
I have a WDS configuration at home. This basically means that I have two wireless routers where one acts as a wireless bridge to the other. This also means that both have the same SSID, key, etc... Devices then connect to the closest router for the best signal.

With my Squeezebox I have a problem though. When the Squeezebox is booted, it does connect to the closest router and gets excellent signal. However, after some period (may be days or weeks) I would suddenly notice that the display is very choppy and the music may be interrupted. After checking the routers, I then notice that the Squeezebox is now connected to the farthest router instead of the closest one. The only way to resolve this is to unplug my Squeezebox and let it reboot after which it again connects to the closest router.

Is there any way around this problem ? Also, is this some kind of bug in Squeezebox ? Since my other devices always choose the best signal, and would transparently switch from one to the other if I move around.

Thanks!

danco
2009-04-05, 02:07
I ran into this one, because I upgraded from a single wireless point to a WDS.

What I did was set up access control on one of my access points, so only hardware with specific MAC addresses could connect to that access point. This forced my Squeezebox to connect to the other access point, as wanted.

You can probably do this on your system. Of course, if you have lots of wireless hardware (and particularly if a visitr wants to use their laptop) this can be a bit of a hassle.

Squid
2009-04-05, 03:17
Thanks a lot!
Ironically, a couple of weeks ago I enabled MAC Filtering but I didn't realize that this must be set on each router individually. So I now have set that straight as well. :)

Squid
2009-11-10, 06:20
Bumping my own old thread here.

The solution provided by danco worked perfectly. I could force the Squeezebox to connect to the WDS Slave router which provided a much better signal than the WDS Master router.

This weekend however, I moved some stuff around in the house. One of the changes is that the WDS Master router and the Squeezeserver machine are now in a different room which is now much closer to the Squeezebox. As a result it now made more sense to force the Squeezebox to connect to the Master router especially since that router has a wired connecting to the Squeezebox server.

For some reason the MAC Filter solution now no longer works properly. Both routers now provide about the same signal strength. For some reason however, at some point the Squeezebox still thinks it would be better to connect to the WDS Slave (provided it was already connected to the WDS Master to begin with). When that happens, the Squeezebox display shows that it is trying to connect and get an IP address. However, due to the MAC Filter, this fails and the Squeezebox will turn blank. When I then unplug (power off) the WDS Slave router, the Squeezebox again goes finding a router and then finds the WDS Master again where it is able to connect and then function properly. I could then plug in the WDS Slave again, but after a day or so, I would notice that the Squeezebox display is blank again.

I now temporarily added the Squeezebox's MAC address to the WDS Slave such that it gets a free choice. However, would still like to know how I can force the Squeezebox to connect to the WDS Master to avoid consuming double wireless bandwidth (SB->Slave & Slave->Master).

danco
2009-11-10, 08:15
I don't quite understand the problem you are having.

I would expect that to force the SB to connect to your master router/access point rather than the slave, all you would need to do is set up MAC address filtering on the slave and exclude the SB while on the master you either don't set up MAC filtering or set it up and include the SB.

If neither of these approaches work, I don't know what you should do.

Squid
2009-11-10, 08:51
The problem indeed doesn't make sense to me either. Especially since it worked before.

Before: WDS Slave has the SB MAC in its allow list. The WDS Master does not. Result: SB always connects to the WDS Slave.

Now: WDS Master has the MAC in the list. The WDS Slave has not. Result: sometimes SB still connects to the Slave, is not able to connect (due to the MAC filter), doesn't try further and just gives up with a blank screen. I have to force connecting to the Master by unplugging the Slave such that it is entirely invisible.

So, it's either :
1. Something changed in the recent software that caused this change of behavior.
2. The fact that it's now the Master I want to have the SB connect to, makes the solution not work well.
3. In the past I was just lucky enough that the SB would never try to connect to the Master anymore. This might have been because the Master had a very weak signal compared to the Slave. In the new situation both have about the same signal strength.

linvale
2009-11-10, 09:02
I had been puzzling over this as well, having a similar problem. By excluding the Mac addresses for the squeezeboxes that were located distant from the router/access point it forces them to connect with the one closest by even after a router outage/refresh - which is when the problem seems to occur.

It would be helpful if in the firmware there was some regular polling of available wireless signals forcing the squeezebox to always connect via the strongest.

Squid
2009-11-10, 09:15
It would be helpful if in the firmware there was some regular polling of available wireless signals forcing the squeezebox to always connect via the strongest.

The polling is not even necessary, and in my case would not even help because I don't want a connection through the strongest link. I want a connection to the router to which my Squeezebox server is connected. The MAC solution seems perfect for the job of both use cases anyway.

The problem is IMHO related to WDS itself and the shared SSID in particular. When I reconfigure the SB, I notice that when you have to select the network to connect to, it lists a number of visible SSIDs (including neighbor networks), but my own SSID is there only once even though I have 2 WDS routers with the same SSID. I know too little about how Wifi exactly works, but I would assume that the SB should see both and try both if either of one fails.

Still doesn't explain why it worked previously...