PDA

View Full Version : why is the sb3 remote SO unreliable?



izzym
2009-04-14, 20:46
I've had a squeezebox 3 since Christmas. I use it almost all the time as an internet radio player through the squeezenetwork (ie, the computer is usually turned off, or not running squeezecenter).
My wireless router is connected via a FIOS fiber optic connection up to the side of the house...I can stream full screen video with NO problems, so I know my connection is not the problem.
Aside from the annoying buffering, this thing fails to respond to the remote FAR too often...20% to 30% of the time. Either it's WAY too slow to accept a command (several seconds go by ... what's it doing??) or it doesn't accept it at all. I have to physically unplug the SB to "reset" the damn thing. It loses the connection far too often, and won't respond to on/off commands, or the "hold-down" left button.
Coming from a remote control mfr., I fund this intolerable. It's just way too flaky a unit for dependable operation. Is there any way to remedy this?

Mick Seymour
2009-04-14, 22:42
It sounds like the remote might be faulty. Why not call Logitech support.

Phil Leigh
2009-04-14, 22:46
How is the SB connected to the router?

ModelCitizen
2009-04-14, 23:05
I guess you've tried new batteries?
:-)

MC

mherger
2009-04-14, 23:24
> I've had a squeezebox 3 since Christmas. I use it almost all the time as
> an internet radio player through the squeezenetwork

What you see might be the latency between your house and the SN servers.
Where do you live? Where is your player connecting to
(Settings/Information)? What kind of connection are you using?

Michael

peter
2009-04-14, 23:25
Mick Seymour wrote:
> It sounds like the remote might be faulty. Why not call Logitech
> support.
>

To me it sounds more like the problem is in his network (internet)
connection.

Regards,
Peter

seanadams
2009-04-14, 23:29
I've had a squeezebox 3 since Christmas. I use it almost all the time as an internet radio player through the squeezenetwork (ie, the computer is usually turned off, or not running squeezecenter).
My wireless router is connected via a FIOS fiber optic connection up to the side of the house...I can stream full screen video with NO problems, so I know my connection is not the problem.
Aside from the annoying buffering, this thing fails to respond to the remote FAR too often...20% to 30% of the time. Either it's WAY too slow to accept a command (several seconds go by ... what's it doing??) or it doesn't accept it at all. I have to physically unplug the SB to "reset" the damn thing. It loses the connection far too often, and won't respond to on/off commands, or the "hold-down" left button.
Coming from a remote control mfr., I fund this intolerable. It's just way too flaky a unit for dependable operation. Is there any way to remedy this?

To rule out network or server issues, try navigating the firmware setup menu. Just use the up and down arrows within a menu. If the setup menu is responsive then you can be certain that the IR hardware is OK, otherwise it is certainly defective. Also note that an IR issue would _not_ cause delays, only lost commands.

If it's not the IR then it must be either a network or a server-side issue. There are possible network problems besides bandwidth that could be at fault, for example an IP conflict or bridging loop. Also, successfully streaming video is not evidence of a low-latency, low-packet-loss link. Those problems can be masked by sufficient buffering, while still causing problems for interactive traffic. Try running a ping and see if there is loss or delay that happens concurrently with the UI lag.

The server software could be bogged down for some reason. A good way to test that is to connect directly to Squeezenetwork instead. If SN is faster over the internet than your local system, then you've probably narrowed it down to the server. It could be hurting for RAM or could be busy scanning the disk for some reason (it's done scanning your library, right?). Running Squeezecenter on another computer would be a good test.

Our phone support is very experienced with this kind of troubleshooting. You should try them next if none of the above helps.

snarlydwarf
2009-04-15, 08:16
Aside from the annoying buffering, this thing fails to respond to the remote FAR too often...

That implies to me that it is a network reliability issue. The usage of a slim device is different than a PC: PC's usually have tons of RAM to buffer things, so a short dropout on a wireless network just means a short dropout on keeping the buffer full.. there is still plenty there to play stuff.

With less memory, though, you're more likely to run out of buffered data and that means sound dropouts.

If the network drops, the SB can not send back the "I hit volume" notice to the server... it gets held up by other data that is destined for the server.

You may want to check The Usual Suspects:

1) Make sure your router is running current firmware. Some nasty bugs have been fixed in routers that affect their reliability. (And if it's two years old and has no upgrades.. your router maker sucks and doesn't maintain their products... like mine.)

2) Use NetStumbler or similar tools to find what networks are near you: if your neighbor starts his BitTorrent client and snarfs pr0n all evening and is on the same channel, or even a 'nearby' channel, his traffic will look like noise to your connection. Because the frequency range of 802.11g is pretty narrow, there are really only 3 channels: 1,6 and 11. The rest overlap. Since most routers in North America come set to channel 6, 1 or 11 may be less noisy.

3) Built into SC is a network bandwidth test... it just floods the SB with data (which is ignored) and sees how much data it can send before the network starts falling apart. It shouldn't fall apart at all, but other issues (lots of metal or thick brick walls, microwaves, cordless phones, etc) can affect it.

If you can run it wired, go for it: 802.11g is unlicensed airspace for the simple reason that it sucks and businesses didn't want it. All sorts of devices leak noise into that area (like Microwave ovens) and since it's unregulated... more devices sit there making it worse. (Think of what would happen if the FCC didn't tell radio stations what frequency to use, "just find something free in the AM band, and you'll be fine!" Which would often work, but at night when the atmosphere reflects more radio waves back to earth... that station 500 miles away would make your local station unlistenable.)

izzym
2009-04-16, 20:08
To rule out network or server issues, try navigating the firmware setup menu. Just use the up and down arrows within a menu. If the setup menu is responsive then you can be certain that the IR hardware is OK, otherwise it is certainly defective. Also note that an IR issue would _not_ cause delays, only lost commands.

If it's not the IR then it must be either a network or a server-side issue. There are possible network problems besides bandwidth that could be at fault, for example an IP conflict or bridging loop. Also, successfully streaming video is not evidence of a low-latency, low-packet-loss link. Those problems can be masked by sufficient buffering, while still causing problems for interactive traffic. Try running a ping and see if there is loss or delay that happens concurrently with the UI lag.

The server software could be bogged down for some reason. A good way to test that is to connect directly to Squeezenetwork instead. If SN is faster over the internet than your local system, then you've probably narrowed it down to the server. It could be hurting for RAM or could be busy scanning the disk for some reason (it's done scanning your library, right?). Running Squeezecenter on another computer would be a good test.

Our phone support is very experienced with this kind of troubleshooting. You should try them next if none of the above helps.

The remote itself is fine: batteries are fresh, you can see the transmitter light with a cell phone camera, the SB3 responds eventually, etc.
The router (an Actiontec MI424WR) appears to have the most current firmware. I didn't see any conflicts in its setup (but I just discovered this program today, and have to dig a little deeper in all the settings).

Sometimes the up/down arrows respond, other times NOTHING does. The only solution is to unplug & reconnect the power.
Your suggestions about "running a ping"...I don't know how to do that. Nor do I understand what a "bridging loop" is, or a "UI lag".
As I've said, I'm ONLY using this with the squeezenetwork, my computer is OFF, so it's not scanning a library or disk! The SB3 is connecting directly with the router, so I don't get how running squeezecenter on a different computer helps.
Am I unreasonable to expect the OFF button to override whatever the unit is doing & turn the damn thing off?? No other remote, with any other comsumer electronics gear I've ever owned, is this flaky.

izzym
2009-04-16, 20:18
That implies to me that it is a network reliability issue. The usage of a slim device is different than a PC: PC's usually have tons of RAM to buffer things, so a short dropout on a wireless network just means a short dropout on keeping the buffer full.. there is still plenty there to play stuff.

With less memory, though, you're more likely to run out of buffered data and that means sound dropouts.

If the network drops, the SB can not send back the "I hit volume" notice to the server... it gets held up by other data that is destined for the server.

You may want to check The Usual Suspects:

1) Make sure your router is running current firmware. Some nasty bugs have been fixed in routers that affect their reliability. (And if it's two years old and has no upgrades.. your router maker sucks and doesn't maintain their products... like mine.)

2) Use NetStumbler or similar tools to find what networks are near you: if your neighbor starts his BitTorrent client and snarfs pr0n all evening and is on the same channel, or even a 'nearby' channel, his traffic will look like noise to your connection. Because the frequency range of 802.11g is pretty narrow, there are really only 3 channels: 1,6 and 11. The rest overlap. Since most routers in North America come set to channel 6, 1 or 11 may be less noisy.

3) Built into SC is a network bandwidth test... it just floods the SB with data (which is ignored) and sees how much data it can send before the network starts falling apart. It shouldn't fall apart at all, but other issues (lots of metal or thick brick walls, microwaves, cordless phones, etc) can affect it.

If you can run it wired, go for it: 802.11g is unlicensed airspace for the simple reason that it sucks and businesses didn't want it. All sorts of devices leak noise into that area (like Microwave ovens) and since it's unregulated... more devices sit there making it worse. (Think of what would happen if the FCC didn't tell radio stations what frequency to use, "just find something free in the AM band, and you'll be fine!" Which would often work, but at night when the atmosphere reflects more radio waves back to earth... that station 500 miles away would make your local station unlistenable.)

1) I'm pretty sure my firmware is current. (See my previous post)
2) Never heard of Netstumbler...where can I get it? How does one go about changing the channels on a router? Ugh...I'll have to take a very close look at that router manual & software.
3) SC...you mean squeezecenter? I'm NOT using that, but does squeezenetwork do the same thing?
Wired is NOT an option...my system is in the basement, and the router is all the way upstairs in the bedroom. Wireless operation was a key reason for getting this.
I live in an Eastern PA suburb(Allentown area) & don't think there's anything out of the ordinary RF wise.

izzym
2009-04-16, 20:41
OK, the router's channel is set to "automatic"...I can choose manually any number from 1 to 11 if needed.
SSID enabled, MAC authentication disabled. The software reports normal, connected, "GO" status.
Don't know if any of this helps.

Mnyb
2009-04-16, 23:12
Have you tried to ping Squeezenetwork ?
You could have a latency problem even if your internet is fast.
They are some kinds of internet that simply do not work for this reason, often these bizarre satellite kind of isp.

Example I can ping the US SqueezeNetwork with circa 200ms from Sweden and the German SN server with 50-60ms as a benchmark.

You should be aware of that every button press on the IR remote is relayed to SN and SN is then following that command and does what you want, change tune alter brightness, volume, changing menues and so.
The SB3 is realy a slim device even the things you see on the screen is drawed by SN (or your local SC ).

toby10
2009-04-17, 02:44
1) I'm pretty sure my firmware is current. (See my previous post)
2) Never heard of Netstumbler...where can I get it? How does one go about changing the channels on a router? Ugh...I'll have to take a very close look at that router manual & software.
3) SC...you mean squeezecenter? I'm NOT using that, but does squeezenetwork do the same thing?
Wired is NOT an option...my system is in the basement, and the router is all the way upstairs in the bedroom. Wireless operation was a key reason for getting this.
I live in an Eastern PA suburb(Allentown area) & don't think there's anything out of the ordinary RF wise.

http://www.netstumbler.com/downloads/

When you go to "available WiFi networks" from any of your wireless computers do you see networks other than yours? It would be best to do this with a laptop at the same location as your SB3.
What you are looking for is a strong WiFi signal broadcasting on the same WiFi ch as yours causing possible interference.

General shot in the dark (but very easy to try): change your your routers ch to ch 1, see if it improves. Then repeat for ch 11.
If you and your neighbors are all on ch 6 (very common) then going to 1 or 11 can help you gain a signal boost on your network.

You may want to temporarily try your SB3 wired right next to your router. This will eliminate or conclusively prove a WiFi issue. It doesn't sound like you need speakers to test your issues (IR remote sluggish, VU meter will show if station has dropped, buffering will display).

izzym
2009-04-17, 04:35
Have you tried to ping Squeezenetwork ?
You could have a latency problem even if your internet is fast.
They are some kinds of internet that simply do not work for this reason, often these bizarre satellite kind of isp.

Example I can ping the US SqueezeNetwork with circa 200ms from Sweden and the German SN server with 50-60ms as a benchmark.

You should be aware of that every button press on the IR remote is relayed to SN and SN is then following that command and does what you want, change tune alter brightness, volume, changing menues and so.
The SB3 is realy a slim device even the things you see on the screen is drawed by SN (or your local SC ).

I just pinged www.squeezenetwork.com and got 17ms ave. time.
Does the on/off command go thru the SN first as well?

izzym
2009-04-17, 04:41
http://www.netstumbler.com/downloads/

When you go to "available WiFi networks" from any of your wireless computers do you see networks other than yours? It would be best to do this with a laptop at the same location as your SB3.
What you are looking for is a strong WiFi signal broadcasting on the same WiFi ch as yours causing possible interference.

General shot in the dark (but very easy to try): change your your routers ch to ch 1, see if it improves. Then repeat for ch 11.
If you and your neighbors are all on ch 6 (very common) then going to 1 or 11 can help you gain a signal boost on your network.

You may want to temporarily try your SB3 wired right next to your router. This will eliminate or conclusively prove a WiFi issue. It doesn't sound like you need speakers to test your issues (IR remote sluggish, VU meter will show if station has dropped, buffering will display).

Oh yes, there are several available wifi networks (all security enabled) with much lower signal strength. But my laptops & SB3 don't even try to connect to them. But you're saying that because they're out there, it could be interfering? I might try forcing the router to ch.1 like you suggest as an experiment. Will my laptops & SB3 automatically adjust to this change, or do they have to be manually reset?

Oh, thanks for the link, I will check it out today. Will netstumbler tell me what channels those other networks are on?

peter
2009-04-17, 04:48
izzym wrote:
> Mnyb;416044 Wrote:
>
>> Have you tried to ping Squeezenetwork ?
>> You could have a latency problem even if your internet is fast.
>> They are some kinds of internet that simply do not work for this
>> reason, often these bizarre satellite kind of isp.
>>
>> Example I can ping the US SqueezeNetwork with circa 200ms from Sweden
>> and the German SN server with 50-60ms as a benchmark.
>>
>> You should be aware of that every button press on the IR remote is
>> relayed to SN and SN is then following that command and does what you
>> want, change tune alter brightness, volume, changing menues and so.
>> The SB3 is realy a slim device even the things you see on the screen is
>> drawed by SN (or your local SC ).
>>
>
> I just pinged www.squeezenetwork.com and got 17ms ave. time.
> Does the on/off command go thru the SN first as well?

Yes. That's why the company used to be called slim devices. All
intelligence resides on the server, which, if you're use SqueezeNetwork
is probably thousands of miles away. That's why Sean suggests you try
the setup menu first. If that works well there's nothing wrong with your
remote.

I'll bet the problem is in the network.

Regards,
Peter

toby10
2009-04-17, 05:46
Oh yes, there are several available wifi networks (all security enabled) with much lower signal strength. But my laptops & SB3 don't even try to connect to them. But you're saying that because they're out there, it could be interfering? I might try forcing the router to ch.1 like you suggest as an experiment. Will my laptops & SB3 automatically adjust to this change, or do they have to be manually reset?

Oh, thanks for the link, I will check it out today. Will netstumbler tell me what channels those other networks are on?

Yes, all WiFi devices will (should) reconnect without issue to the same router using the new ch #.

What are the strongest ch #'s around you? What ch # are you currently using?

Competing ch #'s may not be the issue, but it's an easy fix and can't hurt. Just as your wireless phones or microwave oven can compete (interfere) with your WiFi, so can other WiFi's near you.
If the strongest nearby WiFi's are ch 6, then change yours to ch 1 or ch 11.

I had no WiFi issues with interference, but changing my router from default ch 6 to ch 11 gave me a 20% signal boost.

It is also best that your SSID, hidden or not, is unique to your network. If you and three other networks around you are all called "Linksys" then any of your WiFi devices may inadvertently attempt to connect to the wrong "Linksys" network.

izzym
2009-04-20, 19:18
I forced my router to stay on channel 1. For the last few days, I've seen MUCH better response from the remote. It responds instantly now. I've only had 1 minor timeout in 3 days, and no rebufferings.
To all that responded, thanks for all the help. I consider this resolved unless something degrades in the future. You'll hear from me if it does..

toby10
2009-04-21, 03:16
I forced my router to stay on channel 1. For the last few days, I've seen MUCH better response from the remote. It responds instantly now. I've only had 1 minor timeout in 3 days, and no rebufferings.
To all that responded, thanks for all the help. I consider this resolved unless something degrades in the future. You'll hear from me if it does..

Yup, it could be that simple. :)

You may have had interfering ch #'s as most routers are set to ch 6 at the factory and many (most?) users do not ever change from the default ch #.

Did you ever try NetStumbler to see what the neighbors ch #'s were?

lanierb
2009-04-21, 09:56
This is a very common problem with a simple solution (for now -- until some neighbors start clogging up the other channels too).

More good news is you just made your home wifi network way more robust for other purposes as well -- you will likely get much better video throughput, better laptop throughput, etc.

izzym
2009-04-22, 16:13
Yup, it could be that simple. :)

You may have had interfering ch #'s as most routers are set to ch 6 at the factory and many (most?) users do not ever change from the default ch #.

Did you ever try NetStumbler to see what the neighbors ch #'s were?
It turns out there's a built-in utility in my wireless driver that does what netstumbler does. Here's the weird part -- of about 2 dozen signals out there, the 10 next strongest to mine are ALL set to the SAME channel as mine! (#1).
I can only guess here -- the default setting was "automatic". This implies that the channels were being changed all the time, right? Maybe the SB3 just doesn't like this "hunting" for a changed channel all the time (especially if it changes DURING a transmission -- or would it not happen that way? I have no idea).
Anyway, the signal is stronger despite others being on the same channel. My laptop is more responsive too.
And now for the weirdest part....it SOUNDS better. The same stations that used to have a slight digital "flanging" type of artifact don't have it now. Imaging is better too. bits is bits?..hmmm

funkstar
2009-04-23, 01:34
And now for the weirdest part....it SOUNDS better. The same stations that used to have a slight digital "flanging" type of artifact don't have it now. Imaging is better too. bits is bits?..hmmm
Other than a lack of decompression errors due to insuficient data, the sound quality will not be effected. Any improvement you perceve is just that, a perception. Or a placebo :)

toby10
2009-04-23, 03:09
It turns out there's a built-in utility in my wireless driver that does what netstumbler does. Here's the weird part -- of about 2 dozen signals out there, the 10 next strongest to mine are ALL set to the SAME channel as mine! (#1).........

Most any WiFi device or application will show available networks. But some do not show the ch # which is important in hunting down WiFi issues.

You are probably good to go, but if the ten closest WiFi's are also on ch 1 I'd move mine to ch 11 just to reduce the likelihood of future issues. As you say, these other ch 1's are quite weak so it probably makes little difference. You can always move it back to ch 1 if you choose.

It doesn't hurt to check the surrounding WiFi's every couple of months to see if a new one pops up. Now that you know what to look for and how to do it, it only takes about 30 seconds. :)

RonBor
2009-04-27, 13:34
I recently purchased a Duet for outside use and yesterday was really the first day I was able to use it for any length of time. Like you, I use SqueezeNetwork exclusively.

All day I had problems similar to yours (drop outs, rebuffering, dead air = massive frustration and embarrassment). Naturally I consulted the forums today and saw this thread. Then I violated the Cardinal Rule of Troubleshooting and made two changes at the same time so I don't know for certain which one worked but I've had no problems for the last 6 hours (fingers crossed). What I did was change my wireless channel to 11 AND at the SqueezeNetwork site, I logged in and changed my buffer from 3 seconds to 10 seconds.

My guess is that it was the latter change that made the difference since I do not have any neighboring networks.

wotuzu17
2009-04-29, 04:56
I haven't read all the post, but I remember having a similar problem. It turned out that on my IR remote one solder pad of the LED was broken. That bad contact caused the Squeezebox not accepting commands from the remote sometimes.
I opened the remote, resoldered the LED, and I'm happy ever since.