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View Full Version : General setup advice



haukeg
2009-07-20, 20:51
OK, Im not going to start my first post on this forum by flaming the Duet, even though I just bought it and have spent the last week doing more tech support trying to keep it working than all of my PC's in the past. I will try to keep an open mind...I understand that there are many variables unique to each user that may cause issues with the product, and it seems that a lot of posts are 1 sided "I hate this thing" or "Its great, you just dont know how to use it" posts, which arent the most helpful for newbies. As a different approach, Id like to ask allyall for some advice on basic setups to try, things to watch for, etc., as the user manual is useless for this and as stated earlier, its all variable.

First, let me describe my options so you kind folk may offer advice. I have a Linksys WRT54G router, I have refeshed my Duet controller with 7.3.3 FW and run through all of the factory restes one man can handle. Ive tried moving my wifi router closer to negate any range issues as well. Each time I get it working, it plays fantastic (insert "I love the product!!!" here) and life is good. Then usually after a few hours of playing, I grab the controller to dial up some new tunes and it shows a connecting loader circle that never ends (insert "I am a bit frustrated now" here) . Usually then I have to take out the battery to reset the controller (why didnt they put a hardware switch on the thing?). Then after it starts up (which sometimes it doesnt, it just shows the logitech logo forever, then I reset and it does work), I usually just see the "Now playing" and "Settings" menu options. Now playing does nothing when I click it, and Settings is as you would imagine, though menu items like "Music Source" only have "Other Server" as an option. I have no wifi icon (or even battery life icon for that matter?!) on the controller bottom at this point and am lost as to what I need to do to re-sync things (insert "Oh man, starting to hate this thing!!!" here) .

QUESTION #1: CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS IN LAYMAN TERMS? I.e. "the controller talks to the reciever, so if the controller freezes up, you have to reset the reciever to get it back online..." It is all unclear to me how the system works, what is needed, in what order, for things to work.

QUESTION #2: I have a tried plugging the reciever into the router directly and things worked dandy for a bit, then stopped again. This makes me assume its the wifi connection between the controller and router? I simply plugged in the reciever and restarted it assuming it work be wired at that point.

Note, I prefer not use the SqueezeCenter software on my laptop to stream local files, I simply want the Duet to work through SqueezeNetwork (for Pandora, Rhapsody, etc.) - so can anyone offer advice on how to best setup a reliable configuration for this to work without locking up frequesntly? Should I follow steps for bridged mode, in the manual, for this?

Or better yet, if you cannot answer my issues directly, can you either offer some basic setup steps to build up to full wireless magic? Even if I have to plug the thing into my modem directly, Id rather work up and identify the problem from most simple setup to the most complex. I am constantly chasing ghosts it seems, is it the Router? Is it the Reciever? etc. Thats why the layman question would be most helpful.

Believe me, I WANT to love this product. I just convinced my wife that this thing would be the answer to all our music hastle prayers and now I am looking like an idiot. I need it to work reliably and easily. Its great that its flexible and scalable, but cant they put out a basic reliable FW build for core use cases and then go crazy with betas for new stuff? Like I said, I WANT to love this, but it does seem that the ones who love it are a bit more proficientin every edge case. Help enlighten us newbies and maybe put a sticky post on basic setups here...

Thanks so much!

tcutting
2009-07-20, 23:27
I'll try to answer your questions, and surely others will jump in where I fall short...
#1 - In a typical configuration, the Squeezebox Player (in your case, a Squeezebox Receiver (the player half of a Duet package)) communicates with the "server" which is either SqueezeCenter running on your local PC, or SqueezeNetwork which is a Logitech (SlimDevices) server which runs in some remote location and you have to connect to it through the internet.
The Controller (the remote control portion of your Duet) also communicates to the server (NOT to the player). Since it is a wireless device, it usually would communicate through your wireless router to get to the server. There is an option where the Receiver can act as the wireless connection point - even in this case, I believe, the controller connects to the server via the wireless connection on the Receiver, and then it's still the Server which actually controls the player (Receiver).
#2 I believe even though you connected the Receiver to the router with a wired connection, unless you re-configured the Receiver, it will still use wireless. To try the wired connection, you'd need to connect it to the router, and then re-run the setup procedure to connect it wired (I believe you hold the "button" on the receiver for several seconds until you get a flashing red light... check the manual).

You didn't give a lot of details on your setup - I don't have much experience with SqueezeNetwork, so I can't help much there. Most of the issues are related to wireless networking. When you used your laptop as the Server, was the laptop connected wireless? If that's the case, you have 2 wireless hops between your server and your player (Laptop to Router, Router to Receiver) - PLUS your controller also connects wireless to the router, then to the Server. The leads to several opportunities for the signal to get interfered with. My suggestion is to wire as much as possible. If you are using Squeezecenter, it's a good idea to have the machine running squeezecenter wired to your router. It also helps to have the player wired, if possible. (Going wired eliminates a lot of variables present when using wifi!) There may also be things interfering with your wireless network (which may not be noticable with other uses which are less "time critical" than music streaming) such as neighboring networks, cordless phones, microwave ovens, baby monitors... You could use something like "netstumbler" to look for nearby networks - you may be able to improve performance by changing the channel your network is using to move it away from nearby networks which may be using the same channel.
What version of firmware is on your controller? (Look under Settings/Advanced/About)... Recent improvements have helped the controller performance (mine is at 7.3 r6038). Also, if you keep your controller cradled, you could try disabling "suspend" (go to Settings/Advanced/Factory Test/Power management and un-check "Suspend Enabled") - suspend causes the Controller to go into a "deep sleep" to save battery when not being used, but has to re-establish wireless connection which takes a while compared to just the "sleep" state.
Another way to improve performance is to setup static addressing. It can be a bit tricky to setup however, but I've noticed fewer annoying issues (though I didn't have many). Basically you tell your controller and receiver which IP addresses they will use, rather than letting the router give them addresses dynamically using DHCP. I set my router to serve its addresses starting at 192.168.1.100, and use the lower addresses (192.168.1.1 - 192.168.1.99) for static addressing. I set most of my hardware to static addresses (192.168.1.10 for my Server, my Squeezeboxes are at 192.168.1.20, .21, etc). As I recall, I had to "turn off" DHCP on my router, factory-reset my controller so it wouldn't default to DHCP addressing - I believe there are threads on this forum which go through the process in some detail.
Hope that helps - I know it can be a bit overwhelming when things don't work like they should... these things depend on a lot of pieces to work. But take heart - there are a LOT of people who use these things with very few problems.

paulster
2009-07-21, 02:10
That's all good advice.

One thing I will add is that if you use the SqueezeCenter web interface, click the Settings link at the bottom right and then choose the Information tab you'll find your receiver listed. If it shows a wireless signal strength then it's still on wireless and if there is no mention of signal strength then it's communicating via wired ethernet.

I swapped mine from wireless to wired recently (because I was running a gigabit cable for video anyway) and I didn't have to go through the entire setup process of manually entering a WPA key, etc. I think I just reset the receiver with a 5-second press of the front panel button and then it reconnected itself via the ethernet cable.

Also, I can recommend disabling the sleep option on your controller as described above. Mine is really stable and I can just pick it off the coffee table or out of its cradle and it responds immediately. Check that its firmware is up to date 7.3 r6038 before you begin trying to optimise its settings.

method man
2009-07-21, 03:50
Dear haukeg. An excellent post. as a fairly new. but currently happu user. I have shared your frustration. There is woefull basic info of how this stuff works. I mean at least a decent FAQ would ne nice. the one on here is rubbish.

also people on here are well meaning but nearly always nassume way too much knowledge on the part of the poster and throw in short clipped sentences with vahue references.

I made a post a couple of weeks ago on what wireless modem/router would logitech reccomend with the squeezebox duet. I got one answer from a fellow member. only reccomending his own and it was one loads of others have had a problem with.

it almost seems that noone wants to point to basic things like best configuration or best hardware to have as it may put people off of buying?

anyway. 3 tips tips i got from users that helped me get a stronger signal from my existing kit. which i think is important. get the ip addess of your router and play with settings. further search on here should show what has helped some people.

second, wirelss telephones and their stations. move them away from router/squeeze etc. they definately do interfere.

third. power settings. have a play with them. lengthening the time to shut down etc... this makes the controller expereince much better.

austinmilbarge
2009-07-21, 08:09
That's all good advice.

One thing I will add is that if you use the SqueezeCenter web interface, click the Settings link at the bottom right and then choose the Information tab you'll find your receiver listed. If it shows a wireless signal strength then it's still on wireless and if there is no mention of signal strength then it's communicating via wired ethernet.

Can anyone else confirm this? I am pretty sure my SB receiver is hooked up over ethernet, but I do see the signal strength in my Player information tab in the SC settings. Checking my router logs, I see an entry for the receiver's MAC address in my DHCP table. I do not, however, see it listed as a wireless client. I'm using an airport extreme dual band.

Just did what I would consider a pretty definitive (and simple) test. I pulled the ethernet cable from the back of my receiver while it was playing. After about 20 or 30 seconds the music stopped.

This begs the question, though.. Short of checking router logs and unplugging cables, is there any way to tell how your system is hooked up?? This has always been a frustration for me with this hardware. There are a lot of ways to hook it up.. and some work better than others. Wouldn't it be nice to have a connectivity tab somewhere to break it all down for you?

haukeg
2009-07-21, 08:26
You all rock! Thanks for the grey advice, all of that is just what I was looking for. Some great leads to understanding how the system is intended to work and how to diagnose/go a out fixing things. I will give it all a try when I get home fromwork tonight and will post my findings for others.

Again, I know every situation is different, but getting shedding somelight in areas to investigate is super helpful. I have no cordless phones (land lines) but I do have a baby monitor running a lot, great tip! I'll check into NetStumbler. The power settings is clever, might take care of the horrible waking freeze of the controller after hours of play.

Is there any downsides to NOT running SqueezeCenter on a PC? I really don't need it as the SqueezeNetwork does everything I need through Rhapsody and Pandora.

Thanks again for the clear and layman responses on how this is all intended to work, I encourage evryone to add thoughts tothis so other newbies may get their bearings before the embark on what could be weeks of tweaking and trouble shooting to get their setup working best. But having the thing working from time to time I can already say it will be worth it if it works!

Cheers!

haukeg
2009-07-22, 08:26
So last night I got home and factory reset my SBC and turned the controller power setting for "suspend" off and I am happy to report it worked perfectly after playing a few hours last night and after sitting idle over night. Worked like a champ this morning! That's a great sign from what it was doing previously. Note, I did not change any wifi setings, I am not hard wired, etc., just simply changed that one setting.

If I see issues down the road I will continue with some of the advice from tcutting in this thread. Either way I will report back after a while of regular use.

Thanks again all.

method man
2009-07-23, 00:54
well done mate. its great while it works. good almum art makes browsing thru a very satisfying expereince with the controller too. its a conversation point round here as soon as people come round and they see it.

haukeg
2009-07-27, 08:01
After almost a week of steady use, charging, SB on/off, etc., things are still working like a champ! All I can say is, if you are experiencing any issues, the number one thing I would suggest is...

TURN OFF SUSPEND IN SETTINGS > ADVANCED > FACTORY TEST > POWER MANAGEMENT

It seemed to be the root of all evil for me. Hope this helps some others feeling the pain.

Big thanks to tcutting for the great advice and quick response!