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kphinney
2009-10-09, 13:57
My hopes of the new SB Touch having 802.11n at 54ghz didn't pan out. For one, I'm going to hold off on buying any wireless product that doesn't support 802.11n using 5ghz. At present my entire network is capped by having two SB3s running at 802.11g & 2.4ghz. This brings my top-end down from 540 to 144mbps.

As suggested in another post, I could run CAT to each device, but that would come dangerously close to the 100m max of CAT5. The cable would have to run from a second story, down to the ground floor, out to the pool house, and then spit and go all the way to the our work shed. Not to mention having a blue wire laying in the open, hanging from tree branches, or buried in the garden (the most direct route).

A second alternative would be to use a separate router for 802.11b/g devices. This would only work if I didn't want to keep the server on the fast connection, where it also serves music and movies to our laptops and media center, and hosts our file server and website. If someone has an idea as to how to set this up on a PPC Mac G5 I'm open to hear any suggestions.

Thanks.

jdoering
2009-10-09, 14:36
I have no disagreement with your 802.11n request - it's a nice to have in my book. Although I like wires so I'd probably figure out a way to run it in my case (some strategically placed switches might alleviate 100m cabling limits).

Anyway, I'm curious about your problem running a separate router. You mention wanting to keep your server on the fast connection. Is your server wireless too? I'd go with server wired to gigabit switch; switch connected to a legacy 802.11g access point as well as a separate 802.11n access point. One of the two access points would probably be running as my actual Internet router. The independent switch could be eliminated and the legacy access point connected directly to the switch on the main wireless router. There are lots of minor variations; I'm not sure why you'd have a limitation on this front in the first place unless your server is wireless?

-Jeff

MrSinatra
2009-10-09, 14:52
i'd like to see n too, but unfortunately i'll have to support g for years b/c i have a SBC and it'll be a long time b4 i replace it.

however, you may find that the 100m limit isn't a hard and fast rule. i think you should try say, 150m worth of cat5e cable, and see if in fact its going to be too long or not. (justrun it on the floor temp for testing) i have used much longer lengths successfully in "pro networking" environments.

jdoering
2009-10-09, 15:47
As you probably know, cable length restrictions are about timing tolerances and Ethernet protocol efficiency / error detection. I do believe that there is quite a bit of robustness built into Ethernet and that the tolerances likely have a good degree of safety factor; but I don't think you can use simple testing to make a very strong conclusions that it "works correctly". Yes it probably "kinda, mostly works"; but it may degrade performance or cause intermittent problems that are harder to detect (e.g. high packet corruption rates, lower transmission rates, etc due to problems with collision detection and such). These issues might not matter much if performance isn't an issue - but I wouldn't want to have to worry about the what-if when things don't go quite right.

I'd personally stick with the specs and use switches, etc appropriately to solve distance issues.

-Jeff

dagordon
2009-10-09, 16:35
My hopes of the new SB Touch having 802.11n at 54ghz didn't pan out. For one, I'm going to hold off on buying any wireless product that doesn't support 802.11n using 5ghz. At present my entire network is capped by having two SB3s running at 802.11g & 2.4ghz. This brings my top-end down from 540 to 144mbps.
...

A second alternative would be to use a separate router for 802.11b/g devices. This would only work if I didn't want to keep the server on the fast connection, where it also serves music and movies to our laptops and media center, and hosts our file server and website. If someone has an idea as to how to set this up on a PPC Mac G5 I'm open to hear any suggestions.

Thanks.

I'm not sure I understand the issue. Why not get a dual-band 802.11n router, like the DIR-855?

Or plug a 2.4 GHz 802.11n or 802.11g access point (or router acting as an access point; just turn of DHCP and ignore the WAN port) into one of the ports on your 5 GHz 802.11n router, in effect achieving the same thing. You can probably get a 802.11g access point or router for $25 bucks these days. Problem solved.

Am I missing something?

MrSinatra
2009-10-09, 18:02
As you probably know, cable length restrictions are about timing tolerances and Ethernet protocol efficiency / error detection. I do believe that there is quite a bit of robustness built into Ethernet and that the tolerances likely have a good degree of safety factor; but I don't think you can use simple testing to make a very strong conclusions that it "works correctly". Yes it probably "kinda, mostly works"; but it may degrade performance or cause intermittent problems that are harder to detect (e.g. high packet corruption rates, lower transmission rates, etc due to problems with collision detection and such). These issues might not matter much if performance isn't an issue - but I wouldn't want to have to worry about the what-if when things don't go quite right.

I'd personally stick with the specs and use switches, etc appropriately to solve distance issues.

-Jeff

so measure it with testing software, leave it for a few days testing, whatever; however in my exp, if it works its fine. its something the OP could try, if its no good, it was worth a try.

jdoering
2009-10-09, 19:12
so measure it with testing software, leave it for a few days testing, whatever; however in my exp, if it works its fine. its something the OP could try, if its no good, it was worth a try.

I'm not trying to be argumentative on this and it might work okay in practice. But I don't think measuring it with testing software and leaving for a few days is a very straight-forward proposition. You may have the expertise and tools to verify this kind of solution but I think it's beyond most home network users. What software will you use and how will you know it's working okay and that you've simulated the situations likely to cause issues?

You're running equipment outside of its specs. Maximum cable length and such are not arbitrary numbers. They are calculated based on physical characteristics of the hardware as well as timing requirements of the protocol algorithms. Many different network pieces (likely from different vendors) are all designed with these basic constraints in mind. So once you've gone beyond whatever safety margins are built into the specs you don't really know anymore when things can be expected to work correctly or not. Certain protocol traffic patterns might cause problematic timings while other use cases may run perfectly fine.

Anyway, it certainly something that can be tried and may work but there's a certain comfort in running things in a configuration that hardware manufactures are compelled to support.

-Jeff

Teus de Jong
2009-10-10, 01:21
My hopes of the new SB Touch having 802.11n at 54ghz didn't pan out. For one, I'm going to hold off on buying any wireless product that doesn't support 802.11n using 5ghz. At present my entire network is capped by having two SB3s running at 802.11g & 2.4ghz. This brings my top-end down from 540 to 144mbps.

Could you explain to me why it is capped at 144mbps? There are several dual band routers that use both the 5 and 2.4 bands simultaneously (e.g. the Linksys WRT610N or D-Link DIR-825). And having a G device in your 2.4 channel does not bring down the N devices to G speed (like any B device would drag a G network down to B-speed).

The big improvement of using a N router is the strength of the signal and the range; you don't need a N device at the other end for that. A simple experience here: I couldn't get G wireless get to work in my house at all. Even at very short distances (2 meters with a floor between) I did not get any good connection (poor signal strength with four different tested G routers), so I gave up. I now have a wireless N router that feeds an SB3 and notebook through the same floor and some walls without problem.

So, IMO wireless N is needed at the router side, not for the attached devices. As G is perfectly adequate for streaming audio, I don't see the urgency for N on SD devices. (I think future SD devices will have N, but in the first place for marketing purposes. I hear the salesman already saying: 'it doesn't even have wireless N.)

That said, to avoid any problems, I have my transporter on my wired gigabit ethernet. But that's because I need that network in that part of my house for other purposes, so it's already there.

Teus

dagordon
2009-10-10, 08:04
Could you explain to me why it is capped at 144mbps? There are several dual band routers that use both the 5 and 2.4 bands simultaneously (e.g. the Linksys WRT610N or D-Link DIR-825). And having a G device in your 2.4 channel does not bring down the N devices to G speed (like any B device would drag a G network down to B-speed).

The big improvement of using a N router is the strength of the signal and the range; you don't need a N device at the other end for that. A simple experience here: I couldn't get G wireless get to work in my house at all. Even at very short distances (2 meters with a floor between) I did not get any good connection (poor signal strength with four different tested G routers), so I gave up. I now have a wireless N router that feeds an SB3 and notebook through the same floor and some walls without problem.

So, IMO wireless N is needed at the router side, not for the attached devices. As G is perfectly adequate for streaming audio, I don't see the urgency for N on SD devices. (I think future SD devices will have N, but in the first place for marketing purposes. I hear the salesman already saying: 'it doesn't even have wireless N.)

Teus

Yeah, adding support for 802.11n, let alone 802.11n at 5GHz, would seem like a waste.

Anyone who absolutely needs to be operating a 5 GHz network should be able to afford a dual-band access point or at least a separate 2.4 GHz access point for the 2.4 GHz devices.

pablolie
2009-10-10, 09:14
there is connectivity.

but there is also another consideration - with things like the Touch, Duet and Radio the additional bandwidth really helps download covers etc and make the menu more responsive with the additional bandwidth (and over time additional CPU cycles on the devices will not hurt).

bobkoure
2009-10-10, 09:18
You can get a longer run of cable if you switch to 10bT, and longer yet with co-ax. These are based on the "length" of a packet running over wire (so, yeah, physics).
(I live in a cohousing community. We put in wire conduits between the houses when we built to have shared networking, voip intercom, etc. Distances were too long for 100TX, but fine with 10bT.)
If you don't have managed switches (doesn't sound like you do) you can just put a 10bT hub or switch at one end or the other and the other switch will auto-negotiate to 10.
You can also put an in line weatherproof POE switch in the middle.

That said, for your application I wouldn't bother with wires. Get a b/g access point (or better yet, a dd-wrt or tomato compatible router, install that open source freeware and put the router into repeater mode).
Then... you need a directional antenna. They're pretty cheap.
For your distance, I'd go with a yagi like this one (http://www.fab-corp.com/home.php?cat=258) - about $35
Or you could go with a panel antenna in an outdoor enclosure, put an access point board in it and just run ethernet to it from your current router (so just enough ethernet to get the thing to the side of your house facing your pool house.

Have you even tried an n router with your current setup? You may find that it gives you enough add'l range as-is. Having a G device on N isn't like having a B device on B/G - it isn't going to slow everything down.

bpa
2009-10-10, 09:26
Other alternatives

- Homeplug assuming power in oubuilding comes from main house.
- Connect SB to wireless-n Games adapter

kphinney
2009-10-10, 15:27
I'm not sure I understand the issue. Why not get a dual-band 802.11n router, like the DIR-855?

Or plug a 2.4 GHz 802.11n or 802.11g access point (or router acting as an access point; just turn of DHCP and ignore the WAN port) into one of the ports on your 5 GHz 802.11n router, in effect achieving the same thing. You can probably get a 802.11g access point or router for $25 bucks these days. Problem solved.

Am I missing something?

Yes, but only slightly. I returned the Dlink DIR 855 earlier today after futzing with it for a few days. It does handle both 2.4 and 5ghz b/g/n at the same time -- but it caps at 2.4ghz and 144mbps once a b or g signs on to it. A DLink tech support pointed me to the small print in the users guide which confirms this. (BTW - the 855 was all glitz and no guts. I'm actually glad it couldn't preform as I though. Who really wants a GUI based router opposed to one that you setup, hide, and forget?)

I found that Apple's Airport Extreme (the newest gen.) should support simultaneous 2.4 and 5ghz but still will cap at 144 if a non-n device signs on.

As for putting the server on a separate access point, that would defeat the purpose of using wanting full 'n' 540mbps access. My primary use is backing up and file transfers between the server and wireless computers.

That is unless I'm missing the sentient point you were trying to make, which is likely in my case. Thanks and feel free to straighten me out.

dagordon
2009-10-10, 16:47
As for putting the server on a separate access point, that would defeat the purpose of using wanting full 'n' 540mbps access. My primary use is backing up and file transfers between the server and wireless computers.


I don't think you understand the suggestion. It would be for all intents and purposes equivalent to having a dual-band router. Your server and wireless computers and whatever else you like can use 802.11n on 5 GHz. Your Squeezebox products can use the 802.11g access point. They will all be able to talk to each other; they will be on the same LAN.

I don't understand some of the rest of your post. For example:



I returned the Dlink DIR 855 earlier today after futzing with it for a few days. It does handle both 2.4 and 5ghz b/g/n at the same time -- but it caps at 2.4ghz and 144mbps once a b or g signs on to it.


I don't know what you mean that it "caps at 2.4ghz"; I run a DIR-855 in 802.11n simultaneously at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, even when an 802.11g client is connected. I also get speeds exceeding 144Mbps on the 5 GHz network with a g client connected to the 2.4 GHz network.



Who really wants a GUI based router opposed to one that you setup, hide, and forget?


Are you referring to the display on the DIR-955? You do know that you don't have to use that, right?

kphinney
2009-10-10, 17:00
I don't think you understand the suggestion. It would be for all intents and purposes equivalent to having a dual-band router. Your server and wireless computers and whatever else you like can use 802.11n on 5 GHz. Your Squeezebox products can use the 802.11g access point. They will all be able to talk to each other; they will be on the same LAN.

I don't understand some of the rest of your post. (For example "Who really wants a GUI based router opposed to one that you setup, hide, and forget?" -- are you referring to the display on the DIR-955? You do know that you don't have to use that, right?)

AHH!!! I see the light!

Server -> Wireless N Router -> CAT5 -> Wireless b/g (whatever router) -> SB3s
And have wireless N computers on the N Router.

Thanks! Way simple and yet it didn't occur to me. The 2.4ghz will give me a range boost for the work shed also.

As far as the GUI, I was referring to the 855. I think that adding an onboard GUI was a waste of money for no gain in functionality.

kphinney
2009-10-10, 17:46
New question related to the above post: Anyone know what port SBs use to connect to the Squeezebox server? I'm trying dagordon's suggestion (as I understand it) but I'll need to make the 2nd router (b/g) pass the ports back to the primary (n) router.

bobkoure
2009-10-10, 17:48
Server -> Wireless N Router -> CAT5 -> Wireless b/g (whatever router) -> SB3s
And have wireless N computers on the N Router.

Right - but to keep things simple, use one router as a router and the other as an access point. One DHCP server only - and everything's on the same network so no having to fuss with routing tables.

If you still have an issue with b/g range to the garden shed, try a directional antenna (which will provide "antenna gain" in both directions - so no need to do anything to the SBs.

kphinney
2009-10-10, 17:50
Right - but to keep things simple, use one router as a router and the other as an access point. One DHCP server only - and everything's on the same network so no having to fuss with routing tables.

If you still have an issue with b/g range to the garden shed, try a directional antenna (which will provide "antenna gain" in both directions - so no need to do anything to the SBs.

The range is fine. I do use a Hawking Tech directional. I'm trying to figure out how to set my old Linksys WRT54g as an access point. Perhaps it's too old?

pfarrell
2009-10-10, 18:02
kphinney wrote:
> The range is fine. I do use a Hawking Tech directional. I'm trying to
> figure out how to set my old Linksys WRT54g as an access point. Perhaps
> it's too old?

Depends, the Linksys firmware doesn't make it easy. But if you can tell
which model it is, you can install Tomato or DD-WRT, and they make it
easy to do.

I've been running a WRT54GL for years as an access point. Feeds my Boom,
Receiver and my beta Touch.

A well configured 802.11g will work fine feeding lots of Squeezeboxen.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

Goodsounds
2009-10-10, 19:15
The range is fine. I do use a Hawking Tech directional. I'm trying to figure out how to set my old Linksys WRT54g as an access point. Perhaps it's too old?

I did that once with my 54G. Though I'm not still using it, it was quite simple and only took a few minutes. I just double checked by Googling, many sites have the same guidelines. Though maybe yours is different from mine and the approach might be different?

In shorthand, there's not much more to it than checking the "disable" box for DHCP server and assigning a different IP address. Both of these are on the first page when you sign on to the router.

There's not much more, but there is a bit more. The sites I found tell you what to plug where, what IP addresses to use, etc. I think many wireless routers are set up to be easily configured as access points, but I'm just a duffer and by no means an expert in these matters. But it was easy for me with what I have.

kphinney
2009-10-10, 19:29
Thanks goodsounds. I'm giving Pat's sugestion a try with Tomato. Unfortunately I have one of the WRT54G's that's considered a low memory model (don't that just figure??) and may not handle it. Either way, it was waisting away in my "storage closet"... or as my wife prefers "the junk that gets tossed when your out of town closet".
(Between you , me and the rest of the W.W.W.: I'll keep it even if it bricks just to give her something to throw out.)

pski
2009-10-10, 22:56
kphinney wrote:
> The range is fine. I do use a Hawking Tech directional. I'm trying to
> figure out how to set my old Linksys WRT54g as an access point. Perhaps
> it's too old?

Depends, the Linksys firmware doesn't make it easy. But if you can tell
which model it is, you can install Tomato or DD-WRT, and they make it
easy to do.

I've been running a WRT54GL for years as an access point. Feeds my Boom,
Receiver and my beta Touch.

A well configured 802.11g will work fine feeding lots of Squeezeboxen.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

Hi Pat,

100% (many boxen from my experience)

It seems that so many folks live too close to their neighbors (and so many of them) that wired may be needed in some places. (Buy stock in the "adapters.")

P

bpa
2009-10-11, 00:34
For initial test purposes there is no need to change the firmware - the Linksys will work fine as an AP. Just turn off DHCP server and connect the n router into a router port and make sure nothing is in the WAN port.

I have the WAN port configured as "automatic configuration -DHCP" but I think it makes no difference. Make the Linksys own IP address does not clash with other devices.

dagordon
2009-10-11, 09:41
Yeah, you shouldn't need to change the firmware or play with any advanced settings. Just turn off DHCP, give the WRT54G a static IP address in the same range as your main router, and only use the LAN ports on the WRT54G.

jdoering
2009-10-11, 11:18
Is it infeasible to connect your server to the routers with CAT5?

Then you wouldn't have to transfer traffic between your server and your G devices over your N network at all. May not be a big deal; but having the server hardwired seems logical in setups where it is feasible.

cunobelinus@mac.com
2009-10-11, 11:33
Ethernet over power. Homeplug. As suggested previously.

On 11 Oct 2009, at 19:18, jdoering wrote:

>
> Is it infeasible to connect your server to the routers with CAT5?
>
> Then you wouldn't have to transfer traffic between your server and
> your
> G devices over your N network at all. May not be a big deal; but
> having
> the server hardwired seems logical in setups where it is feasible.
>
>
> --
> jdoering
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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