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Bassman
2010-02-08, 14:48
Hi: new here and TIA for any help here. Also, thanks to all that seem to be part of developing this product line and its abilities.

We got a SBB at Christmas in anticipation of the local NPR station going online, since the mountains block us getting it over air. We liked it enough to get a SBR during the Best buy New Yearsí sale pricing. Great sound and the local station just went online this last weekend. Both are wireless to the broadband modem-router (carries phone and TV cable, too).

I have some programming background but donít intend to ďmonkey with itĒ as we say around our house. Also, I donít really care why something doesnít do something (you canít please everyone); Iím more interested in understanding WHAT things do and I will live with them.

Iíve been reading the forums, so Iíve done some research and I think Iíve got the lingo down, too. Iíll just review the basics of what I think I figured out and what I canít seem to figure out. Guidance and explanations would be welcomed. Iíve got a few issues, Iíll post each in a separate topic, for easier responding.

To address a signal strength issue to the upstairs SBB and SBR, I changed the computer downstairs (W7 i7) from wired to wireless and moved the router across the room. When ethernet-connected, SBS has been driving the wireless SBB for my music with no trouble. Now, however, with that computer going wireless, the SBB is rebuffering which interrupts the player. Itís like the stream doesnít keep up with the player.

Because things have worked pretty well without a lot of setup issues, I wanted to get guidance on what to tweak on SBS (and/or SBB?) to avoid making a mess of everything! Plus, SBB works great on MySB.

snarlydwarf
2010-02-08, 15:09
To address a signal strength issue to the upstairs SBB and SBR, I changed the computer downstairs (W7 i7) from wired to wireless and moved the router across the room. When ethernet-connected, SBS has been driving the wireless SBB for my music with no trouble. Now, however, with that computer going wireless, the SBB is rebuffering which interrupts the player. Itís like the stream doesnít keep up with the player.

That's probably exactly what it is.

Think or your wireless router as a 'hub', like an airline hub, that is.

Every piece of data from the server has to go to the router, and then be sent again to the Boom. So it places twice as much load on the wireless.

If the network has problems, it will have more problems: there isn't enough "room" to retransmit dropped packets (the bandwidth is available to only one device at a time: either the computer gets to transmit a packet, or the boom, or the router... they all have to share that air space).

For this reason, it's best to have the server hardwired to the router: if it's talking to more than one device, it's going to be the most demanding of bandwidth. (And if you're downloading web pages or whatever, it's going to be even more demanding.)

How to get around this depends on a bunch of things: if you're in an urban area you may have better luck by changing channels on the router. Ie, you may also be contending for air time with your neighbors.. you won't get a nice delay, just what appears to you to be noise. Their data will cause noise on your airspace, making it that much harder for the wireless receivers to receive. You can use something like NetStumbler to find nearby wifi networks that can be causing trouble: choose a channel as far away from the "loudest" of them.

(In addition to Wifi, other stuff lives in the same range: cordless phones, microwave ovens, baby monitors, alarm systems.. all sorts of junk. If you're in an urban area, this can be a real pain to find since NetStumbler won't see non-wifi traffic.)

You may be able to replace the antenna on your router with something more directional. This can take a bit of knowledge and electronics skill, though: but a directional antenna will allow you to narrow the signal to a smaller range and target it where you want. Since less signal is pointing to your neighnors, more of it makes it to your devices. Again, it may take some electronics skill. Google for something like "wifi pringles" for how to make a pringles cylinder into a wifi antenna.

Homeplugs can work with varying success: haven't had to use them myself (fortunately my neighbors don't have wifi), but many people use them to take an ethernet signal and run it over their powerlines. One homeplug near the device and one near the router, and you've made a 'wired' link that should be more immune to signal strength problems than a wifi link.

Of course, you could always run ethernet everywhere.. but that can be hard unless you have the walls opened up for some other reason.

Bassman
2010-02-08, 15:31
I can reconnect ethernet, just need a longer cable. Homeplugs is a good idea, too. Then I could connect the SBB and the SBR this way. Hmmm...

The relocation of the router put it pretty centered for the house, so I don't think I'll put much time into directional antenna. I'm suburban, the house and lot about covers the antenna range now.