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ovonrein
2011-02-19, 07:01
I have a SB3 in our bedroom that drives me nuts. It's on f/w 132 and shows a WiFi signal strength of 70%. Yet it cuts out "Cannot connect to server" all the blooming time. No other player in the house is quite that bad (though the SB3 in our living room - virtually in ear-shot of the router - also occasionally has problems). I can power-cycle the player and it will ALWAYS fix the immediate problem - there is no WiFi coverage or interference problem in our house. Our SB2 and SBR - both miles away from the router - are just fine. Is there something that I should know about the wireless interface of the SB3s that would help improve our situation? Thanks.

jo-wie
2011-02-19, 08:47
Eventually you should vote for

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=16944

ovonrein
2011-02-19, 09:28
What - not even a wireline network solves the problem? I am not a 100% that my problems are as severe as described in the bug report, but they are incredibly irritating. What Squeeze's position on this? Anyone knows?

tedfroop
2011-02-19, 17:04
Have you used inSSider or something similar to check you environment?
How many networks are there nearby?
Whats between the router and the device?
Have you tried another device in the same place?
Have you run network tests to see what you maximum throughput is with network test?
What other traffic is your router handling (wired and wireless) when the drops occur?
Whats the total throughput of your router? (see www.smallnetbuilder.com)

I have an SB2 and an SB3 and neither has a problem. Even in the neighbor two doors down garage 80 feet away.

One big thing I found long ago though. Make sure your server is wired. Why? I don't know but experience from having my server and player connecting through wireless says a wired server is more stable.

ovonrein
2011-02-20, 12:42
No, I cannot say that I have done any of this analysis. My server is wireline to the wireless router, so if I understand well, then you are suggesting that I use a inSSider equipped laptop around our bedroom to see what it can sniff out over the wireless interface? Thing is, I use a wireless laptop in my bedroom quite regularly w/o any problem. Also, bear in mind that power-cycling the SB3 always resolved the issue (for a wee while). So if interference (or contention) was at the heart of the issue, then surely power-cycling would not help at all? Generally, the WiFi load is quite low when this happens. Mostly it is only loaded with the very music streams that then stop when the SP3 pukes - no big load, really. I also use no encryption on my WLAN so that max bandwidth may actually come close to the advertised spec. The physical distance between router and SB3 is no more than 8m. There is a wall, but as I wrote, WLAN strength is 70% - no big deal really. I might have to substitute the SB2 for a while, to see whether things improve. As I say, I also have some issues with the SB3 in the living room, which is a mere 3m away from the router.

garym
2011-02-20, 12:56
No, I cannot say that I have done any of this analysis. My server is wireline to the wireless router, so if I understand well, then you are suggesting that I use a inSSider equipped laptop around our bedroom to see what it can sniff out over the wireless interface? Thing is, I use a wireless laptop in my bedroom quite regularly w/o any problem. Also, bear in mind that power-cycling the SB3 always resolved the issue (for a wee while). So if interference (or contention) was at the heart of the issue, then surely power-cycling would not help at all? Generally, the WiFi load is quite low when this happens. Mostly it is only loaded with the very music streams that then stop when the SP3 pukes - no big load, really. I also use no encryption on my WLAN so that max bandwidth may actually come close to the advertised spec. The physical distance between router and SB3 is no more than 8m. There is a wall, but as I wrote, WLAN strength is 70% - no big deal really. I might have to substitute the SB2 for a while, to see whether things improve. As I say, I also have some issues with the SB3 in the living room, which is a mere 3m away from the router.

a couple of points based on my experience. A laptop has MUCH better wifi antenna. So even in the same spot a SB player is usually weaker strength. And surfing the web or emailing puts a lot less stress on the system than streaming audio. If a packet or two gets dropped or delayed, you wouldn't notice this on your laptop while web surfing.

I have a 900 sq ft one level weekend home. with only two sheetrock/wood stud internal walls between my new kitchen SB RADIO and the router, and about 20 to 25 feet at most, I get sometimes only 45 to 50% WIFI strength on Radio but get 95-99% on my laptop in same location. I added a second WIFI access point just yesterday to improve signal to RADIO, and got it up to 85% (it's now only 6 feet from the AP, with one sheetrock internal wall between).

I've also found in the past that local WIFI interference could be temporarily solved with a reboot of everything. Not sure of the engineering behind this, but in my case, I had an interfering neighbor wifi on close by channel but it only sometimes caused things to mess up. changing the channel helped a lot.

p.s. except for the radio in the kitchen of the weekend home, ALL my SB players, and I have several, are now wired via CAT6 or wired via a MoCa (ethernet over CATV wiring).

ovonrein
2011-02-20, 13:47
A laptop has MUCH better wifi antenna. So even in the same spot a SB player is usually weaker strength.Agreed - the wifi adapter in the old SB1 was a total joke. The SB2s appear to have the best wifi capability of all slim products (it is still my favourite slim product), with the SBR coming second I think.


If a packet or two gets dropped or delayed, you wouldn't notice this on your laptop while web surfing.Neither would I expect to notice this on the SB players. Buffering takes care of the audio and retransmits should be quick enough not to be noticable during remote interaction. And yet ... the thing craps out time and again.


I've also found in the past that local WIFI interference could be temporarily solved with a reboot of everything. changing the channel helped a lot.Tried this on numerous occasions, never solved anything for me. And I am in a very rural location, not a wifi hot spot.


ALL my SB players ... are now wired.Yeah, I hear you. And, frankly, it sucks that we should have to do this. My question is WHY have the slim products such awful wifi adapters?!?

hcanning
2011-02-20, 14:23
I'm glad it's not just me whose two Squeezeboxes (SB2 and SB3) both do the 'cannot connect to the server' trick occasionally since updating to 7.5.3. They're both connected via a wired ethernet connection, too...

Millwood
2011-02-21, 16:13
Do you by any chance have a reasonably old router? I ask because I had the same kind of experience. Since my laptop worked fine, I never suspected the router. I eventually replaced it, and now everything is rock solid.

I know it's not free to do this on spec, and YMMV. But if all else fails ...

ovonrein
2011-02-22, 12:20
I dunno about "old" but "sh*t" I would subscribe to ;) It's a Belkin N router w DSL modem. Coverage is reasonable and speeds are ok with no encryption. The SB3 was on the blink all night last night. Pulled the plug in the morning and there was peace and quiet after that for a few hours. I don't think it's the router - after all, the SB3 quite happily reports 70% signal strength. I thought at some point it was down to DHCP leases expiring, but I switched the SB3s to static IPs and it made no difference at all.

Dogberry2
2011-02-22, 15:02
Aside from the occasional factory lemon (they're bound to happen in any mass production), I think most WiFi connectivity problems are environmental. Competing network overlap, cordless phones, baby monitors, microwave ovens, building materials and many other things are all potential sources of connectivity problems, not to mention brand and age of router, antenna orientation and the like. I don't claim that the internal antennas in the various SBs can't be the culprit, but my experience has been great. I have two SBRs, a Boom, a Touch, and two Controllers, all wireless, on three different stories of the house, and have never, ever had problems with connectivity or buffering with any of them. My router is five years old (Belkin Wireless G) and the house is about 4200 square feet. The house is 1950s construction with walls of heavy plaster over metal lath, which I thought might cause me a problem, but every SB device has worked perfectly from the moment I took it out of the box. I use the Boom in different parts of the house from time to time, and take it outside, and even 100 feet or more from the router, with brick walls in between, it works without fail. However, I'm fortunate in that houses in the neighborhood are not very close together, so I have almost no overlap with neighboring network signals or other sources of in-house interference; inSSider has detected a couple of other networks, but always extremely weak.

I'm not saying it doesn't suck when people have WiFi connectivity problems with SB devices, but since I (and many others) don't have problems it doesn't appear to be a universal failing of SB construction or design. From responses here in the forums over the past few years, it seems that a different router (more powerful or with better antennas) or adding an access point often resolves the problems.

I sympathize with those who have trouble with their SBs on WiFi; the main reason I went with the Squeeze line of products was because I didn't want to have to string cable all over the house. If I couldn't get them to work wirelessly I'd be pretty upset. And I know it can be very difficult to track down problems with a wireless network. But the root of most WiFi problems is in the router, the setup, or the environment, not in the SB architecture itself.

Mnyb
2011-02-22, 16:32
that a product has wifi does not mean that it is guaranteed to work everywhere for every one, sorry.

Is all really obvius trouble sorted like is the server also wifi and the same PC as used for everything else and downloading a torrent at the same time for example ( that would obviusly don't work ).

What makes music streaming demanding is the need for continius uninterupted wifi, web browsing with your laptop would not need much to function.

The SB3 has a test function for streaming speed, settings > information > network test .
And use the down arrow to increase the speed, should be 2000 kbps on wifi and less than 1000 is up the creek with no paddle.... Cd quality flac needs aprox 800kbps continiusly.

ovonrein
2011-02-26, 09:47
Did not know about the Network Test. Great feature idea! I get an average of 25% for 2000kbps on the offending player. I am not sure though that you guys fully understand: this SB3 sits on our bedside cabinet and spends a lot of time simply showing the time. Even during this (in-) activity, it often loses the server. Drops out. All night long, we get this flashing of the display between a dim time and a bright message shouting "Cannot connect to server." I hear your comments about the environment but, really, at 1am in the morning, there isn't much flying through the air our the rural neighbourhood. Also, bear in mind that I have a SB2 and a SBR in considerably worse positions around the house, and they are just fine. And the SB3 that's closest to the router, that too craps out quite often. So I don't buy that this is not sthg germane to the design of the SB3.

toby10
2011-02-26, 10:43
Well, the problem is that many would disagree with your analysis that the SB3 is not a good WiFi performer. Many would argue exactly the opposite of your experience in that their SBR is much worse with WiFi than their reliable SB3 is on WiFi. So who knows?

Bottom line, if your WiFi has a weak signal to your SB3, and/or your network has other issues, you can expect your SB3 to have intermittent problems.

2000kbps is only 2mbps and should not be a struggle at all for a G network which is capable 54mbps (even a b network is capable of 11mbps).

Mnyb
2011-02-26, 10:54
yes the network test should show 100% as you get 25% with 2000 when do you get 100% thats the rate where you can expect that streaming works so if you only get 500k at 100% you can not stream flac for example, but 128kbps mp3 would work fine , if it drops of thwe net completely sometimes you got more severe problems to figth ?

Tom Hutcheson
2011-02-26, 13:41
Have you tried swapping the SB2 and the SB3?


Did not know about the Network Test. Great feature idea! I get an average of 25% for 2000kbps on the offending player. I am not sure though that you guys fully understand: this SB3 sits on our bedside cabinet and spends a lot of time simply showing the time. Even during this (in-) activity, it often loses the server. Drops out. All night long, we get this flashing of the display between a dim time and a bright message shouting "Cannot connect to server." I hear your comments about the environment but, really, at 1am in the morning, there isn't much flying through the air our the rural neighbourhood. Also, bear in mind that I have a SB2 and a SBR in considerably worse positions around the house, and they are just fine. And the SB3 that's closest to the router, that too craps out quite often. So I don't buy that this is not sthg germane to the design of the SB3.

tedfroop
2011-02-26, 14:38
My question is WHY have the slim products such awful wifi adapters?!?
That subject has been covered here a thousand times and it will never fix what ya got or the environment you run it in.
My mom and dad live in a 900 sq ft house and wifi in there is awful. Reception strength is fine, it's the metal lath in the hard plaster in the walls that causes ring and slows it down to a crawl.

+1 for swapping your boxes, you can add a better antenna to the SB2 if needed though.

If you hate the extra wire you might want to add something like this: DHP-W306AV PowerLine AV Wireless N Extender (or something like it).

Mnyb
2011-02-26, 15:09
The wifi adapters are not particularly awfulll, but constant streaming of music is a very demanding task ( only surpased by streaming video of good quality )

So actualy wire what can be wired is a sound aproach, it can be done nicely.
it's a diy thing that can be done by most people or try those powerline adapters.

ovonrein
2011-12-28, 05:57
I wish to revive this thread because something astonishing (to me, at least) revealed itself yesterday. I had played around with positioning the SB3 and what not - no joy. Nothing ever fixed my intermittent "Can't connect" problems. Recently, I completely rejigged our AV stack in the living room and at long last the video gear is now close to the audio gear. To facilitate the video streaming in the new location, I recalled that the SB3 could act as a wireless bridge. Turns out, that the SB3 provides better streaming than the PS3 native WLAN adapter, for example. So with the aid of a simple LAN switch, the SB3 is now supplying (wireless) network services to the entire home theatre (until such time that I can drag a new CAT5 cable into position). Here's the truly goofy part, which I would dearly love someone to explain:

Last night, we were streaming video (through the SB) to the TV *ALL THE WHILE THE SB WAS ON THE BLINK*, intermittently displaying the time but mostly sulking "Can't connect".

My point is: all the time I associated the "Can't connect" messages with problems at the *physical* layer when, since yesterday, I am almost certain that these problems are further UP the network stack.

Even after I stopped the video stream, the SB would not operate normally. So it is not like a lack of bandwidth would explain away the problem. The ultimate resolution is always the same: power cycle the SB and it works again - for a while.

Any ideas? Thanks.

ovonrein
2011-12-30, 05:08
No-one got any ideas? I disabled the "Web Shield" on my Avast AV yesterday to see whether this would make any difference. Nothing - the SB3 keeps going on the blink ("Can't connect to server") all the while quite happily streaming videos into the AV stack. Quite something.

jo-wie
2011-12-30, 05:25
Disable the Bridge Mode and try again. I suppose recent changes of the firmware to keep Rhapsody decryption causes this effect.

ovonrein
2011-12-31, 04:22
Sorry, I don't understand. I had these problems all along, even before the bridge mode. It is only since I enabled the bridge mode that these problems out themselves as *unrelated* to the physical layer. From what I can gather, there is no way for the user to tell the difference between a "Can't connect" because there is no "wire" and a "Can't connect" because there is no server (s/w response).

I guess my question is this: what would make a running server inaccessible to a physically connected client? all the while the server responds normally to access via :9000, for example?

jo-wie
2012-01-02, 04:21
Do you have a break in the audio stream when the message is shown? I do not know anything about the underlying protokoll used by the SBs to communicate with the server, but it could be time critical and, different to the buffered streams, a short break can have an impact on it.

ovonrein
2012-01-03, 13:30
It is absolutely weird. I wasn't gonna post for a few days before I had some tentative conclusion on my latest test. I am working on the assumption that the physical layer is - and always has been - ok and that there is some protocol problem further up the network stack. My Win XP server is one busy beast and I thought "hey, how about I try assigning HIGH priority to Squeezeserver.exe"? Did this and the SB performed w/o any "Can't connect" all day ... until that evening it was going absolutely mental with "Can't connect". Basically alternating non-stop for 1hr between "Can't connect" and a good time. During that episode, I was able to stream a video via the network bridge. In the end, I pulled the power on the SB. That was 24hrs ago and the SB has not blinked since.

So ...
Upping the priority on the server process seems to help prevent the problem from arising. (Why?) Once the problem is there, only a power-cycle on the SB will fix it. (Why?)

PS: While the SB is on the "Can't connect" blink, it is impossible to navigate (via the remote) or to play anything (local music, web streams - anything).

ovonrein
2012-01-06, 06:12
It gets goofier still. While the Nintendo Wii is perfectly happy streaming video all the while the SB is saying "Can't connect", the PS3 actually drops its connection to PSN. How can this be? (Wii, PS3 and SB all connect to the same switch which hooks up to the WLAN via the SB's bridge.) The only weird thing about the Wii is that it will not drive our LAN adaptor as a "wireline connection" but we can only make it work as a "ireless connection". So the Wii ends up talking 802.11 over the CAT5 wire. Whereas we told the PS3 to disable its WLAN adaptor so it will be talking genuine 802.3. But why does any of this matter?

ovonrein
2012-01-06, 08:51
Interesting. SB totally refused to connect to server earlier today. Not even power-cycling would fix it. That's never happened before. In the end I decided to restart the server. Before I did so, I double-checked that it was still running with HIGH priority. It did not. Perhaps the server had fallen over some time and restarted? Anyway, reset the priority back to HIGH and the SB immediately connected. There is clearly something going on with the scheduling for Squeezeserver.exe.

QUESTION: Could anyone advise where I might change a startup script etc to run the Squeezeserver on HIGH priority, such that it covers all (or most) startup options (like Start Menu, Taskbar, Squeeze Console, startup, ...)? Thanks.