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Simplified instructions for Squeezebox Radio Wi-Fi fix (wlanpoke)

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    Simplified instructions for Squeezebox Radio Wi-Fi fix (wlanpoke)

    At some point in the past two years, my three Squeezebox Radios suddenly lost their ability to stay connected to Wi-Fi. To get them reconnected I would have to reboot them, but they would always lose their connection again in as little as five minutes. They would almost never stay connected for more than 40 minutes at a time. I was using a common Linksys router, and nothing in my setup had changed. The Radios basically became glorified clocks displayed in my home. My two Squeezebox Touch units were unaffected, but the loss of the Radios caused me to use the Touches less as well.

    A few days ago I finally installed POMdev's wlanpoke on each Radio. This fix has breathed new life into them--they now stay connected without the need for frequent reboots. POMdev, I'm grateful—thank you very much.

    In preparation to install the fix, I noticed that about six months ago, in his (?) first (and so far only) post on this forum, mankan requested that someone write "instructions for dummies" for wlanpoke. Having recently struggled through the user manual as a non-technical user, I agree that such instructions are necessary, so I am taking a stab at writing them by describing, step by step, how I installed wlanpoke on my three Squeezebox Radios. If anyone notices any problems with my instructions, please let us know. I'm afraid that most non-technical users may have given up on their Radios by now, but I hope these instructions help someone.

    Please note that these instructions are for installing the fix without enabling the logging (extensively documented in the user manual) that it provides for troubleshooting purposes. I chose to disable the logging in the hope that the fix would simply work. Since it does, I don't anticipate having to enable logging.

    Now for the instructions. I used a Windows computer on the same Wi-Fi network as my Squeezebox Radios to do the following:

    1. Download wlanpoke: Go to https://github.com/PomDev2/wlanpoke , click on the green button labeled Code and then click on Download ZIP. Save the file wlanpoke-main.zip to your computer.

    2. Open Windows Explorer and locate the downloaded file wlanpoke-main.zip. Right-click on the file, and select "Extract All". This will extract the contents of the compressed file to a folder named wlanpoke-main.

    3. Enable the Radio's SSH server by navigating as follows:
    Home | Settings | Advanced | Remote Login
    and selecting Enable SSH. When you do this, make a note of the Radio's IP address, which is displayed on the screen in the following message: "The root password for this device is 1234 and you can connect to it on address [IP address]"

    4. Back on your computer, download WinSCP from the page https://winscp.net/eng/download.php and install it.

    5. Launch WinSCP. A login window should open (if you need to open a login window manually, click on the "New Session" tab toward the top left). Under Session, for the file protocol, choose SCP. For the host name, enter the IP address you saved in step 2. Leave the port number unchanged. For user name, enter "root". For password, enter "1234". Click on "Login". You will see one or two warnings asking if you want to proceed. Answer Yes. If you get an error message that says "Error getting name of current remote directory," dismiss it by clicking OK.

    6. The WinSCP window now displays your computer's files and folders on the left and your Squeezebox Radio's files on the right. On the Squeezebox Radio side, navigate to the root directory (the folder at the very top of the hierarchy). You can do this by clicking on the root directory button that is shown above the list of files, to the left of the home button. Now, navigate to the folder named "etc" by double-clicking on it. Now click on the New button, which is just below and to the right of the root directory button. Choose "Directory", and for "New folder name", type "wlanpoke". Once the wlanpoke folder has been created, double-click on it to display the contents of the folder, i.e. nothing as of yet.

    7. In your computer files (displayed on the left-hand side of WinSCP), navigate to the contents of the folder wlanpoke-main, created in step 2. Select all 11 files and drag them to the opposite side of the WinSCP window to copy them into the wlanpoke folder. (Answer yes and/or OK to any scary-sounding confirmations.)

    8. The purpose of this step is to change permissions for the shell scripts to "executable". In the menu bar at the top of the WinSCP window, click on Commands, and then click on Open Terminal. Then, for each of the following two lines of text, copy the entire string of text, paste it into the field labeled "Enter Command" in the console, and click on the Execute button:
    chmod 755 /etc/wlanpoke/*.sh
    chmod 755 /etc/wlanpoke/rcS.local.example

    9. Click on Close to close the terminal window. The Squeezebox Radio side of the WinRCS window should still show the contents of the wlanpoke folder. Right-click on the file rcS.local.example and click on Copy. Next, navigate to the folder /etc/init.d by clicking on the root directory button (to the left of the home button) and then double clicking first on the etc folder and then on the init.d folder. Right-click in the white space below the list of files and then select Paste. A confirmation dialog box titled Duplicate will appear. Remove the characters ".example" from the end of the target remote path so that it now reads "/etc/init.d/rcS.local" and click OK. You should see that the file rcS.local has appeared in the list of files on the Radio. Right-click on the file rcS.local, select Edit, then select Edit again.

    10. Now that you have the rcS.local file open, edit the last line (/etc/wlanpoke/wlanpoke.sh &) by placing the characters -x followed by a space character before the final ampersand. In other words, edit this line so that it reads as follows (this edit is to specify that you don't want any messages to be sent to a logging server):
    /etc/wlanpoke/wlanpoke.sh -x &

    11. Close the file editor. When asked if you want to save the file, click on Yes. Answer Yes again if asked if you want to continue with the connection, and click OK to dismiss any error message.

    12. Close WinSCP, answering Yes when asked if you want to terminate the session without saving a workspace.

    13. Disable the Radio's SSH server by navigating as follows (the manual doesn't say to do this, but I disabled it because I don't know if leaving it enabled constitutes a security risk):
    Home | Settings | Advanced | Remote Login
    and deselecting Enable SSH.

    14. Restart the Squeezebox Radio (I believe this is necessary to activate the fix). Your Radio's Wi-Fi connectivity should now be back to normal, for the most part. Repeat for each additional Squeezebox Radio you are once again lucky enough to own.

    #2
    As someone that has the WiFi interference issue on the SB Radios, I appreciate a simplified instruction list to install the wlanpoke fix developed by POMdev. I will give this a try over the weekend.

    If I have trouble and mess something up, will a factory reset undo the changes? Hopefully the risk of me turning the SB Radio into a brick is low.

    Can this solution be implemented via the plug-in or patch process used for the Community Firmware? This would make it a lot easier to install the fix.

    Thank you for developing the simplified instructions.

    Paul

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by P Nelson View Post
      As someone that has the WiFi interference issue on the SB Radios, I appreciate a simplified instruction list to install the wlanpoke fix developed by POMdev. I will give this a try over the weekend.

      If I have trouble and mess something up, will a factory reset undo the changes? Hopefully the risk of me turning the SB Radio into a brick is low.

      Can this solution be implemented via the plug-in or patch process used for the Community Firmware? This would make it a lot easier to install the fix.

      Thank you for developing the simplified instructions.

      Paul
      Hi Paul,

      Good luck applying the fix. I don't think you'll have any problems. I can't stop marveling over how my Radios are back to being ready to go whenever I feel like using them.

      I have no reason to think that having installed the fix would affect a factory reset in any way. I believe that any and all new folders and files would be erased.

      I read through the instructions again and only noticed one thing that I intended to mention but forgot to: The instructions refer to the Radio's root directory (the top of the file hierarchy), but there is also a directory (i.e. folder) that is named "root". In fact, if I recall correctly, that is the folder that is initially shown when you use WinSCP to log in to the Radio as user "root". Since it is a possible point of confusion, I meant to point out that the root directory is not to be confused with the directory named "root".

      Comment


        #4
        Hi - thank you for starting this thread! My LMS runs on a mac and therefore I didn't have access to WinSCP. I tried Filezilla but it wouldn't support logging into the radio because of the security method used. (I'm running the standard firmware - maybe this was updated on the community firmware?)

        Anyway, I had to resort to the command line like in the instructions for wlanpoke, but even then I had to google and find some "exotic" options to ssh and scp to the radio since the version of ssh and scp on my mac didn't like the default security options offered up by the radio. I figured I'd put them into this thread in case they help anyone else!

        To ssh to my radio I had to use the following command (replacing ip.address.of.radio with the actual IP address of course)
        ssh -o KexAlgorithms=+diffie-hellman-group1-sha1 -o Ciphers=aes256-cbc [email protected]

        Likewise, to copy files over I had to use the scp command like this (again, replacing ip.address.of.radio with the actual IP address):
        scp -o KexAlgorithms=+diffie-hellman-group1-sha1 -o Ciphers=aes256-cbc /path/to/wlanpoke-main.zip [email protected]:/root

        Thank you for your suggestion of turning off ssh access afterward! I had changed the password, but your idea seems better.
        cheers!
        Last edited by the_arm; 2021-07-18, 16:55.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by P Nelson View Post
          Can this solution be implemented via the plug-in or patch process used for the Community Firmware? This would make it a lot easier to install the fix.
          Yeah, I'm not familiar with this fix, but my first thought was why not just bake this into the firmware if it's so beneficial?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by JJZolx View Post
            Yeah, I'm not familiar with this fix, but my first thought was why not just bake this into the firmware if it's so beneficial?
            I can't answer the question but POMdev who developed wlanpoke did post about the research into the problem in the Community build thread so I'm guessing somewhere there may be an explanation why wlanpoke was not part of the community build. POMdev was also looking for a source of the Atheros wifi module or other builds which may fix the issue.

            and details in later post.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by bpa View Post
              I can't answer the question but POMdev who developed wlanpoke did post about the research into the problem in the Community build thread so I'm guessing somewhere there may be an explanation why wlanpoke was not part of the community build. POMdev was also looking for a source of the Atheros wifi module or other builds which may fix the issue.

              and details in later post.
              https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...l=1#post990627
              I sense in reading the Community build forum is that the Wifi interference problem did not impact very many people, so there was limited interest to including it in the community firmware. I would like to see wlanpoke as an applet or installed via the plug in process. If I had the skills I would contact POMdev to see he or she is okay with developing a applet/plugin. Perhaps POMdev is looking for some assistance; POMDev if yes, please let the community know, perhaps someone will offer assistance. As the price of mess networks drop, this is a problem that will increase over time.

              I have not found the time to follow the simplified instructions. I must admit, I find the idea of logging into the SBRadio and executing commands intimidating. I fear I will mess it up and brick the radio.

              Paul

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by P Nelson View Post
                I sense in reading the Community build forum is that the Wifi interference problem did not impact very many people, so there was limited interest to including it in the community firmware. I would like to see wlanpoke as an applet or installed via the plug in process. If I had the skills I would contact POMdev to see he or she is okay with developing a applet/plugin. Perhaps POMdev is looking for some assistance; POMDev if yes, please let the community know, perhaps someone will offer assistance. As the price of mess networks drop, this is a problem that will increase over time.

                I have not found the time to follow the simplified instructions. I must admit, I find the idea of logging into the SBRadio and executing commands intimidating. I fear I will mess it up and brick the radio.

                Paul
                Paul, I was more worried about possible security issues, but in his posts about wlanpoke it was obvious that POMdev knew what he was talking about and that some very key people in the Squeezebox world had examined the fix. For that reason I felt comfortable giving it a try. The possibility of bricking my Radios never occurred to me. As you probably know already, wlanpoke doesn't replace the firmware or anything like that--it just adds a script to check the Wi-Fi connection frequently and reset it when necessary. My Radios had already pretty much become clock-bricks in any case! Every once it a while I would reboot them and play a little music on them for old times' sake, but they would soon go silent and need to be rebooted again. Now they all just work whenever I want to use them, and I haven't seen the dreaded red Wi-Fi icon since I started this thread.

                POMdev, can you comment on any risk of "bricking" a Radio in the process of installing wlanpoke? Also, can you confirm that a factory reset done after installing wlanpoke would eliminate all changes made to the Radio?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by P Nelson View Post
                  I sense in reading the Community build forum is that the Wifi interference problem did not impact very many people, so there was limited interest to including it in the community firmware. I would like to see wlanpoke as an applet or installed via the plug in process. If I had the skills I would contact POMdev to see he or she is okay with developing a applet/plugin. Perhaps POMdev is looking for some assistance; POMDev if yes, please let the community know, perhaps someone will offer assistance. As the price of mess networks drop, this is a problem that will increase over time.

                  I have not found the time to follow the simplified instructions. I must admit, I find the idea of logging into the SBRadio and executing commands intimidating. I fear I will mess it up and brick the radio.

                  Paul
                  I too would love a patch I could easily install from the menu. I have many Radios with this issue and I'm not excited about applying it to all of them, especially as a fw update will revert it.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by rojikewl View Post
                    ...POMdev, can you comment on any risk of "bricking" a Radio in the process of installing wlanpoke? Also, can you confirm that a factory reset done after installing wlanpoke would eliminate all changes made to the Radio?
                    I believe the risk of bricking the radio by installing wlanpoke according to the the simplified or the original instructions to be very small. However, if the settings are changed to create 1) very large log files 2) on a persistent folder, and these large files then eventually grow to exceed the available storage, this could cause sluggish or even failed normal operations, which would require reducing these file sizes, or a reset. Of course, willy-nilly deletion of files and directories with break the system and require a reset.

                    I cannot speak to the restorative function of the factory reset operation, but the original authors have assured us in the SSH login welcome message:

                    ...You can safely modify any of the files on this system. A factory reset (press and hold add on power on) will remove all your modifications and revert to the installed firmware.

                    I have never done this. A reset like this is or should be a fairly simple operation. I may try something like this when I get around to installing the new community build firmware (but not now, unless someone has a really good reason to do so).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I've installed this on two of my Radios so far. Works great!

                      Thanks @POMdev and @rojikewl.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I finally found some time to install wlanpoke on one of my radios. It was a success. After 5 days, no red icon!!!!

                        Many thanks to POMdev for developing wlanpoke to resolve this problem.
                        Thanks to rojikewl for drafting the simplified instructions. I needed that level of detail.

                        I attempted to install wlanpoke on another one of my radios, but I get the following message when trying to connect:
                        Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot 2021-07-15 180941.png
Views:	1
Size:	14.1 KB
ID:	1572871
                        I am not sure why I was successful with first radio but not the second radio. The only difference I can think of is that the second radio is running firmware 7.7.3 R16676, while the first radio is using the community firmware. I have been lazy about updating all of them to the community firmware. (It is recommends a factory reset prior to the update and I do not want to have to enter the wifi password which is a very strong with upper, lower, numbers, and symbols. Plus there is restoring the other settings.)

                        Any idea on resolving this error message?

                        Thanks in advance.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by P Nelson View Post
                          Any idea on resolving this error message?
                          a) Have you enabled remote login on that Radio ?
                          b) I don't know why you are getting a SFTP message. I assume that you are trying to use SSH.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by P Nelson View Post
                            I sense in reading the Community build forum is that the Wifi interference problem did not impact very many people, so there was limited interest to including it in the community firmware.
                            Not so much limited interest, from my point of view, but rather awaiting results of research. Following which, figuring how best to introduce the logic implemented by wlanpoke into the firmware, if that is appropriate.

                            However, as I don't experience the issue, it would be rather difficult to validate the result...

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by mrw View Post
                              a) Have you enabled remote login on that Radio ?
                              b) I don't know why you are getting a SFTP message. I assume that you are trying to use SSH.
                              a - yes, that was the first thing I checked. If I disable remote log-in, I get a different message. I turned remote login off and back on again to see it something would get reset.

                              b- I used the exact same simplified instructions, so I assume that is SSH.

                              I see the community firmware did the following:
                              -Update dropbear ssh server/client to 2019.78 release.
                              -Improved dropbear ssh server security.

                              Not sure why WinSCP does not want to work with the stock firmware vs the community firmware, assuming SSH might be an issue.

                              I will have to stop being lazy and update the radio to the community firmware and see what happens.

                              As a side note, I noticed this comment on the Community Firmware under version 8.01 r16815: "Enable ssh remote login by default to aid recovery from an update failure".
                              The simplified instructions commented about turning remote login off, perhaps it better to leave it enabled.

                              Thanks

                              Paul

                              Comment

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