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Thread: Networking help

  1. #1
    Senior Member MeSue's Avatar
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    Networking help

    Hello old friends!

    I haven't popped in in ages. Busy, busy. Also because I was perfectly happy in my squeezebox bubble... up until around last September. That was when my husband and I each got new Microsoft Surface Pro tablet computers. Nice machines... We like them. But this has wrecked havoc on our network.

    The problem started because my husband's "office" is in a separate outbuilding about 30 steps from the main house. With his old laptop he always got enough of a signal out there to do his work, but with the SP3, he could not maintain a stable connection.

    Everything always worked great with our old Buffalo router with an upgraded antenna and tomato firmware. But we took the plunge and got a new 5g AC router thinking it would give us better range. It didn't. Long story short, we took the old Buffalo router and set up both routers using WDS with the new Alfa router as the primary, and the Buffalo as the client. Unfortunately it only works with 2 different SSIDs and no security on the extension node (Buffalo).

    Since then it has been trouble trouble trouble. I hate the firmware on the Alfa (based on OpenWRT, I think). If I set static IPs for the devices thru the router, they can't get internet. Any large uploads send the network into a tizzy, even causing rebuffering in the squeezeboxes playing local music. I am constantly having to reboot the router, the modem, players, and LMS. Every time I turn on a Squeezebox there's a 50% chance it won't play anything until I go through the whole rebooting rigmarole. Sometimes one of the players will be happily playing along for 20 or 30 minutes and then just stop. Then I find out it has randomly latched on to the unsecured extension SSID, or disappeared off the network altogether.

    I tried swapping the primary and extension routers and that didn't work out either. Then I found a used buffalo router just like our old one with tomato already installed on it. I thought, "perfect! WDS should work with
    both routers identical!" I snatched it up, but no joy. The only way I can get WDS Working between them is with no security at all. So that's no good.

    Im losing my mind here! I hate silence! But I've reached my limit on what to do. I'm not a networking wiz. Piled on top of that is my husband is a cheapskate who doesn't give two hoots about the squeezeboxes. As far as he's concerned I should just use a Bluetooth speaker with my phone or iPad.

    What can I do? The squeezeboxes were rock solid before we got this crap router.
    Sue
    "If you're happy and you know it turn the volume up and blow it out."

    In Use: 1 Touch | 1 Booms | 6 Radios (Sold: 1 Boom | 1 Duet | 1 SB2)
    HP Proliant N54G | Logitech Media Server 7.9 | iPhone & iPad w/ iPeng
    Find me on Last.FM | Twitter | Rhapsody
    My Journey to Musical Bliss | Squeezebox is Dead. Long Live Squeezebox.

  2. #2
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    hi,

    without some schema of your setup its a nightmare to read and unpossible to help.

    eg static ip ? which, what gateway, which subnet 3 routers - more info

  3. #3
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    Hi Sue,

    Why don't you go back to the original (working) setup and then use a pair of powerline network adaptors between the house and the outbuilding ?

    Cheers,

    Steve
    Bridged Silent Server -> Transporter -> Lyngdorf TDAI 2200 Amp with Room Perfect -> Art Emotion Speakers

  4. #4
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    I would avoid the WDS thing and trying to extend wifi coverage though wifi itself. Ethernet or powerline are a much better solution.

    My advice would be to replace the APs with 2 Airport Express APs. If you have a mac, win PC or an iThing in the house you can manage them.
    The current model is not very recent, it's not AC but dual radio G/N and sufficient for uncompressed audio or HD video streaming. You can have them at discount price, refurb price is ~50 USD which makes it a good value, plus they offer Airplay.

    I have setup a 4-AE + powerline system in a large home, and it "just works". One SSID, one password, and most clients I have tested seem happy to roam from one AP to an other when they are moved around the house (with an iPad a running video stream, stream will pause for about 1 sec and restart when changing AP.)
    In this setup one of the 4 AEs is set to router mode. It works fine in this role too, but firewalling settings are minimal and it doesn't manage a local DNS service, only mDNS.

    I have fiddled with OpenWRT and Tomato in the past, all my attempts at setting up multiple APs (to be fair: using similar but not identical devices) have failed. Fiddly, and when it "worked" it never provided a convincing advantage over a single AP setup. The Airport Express is simplistic, but in multiple AP mode, it's simply night and day.

    my 2cts
    3 SB 3 • Libratone Loop, Zipp Mini • iPeng (iPhone + iPad) • LMS 7.9 (linux) with plugins: CD Player, WaveInput, Triode's BBC iPlayer by bpa • IRBlaster by Gwendesign (Felix) • Server Power Control by Gordon Harris • Smart Mix, Music Walk With Me, What Was That Tune? by Michael Herger • PowerSave by Jason Holtzapple • Song Info, Song Lyrics by Erland Isaksson • AirPlay Bridge by philippe_44 • WeatherTime by Martin Rehfeld • Auto Dim Display, SaverSwitcher, ContextMenu by Peter Watkins.

  5. #5
    Senior Member MeSue's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses. I will run these ideas by him and look into the Airport Express. I use power line adapters successfully within the house, but we have tried them in the outbuilding before and he says they don't work out there. Anytime I suggest power line for out there, he refuses to even consider it.
    Sue
    "If you're happy and you know it turn the volume up and blow it out."

    In Use: 1 Touch | 1 Booms | 6 Radios (Sold: 1 Boom | 1 Duet | 1 SB2)
    HP Proliant N54G | Logitech Media Server 7.9 | iPhone & iPad w/ iPeng
    Find me on Last.FM | Twitter | Rhapsody
    My Journey to Musical Bliss | Squeezebox is Dead. Long Live Squeezebox.

  6. #6
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    again...
    Quote Originally Posted by MeSue View Post
    I each got new Microsoft Surface Pro tablet computers. Nice machines... We like them. But this has wrecked havoc on our network.
    thats "normal" cause their internal antenna(s) cant be really good.

    Quote Originally Posted by MeSue View Post
    The problem started because my husband's "office" is in a separate outbuilding about 30 steps from the main house.
    When the two buildings dont got the same electric meter - forget about connecting these builings with Powerline. You may connect the two routers over powerline in one building - but they didnt really work over electric meters.


    Quote Originally Posted by MeSue View Post
    If I set static IPs for the devices thru the router, they can't get internet. Any large uploads send the network into a tizzy, even causing rebuffering in the squeezeboxes playing local music
    That pretty much told me - no gateway or dns is set when you do the static thing and a massive false configuration - thats why i asked for facts.
    • ip
    • subnet
    • gateway
    • dns

  7. #7
    Senior Member tcutting's Avatar
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    It would still help if you could provide some form of diagram of your setup.

    Also, is the wifi router located in the house as near as possible to the office/outbuilding? (to get the best chance of getting a strong enough signal out there)

    Any way to run an ethernet cable to the office?

    I've had reasonable success running two wireless routers. Primary one has all the main settings enabled (e.g., configured to provide the dynamic addressing, with a range of dynamic addresses, and left a separate range of addresses which I use form Static addressing). The second router is at the other end of the house - the two are connected together via wired ethernet. The second router does NOT perform the dynamic address allocation, it is only a wifi hotspot. I did, however, configure both wifi routers to use the same SSID and password. Generally a device will connect to one or the other - but "roaming" isn't handled particularly well - if I move to the other end of the house, a device will tend to stay connected to the one it originally connected to, even though the second device now has a much stronger signal). If you're OK having two separate wireless networks, you could configure the two hotspots with separate SSIDs and passwords, and then just connect a particular device to one or the other. BUT make sure they are not BOTH trying to provide the dynamic IP configuration.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcutting View Post
    It would still help if you could provide some form of diagram of your setup.

    Also, is the wifi router located in the house as near as possible to the office/outbuilding? (to get the best chance of getting a strong enough signal out there)

    Any way to run an ethernet cable to the office?

    I've had reasonable success running two wireless routers. Primary one has all the main settings enabled (e.g., configured to provide the dynamic addressing, with a range of dynamic addresses, and left a separate range of addresses which I use form Static addressing). The second router is at the other end of the house - the two are connected together via wired ethernet. The second router does NOT perform the dynamic address allocation, it is only a wifi hotspot. I did, however, configure both wifi routers to use the same SSID and password. Generally a device will connect to one or the other - but "roaming" isn't handled particularly well - if I move to the other end of the house, a device will tend to stay connected to the one it originally connected to, even though the second device now has a much stronger signal). If you're OK having two separate wireless networks, you could configure the two hotspots with separate SSIDs and passwords, and then just connect a particular device to one or the other. BUT make sure they are not BOTH trying to provide the dynamic IP configuration.
    This is exactly what I do. the 2nd wifi router has all settings to hand out IP addresses turned off. And it is connected via ethernet back to my main router (note that the "2nd wifi router" is connected to ethernet by pluging the cable into one of the "regular" ethernet slots on the "2nd router"--do not plug anything into the 2nd router's plug where one would typically route the plug coming from the modem itself; this is sometimes labeled "internet" on the router, indicating a connection to modem that provides the internet connection). I also use same SSID and password for both routers.
    Home: VBA 4TB (2.5)>LMS 7.9.2>Transporter, Touch, Boom, Radio (all ethernet)
    Cottage: VBA 3TB (2.4)>LMS 7.9.1>Touch>Benchmark DAC I, Boom, Radio w/Battery (ethernet, Radio WIFI)
    Office: Win10(64)>LMS 7.9.2>Squeezelite
    The Wild (no internet): PiCorePlayer 4.0 on rPi 3B+, hifiberry Dac+Pro, 4TB USB (LMS & Squeezelite)
    Controllers: iPhone6 & iPadAir2 (iPeng), CONTROLLER, or SqueezePlay 7.8 on Win10(64) laptop
    Files: ripping: dbpa > FLAC; post-rip: mp3tag, PerfectTunes; Streaming: Spotify

  9. #9

    Networking help

    garym <garym.7ha25z (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:

    > tcutting wrote:
    >> It would still help if you could provide some form of diagram of your
    >> setup.
    >>
    >> Also, is the wifi router located in the house as near as possible to the
    >> office/outbuilding? (to get the best chance of getting a strong enough
    >> signal out there)
    >>
    >> Any way to run an ethernet cable to the office?
    >>
    >> I've had reasonable success running two wireless routers. Primary one
    >> has all the main settings enabled (e.g., configured to provide the
    >> dynamic addressing, with a range of dynamic addresses, and left a
    >> separate range of addresses which I use form Static addressing). The
    >> second router is at the other end of the house - the two are connected
    >> together via wired ethernet. The second router does NOT perform the
    >> dynamic address allocation, it is only a wifi hotspot. I did, however,
    >> configure both wifi routers to use the same SSID and password.
    >> Generally a device will connect to one or the other - but "roaming"
    >> isn't handled particularly well - if I move to the other end of the
    >> house, a device will tend to stay connected to the one it originally
    >> connected to, even though the second device now has a much stronger
    >> signal). If you're OK having two separate wireless networks, you could
    >> configure the two hotspots with separate SSIDs and passwords, and then
    >> just connect a particular device to one or the other. BUT make sure
    >> they are not BOTH trying to provide the dynamic IP configuration.

    >
    > This is exactly what I do. the 2nd wifi router has all settings to hand
    > out IP addresses turned off. And it is connected via ethernet back to
    > my main router (note that the "2nd wifi router" is connected to ethernet
    > by pluging the cable into one of the "regular" ethernet slots on the
    > "2nd router"--do not plug anything into the 2nd router's plug where one
    > would typically route the plug coming from the modem itself; this is
    > sometimes labeled "internet" on the router, indicating a connection to
    > modem that provides the internet connection). I also use same SSID and
    > password for both routers.
    >


    Unfortunately I have to use different SSID, and the extender (Netgear
    WN2500RP) is connected via wireless to a Netgear WNDR 3400 which in turn
    connects to my router via ethernet (provided by isp) which is doing all
    the work (dhcp).

    Works perfectly.

    Rainer
    >
    >
    > *Home:* VortexBox 4TB (2.3) > LMS 7.8 > Transporter, Touch, Boom, Radio
    > (all ethernet)
    > *Cottage:* VBA 3TB (2.3) > LMS 7.8 > Touch > Benchmark DAC I, Boom,
    > Radio w/Battery (all ethernet except Radio)
    > *Office:* Win8(64) > LMS 7.9 > Squeezelite
    > *Spares:* Touch(3), Radio(3), Boom, SB3, CONTROLLER
    > *Controllers:* iPhone6 & iPadAir2 (iPeng8 & Squeezepad), CONTROLLER, or
    > SqueezePlay 7.8 on Win7(64) laptop
    > *Files:* ripping: dbpoweramp > FLAC; post-rip: mp3tag, PerfectTunes;
    > Streaming: Spotify
    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    > garym's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=17325
    > View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=105743
    >
    >

  10. #10
    Senior Member MeSue's Avatar
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    Hi again,

    Sorry I haven't had time to write up a better explanation with diagrams and all.

    Unfortunately Ethernet out to the other building isn't workable. Our house is all wood pine tongue and groove cabin-like construction and running ethernet through the walls is out of the question. Walls, ceiling floors, are all wood and he won't drill through it. The up-side is wireless signal transmits pretty good through walls. It's just the outbuilding that is on the fringes.

    I'm really not sure why powerline doesn't work because they are on the same meter box.

    Is there something else I can try that will work between the two identical routers that isn't using WDS?

    Does the Airport Express extend Wifi from a 3rd party router or it is supposed to replace the primary router handing the WAN connection? I noticed it only has 2 ethernet ports.

    This Alfa router we are using now is such garbage! Keeps dropping the internet connection. I am desperate to get it out of the equation.
    Sue
    "If you're happy and you know it turn the volume up and blow it out."

    In Use: 1 Touch | 1 Booms | 6 Radios (Sold: 1 Boom | 1 Duet | 1 SB2)
    HP Proliant N54G | Logitech Media Server 7.9 | iPhone & iPad w/ iPeng
    Find me on Last.FM | Twitter | Rhapsody
    My Journey to Musical Bliss | Squeezebox is Dead. Long Live Squeezebox.

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