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  1. #1
    Senior Member chill's Avatar
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    Player synchronisation problems with new mesh wifi

    I had a rush of blood to the head and bought a new mesh wifi 3-pack during 'Prime Day' (TP-Link Deco M5). Easy enough to set up, and the wifi signal is a little bit stronger than with my old Apple Airport Extreme.

    I run LMS on a Raspberry Pi 4 running pCP. I run it wireless - yes, I know that's not advised but it has a strong signal and it's been totally reliable to date with the Airport Extreme. It connected ok to the new wifi and was happily playing through the attached USB DAC. But when I added in a couple of synced Booms I started to get dropouts - more like momentary pauses in fact. One Boom is on a powerline adapter, and the other is next to the new wifi AP with 100% signal strength. I tried turning off the Booms in turn, and concluded that having either one synced with the USB DAC caused these glitches.

    After tinkering around for an hour or two I decided to give up and put the old reliable Airport Extreme back, and here's the odd thing. The glitches then continued, even though the new mesh AP was powered down. The only way I could get the system working properly was to restore the pCP SD card from last night's back up.

    To see whether I was imagining things I repeated the process:
    - working fine with Airport Extreme
    - swapped to mesh AP -> glitches
    - swapped back to Airport Extreme -> still glitches
    - restored SD card from previous image -> glitches gone.

    It seems to be related to synchronising players. My suspicion is it has something to do with network latency, and perhaps the faulty or unreliable latency information from the mesh AP setup is being remembered even when the Airport Extreme is swapped back in.

    Can anyone comment on how network latency is measured and implemented? Can I tweak any settings to solve this?

    My absolute priority is a reliable glitch-free LMS setup, so if I can't get round this PDQ then I'm going to send the mesh kit back, since it appears to be incompatible with LMS at some level. I had to turn off one of the more useful features anyway (802.11r, which allows for fast handover of mobile devices between APs) because the Booms wouldn't connect with it enabled.

    Has anyone else experienced (and solved) this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member kidstypike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chill View Post
    I had a rush of blood to the head and bought a new mesh wifi 3-pack during 'Prime Day' (TP-Link Deco M5). Easy enough to set up, and the wifi signal is a little bit stronger than with my old Apple Airport Extreme.

    I run LMS on a Raspberry Pi 4 running pCP. I run it wireless - yes, I know that's not advised but it has a strong signal and it's been totally reliable to date with the Airport Extreme. It connected ok to the new wifi and was happily playing through the attached USB DAC. But when I added in a couple of synced Booms I started to get dropouts - more like momentary pauses in fact. One Boom is on a powerline adapter, and the other is next to the new wifi AP with 100% signal strength. I tried turning off the Booms in turn, and concluded that having either one synced with the USB DAC caused these glitches.

    After tinkering around for an hour or two I decided to give up and put the old reliable Airport Extreme back, and here's the odd thing. The glitches then continued, even though the new mesh AP was powered down. The only way I could get the system working properly was to restore the pCP SD card from last night's back up.

    To see whether I was imagining things I repeated the process:
    - working fine with Airport Extreme
    - swapped to mesh AP -> glitches
    - swapped back to Airport Extreme -> still glitches
    - restored SD card from previous image -> glitches gone.

    It seems to be related to synchronising players. My suspicion is it has something to do with network latency, and perhaps the faulty or unreliable latency information from the mesh AP setup is being remembered even when the Airport Extreme is swapped back in.

    Can anyone comment on how network latency is measured and implemented? Can I tweak any settings to solve this?

    My absolute priority is a reliable glitch-free LMS setup, so if I can't get round this PDQ then I'm going to send the mesh kit back, since it appears to be incompatible with LMS at some level. I had to turn off one of the more useful features anyway (802.11r, which allows for fast handover of mobile devices between APs) because the Booms wouldn't connect with it enabled.

    Has anyone else experienced (and solved) this?
    Just a thought, a couple of days ago I was getting momentary dropouts as you describe, when I was syncing my study player (see sig) and a Boom, whilst using a Pi4-4GB as LMS server. I have never had this problem before when using any other flavour of RPi.

    I am now back using a Pi3B+ for server and the 2 players sync without dropouts.

    Try using a Pi3/LMS with your Mesh, see if you still get glitches?

    The Pi4 is now in my spare Pi box, it was getting up to 80░C.
    Server - LMS 7.9.2 Pi4B 4GB/pCP 6.0.0 18K library, playlists & LMS cache on SSD (ntfs)
    Study - Pi3B+/pCP 5.0.0/pi screen/HiFiBerry DAC+/jivelite,
    Lounge - Pi2/pCP 5.0.0 > HiFiBerry DIGI+ > AudioEngine DAC1 > AVI DM5
    Dining Room - Squeezebox Boom
    Garage - Pi3B/Pi screen/HiFiBerry DAC+/pCP 5.0.0 > Edifier R980T

    Spares - 2xTouch, 1xSB3, 1xRadio, 6xRPi

  3. #3
    Senior Member chill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidstypike View Post
    Try using a Pi3/LMS with your Mesh, see if you still get glitches?
    That's worth a try. The 4B works perfectly with the Airport Extreme, so I'd be surprised if that's the problem, but maybe there's in incompatibility between the 4B wifi and the mesh.

    What puzzles me is how attaching the 4B to the new mesh AP somehow corrupts LMS so that the glitches continue once the Airport is swapped back in. There must be a file or a cache that gets updated with the mesh information (which is why I wondered about packet latency). Obviously clearing that cache or deleting that file would be quicker than re-imaging the SD card from a backup, but re-imaging has worked both times.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Greg Erskine's Avatar
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    Probably a virus. lol....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by chill View Post
    That's worth a try. The 4B works perfectly with the Airport Extreme, so I'd be surprised if that's the problem, but maybe there's in incompatibility between the 4B wifi and the mesh.

    What puzzles me is how attaching the 4B to the new mesh AP somehow corrupts LMS so that the glitches continue once the Airport is swapped back in. There must be a file or a cache that gets updated with the mesh information (which is why I wondered about packet latency). Obviously clearing that cache or deleting that file would be quicker than re-imaging the SD card from a backup, but re-imaging has worked both times.
    Do you get glitches when there there is only one node of the mesh working (i.e. no real mesh just like Airport ) ? that will show if it is a fundamental incompatibility.

  6. #6
    Senior Member chill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Erskine View Post
    Probably a virus. lol....
    ...pre-installed by TP-Link and masquerading as something else, like 'HomeCare'. Maybe TP-Link are a subsidiary of Huawei, and the glitches are when it reports back to base....

  7. #7
    Senior Member chill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpa View Post
    Do you get glitches when there there is only one node of the mesh working (i.e. no real mesh just like Airport ) ? that will show if it is a fundamental incompatibility.
    Yes - even with just a single node, set up in Access Point mode, I get glitches when syncing players. Pretty sure it was fine with just a single unsynced player. I might try running all three players unsynced, just to isolate the problem.

  8. #8
    Senior Member chill's Avatar
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    With three players (Squeezelite + 2 Booms) all playing unsynced I don't get any glitches. If I sync two of them then I get glitches in the synced pair every 37 seconds, except when the current track finishes and the next one starts. The unsynced third player continues without error.

    The regular 37s interval must be significant - is this when LMS sends new data to the player? Is this the frequency of time syncing checks?

  9. #9
    Senior Member chill's Avatar
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    Glitches still happen even if I turn off the 'Maintain synchronisation while playing' option on both synced players.

  10. #10
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    And your able to play local stored files? I've got similar behavior when lms loses access to music share on server. 1 or 2 single player are ok. More players or syncing the two players causing rebuffering. Solved the share acces and everything is fine again. Btw lms on pi3. Player one boom and one SB2, but problem also with a radio or a pcp player.
    SqueezeBoxes: 1x Transporter (Living room) 1x SB2 (shed), 1x Radio (Kitchen), 1x Boom (Dining room), 1x piCorePlayer (jacuzzi), 1x piCorePlayer (Garden) 1x OSMC + Squeezelite (Movie room), 1x Touch (Study 2), few spare unit's
    Server: LMS on Pi3 7.9.1. on PcP 3.21
    Network: AVM Fritzbox, Netgear Smart Switch 24p, 3x Ubiquity

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