Question

Multiple Boosts?


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I've recently moved homes and am trying to get my Sonos setup more reliable. 4000 sq.ft. house with one connect:amp, a newer amp, one connect, 3 play:1's and a play:3.
Was hard wiring as much as possible into my LAN, but found that Sonos and Ubiquiti can be a bit troublesome to setup.

Based on feedback, when to full Sonosnet setup with a boost the only item connected/hardwired to a UB managed switch. Results are definitely better, but i still get drop outs especially when connecting more than 3 speakers, etc.

my question is that if adding an additional Boost might help. 3 floors... i have the new AMP on the top floor, the boost on the middle floor, and am thinking about adding another boost on the lower floor (where the connect:amp is).

will this help at all?

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Hi tomgru

You have listed to issues that are interrelated
  1. Coverage
  2. Speakers dropping off if more than 3 are brought on-line.
The second is the most disturbing and takes the issue beyond coverage. There are a few things you can try:
  1. Remove any security devices, baby monitors or other portable Wi-Fi products at least 6 feet from your Sonso devices.
  2. Open your routers Admin page and check for updates and install them
  3. Power cycle your iOS or Android device and make sure they are up to date
  4. Make sure the Sonos app is up to date
If the issue still persists I suggest you submit a diagnostic and post the reference Id in this forum. Then call Sonos tech support or contact them via Twitter or Facebook. Let us know how things sort out.

Cheers!
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Thanks Ajtrek1... will work on that (although i've done most of it). i tried Sonos support and sadly had one of the worse experiences i've ever had. USed them in the past and was impressed... but this person clearly had no networking experience whatsoever, and told me to call Ubiquiti.

Rant over... the wifi stuff is tough, but i checked channels and Sonosnet should be on the most free (i used 6).

will continue to play around, but my original question... is another Boost just overkill if they all work independently just fine?
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Hi tomgru

Unless you can wire the Boost back to your router you won't see a lot of improvement. The SonosNet is strengthen when all (or at least some) components can somehow find their way back to the router over Ethernet even though they are scattered throughout your home.

I actually ran Ethernet to the second level of my home and attached a second Asus AC5400 router to setup what Asus terms as an AiMesh. The second router (or node) has a second Boost running off it via Ethernet. The main Asus router (Node) controls everything.

Another option is to reserve an IP address for each Sonos component.
@tomgru

Whilst wiring more devices is ideal, sometimes it can help to add a wireless Boost (connected only to power) so as to improve coverage in a 'dark area' that's otherwise out of reach. In that case placing it roughly half way to the 'dark area' would be recommended, so that it would act as a relay.

We may be able to offer some more focused guidance if you could take a screenshot of your Network Matrix and post it. You'll find this at http://x.x.x.x:1400/support/review where x.x.x.x is the IP of any player (not a Boost), behind the Network Matrix link. This displays the state of the SonosNet mesh.
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thanks all! i'll send the matrix when i get home later.... that was definitely what i was planning with the second boost. although it's near a switch so i could hardwire it it as well.
Depending on current signal strengths a wireless Boost could simply be bypassed, as the mesh will work to minimise path cost. Let's see what the matrix shows.
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here you go. I also have an older bridge setup (wireless only) that I thought might help.

Something has been turned off, perhaps the Bridge you mentioned. It's the Undefined column.

Anyway, signal strengths are good/excellent so adding a wireless Boost would be a waste of time. However the left column is showing some high levels of ambient noise. What other kit do you have operating at 2.4GHz? Any proprietary wireless devices such as cameras or baby monitors? Bluetooth can also generate this kind of effect.
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Something has been turned off, perhaps the Bridge you mentioned. It's the Undefined column.

Anyway, signal strengths are good/excellent so adding a wireless Boost would be a waste of time. However the left column is showing some high levels of ambient noise. What other kit do you have operating at 2.4GHz? Any proprietary wireless devices such as cameras or baby monitors? Bluetooth can also generate this kind of effect.

yeah... the boost and the Great room are in my wiring closet, ... so lots going on in there. I do have cameras around, although most wired.

The bridge is in another wiring closet, and is closest to the main deck. that's where i was thinking of putting the additional boost.

Mom cave and master bathroom are probably the farthest away from the boost, but near the master bedroom (amp), so i was hoping that would there.

my network is all ubiquiti stuff, including two APs.

i had some stuff hard wired in at first, and that didn't seem to help.

with the high ambient noise where the boost and great room devices are, would it make sense to wire the great room (connect) directly to the boost?
yeah... the boost and the Great room are in my wiring closet, ... so lots going on in there. I do have cameras around, although most wired.
If the cameras are not using WiFi they could account for some noise. Other digital equipment in close proximity can jack up the noise figures too.

The bridge is in another wiring closet, and is closest to the main deck. that's where i was thinking of putting the additional boost.

By all means use a Boost in another wired location. It may offer some benefit. Just ensure it's wired, otherwise it will serve no useful function.

Mom cave and master bathroom are probably the farthest away from the boost, but near the master bedroom (amp), so i was hoping that would there.

Master Bedroom's is actually the best radio you have. Amp contains the latest module. However Mom Cave and Master Bathroom have a decent direct signal to the Boost so they're using it.

with the high ambient noise where the boost and great room devices are, would it make sense to wire the great room (connect) directly to the boost?

Great Room is not that young at all (MAC address 00:0E:58:...) so its radio is so-so. It's not offering any benefit to the mesh so I would wire it, to a switch or the Boost's second port, and then disable its radio.
tomgru,

Noise floor above the mid -80's can be troublesome. (-80 is more noise than -100) In this respect the Great Room closet is not a great location. I doubt that you will see any wireless unit's noise floor above -70 because the units really can't communicate in that environment.

The Great Room player is struggling. ratty's suggestion to wire the Great Room player and turn OFF its radio will probably help things along. Also, experiment with physically moving BOOST. Either move it within the closet or move it to a wired port in another location. Note that the Network Matrix is a snapshot, you'll need to refresh the page after each adjustment.

I'm a fan of wiring as many SONOS units as possible. If you wire multiple SONOS units and are using UBIQUTI network switches, make sure that the switches are set for STP. Don't use RSTP.
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thanks everyone... so helpful. i'll keep messing around a bit and report back this weekend!
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working on this today. will try suggestions and report back. one question...

what is the "undefined"? I have two now in my matrix?

My guess is they are old Bridges that I didn't remove correctly. is there a way to go back and fix that?
"Undefined" headings can be due to devices being offline, devices having disabled radios, or the presence of 5GHz connections to a home theatre speaker.

If the MAC addresses are +1 with respect to your Bridges' serial numbers then you have your answer.

Phantom entries for offline devices will remain until the system has been restarted, either by power-cycling or as a result of a firmware update.
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ok... not sure how this panning out. here's what I've done per advice above.
  • Main floor Boost moved out of closet (where interference was greatest) and is wired into dumb switch in office
  • Downstairs Boost wired into Ubiquiti switch (8). STP set, with priority 8192
  • Great room wired to ubiquiti switch (8) with STP and priority 8192.
  • Main deck (downstairs near boost) wired to ubiquiti switch (8) with STP and priority 8192.
  • (FYI if it matters, main ubiquiti switch (16) set to STP priority 4096
On thing on the wifi... when I tried to turn if off, I get an error saying to make sure it's connected to a router (it is). so on the Main deck/great room, it wouldn't let me turn if off. thoughts here?

this does not look very good :-)

Great Room's radio is now off.

Ambient RF noise still accounts for the amber/red in the left column. If the system's behaving okay then ignore it, otherwise you'd need to isolate what's causing the interference, by going round turning other gear off until you can find the culprit. Note that there's a minute or two lag before the system responds to the removal of a noise source.
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Great Room's radio is now off.

Ambient RF noise still accounts for the amber/red in the left column. If the system's behaving okay then ignore it, otherwise you'd need to isolate what's causing the interference, by going round turning other gear off until you can find the culprit. Note that there's a minute or two lag before the system responds to the removal of a noise source.

ah... so the blank row/column is a good thing?
Wonder why I can't turn wifi off for main deck? it is also plugged into lan port on switch.

The boost downstairs is very close to the main deck.. not sure it's doing anything.... how would I know?

Thanks again for all the help here Ratty. Much appreciated!
A blank row/column means the radio is disabled.

It's not obvious why Main Deck refuses to disable its radio. Its connecting wirelessly to Master Bedroom, so presumably the latter's wireless. That shouldn't matter though. Sometimes the system is a bit fussy about disabling the radio if the device is hung off a peripheral switch. Try temporarily wiring Main Deck to the same switch as either of the Boosts.

As for Boost Downstairs it isn't actually doing anything useful. Look along its row. None of the cells are coloured: it has no wireless connections.
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ok... think i'm getting somewhere. did quite a few changes.
  • Moved boost downstairs to upstairs, hardwired. it is now helping Momcave and garage
  • Moved boost mainfloor to another room, hardwired. really only helping Tom's office
  • Master bedroom is now hardwired, but left wifi on. Looks like it's helping master bathroom and kitchen
  • Got both main deck and great room hardwired, wifi off
will run this for a bit. see anything glaring?

Signal strengths are now looking very good. If you're not experiencing any problems you can ignore the colours in the left column. The wireless chipsets are basically just doing their job of rejecting noise.
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Signal strengths are now looking very good. If you're not experiencing any problems you can ignore the colours in the left column. The wireless chipsets are basically just doing their job of rejecting noise.
awesome. i'll play around the next day or so and see how it goes!

Thanks again for the help!

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