Adding Bridge to system to help Play 5 (Gen 1) connectivity

  • 3 September 2022
  • 33 replies
  • 1326 views

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Hello all

Excuse me if I don’t have all the terms correct, but I’m not very techie! I’ve searched this forum, but can’t find an answer that helps me

I have a small system (2x Play 1 and a Play 5 (1st Gen)) and use S1 controller all connected to wifi. Recently the Play 5 has been dropping out so I just bought a second hand bridge for £2 to see if I could use this to boost the signal for the Play 5.

I’ve connected the bridge OK but I don’t know how/if I need to ‘move’ the Play 5 off wifi and onto the SonosNet to get the possible benefit. I presume that the 2 x Play 1’s will just stay on the wifi as they are not compatible with the bridge? I’m assuming its possible to have all these products within one controller even if they are not on the ‘same’ wifi?

I can’t even find any instructions for the bridge online - does it stay hardwired and sat near the router?

Thanks in advance for any guidance

Brucie

 


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33 replies

You say you’ve connected the Bridge, but it sounds as if you may have only wired it to the router. Is it visible in your Sonos app, along with the other speakers? Look in Settings/System/About. If not then you haven’t gone through the key step of actually adding the Bridge to the system. In that case get back to us for further direction.

 

By the way, your Bridge was so cheap because they’re obsolete technology, and their power supplies (wall warts) have a habit of flaking out as they age. No harm in giving it a try though.

Userlevel 7
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Might want to recheck the compatibility of your Play 1s, they should work with the Bridge, well if it is actually working properly.

 

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/4786?language=en_US

If you try a split S1 S2 setup here are some good reads:

https://support.sonos.com/s/global-search/s1%20s2?language=en_US

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You say you’ve connected the Bridge, but it sounds as if you may have only wired it to the router. Is it visible in your Sonos app, along with the other speakers? Look in Settings/System/About. If not then you haven’t gone through the key step of actually adding the Bridge to the system. In that case get back to us for further direction.

 

By the way, your Bridge was so cheap because they’re obsolete technology, and their power supplies (wall warts) have a habit of flaking out as they age. No harm in giving it a try though.

Hi there and thanks for taking the time to respond.

The bridge is showing in the app. Later, I googled how to see if your products are connected via the bridge (WM0) or my wifi (WM1). It looks like the Play 5 and one of my Play 1’s are on Sonosnet and the other play 1 on the wifi. I didn’t think play 1’s could use the bridge? But is this saying that the play 5 IS now connected via sonosnet (as I wanted to)??

I get that the bridge is old but I thought for £2 I would give it a shot! If the plug fails, I can always get a new one that’s compatible.

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Might want to recheck the compatibility of your Play 1s, they should work with the Bridge, well if it is actually working properly.

 

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/4786?language=en_US

If you try a split S1 S2 setup here are some good reads:

https://support.sonos.com/s/global-search/s1%20s2?language=en_US

Hi there and thanks for the reply

It seems that one of my Play 1’s has connected to the bridge (checking in ‘about my system’ - it’s showing as WM0). So I guess they are compatible! Does this mean that I don’t have to do anything else - it has automatically swapped over from wifi? I need to stay on S1 for the play 5 - so as long as all my products work, maybe I don’t have to do a S1/S2 split (which I read and it made my brain hurt….)

thanks again

If all your devices are showing WM:0 then you’re all set. If some are still stuck on WM:1 then try (a) powering them off and on again and (b) changing the SonosNet wireless channel (in Settings/System/Network) to see if you can make them behave.

As for the Bridge power supply, it could start to lose output voltage with age. As the voltage gradually declines it will give rise to various intermittent connectivity problems that could infuriate. Assuming the SonosNet (WM:0) arrangement works better I’d advise replacing the Bridge with a Boost. If the last owner of the Bridge hasn’t claimed the upgrade voucher that would entitle you to 30% off the new Boost.

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If all your devices are showing WM:0 then you’re all set. If some are still stuck on WM:1 then try (a) powering them off and on again and (b) changing the SonosNet wireless channel (in Settings/System/Network) to see if you can make them behave.

As for the Bridge power supply, it could start to lose output voltage with age. As the voltage gradually declines it will give rise to various intermittent connectivity problems that could infuriate. Assuming the SonosNet (WM:0) arrangement works better I’d advise replacing the Bridge with a Boost. If the last owner of the Bridge hasn’t claimed the upgrade voucher that would entitle you to 30% off the new Boost.

Hi there

Thanks again for replying. Does it matter if 1 product is on WM1? It’s working OK. 

Thanks for the info on the power supply.

I got the bridge as I didn’t think Boost was compatible with Play 5 (1st Gen) - or maybe that’s changed? Anyway, I need to fully test if the bridge has solved the drop out issue on the Play 5. If it doesn’t would Boost be the next step (ie is it ‘better’ than the bridge - assuming compatibility).

Once again thanks for your helpful reply

Brucie

BOOST has more advanced WiFi capability and is compatible with S1 or S2 systems.

Does it matter if 1 product is on WM1? It’s working OK. 

If it’s a Play:1 that’s paired with another which is WM:0 then it could matter. Anyway it’s not correct to have any on WM:1 (WiFi); they should all be WM:0 (on SonosNet). 

 

I got the bridge as I didn’t think Boost was compatible with Play 5 (1st Gen) - or maybe that’s changed? Anyway, I need to fully test if the bridge has solved the drop out issue on the Play 5. If it doesn’t would Boost be the next step (ie is it ‘better’ than the bridge - assuming compatibility).

Nothing’s changed. The Boost has always been compatible with both S1 systems and S2 systems. Yes, it’s a better ‘Bridge’, with a more modern radio that has better range and interference rejection. 

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BOOST has more advanced WiFi capability and is compatible with S1 or S2 systems.

thanks - I didn’t know that! At the moment the bridge seems to have improved things, so will stick with this for the time being

 

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Does it matter if 1 product is on WM1? It’s working OK. 

If it’s a Play:1 that’s paired with another which is WM:0 then it could matter. Anyway it’s not correct to have any on WM:1 (WiFi); they should all be WM:0 (on SonosNet). 

 

I got the bridge as I didn’t think Boost was compatible with Play 5 (1st Gen) - or maybe that’s changed? Anyway, I need to fully test if the bridge has solved the drop out issue on the Play 5. If it doesn’t would Boost be the next step (ie is it ‘better’ than the bridge - assuming compatibility).

Nothing’s changed. The Boost has always been compatible with both S1 systems and S2 systems. Yes, it’s a better ‘Bridge’, with a more modern radio that has better range and interference rejection. 

They’re not paired, but will attempt to change it over. 

Thanks I didn’t know about the Boost, but am currently testing out my £2 Bridge and it has definitely improved the connection issues, so will stick with that for the time being! 

Thanks so much for your help and taking time to reply - very much appreciated

Brucie

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Hello again!

While the £2 bridge has improved connectivity, it is still dropping out at times. The bridge is currently hardwired and near my router. As I’m using it to extend the signal to one speaker, I think I should I try and move it closer to that speaker? That’s going to be tricky while still having the ethernet cable plugged in. Can the bridge work without it? I just read the info about the Boost (which I’m really trying to avoid buying...) which indicates to me that it CAN work as a booster without being hardwired.

Sorry for all the questions again!

Brucie

How close is the Bridge to the router? If it’s within 1 metre or less it could be experiencing interference. (Boost is more resilient in this regard.)

Have you tried changing your SonosNet wireless channel? It should be spaced at least 5 away from whatever channel the router’s WiFi is using at 2.4GHz. Also the router should use a 20MHz bandwidth at 2.4GHz, not 40MHz, to avoid overlaps.

 

As to your other question, a Bridge -- or a Boost -- can operate as a wireless relay, but only if there’s already some other Sonos component wired to the network.

However in many cases an unwired Bridge/Boost will be completely ignored, as SonosNet will optimise for ‘cheaper’ wireless paths by minimising the number of wireless hops.

While its diagnostic capability is diminishing for S2 systems you can go to http://x.x.x.x:1400/support/review and open the Network Matrix at the bottom. x.x.x.x is the IP address of a player that you can find at Settings → System → About My System. Red cells highlight potential issues. Note that this is a static view. If you change something, wait a couple minutes, then refresh the page to view current conditions. Unfortunately, the latest crew of players does not post much data to the Network Matrix.

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How close is the Bridge to the router? If it’s within 1 metre or less it could be experiencing interference. (Boost is more resilient in this regard.)

Have you tried changing your SonosNet wireless channel? It should be spaced at least 5 away from whatever channel the router’s WiFi is using at 2.4GHz. Also the router should use a 20MHz bandwidth at 2.4GHz, not 40MHz, to avoid overlaps.

 

As to your other question, a Bridge -- or a Boost -- can operate as a wireless relay, but only if there’s already some other Sonos component wired to the network.

However in many cases an unwired Bridge/Boost will be completely ignored, as SonosNet will optimise for ‘cheaper’ wireless paths by minimising the number of wireless hops.

Hi there

Thanks for the quick reply! Yes the bridge is less than 1 meter from the router - I’ll see if I can move it a bit, but somewhat constrained by socket outlets/length of power cable and need to not have stuff trailing over the floor! 

I did change the wireless channels - it seemed to work a bit better on 1 out of the 3, but still not perfect. The location of the router isn’t really a good spot for another product (other than the bridge). 

I’ve checked and changed my router to be channel 11 and bridge on channel 1. Router is at 2.4Ghz but I’m not sure how to make sure its on 20Mhz bandwidth, is it default?

thanks 

I’ve checked and changed my router to be channel 11 and bridge on channel 1. Router is at 2.4Ghz but I’m not sure how to make sure its on 20Mhz bandwidth, is it default?

It depends, but probably. What router is it? 

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I’ve checked and changed my router to be channel 11 and bridge on channel 1. Router is at 2.4Ghz but I’m not sure how to make sure its on 20Mhz bandwidth, is it default?

It depends, but probably. What router is it? 

its a BT Smart Hub Type A

 

Fine. BT hubs default to 20MHz at 2.4GHz. 

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Thank you - I’m very impressed that you know when I failed to find out anywhere else!

I’ve moved bridge as much as possible from the router and changed the channels. Will check out over the next few days and see if it’s liveable with. Otherwise I guess I’ll get the boost in the hope that it’s better spec will make the difference. Looks like I can get a discount, but still £85!!!

 

Thanks again for all your help - I would never have got this far without it and have learnt lots about my system

BW

Brucie

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While its diagnostic capability is diminishing for S2 systems you can go to http://x.x.x.x:1400/support/review and open the Network Matrix at the bottom. x.x.x.x is the IP address of a player that you can find at Settings → System → About My System. Red cells highlight potential issues. Note that this is a static view. If you change something, wait a couple minutes, then refresh the page to view current conditions. Unfortunately, the latest crew of players does not post much data to the Network Matrix.

Sorry I missed your post earlier. Thanks for this. I have some orange cells - but what is written in them might as well be greek to me! Can you take a look and advise? This is with all products on the sonosnet system. The one labelled Big One is the Play 5 which is given me problems…. I’m using S1

Thank you in advance

 

Noise Floor in the other rooms is very good, Big One is reasonable, not great. Bridge to Bedroom connection is a little weak.

Note again that this is static view. Refresh it from time to time because you may see some changes. If there are changes, take notes because you may find correlations with time of day or activities in or near your home.

Moving Bridge a few inches may make a difference.

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thank you for deciphering it for me. Bedroom hasn’t got connectivity problems (it’s a newer product) so I’ll try as you suggest plus tinkering with the location of the bridge as much as I can.

Brucie

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Hello again everyone! 

Summary of my system: I have a small system (2x Play 1 and a Play 5 (1st Gen)) and use S1 controller all connected to wifi. Recently the Play 5 has been dropping out so I bought a second hand bridge for £2 to see if I could use this to boost the signal for the Play 5 - thanks for all your help (above) in connecting it.

However, I’m back. The bridge wasn’t cutting it, so I bit the bullet and forked out for a boost. I had to downgrade it to get it to work with the Play 5. 

Boost is now connected to my router, but I was still getting drop out on the Play 5. Since I now have a spare Bridge I tried to set this up as wireless in between the Boost and Play 5 as I read somewhere that this could help with the signal. However, as soon as I disconnect the ethernet cable to the bridge to move it to be between Boost and Play 5, it is no longer showing on the system as connected (just as ‘Bridge’, with no info, and then this morning it had disappeared completely). 

I’m playing around with the sonos/wifi channel combinations…..

Here’s a screen shot of the Network Matrix  with both wifi and sonos on channel 11 for example, it does seem to vary but what seems consistent is the matrix Boost: Big One (Play 5) is always green, whereas with the bridge it was yellow or orange. 

The undefined column (grey) is I assume the bridge which isn’t doing anything at present.

 

 

However, when I switched to Sonos channel 1 and wifi channel 11, the bridge appeared! However, I don’t think it’s actually doing anything - would someone who knows more than me be able to confirm this? Is it going to be better to remove the bridge? * note, it now seems to be a feature on wifi channel 1 as well…...odd?

I’m going to keep playing around with the channel combos - is this worth doing since the matrix isn’t static and it DOES indeed vary alot?

Thanks in advance for any help!

 

Brucie

Userlevel 7

You can remove the Bridge as it’s not doing anything.

You want your WiFi and SonosNet to be on different channels. You can also limit your router’s 2.4GHz band to 20MHz

From the first matrix, I’d keep SonosNet on channel 11, and try your router on channel 1 or 6.

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Hi there Mr T.

Thanks for your quick response. I notice that the Bridge sometimes has a slightly better inbound signal strength to the Big One (Play 5) than the Boost  - maybe by 5 or 7. Can you force the Play 5 to use the bridge? Or would that not really make any difference? Would removing the bridge help with the boost’s signal (sorry for if these questions are dumb, I’m not an expert clearly!)

As I’m cycling though the channels I’m seeing that the Bridge and Play 5 (Big One) are always on OFDM signal level 3 but the Boost does vary, but does cut out even when OFDM is 0 or 1.

I’m on a BT Hub which I’ve been told defaults to 20MHz at 2.4GHz.

Sonos 11 and wifi 1 seemed to give the best signal strength on the Boost although it was pretty variable and not as good as 11 and 11.

thanks again for your input

Brucie

Userlevel 7

Hi there Mr T.

Thanks for your quick response. I notice that the Bridge sometimes has a slightly better inbound signal strength to the Big One (Play 5) than the Boost  - maybe by 5 or 7. Can you force the Play 5 to use the bridge? Or would that not really make any difference? Would removing the bridge help with the boost’s signal (sorry for if these questions are dumb, I’m not an expert clearly!)

As I’m cycling though the channels I’m seeing that the Bridge and Play 5 (Big One) are always on OFDM signal level 3 but the Boost does vary, but does cut out even when OFDM is 0 or 1.

I’m on a BT Hub which I’ve been told defaults to 20MHz at 2.4GHz.

Sonos 11 and wifi 1 seemed to give the best signal strength on the Boost although it was pretty variable and not as good as 11 and 11.

thanks again for your input

Brucie

I’m not an expert either but from the matrix the Bridge is only connecting to your Boost. It is not doing anything to enhance the communication to your actual speakers. The only inbound/outbound matrix labels you should be concerned about are the coloured ones. The grey ones are not paths being used. Also Sonos will look to minimise wireless hops, so unlikely your speakers would connect to a wireless Bridge, unless there was a considerable distance between the speakers and the wired Boost, which is not the case.