What do I need to know?

  • 20 September 2014
  • 18 replies
  • 3378 views

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Hello folks,

I don't actually have a problem that needs solving at the moments, and I'd like to try to keep it that way. I am more or less by accident about to become a Sonos user and while I think I have a handle on what I'm doing, the more I read, the more I wonder...

I recently upgraded my wireless router (to a Fritz!box 7490), and discovered shortly thereafter that my trusty old internet radio no longer worked. The issue is one of supported wifi encryption standards and is unsolvable.

So, I've been shopping for a replacement internet radio, and on a whim looked through the catalogue for my credit card's rewards program. They had, and I have ordered (but not yet received) a Play:1 intended to be used as a stand alone device in the family room connected to either a switch or my router both of which are close by.

It would be easiest to plug it into a spare 100 meg port on the switch, but would there be any advantage in shuffling things around so I could plug it into a 1000 meg port on the router instead?

My music library is on a qnap ts-112 nas, and at this point is all in mp3 format, although I suppose I could re-rip all the original disks to something less lossy. Could never hear the difference on the old radio so didn't bother.

Clearly the Sonos system is way more than I will be able to take advantage of in the short term, but already the juices are flowing over what it might grow into one day.

I'll be using the android version controller on a Samsung tablet.

What do I need to know that I don't already know? Are there any issues with my plan, and what would you advise in terms of any of the setup choices I don't yet know about?

Regards,

Pcal

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18 replies

Welcome to the forum.

It would be easiest to plug it into a spare 100 meg port on the switch, but would there be any advantage in shuffling things around so I could plug it into a 1000 meg port on the router instead?

The current Sonos lineup all features 100Mbps wired Ethernet ports, so there would be no immediate advantage to the gig port.

Clearly the Sonos system is way more than I will be able to take advantage of in the short term, but already the juices are flowing over what it might grow into one day.


We often say the players breed like rabbits. One day you look up and they're everywhere.

What do I need to know that I don't already know? Are there any issues with my plan, and what would you advise in terms of any of the setup choices I don't yet know about?


For me, one of the most pleasant surprises was how easy Sonos is to set up. Many owners report it takes longer to unbox the units than it does to get music playing. The vast majority of users simply set it up and happily use it, blissfully unaware that the support forums -- and Sonos Support in general -- even exist. And of course, in the event you end up as one of the few with issues, we can just about always get it straightened out here, and if not, Sonos Support almost certainly will. Don't worry 🙂
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Ok. My play1 arrived, and initial setup was relatively painless. Played with it for an hour or so - amazing sounds quality!

Second time I came back to it - Sonos app on my tablet said it couldn't find any Sonos equipment. Couldn't connect to an existing system (as there wasn't one - apparently), so I had to create a new system. It took AGES searching (5 or 6 minutes) before it found the device and said everything was set up. I hit the Next button, and was promptly told the app couldn't find any Sonos equipment again. All this time, the Play:1 was happily streaming one of my local radio stations.

Three times it went through the cycle above to find, set up, them immediately loose the device again, by which time I was about ready to drop kick it into the middle of next week.

Everything but the router was rebooted at least once during the process, then suddenly I looked at the tablet and everything was working.

I haven't been game to turn it off again.

Please tell me this isn't going to be a regular thing - half an hour of stuffing about to get it working every time would result in it having a very short shelf life indeed.

Is there some "trick" to reestablishing a connection after the tablet had been off the network?

Regards,

pcal
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I left it playing - streaming radio.

15 minutes later it just stopped while I wasn't even in the room and the tablet was on the table. Again the tablet says it can't find any Sonos gear.

This control mechanism is starting to feel decidedly flaky for a piece of kit that promised so much...
I have to ask: you are sure the Android tablet was connecting to the correct WiFi?

I seem to recall that Fritz!box routers may need some tweaking to make them behave. In particular the wired and wireless segments must share the same subnet, and the router must also allow multicast/broadcast traffic to pass between the two.

BTW is the PLAY:1 wired, on WiFi or are you operating wirelessly from a Sonos BRIDGE?
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I have to ask: you are sure the Android tablet was connecting to the correct WiFi?

I seem to recall that Fritz!box routers may need some tweaking to make them behave. In particular the wired and wireless segments must share the same subnet, and the router must also allow multicast/broadcast traffic to pass between the two.

BTW is the PLAY:1 wired, on WiFi or are you operating wirelessly from a Sonos BRIDGE?


Thanks for the reply.

The Play:1 is plugged into a switch, which in turn is plugged into the fritz!box.

My lan only has one sub-net, although the router does support both 2.4 and 5gig wifi. I have tablets on both, but the one with the Sonos app is only capable of connecting via 2.4G wifi.

Multicast / broadcast traffic is something I'll have to look into, but since everything seemed to work fine on the initial installation and ran well until after I had to recharge the tablet, it seems illogical to me that the router would be the issue. Happy to stand corrected however if it gets things working reliably.
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I have to ask: you are sure the Android tablet was connecting to the correct WiFi?


Pondering on the question (lunch break at work, so can't work on the problem! ), seems to imply there would be more than one wlan. Given that 1 wlan would have to be the statistically dominant home setup, should I conclude that the Play:1 itself would create an additional wlan that my tablet should be connecting to?

The tablet has the same connection it's had since long before the play:1, and I didn't go looking for any other connection. After all, it all worked initially so I had no reason to look.

If so, does the play:1 have a web interface from which one would setup this additional wlan? I just vpn'ed into my network and tried to connect to the play:1's ip address but got no response...

Finally, I've not been able to find any reference at all to multicasting in any of my fritz!box 7490's settings or manual. Their support seems very big on the proposition that "it just works", so you don't really need to know.

Frustrating when it just doesn't...

Any further clues more than a little welcome.
Pondering on the question (lunch break at work, so can't work on the problem! ), seems to imply there would be more than one wlan. Given that 1 wlan would have to be the statistically dominant home setup, should I conclude that the Play:1 itself would create an additional wlan that my tablet should be connecting to?
No, the PLAY:1 won't be acting as access point by default. However it might be worth experimenting by making it one.

Go to Settings/Advanced Settings/Connect to SonosNet in your Android's Sonos controller app, and turn it on. For Settings/Advanced Settings/SonosNet Channel pick one which fits with your existing WiFi, e.g. if your WiFi is on 1 then choose 6 or 11.

Then in the tablet's WiFi settings tell it to connect to the SonosNet SSID. This will probably start with Sonos_ or possibly HHID_.

If your Sonos controller works consistently when attached directly to SonosNet, but not when via the Fritz!box WiFi, then it suggests the latter is the problem.
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No, the PLAY:1 won't be acting as access point by default. However it might be worth experimenting by making it one.


Thanks for the reply.

As soon as I got home from work (and before I had seen your reply), I rebooted the Play:1, unplugged everything and started from scratch.

This time, I set it up without the cat5, configured to use wifi rather than lan connection.

So far so good. The tablet did loose the device again after sleeping for a while. It stayed lost just long enough for me to start stressing out again, and then found it by itself without my intervention at all.

Both the tablet and the Play:1 are now on the 2.4G wifi. If (when?) the system expands in the future - assuming this stays as is, I presume this means the new units would be communicating on my existing wifi rather than on their own mesh network. Should I expect this may cause some network contention and the odd drop out when the time comes?
If you're confident that IP duplication couldn't be occurring -- either because you've done a complete restart of the network or you've reserved IPs in the router -- but you find that your PLAY:1 keeps losing a network connection I think you should contact Sonos Support. Unless it's on the wireless edge it shouldn't drop off the network. Obviously with a wired connection it shouldn't go missing either. It's not beyond the bounds of possibility that the unit has an intermittent fault.

As for expansion of the system, if the existing units are on WiFi then yes the additional ones would normally be on WiFi too. (There is an extreme case where some units use SonosNet and some WiFi, but only where the house is large enough for direct radio communication to break down between the two clusters. Ignore that possibility for now.)

For larger installations Sonos in fact recommend using the SonosNet mesh, with at least one unit wired. WiFi could struggle in such circumstances. Also if you planned to use a PLAYBAR together with SUB or surrounds then you'd have to use the SonosNet connection method not WiFi.
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If ... you find that your PLAY:1 keeps losing a network connection I think you should contact Sonos Support. Unless it's on the wireless edge it shouldn't drop off the network.

Given that the Play:1 never stopped streaming while the tablet controller couldn't find it, I think it unlikely that the player dropped off the network at all.

Anyway, I bought a bridge and I've got over it.

Bridge its connected to switch by cat5, Play:1 connected by sonosnet (as is it's new twin brother in the lounge 😉 ).

Everything working perfectly so far tonight...

Thanks again for all your hand holding. Hopefully I'll not be bothering you with this any more.

Cheers,

pcal
Ah, good old SonosNet. Thanks for posting an update.
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Ah, good old SonosNet. Thanks for posting an update.

[weep]

New day. Same problem...

This time, during a brief window of connectivity, I set sonosnet to accept connections and hooked my tablet directly to sonosnet completely bypassing my router and switch all together.

Still, the tablet/controller can't find the system that it is connected directly to. Internet access was working at that point so I know the connection was good.

Sometimes, after walking away to calm down, I find it connected when I come back. It is capable of making a connection, so logically there can't be any structural problem that is preventing it from working - it's just being recalcitrant!

I am close to my limit with this system. The build quality is great, and the sound is fantastic, but if I can't control it without tearing my hair out and setting up a completely new system every time I want to use it...
Talk to Sonos Support. In my experience -- and a lot of others' -- they're excellent.
pcal,

Within about 15 minutes after one of these events, submit a diagnostic, note the confirmation number, and follow up with SONOS support. The diagnostic data is comprehensive and networking issues will leave tracks. The fine detail cache scrolls, hence the 15 minute recommendation.
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If you have a PC or Mac or even another device that can be used as a controller its worth giving it a try.
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The solution ended up being less than optimal.

My tablet has a firewall (which was set to allow the sonos controller unrestricted access). The firewall uses a virtual vpn to filter all network connections. Some of the protocols used to control sonos, do not survive passing through a vpn even if they have been permitted to pass.

Unfortunately, the firewall needs to stay - so sonos is now being controlled by an old android phone that has been rebirthed as a remote. Didn't really want another device, but at least it is all working now.

Beware the NoRoot Firewall!

Thanks for all the suggestions...
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The solution ended up being less than optimal.

An accidental experiment led to a better solution...

I found that the Sonos controls to FIND a Sonos network are not passed by the VPN system, but the controls to DRIVE the system once found, pass through fine. So I can disable my vpn firewall briefly to connect to sonosnet, then reinstate it. The system works fine until the controller app closes - potentially days later. The extra phone as a controller has been done away with completely.

The speaker system (which has grown again by another box) still impresses everyone who hears it, and the controller frustration has reduced to only a couple of clicks a week, so everything is good!
Well done pcal, I too had to endure identical hair-tearing frustration with my new Play:1's . Beware the No-Root Firewall indeed!

Really, this issue should be made known to novices right up front. It would save many breakdowns I'm sure.

Your discovery " I found that the Sonos controls to FIND a Sonos network are not passed by the VPN system, but the controls to DRIVE the system once found, pass through fine.", is correct. It helps to implement some kind of reminder, so that you remember to disable the firewall each time you restart the Android Sonos controller app.

The way I did it is to make a "folder" and place shortcuts to three Apps in there. [1. Sonos. 2. No Root Firewall. 3. Fast reboot.] Fast reboot is not always necessary but can hasten the process sometimes. This way, each time you go to open the Sonos App, you see the No Root Firewall app there as well. Works well for forgetful minds like mine anyway! :)

If anyone has a better solution I would be very happy to hear it.

As an aside, I had similar grief a few years back with my Play:5 and the Windows controller... after endless problems with dropouts etc I had to ditch the firewall I was using and revert to the standard Windows one. Haven't had a glitch ever since. There may well have been a rule that could have been implemented, or another workaround, but at the time my hair was turning grey at a great rate of knots so I took the quickest route.

Lesson - keep firewalls front of mind when you are struggling with dropouts and connectivity problems.