Question

dropout problems with BOOST, ZPs, wired and unwired

  • 29 December 2017
  • 9 replies
  • 192 views

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Hi, I’m occasionally living in a 1,600 sft single floor apartment in an appartment complex. Sonos is in there for 9 years now. Over the last years I spent tons of hours keeping it going. Yet it is increasingly unnerving how often I get dropouts.

I have 3 ZP90 and one ZP120 operating here. A while ago I added a BOOST. All WM0. My last try was to wire the BOOST to the hub after the router setup, at the entrance. One ZP90 at the other end of the apartment, about 10 meters away, is wired too. The other ZP90 and ZP120 are not wired. I had tried zero wire to no avail. The NAS is of course wired.

Network matrix is not bad most of the time, green yellow some orange. Occasionally however I also see red. Then better colors again. Then reds again with noise floor -80 -87 -85 for example.

phyerr many entries in the 5000 column, up to a value of 90, for the ZP90 which is wired and would, as I interpret the network matrix, feed two of the not wired ZPs.

I have no better explanation than this: the WiFi epidemic around here makes it increasingly difficult for Sonos. I could wire one more ZP, but two remaining ones would have to stay unwired.

BTW, I ran channel 1 for a long time, now 11 to avoid one neighbor’s fairly strong WiFi. My own WiFi is on 6 I used WiFi analyzer and could also see the SonosNet lobes.

Also BTW, I stream lossless for convenience, as I keep everything in lossless at my main home, where I have some audiophile equipment also. Typically 50 MB and up to 71 MB for a song on the latest Metallica CD.

Now my three questions to the experts:
a) shall I also wire the one ZP which I could? (it’s a bit of an effort, this is why I did not try yet)
b) shall I add a scond BOOST or ZP for better coverage? (there are two rooms, both with LAN wires, which have no Sonos device in them yet)
c) would you recommend to recode into 256 kbits/sec or something just for the Sonos here? (quite a bit of effort to keep differently coded libraries current)

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9 replies

Userlevel 7
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I would submit diagnostic and post here for Sonos to look at.
Userlevel 7
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When you send in the diagnostic you will get a ref. number, post that here so Sonos can match the topic and the diagnostic.

Wait for the problem to happen and then do your submit for the best chance of having it caught in the logs. Sonos worked out my issues fairly quickly once I did that.

You can also submit a diagnostic and call (might be long queue) in to support or reach them other ways.

https://www.sonos.com/en-us/contact
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Diagnostic number 8297198. Just before I took it, the BOOST entry in the leftmost column was red, after the diagnostic it is yellow. Not sure what the diagnostic caught.
Userlevel 2
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Nicely red BOOST.

Userlevel 7
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How close is the boost to router. Do you have itnas dar awaynas your cord allows.
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Because of the problems I had moved the BOOST from far away at the other end of the appartment to the cabinet where I have the router, the Juniper SSG5, the Ethernet hub and the WiFi AP, the latter connected to a directional antenna pointing away from the cabinet to the end of the appartment. The Ethernet cable between hub and BOOST is probably 1 meter. Seems to have come with the boost if I judge from the color. If you think about noise floor at the BOOST, how low can it go? I thought -10x is good enough.
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I spent many hours since. Before I thought all is due to BOOST to ZP communication, LAN and wireless. The questions about the network matrix as posted do remain. However, there is more.

When Sonos drops out then often it says it no longer finds the NAS. I initially thought that is due to BOOST-ZP communication (network matrix etc.).

Then I made this test: I temporarily hooked up my master USB HDD to the PC and made Sonos play from this source. Almost fine. Very rare short dropouts and self-repairing quickly and continuing, whereas the "Sonos does not find the NAS" error sometimes self-repairs but not quickly (maybe after 10-30 minutes - estimate) and not without user interaction (that is hitting play again) and starting from the beginning of the album instead of continuing where it stopped. In the test, the whole BOOST-ZP setup was unchanged. The audio packets go from the HDD to the PC to the LAN to the BOOST and the one wired ZP.

Interesting effect when that happens and Sonos lost the NAS, Sonos wants to play always the last(!) song of an album's titles, even when I had started with the first one and the loss was say at the third. If I delete say the last 3 from the list, it wants to play the last one remaining. So always the last on the list (I had only one album on the list when I did this). Maybe an expert can get some clue from that.

When Sonos lost the NAS, I still perfectly have NAS access from my PC, file explorer as well as VLC:

Has anyone ever had this kind of trouble? What can Sonos lead to no longer finding the NAS? The BOOST is wired to the NAS via a switch (Allied Telesis AT-FS716L, 100Mbs) as everything else (PC, one of the ZP).

On the side, when I play the music from the NAS on my LAN-connected PC via VLC all is fine. I can play complete albums and nothing bad happens. I see about one TCP packet at length 1514 Bytes per millisec (wireshark) which seems reasonable.

Unfortunately I can not see what goes on between the NAS and the Sonos BOOST, because wireshark can not cross the unmanaged switch. I read Sonos does not use TCP but CFIS/SMB. What difference can that make?

Sure I could get me a second NAS for a later visit and try this a s a last resort. But why swap a working NAS out without knowing the reason?
Userlevel 7
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I would call Sonos for some more troubleshooting
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Sonos losing connection to the NAS is solved. I apologize having posted that part. My daughter’s smartphone was on the same IP address as the NAS. The NAS had a static one, unchanged for a long time. Her phone is said to be on DHCP. Why she received and got stuck with that conflicting address is not clear. But this was it. I discovered it when wireshark showed an ARP packet with “duplicate address” notification. This also explains why I sometimes could not reliably ping the NAS. It also explains other erratic behavior. Her phone may have been on or off or in or out. I have now placed the NAS with a static IP outside the DHCP pool of the Juniper.

BTW, the effects of trying to play the last title on the list (when losing connection) I have seen on another thread also. Strange, but no longer of interest here.

What I still need to investigate are the more or less occasional dropouts, the constantly and often radically changing quality in the network matrix and why Sonos seems not to use the best path.

I just ordered a network aggregation tap to monitor what goes from and to the NAS for a future visit and investigation. With that I can go in between and am no longer shielded from the interesting things by the Ethernet switch.

The questions about where to place the BOOST, wired (as now) or unwired, and whether I should try a second BOOST are still open.