OFDM ANI Level 9

  • 1 February 2014
  • 35 replies

Everything works and I shouldnt worry but......

My BT HH2 expired last week and I replaced it with a Netgear D6200 (dual band). After getting everything setup and SONOS working, I thought I would have a quick peek at the matrix and was surprised to see a red box - on my Play1 due to an OFDM ANI level 9.

The noise floor is around -100, and the physical error count is consistently in the 1000 range, and more importantly it works fine. The other 7 sonos components show green and yellow and 1 amber.

The play 1 is positioned in my study , along with the router, the digital phone base , the QNAP. the bridge, a PC witha wireless keyboard and mouse - there is a lot of stuff going on and i have spread them out as far as I can, but its no Tardis in there.

So I can live with a red box on a matrix, as long as the music sounds good which it does, but with the play 1 being 5 feet away from any potential source of interference and still suffering so badly, I wonder whether I can afford to be so complacent. Is this a sign of other conflicts and problems elsewhere - with that level of interference should I be concerned about other non-sonos devices ? - could my router performance be impacted by sonos ?

Maybe I shouldn't worry if it all seems to work, but its a red box and I'm male - its my instinct to fix it

Any thoughts ?

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35 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +14
AFAIK that indicates that the Play:1 struggles with interference.

I would start with moving it outside of that room and see if the ANI level drops, if it does:

Try disconnecting the devices that possibly offending devices, and make sure that your wireless on your router doesn't overlap with the Sonos wireless (e.g, channel 1,6,11 and no turbo/wide/40MHz setting on the 2.4 GHz band).

I would bet my money on the phone or your wireless keyboard/mice.

Also, if your bridge and the Play:1 is in close proximity, you could always wire it directly to the bridge. Or just wire your Play:1 and move your bridge elsewhere. However, that doesn't solve your interference problem 🙂
If the Play:1 only went red with ANI 9 after the introduction of the new router that would clearly suggest a correlation.

A DECT phone on 1.9GHz ought to be well behaved but 2.4GHz wireless keyboard/mouse will quite possibly be using spread-spectrum and throwing a bit of noise around. That said, phyerr figures in the 1000 column are pretty innocuous.

How about any digital electronics within spitting distance of the Play:1? What are the signal levels on the active wireless tunnels radiating from the Play:1?
The 6200 defaults to Auto channel on the 2.4GHz band. Have you set it to one of 1, 6, or 11 and Sonos to another of those?
Userlevel 2
I have had three play:1s and all reported level 9 and red. The first one was faulty, kept cutting out. I assumed it was because of this ani level 9 report. Replaced it and bought another at the same time.

Both work fine, both red and level 9.

I also have 2 play 5s. Both seem fine, but one will randomly show masses of interference on the phyerr page. Lots of numbers in 10000 etc, but mostly in the 5000. It can go for days with not doing this. Still sounds fine though.

I now choose not to look at this data. The data only has value if you are experiencing problems.
Thank you all

Moving it to another room , some 10 feet away dropped to ANI level 0

Moving it back to where it started, its now at ANI level 6.

I have switched off the DECT phone, and disabled the 5G band on the router. I switched off the PC with the wireless keyboard - no change.

Nearby electronics are switched off - an HP wireless all in one printer, an IP wireless surveillance camera - no change.

The router and sonos are on different channels 6, and 11.

Still switched on are the router and the QNAP NAS - about 6 feet and 8 feet respectively - and the sonos bridge.

Looking around the room , I see that there is a wireless PIR movement sensor directly above , about 4 feet above - no direct line of site on the Play 1 , but it connects wirelessly to the ADP supplied control unit.

If I understand the matrix properly, it has 4 active tunnels - the bridge ( i/b 47,53 o/b 59) , a pair of play 3s in the next room ( i/b 34 o/b 36 and i/b 36 o/b 37) and a remote play 5 (i/b 19 o/b 25 )

There are also 3 undefined STP with values ranging from 12 through 23.

By the way, I cannot say the router caused the red - I never checked the christmas present play 1 , until the router blew so it could have always been red.

By the way again, the Netgear performs like lightening compared to the old BT HH2 - there is music playing before I have fully clicked the mouse button.

And by the way again and again, arent the play 1's a thing of beauty. Simply amazing , even when red.
Looking around the room , I see that there is a wireless PIR movement sensor directly above , about 4 feet above - no direct line of site on the Play 1 , but it connects wirelessly to the ADP supplied control unit.
That might be it. If it's operating at 2.4GHz it's possibly using spread-spectrum, which the Play:1 could see as a wash of low level noise.
curiouser and curiouser.

In addition to the previous turn-offs, I have now moved the PIR to another room entirely , I have unplugged any unused power adaptor/transformers in the room - no change.

I brought in a play 3 from another room and put it right next to the play 1 - the OFDM ANI level for the play 3 was 9 . So definitely something in this room is causing an interference The only things left on are the router and the sonos bridge.

The Sonos bridge is green in the matrix, but in the stats there are a lot of physical errors -

10 100 1000 5000 10000 10001+
92927 0 0 66 55 0 0
92988 0 1 113 7 0 0
93048 0 0 71 50 0 0
93109 0 0 2 65 54 0
93169 0 0 0 80 41 0
93230 0 0 2 98 21 0
93290 0 0 0 76 45 0
93351 0 0 0 113 8 0
93411 0 0 0 118 3 0
93472 0 1 75 44 1 0
93532 0 0 111 10 0 0
93593 0 0 82 36 3 0
93653 0 0 74 47 0 0
93714 0 0 75 43 3 0
93774 0 0 49 72 0 0
93835 0 0 47 74 0 0
93895 0 0 37 84 0 0
93956 0 0 64 57 0 0
94016 0 0 55 66 0 0
94077 0 0 54 49 0 0

Could that e related ?
The Sonos bridge is green in the matrix, but in the stats there are a lot of physical errors
There will always be low level physical errors, which are compensated for automatically. Apart from a slight burst between 93109 and 93290 the figures don't look excessive.

I sometimes see ANI levels rise (or Weak signal levels drop) for no fathomable reason. It's the wireless chip working as it should.

If the system has no outward symptoms of misbehaviour I doubt you have anything to worry about.
Userlevel 2
All my play:1s and 1 play:5 is typically 121 in the 5000 column.

My other play:5 seems to go mental at times and has high numbers in the 10000 and 10000+ column. As this one is next to the other, and even it I move it around it still randomly goes mental

I've given up worrying. Music plays, all is good. I've had the stereo setup fail twice it that is only while I'm busily swooping channels...so perhaps nt normal.

Play:1 are always red and ani level 8-9 too.

Guess I just have excessive interference. Shame both my play:5s don't behave the same though...but still work.
Thanks Ratty

I'm not going to waste any more of anyone's time on this - it works fine - its simply curiosity on my part. but I ill remain forever curious as to what electronic horrors are at work in that corner of the room.

Maybe I shouldn't worry if it all seems to work, but its a red box and I'm male - its my instinct to fix it

Any thoughts ?

For somewhat similar reasons, my situation with the first vertical column in the Matrix for the Boost.
Phyerr counts show single digits in 5000 and the rest under 1000.
Noise floors are -105, -108.
The box tips over into orange quite often, when the OFDM ANI level goes to 6. Even when noise floor drops to -115. When the ANI drops to 5 or 4, the box goes to yellow.
All other units in the system tend to almost always be green boxes in the first column.
The Boost is placed next to the WD My Cloud NAS and three feet vertically away from the router.
What is causing the Boost to be different? Could the being next to the WD be a reason?
I looked at this because yesterday night during a party, one zone dropped out of the group and did not come back quickly. I don't remember all I did then to get all zones to play again. I think I stopped all, ungrouped them, reloaded the playlist and regrouped them. It was late into the party hence I don't now remember all the steps! And I have no idea if this is related to the orange box thing for the Boost.

Systematically power down something and check the Matrix.

Rather than interference, perhaps there were lots of bodies at the party. Humans are mostly bags of water and water absorbs 2.4GHz energy very well. Bodies grouping at an inconvenient location could cause this.

The first member of a SONOS Group becomes the "coordinator" for the Group. In your case if the coordinator became isolated by water bags ... .
No change after reboot. The Boost flips back and forth between levels 4 and 6, yellow to orange. Other units are steady in green.

It was a small party, just five water bags, so that can't have been the reason. No bag was anywhere near the Boost!

There were 3-4 bottles of alcohol close to it though, but not in the line of sight to the coordinator unit.
As I've often remarked, ANI level is the canary in the coal mine when it comes to broad spectrum noise from non-WiFi 2.4GHz devices: proprietary wireless mice/keyboards, headphones, cameras, Bluetooth, etc.

An elevated ANI level is an indication that the radio's 'immune system' is at work, and I've had successful operation at level 9, albeit with signal strength in the high 40s or above.
None of those are in the vicinity. There can't be any effect from the WD My Cloud sitting next to the Boost, can there? It doesn't have any wifi in it...
There can't be any effect from the WD My Cloud sitting next to the Boost, can there?
There could. It contains digital electronics, which inevitably leaks HF electromagnetic radiation.
Ahh ok. I will check this out by turning the WD off and seeing what happens to the readouts on the Boost.

If the Boost then drops into the green, is it worth adding some distance even if not convenient to do so? Can reading of 6 and 7 on the Boost affect music play?
The Boost changed to Green right away, with ANI reading of 3. My question above is relevant...
A high ANI level combined with low signal strength could spell trouble. If the WD drive was right next to the BOOST see what difference 0.5m separation makes.
Looks good so far. The 0.5 metre separation is just about manageable, and leaves the Boost in green too.
Hopefully this will improve music play stability beyond the present decent levels.
The system could have been on the edge due to the WD interference. With few extra water bags in the area, the edge was crossed.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Found this old topic when I did a web search for Sonos OFDM ANI level and it hit the nail on the head. Powered down my WD Live Drive and the network matrix shows a much improved connection. Lots of troubleshooting time saved. --- Thanks!

Doesn't say much for WD quality though, my WD is 3 feet from my Play:3 and ran the connection into the red. That is just silly for a wired Ethernet connected hard disk enclosure.
That is just silly for a wired Ethernet connected hard disk enclosure.
The means of communication are, in this case, not relevant. Digital electronics operates at high frequency and can leak RF noise.
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
Looking through the forum for threads on this topic and I am still quite puzzled by what I observing after reading them all:

I have a fairly large setup with 3 pairs of Play1, 2 standalone Play 1, 2 Play 3s and 1 Play 5 spread through the house. When I go and check the OFDM ANI they are all red at 9 and a couple at 8. Most of my units are standing on their own with no electronics around. If they have some, they are running wifi at 5GHz. I even have a 2.4GHz band scanner which comes out pretty clean. I have an older Connect Amp in the system which is the only yellow unit but is in a cabinet full of electronic with a receiver, an apple TV and a router... and it is showing an OFDM weak signal of 7 which is supposedly pretty good. All the noise floors are reporting at -100 to -120 so I have pretty low noise. All the STP forwarding are green or yellow. (yellow for the more distant ones so this makes sense). It makes me wonder if there is something wrong with the OFDM ANI reporting.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Are you using a WiFi scanner that only shows signals with SSIDs or are you using an RF scanner that looks purely at RF energy in the WiFi spectrum?

The WiFi type scanners can't even see SonosNet as it has a hidden SSID so they aren't very useful.

I use a Ubiquity access point and their control software to run RF scans here and things often look very different there than on my tablet's WiFi monitor app. For closer range detection I also have a microwave oven leakage detector that does a fair job of finding 2.4 GHz RF energy at a couple inches range. I wouldn't recommend one but I had it in my tool box for other reasons.