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Speakers keep appearing and disappearing in a two office setup.

  • 5 December 2016
  • 4 replies
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Hi everyone, I have a customer for which I manage the IT. The customer has two offices with multiple Play:3 and Play:5s each. The network structure of the two offices changed recently. Before, it was two separated networks. The speakers in each network were identified correctly by the sonos app and were grouped together. Recently, we connected both offices using a wired bridge. So now we have one big network from a layer 3 point of view. Unfortunately, for some reason, the speakers haven't taken well to that. When opening the app, either one or the other group (office 1 or office 2) show up. Sometimes speakers are even missing from groups. It is a super weird error pattern. I already tried restarting the speakers and reinstalling the sonos app. Neither fixed the problem, however. In each office, one speaker is connected via ethernet and the rest uses wifi to connect.
Any idea on how to debug and/or fix this is greatly appreciated.
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Best answer by ratty 7 December 2016, 11:43

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4 replies

A few questions:

Were the two Sonos installations (office 1 and office 2) ever set up as a common system, i.e. sharing the same Sonos 'household iD'? If they have differing IDs, but a controller has been associated with both, it will be pot luck which system/household it finds when the controller starts. One could imagine that a mobile controller might have been moved between office 1 and office 2 while they were different subnets and added to each system/household separately.

Now that the two offices are bridged, where is the DHCP server? And how far apart are they, i.e. within wireless range?
No, the two installations used to be independent. How can I find out the household id? But that sounds like a reasonable explanation. Would that be fixed by resetting all systems and setting up both offices as one installation?
Just for my understanting: Is a controller a physical thing, or is one of the speakers 'elected' as a controller during setup?

Wireless range shouldn't be a problem, about 10m is the furthest distance between two speakers. Also, there's noting between the speakers but thin air.
You'll need to reset just one of the systems. For the sake of argument let's make it Office 2's. The factory reset procedure can be found here. You can then add the units to the Office 1 system.

These days a 'controller' is the Sonos app (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS). Strictly speaking it also includes the long-discontinued dedicated CR100/200 hardware controllers.

After resetting the Office 2 units -- but before adding them again -- I suggest you reset all the controllers as well. This is just an option in Advanced Settings or Help, depending on the operating system platform. Then start a controller and 'add it to an existing system'. It should find Office 1's units automatically. (If it asks you to press buttons on a nearby unit, there's still a forgotten Office 2 device somewhere which has escaped the reset procedure.)

Once you have a controller connected, add Office 2's newly reset units one at a time. After that's done, you can connect any remaining controllers via 'add to an existing system' as before.
Perfect, that did fix it. Thanks a lot!