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Satellites disconnect

1993rx7
Tutor

Satellites disconnect

Hi I’ve had a 2 satellite Orbi system since February and for the most part I’ve had a good experience. I first had to force the 2.4g channel to 11 (least crowded) and set my sonos net channel to 6. I’ve enjoyed very high speed, amazing coverage, and great stability.
Then 2.0.0.74 auto updated on my system and my WiFi became unstable and nearly unusable. The only way my system works right now is to have my satellites turned off. I’ve power cycled every component and forced a resync with the satellites. They dutifully connect, glow blue and everything works for a few minutes. Then the satellite stop transferring data to the base and any device connected to a satellite stops working. The light on top of the router doesn’t light red, or change in any way. I made no changes to the location of the satellites.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to regain the previous stability that I enjoyed?
It would also be helpful to see a real-time connection strength between the base and satellite.
Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 1 of 15
st_shaw
Master

Re: Satellites disconnect

Orbi tries to use 40 MHz channels on 2.4 GHz. Unless you have checked 20/40 MHz coexistence, the two will interfere with each other using 6 and 11. So, you'd be better off using channel 1 for Sonos and channel 11 for Orbi, or vice versa.

Message 2 of 15
1993rx7
Tutor

Re: Satellites disconnect

Thanks for the advice, but before Tuesday this week I could stream unique uncompressed streams from Deezer to 6 sonos speakers without dropouts, while the kids were watching YouTube and playing Forza. So although there might be interference it must not have caused enough lost data to be a problem. When the ORBI works it is amazing at how much data it routes without hiccups to 20 plus devices. But when a satellite drops the whole system crumbles. If there was a way to troubleshoot the signal strength, I could at least begin to troubleshoot the issue.
Message 3 of 15
st_shaw
Master

Re: Satellites disconnect

I would try moving the satellites and router closer together to see if that helps. Some firmware updates seem to have reduced the range somewhat, causing people to need to adjust placement of their Orbi.

 

I assume you are connecting only one Sonos device via wire.  If you connect more than one with a wire that can cause issues.

 

 

You should download a program like Acrylic WiFi onto a laptop to measure and plot the signal strength of your satellites and router. This will help assess coverage and placement.  You can also check if there are other access points interfering on the channels you used, which is critical. There is a free Home version and a Pro version for $40.

Message 4 of 15
martyfp
Luminary

Re: Satellites disconnect

It is possible that your 2 satellites have become daisy-chained ?  That feature was added in the latest firmware and enabled by default   You could try disabling the daisy-chain feature in the advanced wireless setup to ensure that the connectivity from the satellite is direct to the router.

 

I second st-shaw's suggestion on Acrylic WiFi .  I use the free version on a laptop and it works really well

Message 5 of 15
martyfp
Luminary

Re: Satellites disconnect

Oh - I am also curious about your Sonos setup.  Do you see much  benefit of running the Sonos over its own dedicated wifi ?   I recently changed mine so that the sonos uses the Orbi wifi and it seems to work just fine apart from the old Sonos controller no longer works but we generally use the iphone app to control it anyway...   again, just curious about your experience.

Message 6 of 15
1993rx7
Tutor

Re: Satellites disconnect

I’ve had multiple configurations of the sonos systems. I do have two connects plugged into Ethernet ports. On is connected back to the base, the other one is plugged into the problem satellite. That connect is far away from the other speakers and doesn’t stream well if not connected through Ethernet. I used to have the WiFi turned off on that Connect, but after a recent sonos update several speakers wouldn’t show up in the app so I turned the WiFi back on. I’ll experiment by unplugging that connect and using the WiFi mapping app. I had previously used an old android tablet with an app for WiFi signal strength.
Message 7 of 15
st_shaw
Master

Re: Satellites disconnect

It’s unlikely your Sonos is operating as you think it is. It’s also very possible the Sonos is contributing to your problems.

 

According to Sonos, as soon as you wire any one of your Sonos devices, the whole system drops off WiFi.  If that’s accurate, then none of you Sonos are on WiFi. There have also been reports of network loops and broadcast storms when wiring two or more Sonos. You currently have a loop between your router, your satellite, and the Sonos wired to your satellite, back to your router over Sonosnet.

 

So, I would recommend you adjust the channels to 1/11 and wire one and only one Sonos, as I wrote above. That’s how my Sonos/Orbi is setup and I have no issues.  Either that or switch to a pure WiFi setup and be sure not to wire any Sonos.

 

Message 8 of 15
martyfp
Luminary

Re: Satellites disconnect


@st_shaw wrote:

 

According to Sonos, as soon as you wire any one of your Sonos devices, the whole system drops off WiFi.  If that’s accurate, then none of you Sonos are on WiFi.


I thought that what happens is that when you plug any of the Sonos boxes into ethernet, then the Sonos system automatically switches to its own dedicated wifi rather than your home wifi.    Normally you would just plug one device in as the "gateway" to your home-network, not sure about what happens when you plug more than one in.

 

 

Message 9 of 15
st_shaw
Master

Re: Satellites disconnect

We are saying the same thing. To be more precise I should have written, “ ... the whole Sonos system drops off Orbi’s WiFi. If that’s accurate, then none of your Sonos devices are on Orbi’s WiFi.” That’s bad because Sonos stops acting as an Orbi WiFi client and becomes an independent AP in the same location as Orbi. The channels must be set to coexist. They also can still interfere if placed too close together. 

 

I’ve never tried wiring more than one Sonos with my Orbi.

 

Message 10 of 15
st_shaw
Master

Re: Satellites disconnect

OK, so I tried connecting more than one Sonos device with a wire to see if that would cause issues.  For months, I have had a single Sonos device (a Playbar) connected to the Orbi router through an attached switch.  Zero issues with Sonos.

 

Yesterday, I also connected a Play5 via wire to the Orbi satellite.  Things ran for almost 24 hours with no apparent issues, then suddenly the WiFi network crashed.  Music stopped streaming, my WiFi laptop could not access any devices on the network nor the Internet.  I cycled the laptop's WiFi and it came back up connected to Orbi but saying "no internet connection."

 

As soon as I removed the cable betwen the Sonos and the Satellite, the network went back to normal, with no need to reboot the Orbi.

 

So, like I wrote above--do not wire more than one Sonos.

Message 11 of 15
1993rx7
Tutor

Re: Satellites disconnect

Here’s my follow up and current resolution.
1) set sonosnet to channel 1 and then disconnected all Sonos speakers from the Ethernet
2) I turned off the satellites, and used the free version of Acrylic to measure the 5ghz signal around my house. It turns out that the signal was very week where the satellites were located. I’m surprised they connected with a blue and not yellow light.
3) I spent an hour trying to find two locations with strong enough 5g, but not too powerful 2.4g. That proved to be extremely challenging. But I did end up finding two locations with the satellites sufficiently separated.
4) I disabled satellite daisy chaining, and I noticed 20/40mhz coexistence was already set.

After 2 days everything seems stable. I’m also not having random loss of my sonos zones. I’ll see how long things stay stable.

More notes: it’s basically impossible to find a sufficiently strong 5ghz signal on a different floor from the master router, which is centrally located on the 2nd floor. My house is shaped like an O on the 1st floor and like an L on the 2nd. The router is located in the angle of the L. One satellite is located at the end of the short leg of the L and the other satellite is about halfway down the long leg. The 2.4ghz signal never drops below -55db in any room, the backyard or front yard.

It would sure be handy if there was a screen in the Orbi software that showed signal strength to each satellite.
Message 12 of 15
st_shaw
Master

Re: Satellites disconnect

@1993rx7  Thank you or posting the follow-up. I'm happy to hear things are stable for you so far.

 

One question.  Did you re-connect one Sonos speaker when you were all done? That wasn't clear to me.

 

The 2.4 signal does carry much farther than the 5. That's why it's very useful in providing whole-home coverage. If you later find that your clients have trouble switching between Orbis (and that causes problems), you could try reducing the 2.4 radio power in Orbi.

 

Yes, a better way to gauge backhaul signal strength would certainly be useful!  WiFi signals fluctuate quite a bit over time, and you need sufficient signal strength at the satellites to overcome periodic dips in strength and avoid connection drops. The Orbi blue ring is just one moment in time, so you may have had only a marginal signal in your prior locations.

 

 

Message 13 of 15
1993rx7
Tutor

Re: Satellites disconnect

I’m following up to my follow up.

1) With regard to Sonos, none are connected via Ethernet, and everything seems to be working very well.

2) With regard to satellites dropping, performance is worse than ever. I spent another hour using acrylic mapping the 5GHz band, ensuring that the signal is above -60db. Now once you do that with 5G, then the 2.4G smashes all over itself.

I think that there is a fundamental flaw with the any mesh system that relies on a 5Ghz backhaul, and that is the 2.4G signal travels better through walls. You can’t get a reliable backhaul connection and not have 2.4G interference.

3) the LED indicators on top of the satellites are worthless. I’ve been standing in front of a satellite that has dropped and there is no color change.

4) Enhancement requests
A) my asus router provided a signal level for connected devices, that would be very useful for troubleshooting.
B) when a satellite disconnects from the master make it drop the connected devices. Part of the frustration of the satellites dropping is that devices connected to them still think they are connected to a viable WiFi source. This seems to be especially problematic for IOS devices.
Message 14 of 15
st_shaw
Master

Re: Satellites disconnect

Yes, Orbi is certainly hindered by the fact that you cannot change channels and power levels on the individual devices and bands.

 

You should still be able to manage the 2.4 overlap by reducing the power on the 2.4GHz band.  Did you try that yet?

Message 15 of 15
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