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Thread: Sonos wi-fi signal

  1. #1

    Default Sonos wi-fi signal

    Hi Guys

    I see from some posts that some of you use wi-spy to help you with Sonos installations.

    I have a personal Sonos system and am trying to diagnose some wifi interference problems.

    I've used inSSIDer on a couple of laptops but it doesn't detect the SonosNet mesh network. The only time it does pick up a Sonos wifi signal is when the controller is woken up. But if the controller goes to sleep and music is still left playing inSSIDer doesn't detect the SonosNet signal.

    Firstly, does Wi-Spy detect the SonosNet ?

    If so I was wondering if any of you could kindly confirm the following.

    1. If the whole Sonos system is in a sleep mode (i.e. no music playing) does it still transmit a wifi signal. Is it a constant signal or a pulse every hour or so.
    2. If the Sonos Zoneplayers are wired, do they still transmit a wifi signal. Again, is it constant or a pulse.

    Any help greatly appreciated.

  2. Default

    Thank you for the question, I know someone that might be able to confirm this. I don't have a sonos player myself and only have seen a few captures.

    The Wi-Spy will detect the transmissions in the form of decibel readings, it will not detect or identify "SonosNet." All that means is that you will be able to see where the Sonos is in the spectrum and how often it is transmitting.

    I assume when the Sonos is asleep it may perform a few packet transmissions but it is very unlikely it would transmit anything that would cause issues with anything else.

    I'll see if I can get a response from my friend.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the reply Trent and for your help.

    I look forward to hearing what you find out.

  4. #4

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    Blake here, aka Trent's friend! I have about 12 zone players, 3 controllers, and their ipod dock in my house.

    Sonos is based off of standard 2.4GHz 802.11g (ZP100, ZP80, CR100, BR100) or 2.4GHz 802.11n (ZP90,ZP120,PLAY:3,PLAY:5,CR200) and creates their own mesh network using basically WPA2 PSK. Because they do things slightly out of spec most devices don't detect it other than decibel readings like Trent mentioned. If you are using Cognio for example you will see the devices as STA with their MAC (00:0e I think) in the list, but it is not detected as "SonosNet."

    As to your questions:
    1. It is a constant signal, the devices are always interconnected as long as their is power. Only the CR100 / CR200 controllers join the SonosNet when needed and sleep otherwise.
    2. Wired does not disable wireless, many retailers were finding this out the hard way when they brought in the product to sell. Sonos uses STP to determine if it should use wireless or wired and disables accordingly as to avoid loops on your network.

    Here's some fun links to use when troubleshooting/investigating Sonos products:

    http://<ZONE PLAYER IP>:1400/support/review
    Look at the network matrix to see how things are connected, then click on one of the ZonePlayers in the list and look for /usr/sbin/brctl showstp br0 which will link to the current STP state for that player.

    http://<ZONE PLAYER IP>:1400/status

    Hope that helps answer your questions!

  5. #5

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    Thanks very much for taking the time to reply to answer my queries.

    I'm glad I asked on here as I posted a similar question on the Sonos forums and a moderator there said that the zone players turn their wireless off when not in use except for a beacon signal, and also turn it off when zone players are wired. I had my doubts about this and hence my post on metageek.

    One other question, does Wi-Spy show the wifi signal broadcasted by the Sonos units ?

    Thanks again.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr.phibes View Post
    Thanks very much for taking the time to reply to answer my queries.

    I'm glad I asked on here as I posted a similar question on the Sonos forums and a moderator there said that the zone players turn their wireless off when not in use except for a beacon signal, and also turn it off when zone players are wired. I had my doubts about this and hence my post on metageek.

    One other question, does Wi-Spy show the wifi signal broadcasted by the Sonos units ?

    Thanks again.

    buzz has a tendency to be mistaken on how wireless works, hence his confusion over there. I've stopped posting for the most part on forums cause I got tired of trying to explain how RF works. They all thought that once SonosNet 2.0 was created their ranges would double, ugh, that was fun!

    The last I've heard the wireless is still enabled, even when wired. Ultimately the ZPs will develop the best path to/from each other, which might be wireless.

    You will only see the wifi signal as noise on the graphs, but it should be very minimal. The devices actually behave themselves quite nicely. I've only had them cause issues once, and that was when they were rebroadcasting a chatty multicast device (Linksys IP camera).

    are you having issues with your Sonos system?

  7. #7

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    Thanks Blake for the confirmation.

    Yes, had issues with music dropping out. Only have 2 zone players but they would take it in turn to disappear off the zone list on the controller. I tried hard wiring using homeplugs but still had music stopping. I got so frustrated with it that disconnected the Sonos altogether and purchased a couple of Apple Airport Expresses and started using itunes on a home server. Its working great with the iPad remote app but I do miss the simplicity of the Sonos and since changing to the Apple my wife and kids don't use it as much as they used the Sonos controller. The Apple is good but the Sonos controller was much more intuitive with its 'add to queue, play next, replace queue, etc'. But I'm getting zero dropouts on the Apple setup (it's wired through homeplugs).

    Before totally ditching the Sonos and selling it I thought I should give it another try. I have since wondered if clearing down the router's device list might help and start from scratch incase I had conflicting IP's.

    I was interested to know if I could analyse the wifi signals in my area plus I was interested to know a bit more on SonosNet and hence my original questions.

  8. Default

    Thanks Blake for helping out and I'm glad that you (dr.phibes) were able to get your questions answered.

  9. #9

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    Thanks for asking Blake to help me out Trent - Much appreciated.

  10. #10

    Default Possible problem with Sonos on a WLAN with an AP acting asa bridge

    I have been reading through this post as it covers some of my concerns regarding problems I have been experiencing with my Sonos.

    Brief description of the setup:

    Draytek Vigor 2830n adsl router acting as a DHCP controller, switch, WAP.

    Draytek Vigor 800 access point in AP mode, wired to the router and acting as a bridge to extend the wifi signal into the garden. This has a separate SSID, the same security and password and it uses a different channel than the 2830n.

    7 Sonos zones. Three of which are wired, four of them are wireless. Two Sonos controllers.

    The problem: using a Sonos controller, I can see and operate all 7 Sonos although not I the garden as it is too far from a Sonos for the signal. Therefore to listen to music in the garden zones, I use the Sonos app on my iPad. Using the Sonos app on my iPad I can often see only 5 of the Sonos, one of which is wired to the network via the wired Draytek 800 bridge, the other three are wireless. Oddly, I cannot see the other two Sonos that are wired directly to the main router.

    Using the Fing app on my iPad, I can see all of the devices and their ip's on the network and I can ping them all.

    This problem sometimes seems to occur after I have been in the garden using the Sonos app on my iPad and connected to the garden SSID and then return back into the house. The next time I open the Sonos app I lose the two Sonos from the app.

    I am wondering if this had to do with the fact that the two APs are on different channels? I was told to keep them on separate channels to avoid interference, but if one is only acting as a bridge passing on signals from the one network, perhaps the different channels is more of a hindrance with meshed devices. This kind of makes sense to me as the wired device I see is connected to the bridge AP and the other wireless ones are probably meshing with this wired one, all on the same channel. For a Sonos controller, this does not seem to be a problem but for the Sonos app on the iPad it is.

    Any guidance or insights would be much appreciated.

    Thank you.

    Doug

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