Do I need a new router or a switch?


#1

For the last few months I’ve had serious problems with dropouts on standard and high res material. There have also been many instances where I get no sound at all; JR appears to play for 5-7 seconds and then it goes back to the beginning of the track - over and over. Sometimes rebooting JR solves the problem, sometimes I have have to do that plus reboot the PWD.



My system: JR19 running on wireless laptop (1.5 yrs old); DSL modem into D-Link gigabit router (~2 yrs old); connected to the router is the PWD w/Bridge, Synology NAS, and TV. I’m the only one using the system and far from a power user. The NAS is mostly for music and occasional work file backups. The entire system is in one room, with my laptop about 15ft from the router.



Dave P. at PSA helped me to set up a static IP for the PWD and that helped minimally. Next he helped me do a wireless speed test and determined that was not a bottleneck. He then had me connect my laptop directly to the router and I STILL got just as many dropouts.



Do I need to junk this router and get something higher quality/more powerful, get a switch, both?



Thanks,

Gary


#2

I feel a 10/100 switch works better than a 100/1000 switch.


#3

I would suggest trying minim server installed on your NAS. At least you will then know if it is a server software issue. Minim is the most stable.


#4

In most cases the dropouts are caused by a slow or overloaded disk. Or disks connected via USB. Next reason is busy operating system (e.g antivirus scans). Then flaky WiFi (wire connections are always preferred).


#5

@Alekz

My NAS is connected by a short ethernet cable, it is at about 50% of capacity and is only 3 yrs old. I’m very careful to keep my system clean of viruses and spyware (daily scans, two types of software I’ve been using for a few years) and I never run scans - or anything else power hunger - while playing music. WiFi signal quality seems to have been ruled out by Dave P.'s test. My laptop is only 15ft from the router, no obstructions, and the signal meter always reads 5 bars.



@stereophilus

I’m not anxious to change or add software. I’m used to JR and it fits my needs well. There’s no reason why this setup shouldn’t work. It’s a plain vanilla as it gets.



Anyone else have any suggestions?


#6

If the laptop is in the same room as the everything else why not try hardwiring to the router to see if that helps. Other than that it would seem you have some type of network conflict… A new router could help, you certainly don’t need a switch since you have so little connected to the router.



Another thing to try is to do a clean install of J.river… if it was working ok maybe it got corrupted…


#7

Maybe a silly suggestion but why not connect the laptop to the switch (with a long cable to avoid any RF interference effects on the PWD), rather than the router?

I get no dropouts playing up to 24/192 audio from a Synology NAS (DS 412+). In my network only the modem and the switch are connected to the router - everything else goes via the switch. I’ve also disabled all wireless transmissions except that from the router.

Incidentally I find no difference in performance between using MinimServer (running on the NAS) and JRiver running on my Mac mini.


#8

The TSP Cat.5 cable is spec’ed to 300ft, so I would not think your distance matters.

Check that it is a switch and not a hub you are using.

A hub does not route traffic in a destined way so it works slower than a switch.


#9

@erikm

As mentioned in my original post I still got dropouts with hard wiring my laptop to the router. A router replacement is looking more likely…



@davidl

I really don’t want long cables running across the middle of my living room.



@Alekz’s comments about performance prompted me to investigate further. Synology has a resource monitor for CPU, memory and network flow. On high and std res files CPU was <5% and memory usage was 15-25%. Network flow (KB/s) blips up to ~2000 for 1-2 mins while changing tracks and for initial play, then it barely registers - for std & high res. Dropouts showed very small blips up, but I did notice one big down blip for a dropout early in a high res track; not sure how to interpret this.



On my laptop I ran the Win 7 performance monitor for about 20 mins. Processor was at +/-30% with only Firefox & JR running. The disk was at ~1%, network at ~3%, memory at ~55%. I’m no expert, but there appear to be no obvious red flags here.



Any thoughts?


#10

@frode

All I have is a D-Link router.


#11

FWIW I just upgraded my router to the new Netgear R7000 Nighthawk… I had previously been using a D-Link Dir 655 gigabit and N speed router… surprising I did notice an improvement in Lan speeds, and of course my wifi improved dramatically…I’d try a router… and a fresh install of j.River but it does sound like a router issue…at least that’s a good place to start…



The other thing is, Was everything working OK before? Did you change anything and then notice this issue, or did it creep up slowly and one day it was just Fubar?



And again I’d try rebuilding everything from scratch… I’d delete J.River and do a fresh install. I’d then power down the whole network and reboot from the beginning modem>router>Nas>Laptop>Pwd if this doesn’t get it I’d get a new router…



Oh one other thing try changing the channel that your wifi is broadcasting on…


#12

Sorry I did not read the entire post.



Al


#13

Oh one other thing try changing the channel that your wifi is broadcasting on...

I was also thinking about this.
Maybe your neighbour(s) is jamming your channel with a stronger sender.
This is if using wifi, but I got the impression that everything is wired in this case?



#14

Can any of your devices show network statistics? For example, network (interface) errors?


#15
Sorry I did not read the entire post.

Al

OK, and?

#16

@erikm

The router you just tossed is exactly the one I have; it was a cheapy as a recall. I’ve been thinking about the Linksys WRT1900AC. Seems like it’s got significantly more power. Not cheap at $250 at Best Buy, but worth it if solves my problem. I’ll probably pull the trigger this weekend.



Until about 6 months ago everything was working better. I never got dropouts on std res and high res was often but not always a problem. I went away for 5 weeks (no one home) and when I came back the sh*t hit the fan. Nothing was changed afaik.



After the router I will try the fresh install of JR19.



@frode

Closest neighbors - a few houses - are 100m away. I’m in a very low density area.



@Alekz

Maybe, but I don’t know how to do that.


#17

Damn that Linksys looks sweet!


#18
Damn that Linksys looks sweet!

Agreed.
Masculine look tuned towards the male buyers....


#19

So what finally happened?

I kept my old router, ditched the Bridge for $400 to someone in Taiwan and got a Sonore Rendu. So far I’m very pleased. No more dropouts on standard res material and only very occasionally on high res. The Rendu consistently comes up in JRiver and no unplayable tracks. I’d say 90-95% of problems solved. It looks like I’m still going to be getting a new router, but the situation’s pretty tolerable now until I get around to it.

I’ve finally - reluctantly - come to the conclusion many others did long ago: the Bridge is a fundamentally flawed product. Don’t think I’ll be too quick to jump into a Bridge II. I don’t see what advantages it could offer over the Rendu, besides one less box in my rack. The Rendu gives me flexibility to change to any brand of DAC, though I have my sights set on a DirectStream kit.

Thanks for all your assistance.

Gary