Dropping Network in Hardwired System.

Dear all, I am in need of your advice please.

I have a superuniti which is connected to a Synology NAS via a cisco switch, the switch has a connection to my internet hub. All hardwired Cat 6 connections, all wires are short at 1.5m long. It has been working fine, then just yesterday evening it has started dropping playback.

iradio works fine, but playback from UPNP Synology NAS and Tidal is halted after 5 or 10 seconds of play. Sometimes it restarts without interaction, sometimes it stops altogether.

I note that during operation the switch port light associated with the superuniti connection goes from green, to amber, to off then cycles back to on and so on. The dropped playback does seem to be linked to the SU switch port light going off, playback usually stops a few seconds after the light goes out.

I have tried plugging the superuniti into a different switch port connection, but I get the same results. The NAS and internet connections hold steady green lights at the switch.

I have tried deleting the iOs app and reinstalling, I have tried using the front plate buttons, but get the same behaviour.

I have had the system for 2 years and I have not changed the system configuration in the last few weeks. Last change 3 weeks ago was from Netgear switch to Cisco (factory reset), which worked fine from the outset.

Any thoughts as to what might be at fault?

Original Post

Is your SU set to DHCP (the default), if not try setting it back to DHCP.

Also try a full system restart.  Turn everything off (and put the iOS device into sleep) then restart in order...

First restart the router and wait for it to do its POST
Then the switch, and wait for that to do its POST
Then the NAS and then the SU

Finally retry the Naim app.

Best of luck, as if this doesn't work your SU may need hospitalisation in Salisbury!

ROOG posted:

iradio works fine, but playback from UPNP Synology NAS and Tidal is halted after 5 or 10 seconds of play. Sometimes it restarts without interaction, sometimes it stops altogether.

 

That sounds like the buffer might be running out on streams with a higher data rate, but the lower res iRadio streams are unaffected. Can you check the buffer via the front panel on the SU to see it it is emptying? (press the i button on the remote)

Of course, a properly functioning network has more than enough bandwidth to handle an audio stream, but maybe there is a hardware fault somewhere, such as a bad Ethernet cable? Can you change these to check that one of them is not defective?

Thank you Chris, I am reading this from work so I shall give the buffer check a go this evening. I will also try a cable swap, as I changed them all a couple of weeks ago (new ones all the same colour  ) and it is possible that a rogue one slipped in.

Interestingly I had a text from my internet service provider a couple of days ago saying that they were working on 'up grading' the network then another a day later saying that they had completed that work. Could a poor internet connection affect playback from my UPNP synology NAS ? 

As I believe is a typical arrangement, both the NAS and the link to the internet share the same switch before connecting to the SU.  

Internet issues should have no effect on you own internal network (LAN) and you should, in theory, be able to run your NAS and streamer without even having an active internet connection. 

My faulty cable suggestion is little more than a guess, but easy enough to eliminate by swapping them out. Good luck!

Thank you chaps,

I shall check my cables by swapping.

I do hope it isn't my switch I've just bought a Cisco, because my old netgear switch was playing up!

I have rung my internet service provider and they say my internet is fine, my neighbours were reporting problems yesterday evening, so the ISP have either fixed it or they are lying to me.

So I have a few more experiments to try before i panic.

Thanks again for your help, fingers crossed.

 

 

It maybe worth checking that you don't have any 'loops' in your network structure (two points/devices that ares connected together by two or more different routes) as that will cause untold problems.

The Network should have a 'tree like' structure (albeit possibly a multi-stem tree) when looked at from any point.

Ah, yes the 2960 does that for some faults: typically cable faults in the cables immediately attached to it and (I believe also) for loops in which it's directly involved

However it also does a lot more diagnostics as well, such as statistical data indicating intermittent problems, which may be of particular use here.

ROOG posted:

I do hope it isn't my switch I've just bought a Cisco, because my old netgear switch was playing up!

I have rung my internet service provider and they say my internet is fine, my neighbours were reporting problems yesterday evening, so the ISP have either fixed it or they are lying to me.

Switches are usually very robust, so I would be surprised if yours was causing this issue (unless a previous user had configured it in some odd way, but I would think it unlikely) so a cable could be a more likely culprit. 

I find ISPs vary in their willingness to investigate reliability issues. It can be hard to get past the call centre bod reading from a script and reach someone who can actually help you. Persistence is often needed. Even then, they will often insist that the fault is in your own network, when you know it isn’t, and charge you £50 for an unnecessary engineer callout before they will do anything useful. 

As previously pointed out, ISP problems shouldn't affect operation of the local area network.

But I agree switches are very robust (and the Cisco Catalyst switches particularly so).
Has it been hardware reset (this should include removing any configured VLANs etc.) ?

Huge posted:

As previously pointed out, ISP problems shouldn't affect operation of the local area network.

....other than that the ISP supplied and configured router is also providing at least one switch port, a DHCP server, WAP etc. in most people’s home network. 

ChrisSU posted:
Huge posted:

As previously pointed out, ISP problems shouldn't affect operation of the local area network.

....other than that the ISP supplied and configured router is also providing at least one switch port, a DHCP server, WAP etc. in most people’s home network. 

But the configuration of those items is the responsibility of, and in the control of the owner of the LAN, not the ISP (unlike the configuration of the Terminal Adapter and the WAN itself).

Incidentally the ISP supplied 'router' is almost certainly providing 3 switch ports:  TA, WAP & Ethernet LAN.

The switch is a Cisco Catalyst C3560-8pc and I believe it to be reset to factory settings. (Worked fine for three weeks out of the box.)

Moving the Superuniti network cable to another port on the switch gives the same effect, Green light, amber, off, Green, etc.

My system only serves the music system and is wired like a star with a connection from the Internet 'router' to the switch, and connections from the switch to the SU, and one each to two separate NAS drives. I will unplug the 2nd NAS as a test.

I will also change out the cable to SU

One thing I noticed last night was that when the light on the switch port linking to the SU goes off the SU identifies the lost of network, then I think it starts trying to reconnect and this all takes a while. I wonder if all of this activity is the reason for stopping playback?   

I will give this all 'a go' this evening 

cheers

It sounds like a faulty cable between SuperUniti and switch to me. It's always worth unplugging and replugging ethernet cables if you hit a problem. Obviously you have done that at the switch end, but do try the SU end and give it a good shove when you put it back in. Also I assume you tried restarting the SU?

Anyway I would buy a cheap new ethernet cable and try it in place of the one from SU to switch.

best

David

One other thing to try - I don't know if it applies to Cisco switches, but there's at least one brand where a cycling light tells you that the switch and NIC in the client can't agree on full or half duplex or  speed so keep cycling round. Try setting the switch port to fixed speed (100MBit) and full duplex (assuming a fully wired ethernet cable) to see if that fixes it.

If not, I'd agree with the other posters who suggest trying a different patch cable.

Thank you all for your advice, I have previously carried out a factory reset, no change.

I swapped out the SU cable and the system behaviour remained unchanged. I tried a different port in the switch, still the same. I noted that the SU buffer filled very quickly, in a blink, and remained full during each track. When the switch lights go out the SU screen blanks and the play back halts without warning of the buffer emptying 

i switched to wifi connection, this seems to work, so if all else fails I can use this.

out of curiosity I plugged the SU network cable back in while running on wifi and the SU continues to work. I did notice after a while that the switch port lights serving the SU turned orange then off, and back on again in a short cycle. The buffer remained full and the SU ran uniterupted. 

All services seem to work ok, so far.

interesting idea re the switch, I will look into configuration of the switch to see if I can force it to 100mb/s, I find the Cisco instructions rather daunting.

any recommendations, before I muck it up? :0(

I am afraid this sounds like a SU issue.

The lamp on the switch going to solid yellow means there is a layer 2 negotiation error  or port fault. If you have tried a different switch port and different cable then it ports to the SU.

If the lamp is flashing it means there is physical negotiation error such as duplex or speed mismatch.... this shouldn’t happen after the link has been setup... if this happens after a connection is established there is a network adapter fault either on the SU, switch or possibly a faulty cable. If you have tried a different switch port on the switch I would suspect the SU.

Just a thought... as you have Wifi setup on the SU, clear the password and and remove the antenna... there may be a bizarre SU fault causing a loop. Really unlikely, but a loop detected by the switch would cause a port shutdown with a solid yellow so as to protect your home network from collapse. Wifi and Ethernet active and bridged would cause a loop. This should not happen on the SU, so even if this clears the issue... get in contact with Naim.

Your latest description, bizarre though it sounds, suggests this or a SU network port interfacs fault might be happening, especially as you tried an alternate patch lead.

of course if you knew how to connect to the management layer on the switch, I could tell you what to type so you could see exactly what is happening on the link from the SU... but if you don’t know how to connect to the switch then this might be a little too involved, but is the main advantage of a managed switch....

all the things mentioned about speed or duplex, not really relevant with the faults you describe.. they only occur at link negotiation time. One has to shut the port down to change, and are set when the port comes up... if there was a mismatch or negotiation failure the port would not come up at all ie go green... or even if it it did become green in some bizarre states ( I have been here in my professional world), the performance would be dire, again the switch management layer would be telling you this on the port interface status... and again would point to a SU fault.

Simon

Hi Simon, thank you for your recent post, i do appreciate all of the help offered by the forum members. 

I took my SU to my dealer today to audition some speakers with it. The dealer connected a network cable and ran tidal for my audition, apart from one brief drop out at the start it seemed to work ok. I didn't delete the wifi password but I did remove the antenna for transport. The SU also ran ok from a USB stick at times during the trial.

back home I optimistically plugged it back into my network, the issue re occurred.

currently working on WiFi connection 

I would like to explore the Cisco from the management layer and I will try to read up on this before bothering you guys, I may be able to get some help from work IT people who are familiar with this Cisco kit, although I suspect a Naim SU I likely to be alien to them.

odd that it should work fine with new switch for a few weeks then start doing this.

Well I don't know what you paid for your Cisco switch, but I'm getting the feeling it wasn't cheap.

My take on the problem is that every home network owner should have a spare switch in his or her cupboard for occasions such as this... and for the grand outlay of just £16.99 for an 8 port gigabit TPLINK switch, in my opinion it's well worth having one around.

Don't be tempted to buy a different manufacturer's device... only TPLINK can be trusted to provide you with a reliable & inexpensive product that can be quickly inserted into your network as a temporary testing device.

You may have guessed that I use these devices permanently, but if your Cisco looks and feels better (i.e more expensive) in your particular environment, then by all means replace the TPLink device with your cherished other manufacturer's offering just as soon as you've established that it's not to blame.

Now, what else could I have bought for sixteen quid?  I'm wondering.  Not a whole lot, I'm thinking, especially & having it delivered next day as well. Oh, I just thought... a spare CAT 6 cable perhaps.

 

PS - Just thought I should mention to Richard Dane (admin/moderator) I have no connection with TPLink, other than being a very satisfied user.

ROOG posted:

Hi Simon, thank you for your recent post, i do appreciate all of the help offered by the forum members. 

I took my SU to my dealer today to audition some speakers with it. The dealer connected a network cable and ran tidal for my audition, apart from one brief drop out at the start it seemed to work ok. I didn't delete the wifi password but I did remove the antenna for transport. The SU also ran ok from a USB stick at times during the trial.

back home I optimistically plugged it back into my network, the issue re occurred.

currently working on WiFi connection 

I would like to explore the Cisco from the management layer and I will try to read up on this before bothering you guys, I may be able to get some help from work IT people who are familiar with this Cisco kit, although I suspect a Naim SU I likely to be alien to them.

odd that it should work fine with new switch for a few weeks then start doing this.

Absolutely not at all odd ROOG... electronic devices fail most often in their early life (and then in their very late life, years later).  That's why manufacturers do 'soak testing' on new products before shipping.

(I think)

ROOG posted:

Hi Simon, thank you for your recent post, i do appreciate all of the help offered by the forum members. 

I took my SU to my dealer today to audition some speakers with it. The dealer connected a network cable and ran tidal for my audition, apart from one brief drop out at the start it seemed to work ok. I didn't delete the wifi password but I did remove the antenna for transport. The SU also ran ok from a USB stick at times during the trial.

back home I optimistically plugged it back into my network, the issue re occurred.

currently working on WiFi connection 

I would like to explore the Cisco from the management layer and I will try to read up on this before bothering you guys, I may be able to get some help from work IT people who are familiar with this Cisco kit, although I suspect a Naim SU I likely to be alien to them.

odd that it should work fine with new switch for a few weeks then start doing this.

Hi, ok if you need help connecting to the switch, let me know, I’ll see if I can help, Cisco provide loads of guides including getting started.. just Google.

The good thing is a managed switch is a powerful device and is a powerful diagnostic tool... so assuming the switch is not faulty.. possible but incredibly unlikely.. then it is telling you something that a basic consumer switch would be oblivious too and would probably therefore mask potential issues on your home network such as poor performance and device discovery etc. Consumer stuff tends to assume everything is working correctly.. which of course is not always the case.

Learn how to set up and gain access to the Priviledge mode on the switch.. and look at the interface status for the specific port.. again Google is your friend.. you will start to see diagnostic info... you might see an error on the log or put up on the screen like Error Disable - Link Flap detected...   this would suggest the switch port, cable or SU network interface controller has gone faulty and unreliable .. so the switch shuts down the port to protect the integrity of your home network.

You have a powerful home network tool now.. so worth a little bit of time on how to use it 

rjstaines posted:

Well I don't know what you paid for your Cisco switch, but I'm getting the feeling it wasn't cheap.

My take on the problem is that every home network owner should have a spare switch in his or her cupboard for occasions such as this... and for the grand outlay of just £16.99 for an 8 port gigabit TPLINK switch, in my opinion it's well worth having one around.

Don't be tempted to buy a different manufacturer's device... only TPLINK can be trusted to provide you with a reliable & inexpensive product that can be quickly inserted into your network as a temporary testing device.

You may have guessed that I use these devices permanently, but if your Cisco looks and feels better (i.e more expensive) in your particular environment, then by all means replace the TPLink device with your cherished other manufacturer's offering just as soon as you've established that it's not to blame.

Now, what else could I have bought for sixteen quid?  I'm wondering.  Not a whole lot, I'm thinking, especially & having it delivered next day as well. Oh, I just thought... a spare CAT 6 cable perhaps.

 

PS - Just thought I should mention to Richard Dane (admin/moderator) I have no connection with TPLink, other than being a very satisfied user.

Hi rjstaines, I agree with your suggestion, swap out the switch would eliminate that variable. When I say 'new switch' I should have said mew to me, the Cisco was a used item chosen to replace my long served net gear switch which was playing up. I can't remember the detail but I wasn't able to access my NAS or play Tidal.

I did think about buying a cheap new switch, but I thought this would be justification the move on to a much acclaimed Cisco! Installing the used Cisco fixed the problem, I didn't consider it any further, my music played and all was good!

three weeks on and I am experincing the symptoms described in my opening post. 

Just as you suggest, I have by my actions tried the switch swap and from the outcome  I fear it isn't looking good for the SU. Still not sure why it worked fine for three weeks though?

Remember if you swap the switch for a consumer one blind, the consumer one may mask the fault issues and lead to unreliability on your home network under the covers... now you have experienced the issue and your professional level device has warned you,  let the switch tell you what is wrong... that is the whole point of a managed switch, they are more than just basic network switches, they are diagnostic tools to help you when exactly this sort of thing happens... which is not so unusual, I suspect some with consumer level equipment might have similar or related issues but are oblivious and just blame the ‘app’ or the ‘network’ when actually it might be neither.. good luck.

Simon

ROOG posted:

The switch is a Cisco Catalyst C3560-8pc and I believe it to be reset to factory settings. (Worked fine for three weeks out of the box.)

Moving the Superuniti network cable to another port on the switch gives the same effect, Green light, amber, off, Green, etc.

My system only serves the music system and is wired like a star with a connection from the Internet 'router' to the switch, and connections from the switch to the SU, and one each to two separate NAS drives. I will unplug the 2nd NAS as a test.

I will also change out the cable to SU

One thing I noticed last night was that when the light on the switch port linking to the SU goes off the SU identifies the lost of network, then I think it starts trying to reconnect and this all takes a while. I wonder if all of this activity is the reason for stopping playback?   

I will give this all 'a go' this evening 

cheers

Hi ROOG, to ask a very silly question, and trying not to add to your frustration, I believe the 3560 series switches offer PoE (Power over Ethernet) to power suitably supported network devices. 

If you have factory reset the switch, I am almost sure PoE defaults to ON and would probably have been enabled in a corporate network if previously used in one and would only manifest issues in a hard wired network , but may be switched off on a port by port basis from the web-based Cisco Device Manager.

Given the difference in behaviour between your home and the dealer is it possible that , if PoE is still enabled, there is something in your home network that doesn’t like PoE ? 

If so, might I suggest disabling PoE on all ports.

Best of luck, and apologies if you’ve already tried this.

KR, J

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Remember if you swap the switch for a consumer one blind, the consumer one may mask the fault issues and lead to unreliability on your home network under the covers... now you have experienced the issue and your professional level device has warned you,  let the switch tell you what is wrong... that is the whole point of a managed switch, they are more than just basic network switches, they are diagnostic tools to help you when exactly this sort of thing happens... which is not so unusual, I suspect some with consumer level equipment might have similar or related issues but are oblivious and just blame the ‘app’ or the ‘network’ when actually it might be neither.. good luck.

Simon

In suggesting a temporary swap from a managed switch to a 'consumer' one, I was assuming, maybe wrongly,  that the user, ROOG, might not be fully at home with a managed device, Simon. 

I'm aware of the benefits a managed switch can bring by way of diagnostic information, but I'm also aware of how confusing they can be to the less initiated like me   

Roger

No worries Roger, i think ROOG said he was going to look into how he can access his network devices and get the diagnostics now he has decided to buy, albeit used, a commercial grade device. Almost certainly an issue or fault has been experienced, now it’s a case of finding out what it is, rather than masking it with a consumer device and seeing random unrelabilities cause issues elsewhere such as discovery, dropouts or performance . This way hopefully ROOG can get his SU replaced under warranty if indeed it’s faulty.

I look at it like being able to drive a car, but also knowing how to open the bonnet and check the oil, and other levels.

Curious to see how this one turns out... 

To the IT illiterate like me this masking of a problem by domestic kit is very confusing, but I promise to down load some Cisco support material and read up on accessing my Cisco. 

In the mean time I thought id try another test, I plugged my SU and NAS network connections directly into my internet router and sure enough it seems to work.

just to follow up on a few ideas floated, I reset the SU and removed the wifi antenna, this did not affect the dropping of the  hardwied network.

I updated the apostrophe on the synology NAS, and changed the music server, thus had no affect on the network issues. 

I changed the switch ports and cables for all devices connected to the switch, no change.

so yes I need to stop faffing about and interrogate the Cisco.

Just one question, then I will do some work, do I need to get a 'console cable' to access the management layer?

thank you for your patience 

I’m a novice here, as can be seen in my posts, but playing with a Cisco myself these days, I have been logging in via WiFi and the Cisco simply connected to router by an Ethernet cable to one of the ports. After initial setup with Ethernet to a standard port as well. 

What are the console ports used for ? 

Claus 

Claus, the serial console ports are used when its not appropriate or practical to set up the switch with the method you describe (standalone 1-1 Ethernet connection to a captive PC)... also the the older devices were only initially configurable via the serial console port. Also by default the error logs are streamed to the serial console port...

BTW have you connected via telnet or SSH via Wifi? That is how you configure the switch and get detailed stats and diagnostics with the show commands in priviledge mode... if you are simply accessing the web server in the switch, you will get a basic view of the status and be able to assign some basic profiles... the real power and info comes from the IOS interface... again plenty on google 

BTW, I suggest the first place to start for diagnostics, you need to be in priviledge mode with the # prompt, then type ‘show log’ and look to see if there are any errors.. possibly with err-disabled in the title. Ignore the UPDOWN lines, as these are normal 

if the port lamp has gone orange, it might have gone into an error disabled state, so type

show interfaces status

and look to see if there err-disabled against your Naim port on your switch, then type 

show interfaces status err-disabled

and you will see the reason of the disable against the port such as ‘err-disable channel-config’

and if indeed it is this then this would suggest the link layers aren’t negotiating properly between the switch and Naim and one can hard set the duplex or speed as a possible solution on the switch, which was suggested early on by a forum member. Let me know how you get on or what the error is.

 

 

 

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