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Author Topic: Luminair latency last night  (Read 13349 times)

Debbie Dunkley

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Luminair latency last night
« on: January 25, 2015, 10:52:18 am »

I am sure this has come up before but I couldn't find a thread on the subject. I have been running Luminair with my iPad, enttec art net dongle and router very successfully till last night.
I set everything up as usual, and from FOH I did a quick run through of my programs but I noticed the latency was easily up to 6 or 7 seconds!!! It was crazy…. I have had slight latency before - easy to hide - but this was extreme.
I moved the router and walked closer and closer to it till the latency had gone.
I ended up with my iPad DIRECTLY ON TOP OF THE ROUTER - WHAT???
I simply could not get it to function unless my iPad was literally sitting on my router.
Hubby ran sound and I had to sit stage side to do lights which wasn't a problem but it is hardly the point.
I did notice a few more available networks at the venue on my iPad when I connected to my router but I can't see this making enough difference to reduce down my available distance to zero.
I keep my router and art net dongle secured in a case both powered up to a small extension cord in the case and all I have to do is open up the case, plug in the mains, connect my DMX cable and thats it. So I have a nice simple plug and play system for my lights but I don't know enough about the router, wifi side of things so I was hoping someone could help me avoid this happening again.
Because the way the program is designed, the system continues to work if the iPad is disconnected, so maybe although the lights stayed on, it was constantly disconnecting???
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Jano Svitok

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Re: Luminair latency last night
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2015, 11:00:58 am »

Hi,

few ideas:

- position of the antenna - you need to have as few obstructions in line of sight between you (ipad) and the antenna as possible. I think you know this from wireless microphones. it's the same -- human bodies, metal objects, walls, etc. It's best to put the antenna somewhere up.

- channel - in the 2.4 GHz band there are 13 (maybe 11, depends on country) partially overlapping channels (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels). Choose one that is least crowded. Use wifi scanner app to see which channels are crowded. Take signal strength in account. For android I use http://a.farproc.com/wifi-analyzer
Do the scan before and during the event (so that if you see that the situation dramatically changed, you can take some precautions). Do a scan on the stage and at FOH since the situation may be different if they are distant enough.

- router security: hide the router SSID so that you avoid all smartphones in the venue trying to connect to your router which eats up CPU on the router (and also bandwidth).

- you may prefer 5 GHz router since it's more expensive thus less people have it (so far...)


- another possible cause: router CPU was maxed. In this case router restart may help, and perhaps check if newer firmware doesn't fix something related.

Disclaimer: I only started to use wifi for lights, so this is more or less theory. I can't tell you how much stations is too much, what signal strenght is enough, etc.
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John L Nobile

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Re: Luminair latency last night
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2015, 11:13:38 am »

The first thing to try is restart the router and iPad. You didn't say that you tried that. You also didn't mention what router that you are using. I find DLink routers need to be restarted a lot.

I know it sounds like a copout to tell people to fix problems by restarting but I've had an IT day job for a few years now and restarting things is always the first thing I do now. It fixes a lot of problems.
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Tom Bourke

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Re: Luminair latency last night
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2015, 01:00:34 pm »

If you do a Google search on apple wifi problems you will find a significant number of problems that can happen with an update or even at random.  As far as I can tell there are about a dozen various hardware or software problems that can happen and each may or may not have a fix.  These are not user error.  These are real bugs in the network stack that apple will not usually admit to.  I think they can get away with it because less than 5% of users run into these problems.

Solutions include doing a network reset in the settings menu, a couple of different restart procedures where you hold one or both of the buttons for various times.  There are also settings related to security type, passwords, MAC address filtering and other security features you may need to change on the router.

Spend some quality time with google and see if any of the problems fit your situation.  Include your router type in some of the searches.  I have on ipod touch that will not connect to some routers.  I have gone so far as to do a full firmware and OS replacement and no joy.  However my problem is different from your problem.  I just happen to find all these problems and fixes while trying to solve mine.
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Robert Lofgren

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Re: Luminair latency last night
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2015, 01:18:55 pm »

Do not hide the ssid. In venues with hundreds of wifi clients this will cause performance degredation.
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Luminair latency last night
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2015, 03:37:59 pm »

Thank you for your suggestions.

Jano: …..line of sight regarding antenna. I could stand right next to it less than 3 feet away and it still did not work without latency. That is why I had to literally - and I mean literally - stand the iPad on top of the router. Only then did it work and it worked flawlessly. This is what seemed a little ridiculous to me.
The channel scan thing. I have never done one - do not really know how even though some good folks here have told me this regarding my iems. I have NEVER been close to having any problems so I have not been scanning for channels. I probably need some guidance as to how.
Hiding the SSID - again not sure how to.
The router I use for my QU16 is dual band Cisco (Linksys) - which has been excellent from day 1 - and it even disconnected 3 or 4 times same night. However, this little router I use for lights is an old Linksys  I already owned from years back and I figured I could  put it to good use for my lights. It is only 2.4Ghz so maybe time for an upgrade there. It has been working great till now at different venues similar to this one.

John: Sorry I should have mentioned that I restarted everything more than once. I always do if I encounter problems with wifi so I suppose I didn't think to mention it.

Tom: I suppose I know enough when it comes to wifi sound and wifi lights to get things working and running nicely but I really do not know much about the whole wifi, router, security type, address thing. I get very intimidated by it all so I suppose I have chosen to ignore what I do not know because I have not had any issues till now.

Robert: Unsure as to how to hide it anyway  ???

Bear in mind, yesterday I tried the same setup at home and it worked flawlessly so everything is still communicating as it should. It was obviously something related to the venue, crowded wifi whatever but it still seems really weird to me that I could place the iPad 12 inches from the router and it did not work properly - yet placed on top of the router - 100% function.

I wish I'd had the time to switch out the routers to see if the 5Ghz router I use for mu QU16 would have worked but it wasn't an option.
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Tommy Peel

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Re: Luminair latency last night
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2015, 04:56:31 pm »

Debbie have you tried running lights and sound from the same router? I would think a dual band router would have the bandwidth to handle both. That would also mean one less WiFi network clogging the airwaves.
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Luminair latency last night
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2015, 05:13:52 pm »

Debbie have you tried running lights and sound from the same router? I would think a dual band router would have the bandwidth to handle both. That would also mean one less WiFi network clogging the airwaves.

Good idea Tom…….Ironically that is what I would have done in the first place but I remember reading an article back when I first set up the wifi lights suggesting it would be better to keep the 2 separated. Cant remember what reason was given and I never questioned this because I had both routers at that time anyway so no extra expense.
But I could definitely at least try the QU16 router next gig and see how I get on. Thanks for the suggestion….
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Tommy Peel

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Re: Luminair latency last night
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2015, 05:34:26 pm »

Good idea Tom…….Ironically that is what I would have done in the first place but I remember reading an article back when I first set up the wifi lights suggesting it would be better to keep the 2 separated. Cant remember what reason was given and I never questioned this because I had both routers at that time anyway so no extra expense.
But I could definitely at least try the QU16 router next gig and see how I get on. Thanks for the suggestion….

Maybe it'll work; no guarantees though, I'm not an expert. Another thing, you might check the firmware on the routers; the one where I work used to require reboots every couple of weeks but after upgrading to the newest firmware I almost never have to reboot it. That said I wouldn't mess with the main one if it's working well; if it isn't broke......
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Jerome Malsack

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Re: Luminair latency last night
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2015, 06:01:35 pm »

One thing that may help is using Inssider

http://www.inssider.com/downloads/

This will show you the various wifi's that are at the venue and the signal strengths.  The channels 1 to 13 that were in use and then you can compare with your show wifi settings. 
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Re: Luminair latency last night
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2015, 06:01:35 pm »


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