Musiccast & WiFi Extender Issue

Strat202

Member
Hi Everyone,

I've had a search through the forum and can't find a similar thread so here we go.

The problem:
One musiccast speaker (WX-021) connected wirelessly to a TP-Link AV600 immediately fails after set up. I can set it up perfectly happily via the musiccast app, but soon after set up the speaker becomes unusable. The IP address the speaker claims to have after set up is not accessible from a laptop browser and the app returns a 'device not found' error.

My thoughts:
I believe the problem is that the AV600 and the Musiccast speaker don't play nicely as the AV600 doesn't seem to communicate client IP addresses to my Sky Hub (see observations below).

My question:
Is my belief above correct? If so, is there any solution?

The network set up:
WX-021 > AV600 > Powerline > Netgear Switch > Sky Hub > Internet

As I mentioned, the speaker in question is wirelessly connected to a TP-Link AV600. The AV600 is connected via powerline adapter to a network switch which is connected to my Sky Hub.

The AV600 and the Sky Hub share an SSID. This is because using _EXT in the network name breaks Airplay so I can't play music from laptop to a speaker.

The speaker is in a room that does not get signal from the Sky Hub, the only wireless signal it receives is from the AV600.

Observations:
There are two other musiccast devices on my network a WXAD10 wired to the network switch, and a WX-021 connected wirelessly to the Sky Hub. Both show up in the Sky Hub client table.

When connected to WiFi either via the Sky Hub or the AV600 both Musiccast devices are easy to access. This is both via the Musiccast App or via Airplay (on my phone or my laptop). My laptop on the AV600 network can stream music from a NAS (wired to the Switch) to the speaker connected wirelessly to the Sky Hub via Airplay with no issues.

The AV600 also shows up in the Sky Hub client table. However, devices connected to the AV600 do not.

The WX-021 I cannot connect to is visible in the AV600's client table.

Changing the powerline connection so it is plugged directly into the Sky Hub makes no difference.

In a previous setup, I had a purely wireless extender (i.e. no power line connection) with an _EXT SSID. The speaker was visible over the network, but overall performance was poor (sound drop outs etc.) because the wireless extender signal was poor.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
I have no specific recommendations, but here's a couple of comments about data networking in general:

DHCP Lease tables should not be relied on as an indicator that any device is present on a network. DHCP Leases are issued on demand and recorded in the lease table. Each lease has a lifetime (in SOHO kit, typically either 24 hours or forever) and the Lease will persist in the table even if the device it was issued to disappears.

Your router will not be continuously monitoring the devices on the network in order to determine the "presence" of anything - in IT jargon this is know as "stateless operation" (ie networking devices don't need to know the "state" of the network in order to "work" - data is processed packet by packet, one at a time like letters being processed by the postal service.)

Thusly, don't rely on your router DHCP Lease table or (if it does so) any fancy "map" it draws to indicate what's on the network and what's not. Instead, it would be better to do what the IT pros tend to; open up a bunch on CMD windows on Windows machine (or the Mac/Linux equivalent is you swing that way) - preferably on a machine using cabled connections not Wi-Fi - and run some continuous Pings on the devices you are interested in and monitor what happens as you move them around. We can tell you how to continuous ping if you don't know.

Things like HomePlugs don't (in any meaningful way) "communicate IP addresses" with anything else. HomePlugs work below the "IP level" and just communicate data converting to/from Wi-Fi/ethernet/HomePlug format as required (all three have very similar packet formats to facilitate this quickly) irrespective of what the packet "payload" is. IP datagrams are just one thing that can be conveyed as payload - there are thousands of others. Things like ethernet switches, AP's and HomePlugs don't need their own IP addresses in order to "work" - their IP addresses are generally just there to facilitate a way to talk to them for admin and configuration purposes.

That said, I have a TP-Link Wi-Fi Repeater (not powerline) that has some type of MAC proxy server built in and it does some form of client MAC address proxying which means when my devices roam to that Repeater, they get a different IP address from when connected to my router. This is a really weird way to facilitate a Wi-Fi AP which has me scratching my head and thinking "why on earth have they done it this way?" It would never occur to me to check that it didn't work this way before buying because it's not how one would expect a Wi-Fi AP to work.

If your TP-Link is doing something similar, it might be the root of your problem. If you cite the exact model number, maybe we can check out it's datasheet.

The _EXT in Wi-Fi SSID names is of no significance and has no bearing on what the router SSID is. If you want to have router and extender to have different SSID's and you have devices that don't like the _EXT (I'd guess it's the underscore they don't like) then just pick a different name. They can literally be anything - no correspondence is required.

The only time SSID name and passphrase "matter" is if you want to avail the ability for client devices to automatically roam between the two, in which case SSID name and passphrase must be identical.
 
Last edited:

Strat202

Member
Your roaming point got me thinking - this morning I tried moving the speaker into a room in range of the Sky Box, setting it up, and moving it back. So far so good, it is able to play music from my NAS and I can connect to it from my laptop via airplay.

No idea what that means in terms of underlying causes, but it works (for now) so I'm happy!

EDIT: Red herring potentially, but the speaker is now accessible from my laptop via the IP address it claims to have and that same IP is visible in the DHCP table for my Sky Hub 🤷‍♂️
 

The latest video from AVForums

Movies Podcast: Star Trek in 4K. Is the new boxset worth it?
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom