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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 04:09 AM
yakboy yakboy is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 64
Default Sonos,Wireless networks & thick walls

I am planning to install a sonos system when we build an extension to our 250 year old cottage. Hence getting things set up now regarding ceiling speakers etc. before we start.

I intend to have the NAS & first zone player in the old part of the house. Only trouble is that the house has walls that are about 75cm thick and I dont think a wireless network would cope with this.

Does each zone player amplify the network signal as I intend to have a zone player in the room below the room with the nas (we have very slim ceilings as we have exposed beams) and then various others in the new part of the house.

I would be grateful for any advice and peoples experiences. I have heard that you can get wireless amplifiers which send signals via the ring main..is this true and would it help?
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 04:56 AM
buzz buzz is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: US
Posts: 15,465


The ZonePlayers don't amplify the signal in the traditional sense. (simply making the signal stronger) Each ZonePlayer is capable of relaying the signal to any other ZonePlayers within range. A packet of information will hop from ZonePlayer to ZonePlayer until it reaches its destination.

In addition, each ZonePlayer will provide a wireless path for any handheld controllers within range. The controllers will "associate" with the best ZonePlayer signal. If you walk around or conditions change (causing the signal to fade), the controller will shop around for a better deal.

Until a recent move, I had a SONOS system installed in an 1820's era house and it worked fine.

I suggest that you make a point of wiring all of your ZonePlayers -- especially now that you are in construction mode. While I could operate my system in wireless mode, the neighbor's 2.4GHz cordless phone would cause trouble from time to time.

We installed airconditioning in the house before SONOS was available. I had planned to install the usual whole house audio/video and ran speaker wire to most rooms. Fortunately, I also ran Cat-5e everywhere the walls were open. When SONOS became available, I RIP'd (Retire In Place) most of the speaker wire and used the Cat-5 for the ZonePlayers.
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 05:10 AM
Dave_N Dave_N is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: London, England
Posts: 14


I can't comment specifically on using Sonos in an old house with thick walls (mine is used in an Edwardian house in London with normal walls), but I can outline my exerience in setting-up a G+ MIMO based network in our 500 year old cottage with similarly thick walls.

Basically it does work, although the signal is degraded somewhat towards either end of the cottage (which is long and narrow) due to the intervention of a number of the aforementioned walls. Upstairs (the router is downstairs) the signal is generally strong, as the flooring here is typical of many such properties in being a pretty flimsy affair with the exception of the beams (many such properties didn't even have an upper floor originally).

If we compare the router technology with that used by Sonos, the G+ MIMO router does have a slight advantage if used with similarly specified receivers (I was actually using the built-in wireless in a Laptop, so this was of little benefit in my case), but the Sonos has possibly a far greater advantage in using a 'Mesh' network configuration, which allows adjacent Sonos equipment (Zone Player or Controller) to 'enhance' the strength of the network as it is built.

Also, you should bear in mind that any openings in your internal walls (such as for doors etc.) provide a convenient 'weak point' in the wall for signals to get through, so if you select the position of your Zone Players carefully you should be able to build a stronger network by guiding your signal mostly through these apertures rather than through the bulk of the walls.

With my Sonos network, I found the greatest influence on signal strength to be nearby metal objects rather than walls - I had to temporarily pull one of my ZP100s out of the AV equipment rack it was in to lock-on to the rest of the network.

Hope this helps.
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 05:53 AM
yungduga yungduga is offline
Digital Expert
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 94
Default Install Conduit on New Construction


Wire a ZonePlayer to your network when possible. Use wireless connectivity where network wiring is not available or is impractical to add. That way you'll have the most robust connectivity of your ZonePlayers to your music and be least susceptible to interference from other sources.

When my 2 story house was being built in 1994, the cabling standards for home networks was pretty hazy. I knew that whatever cabling I installed then would become outdated in the future so I decided to install 1" plastic conduit runs from my basement to wall boxes in many of the rooms. That way I could later pull whatever cabling came along. I've since pulled cat5e cable from my basement where my cable modem, routers, switch, NAS, & UPS are located to the bedrooms, gameroom, and library/computer room. I didn't run conduit to my attached garage, kitchen, bathrooms, or sunroom because I didn't think I'd ever need/want network connectivity in those rooms. My ZonePlayers that are in rooms with conduit runs are all hardwired while the ones in the attached garage and sunroom are wireless.

Putting in conduit is a little more expensive but it allows you to change your cabling to whatever becomes the next cabling standard (cat6, optical, etc.).
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Old Sep 13th, 2006, 06:12 AM
ianS ianS is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 3

I too live in a old house with thick walls (ranging from 1 to 3ft depending on chimneys) and I have to say the main problem is that the zone controller can only see the zone player when its' in the same room.
This won't be a problem for most peoples setups but I have flush mounted ceiling speakers with the zone player located in a different room. Bit of a pain as I have to go in to the next room to change tracks etc.
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