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It Took MONTHS to Solve This WiFi Problem… but I DID!

James
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Try FreshBooks free, for 30 days, no credit card required at https://www.freshbooks.com/linus Learn more about Seasonic Power Supplies at https://www.seasonic.com My family has been hounding me to figure out an audio issue that's ruining our movie nights. Problem is, it's really a Wi-Fi issue, and diagnosing it - even with cool Wi-Spy tools from MetaGeek - could be quite the rabbithole...

 

Educational Materials: https://www.digikey.ca/en/articles/learn-the-fundamentals-of-software-defined-radio

 

 

 

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Hey real quick, at 6:05 when you guys mention SDR's, might wanna put a disclaimer that the RTL-SDR/RTL2832U series can only get to a max of 1.7Ghz or so without a downconverter. It IS model dependent.

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44 minutes ago, atliss said:

Hey real quick, at 6:05 when you guys mention SDR's, might wanna put a disclaimer that the RTL-SDR/RTL2832U series can only get to a max of 1.7Ghz or so without a downconverter. It IS model dependent.

Aye, I wish there was an affordable way to do this. I see you can get 6GHz spectrum analysers on AliExpress. Ekahau make a USB dongle that does this too, seems like basically the same as the MetaGeek one but about 1/4th the price.

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Linus could just you know ... install wired speakers in the family room.   No need to nuke a whole house full of smart switches. 

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If you're thinking about swapping out switches, might be worth reconsidering Lutron Caseta with their new Diva/Claro switches, which might address the (bad) buttons on the original switches. AND they've got their own, proprietary chunk of spectrum. I've got the old ones too with the garbage buttons, but at least they have been bulletproof, functionality wise, would be curious to know the LTT opinion on the new ones.

lutron-caseta-diva-dimmer-1-600x770.jpeg

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8 minutes ago, seanondemand said:

If you're thinking about swapping out switches, might be worth reconsidering Lutron Caseta with their new Diva/Claro switches, which might address the (bad) buttons on the original switches. AND they've got their own, proprietary chunk of spectrum. I've got the old ones too with the garbage buttons, but at least they have been bulletproof, functionality wise, would be curious to know the LTT opinion on the new ones.

Linus has stated that he doesn't want to use hubs/proprietary stuff for his smart home stuff.

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7 minutes ago, Ultraforce said:

Linus has stated that he doesn't want to use hubs/proprietary stuff for his smart home stuff.

Lutron is a bit of an interesting option though in that they actually own their own chunk of wireless spectrum that's pretty much silent, so even though you've got to use their own hub, which is annoying, interference is nearly impossible. And it's pretty easy to hook it into Homebridge/Homeassistant. Might be worth the tradeoff in an rf environment where 2.4/5ghz are as busy as they are in Linus' house.

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As twomad would say. "it's brokie, pls nerf daddy linus" 5 star uber

Also there will be so much crap around the recently released wifi 7 devices, so I hope for a "BS things they say" video in 2023 😮

Edited by Quackers101
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3 hours ago, Tock said:

How does ZWave with ~900 Mhz interfere with the 5 GHz spectrum? I would also replace the Audio gear because its the root problem...

100% this

Even zigbee devices are only in the 2.4GHz range

 

Edit:

Realized 900MHz does go into 5.4GHz pretty nicely so it could possibly cause issues.

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2 hours ago, Tock said:

How does ZWave with ~900 Mhz interfere with the 5 GHz spectrum? I would also replace the Audio gear because its the root problem...

I agree, this seems weird.
If I recall correctly, Linus uses these switches: https://byjasco.com/ge-z-wave-plus-smart-motion-switch

I looked up the FCC-ID: https://fcc.report/FCC-ID/U2ZZW4006 they don't seem to be developed by Jasco / GE, but by some chinese manufacturer ("Sheenway Asia Ltd.")

Then I took a look at the FCC test report https://fcc.report/FCC-ID/U2ZZW4006/2943598.pdf (document title begins with "Microsoft Word" lol): There does not seem to be significant emission in the 5GHz spectrum. BUT:

  • I'm not an RF engineer
  • I don't know, how precise the measurement is / has to be for FCC standards, especially since the device's primary operating frequence is on a different part of the frequency spectrum
  • some youtube comment mentioned that the motion sensing happend in the 5GHz range. I don't know if this is true, since there is no mention of usage of this frequency anywhere. Isn't motion sensing normally done via infrared or maybe ultra sonic?
    • If that were the case: why didn't it show up in the test report? Was this feature disabled during measurements?

Either way, independent RF testing would be a really interesting follow up.

 

Also would love to hear from someone who knows more about this.

 

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10 minutes ago, yayIHaveAnUserName said:
  • some youtube comment mentioned that the motion sensing happend in the 5GHz range. I don't know if this is true, since there is no mention of usage of this frequency anywhere. Isn't motion sensing normally done via infrared or maybe ultra sonic?
    • If that were the case: why didn't it show up in the test report? Was this feature disabled during measurements?

You got wifi sense and other stuff that uses wifi as motion detection, but should be wifi 7 or maybe 6E devices can use it too? (if able to use it and might be further away before that gets used more). 6GHz to open all the range but not in the EU for wifi 7, yay and hope to open up mr wide 🙂
Would assume he picked up noise from other things, although maybe some of the signals he got was a bit obvious.

Also I do wonder with the speakers, how much noise do they with each other + everything else, if moving them a bit could improve some of it.

 

Something they wanted with wifi 7, so one can use less needed IoT devices on 6GHz, save some power, having an "ON/OFF" state, also less range but maybe more stable. Less than 5GHz but not by much?

Edited by Quackers101
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While hitting 6th order harmonics for 915Mhz of z-wave seems possible, those channels are dfs channels so RADAR could be what's causing issues here too, as there's both weather and defense radar that could be in those bands.

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Linus' smart home adventures are some of the best ads against using this stuff I could imagine. He has dedicated pros who research this stuff for him, direct lines to support from manufacturers, access to literally free products, and enough money to buy whatever he can't get for free. And yet, he still has loads of trouble getting it all setup and working correctly.

 

If this happened at my house, I would have given up long before I got where he got to. But it's telling that even at the end of the video he still doesn't have a fix. He just has to live with bad audio and there's nothing to be done about it. He can either run wires or be sad; which is pretty wild.

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25 minutes ago, Berbasor said:

While hitting 6th order harmonics for 915Mhz of z-wave seems possible, those channels are dfs channels so RADAR could be what's causing issues here too, as there's both weather and defense radar that could be in those bands.

Devices using those 5GHz frequencies are requiered to switch bands if they sense radar on dfs channels they are using (at least CE certified ones do, I assume US and Canada have similar rules). If the speakers have a "don't auto select channel" mode, they should use a non DFS frequency. Or this feature's implementation is even more stupid than we saw in the video😁...

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4 hours ago, Lurick said:

Realized 900MHz does go into 5.4GHz pretty nicely so it could possibly cause issues.

I don’t follow. Could you expand on this? Are you referring to harmonics?

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49 minutes ago, FriedEngineer said:

I don’t follow. Could you expand on this? Are you referring to harmonics?

I suspect he is, since it is a harmonic.

3 hours ago, yayIHaveAUserName said:

Devices using those 5GHz frequencies are requiered to switch bands if they sense radar on dfs channels they are using (at least CE certified ones do, I assume US and Canada have similar rules). If the speakers have a "don't auto select channel" mode, they should use a non DFS frequency. Or this feature's implementation is even more stupid than we saw in the video😁...

I could be wrong, but my understanding is that (in the US) you just have to not transmit during radar pulses, which would explain the stuttering. Not sure. Regardless, the auto channel selection is already clearly bad from the video so seems like the solution is ditching the speakers... 🤷‍♂️

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7 hours ago, maplepants said:

Linus' smart home adventures are some of the best ads against using this stuff I could imagine. He has dedicated pros who research this stuff for him, direct lines to support from manufacturers, access to literally free products, and enough money to buy whatever he can't get for free. And yet, he still has loads of trouble getting it all setup and working correctly.

 

If this happened at my house, I would have given up long before I got where he got to. But it's telling that even at the end of the video he still doesn't have a fix. He just has to live with bad audio and there's nothing to be done about it. He can either run wires or be sad; which is pretty wild.

Disagree. I have a fairly basic smart home setup using hue hubs and a Smartthings hub. Nothing was that complicated to do and the automations are amazing. Ex: I walk into bathroom during the day…the lights are super bright and stay on for 10 mins. At 6pm: they are more modest and relaxed colors and shut off after 5 mins of no activity. Night time : they are a very dim reddish purple and easy on the eyes and shuts off after a few mins. Saves tons of time hitting switches and power if someone forgets to turn it off. 
 

same with my home. I have august smart lock and soon as I get home..it Auto Unlock’s the deadbolt. I come in or leave the house…it locks itself. No more worry if I locked it or not. It’s a relief if coming in from the rain with bags in your hand and you don’t have to stumble for a key. O and soon as the door opens..motion sensors signal my smart lights to turn on (as well as the led lights on the stairs) and then they turn off in a few mins. 
 

 

once you set it up it’s amazing and 100% hands off. Haven’t touched a light switch in years. Or a key

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I'm rarely a hater but honestly the thought of @LinusTech having to downgrade to 'dumb switches' just puts such a smile on my face. Not in regards to the time and money lost (which is a huge suck and I don't wish that on anyone) but just his constant annoyance at going around turning all the lights back off that the kids all leave on, chasing them down to reprimand them for leaving lights on, then the eventual sass-back from the kids when he leaves a light on. Truly, it warms my heart picturing this sitcom-esque situation for some bizarre reason.

 

Also, I second that the simplest solution here is to just run speaker wires through some 'kind of ugly but really no one will actually care' wire channels to wired speakers because rarely if ever do magic magnet air waves beat strands of copper when it comes to reliability. Entertainment is supposed to 'just work', kind of like light switches, and having to screw around when you just want to watch something is the most frustrating thing and I speak from experience having been a HTPC user for 20+ years from back on Windows XP mirroring to a CRT TV with S-Video and having to tinker with screen scaling and the CRT edges moving around as the picture changed because over-scan and so on and so on. Just works is so so mission critical! Even more so when it's not you watching/using.

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Please can someone suggest a wifi graph app for iphone? I cannot find any that does the same graphs.

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On 12/5/2022 at 6:25 AM, Srius1 said:

Disagree. I have a fairly basic smart home setup using hue hubs and a Smartthings hub. Nothing was that complicated to do and the automations are amazing. Ex: I walk into bathroom during the day…the lights are super bright and stay on for 10 mins. At 6pm: they are more modest and relaxed colors and shut off after 5 mins of no activity. Night time : they are a very dim reddish purple and easy on the eyes and shuts off after a few mins. Saves tons of time hitting switches and power if someone forgets to turn it off. 
 

same with my home. I have august smart lock and soon as I get home..it Auto Unlock’s the deadbolt. I come in or leave the house…it locks itself. No more worry if I locked it or not. It’s a relief if coming in from the rain with bags in your hand and you don’t have to stumble for a key. O and soon as the door opens..motion sensors signal my smart lights to turn on (as well as the led lights on the stairs) and then they turn off in a few mins. 
 

 

once you set it up it’s amazing and 100% hands off. Haven’t touched a light switch in years. Or a key

You've got some pretty sizeable caveats here though. Firstly you've limited yourself to just two brands. If they don't make it, you can't buy it. Second, you've got cloud connected products which do lots of tracking. Either of those limitations would be a deal breaker for me. I'm not committing now to a single brand of light switch, whether it's smart or dumb. And I definitely don't want Samsung and Philips tracking everything about my movements in my own home.

 

Linus is trying to do local only smart home, and it's basically impossible.

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Hmmm, would a bluetooth speaker not work?

 

 
 
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Bluetooth audio is objectively worse…

historically audio latency and quality has been terrible with Bluetooth, it’s part of why every pair of Bluetooth earbuds sucks compared to wired alternatives

I could use some help with this!

please, pm me if you would like to contribute to my gpu bios database (includes overclocking bios, stock bios, and upgrades to gpus via modding)

Bios database

My beautiful, but not that powerful, main PC:

prior build:

Spoiler

 

 

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