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I keep getting "Connection Bad" or AirFader disconnects completely

When AirFader is connected to a console, it "checks in" frequently with the console to make sure it's still there. If the console doesn't respond for a few seconds, it shows "Connection Bad" to let you know something's not right. If the interference goes away, changes are reconciled and you can keep mixing.

However, if more than 10 seconds go by without a response, the console won't be able to buffer any changes, so AirFader disconnects and shows "Connection Lost."

This is almost certainly caused by an intermittent network connection. If the wireless router and AirFader are relatively close together, the problem is probably active interference and not simply a weak signal.

Things to check for

  • Is anyone using any wireless mics, in-ear monitors, or guitar packs? Those definitely mess with 2.4GHz wireless networks even if they're not in the same frequency band and the network might show a strong signal. Try forcing the router to use Wireless Channel 1, and if that doesn't help, try 11. Most routers are usually set to "Auto" which means they can usually navigate around other networks... but they are not "smart" enough to work around non-network interference from things like microwaves and guitar packs.

    Every time I've had serious trouble with WiFi it's been related to an In-Ear system nearby, and every time I've been able to fix it by simply forcing the WiFi router to use a different channel.

    By the way - many of the new Wireless DMX systems share 2.4GHz space, too. (It really is a busy spectrum.)


  • If AirFader works fine during sound check, but fails during the show, try hiding your SSID on your WiFi router - especially in larger venues. Normally, any mobile device with WiFi enabled will scan for nearby networks and automatically try to connect. Your security settings should deny the connection, but a few hundred smartphones simply asking to connect will slow most consumer routers to a crawl just with background noise. Hiding your SSID will make adding devices slightly more difficult, but will help avoid this problem. A hidden SSID is not a replacement for security, but it prevents automatic connection attempts at least.
  • Run a "ping -t" test during a show and see if you get random packet loss - that would almost certainly confirm RF interference. With a laptop near the router you should have zero lost packets. To do this in Windows:
    1. Go to "Start --> Run" (or click on the Windows Icon and then click in the "Search Programs and Files")

    2. Type in "cmd" and hit Enter. (That's "Charles Michael David")
    3. Type in "ping -t 192.168.x.x" and hit Enter. (Replace 192.168.x.x with the IP address of your console - not your computer.)

    4. You should get a successful response once per second. If you get a few "Request Timed Out" messages, it means there is definitely a network problem.

    5. If you don't get any lost packets, and connection still keeps dropping consistently, please contact support.
  • Install and run inSSIDer (Free from http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider/ ) to make sure your WiFi network is not competing against nearby WiFi networks on the same channel. It is always a good idea to run this tool in a new location!

  • Finally, if at all possible, consider using the 5 GHz network band (often referred to as "802.11a" or "802.11n" or MIMO). The 5 GHz band has much more room and much less interference, but not all devices support it yet. If you are using an Android device or a laptop that doesn't support 802.11a/b/g/n then you must continue to use the more-common 2.4 GHz frequencies.

 

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>> David says:
I regularly use AirFader multiple times a week on my Surface Pro 2 / LS9.
Dec 17, 2014
United States
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