Bluesound Node2i and wifi frustrations: Mesh!


Much as I've enjoyed the convenience of the Node2i and ability to surf not only my own library but pretty much the world's music, one of the MOST frustrating things for me has been its propensity to lose connectivity. Hardwiring pretty much is a non-starter in this home as the cable and router need to be where they are(upstairs) and the Node2i needs to be where it is(downstairs). And at opposite corners of our home no less. I tried using a wifi extender, and even ugraded that, to no avail. I still would get annoying drop-outs. Pretty darned frustrating when you want to enjoy Friday evening cocktails with the missus and the music suddenly quits. Grrr...
I had upgraded our router a couple months ago from our 6 year old ASUS to a new ASUS RT-AX86U. That helped a but not enough. So yesterday I had a mental lightbulb come on and remembered that the RT-AX86U also supports AiMesh. Amazon to the rescue... I got it last night and just finished setting it up this morning, which was very, very easy. I went ahead and installed the new ASUS RP-AC1900 in my hifi cabinet and ran some Cat5 from it to the Node2i and voila! No more drop outs.
Using the ASUS router admin utility I checked and the signal and it's rock solid. Sounds good too! Placebo? Maybe. Or maybe it's that I'm a much happier camper and not have to worry about when the music is going to quit anymore.
There are plenty of other brands out there that support Mesh technology, ASUS isn't your only option. But from even from just early results, I really recommend looking into upgrading your wifi to Mesh if you're having issues.

Happy listening.
128x128musicfan2349
I have been using a trio of Google Mesh in my 3-story home. No more WiFi dead zone, drop outs or spotty coverage. Most people don’t realize a router just can’t provide enough coverage, at least consistently to all devices if you live in a multi-story home. What I really like about Google Mesh is on the fly device prioritization based on your usage in the app. Upon installing the Mesh, my jaw dropped when I noticed how many devices (32 to be exact) vying for the WiFi bandwidth :-)
One idea beside the good one of the Mesh, is to at least run an ethernet cable across the top floor, starting at the router and terminating in an extender which would live one floor above, right above, your Node. That would give you a much better wifi signal downstairs.
Blow $30 and get a WiFI extender and plug it in.
Or do it right and get any mesh, as OP opines. I use TP Link Deco. I tried WiFi from it 6 ft away.
Sucked.
6 ft. Cat5 (I had laying around).
Nirvana.
Turns out having the mesh node in the stereo cabinet is a bad idea with regards to my C-J Premier 6 pre-preamp... It's VERY sensitive to EMI.

So I either need to move the mesh node across the living room and run Cat5 or shut down the node to play vinyl. *facepalm*

Happy listening.
Have you considered using powerline network adaptors? They run ethernet over your house wiring which allows you to put the adaptor outside of the stereo cabinet and then run a CAT cable from it to the Node 2i. Your streamer will think it is hardwired. I've used this in certain situations in the past and never had a problem. It is faster and more stable than wireless. 

@mlsstl 
Thanks for the suggestion. Problem is, now I have the investment in the mesh network... I think my solution of running Cat5 from across the living room has legs though. I can tuck the cable under the quarter round and carpeting and put the node across the room. Will update the thread when I've implemented the fix.
Happy listening.

Using an eero here with the node2i for a year now, best thing I ever did.runs perfect.
Hi musicfan, I also own a 2i.  I would recommend that rather than purchasing the Cat5 you purchase Supra Cat8+ from seller zendada on eBay.  It made a noticeable difference over the cable that it came with that surprised me.  It is reasonably priced and the price listed includes 2 day shipping.  I only mention him as one of the other sellers that comes up in a search is in England with a hefty shipping cost.
@bacobits1 
Just looked those and it's simply another implementation of mesh technology, which is what I have. But the problem isn't the node itself, it's the proximity to my rig. I just need to put some distance between it and the C-J.
@jetter 
Now that I read the specs on the various Cat#, I see that Cat8 would be sheer overkill for this application. OTOH, for some things like audio, why do when you can overdo? Thanks for the suggestion! :)
Happy Listening.
"...why do when you can overdo?"

Audio is a great example of a common human tendency to think that if this much is good, then more must be better.

Sometimes that works, most often it makes no difference (other than to spend more money), and sometimes it makes things worse or brings in new problems that didn’t previously exist.
+1, jetter.
Supra CAT 8 is a worthy upgrade for Node 2i. If you find this cable overkill then it seems streaming is not your focus :-) If you use Node 2i for background music then please don’t waste your money on Supra.

PS: I would not use powerline network adaptors, that’s the absolute worst thing for your streaming.
@lalitk
Agreed on the powerline adapters.
As for the Node2i existing for background music vs being my "focus", about 95% of the time it conveniently provides the soundtrack to our end of the week cocktail hour. But for that other 5% I’m still exploring how much more prevalent it might be in my serious listening sessions. (Hence my upgrading to a Border Patrol DAC not too long ago.)When I reconsidered where the mesh node has to be relocated and where the cable would need to be routed, perhaps the Cat8 with it’s shielding isn’t such a bad idea. It needs to follow along my preamp cables, past the speakers and their cables, and the sub and amplifier to get to the other side of the room where the node will be moved to.
I can think of worse ways to spend $150 bucks.Happy listening.

@musicfan2349,

Great move on buying the Border Patrol DAC to get the best sound out of Node 2i. I’m not clear on why you need long CAT8 cable if you’re using a mesh router. If you worried about EMI/RFI interferences from mesh, I suggest you use Stillpoints ERS cloth to treat the mesh. My Apple router (treated with ERS) is only 4 feet away from my streamer in my main system. 
https://www.tweekgeek.com/stillpoints-ers/
@lalitk 
Ah you didn't see my update from a few days ago then.

"Turns out having the mesh node in the stereo cabinet is a bad idea with regards to my C-J Premier 6 pre-preamp... It's VERY sensitive to EMI".
So I simply need to move the node from its current location to about 20' across the room. No big deal and the effort is still way worth the improvement in wifi generally in our home vs. the extenders I'd tried previously.

Happy listening.

@
Ha ha! Success!!

I obtained a 25' length of Cat8 and moved the mesh node across the room from the system. The resulting move got rid of the interference and my phono stage is blessedly quiet once again. So excellent wifi coverage, hardwiring for the Node2i and no interference. Happy camper indeed!
Thanks much for  the Cat8 recommendation!

Happy listening.
@musicfzn2349,

That’s great to hear! Now sit back and enjoy the best of digital and analog :-)
@musicfan2349, glad to hear the successful outcome using the CAT8 cable.

As I mentioned, I have a 2i and I purchased Supra CAT8+ cable from seller zendada on eBay. I really am the last one to recommend anything to anyone, but the Supra CAT8+ was noticeably better than the cable that came with my node2i. I don’t know if it was because it was CAT8 or because it was manufactured by Supra which a number of persons highly recommended.

If it was me, in time, I would think about purchasing the Supra, I think you will easily hear the difference. Zendada sells 8 meters for $111 which includes shipping. If I hear such a big difference with my hearing you will also! I mention Zendada, because he has free shipping and is a trusted seller on eBay. He calls it CAT8+, but this is a bit of advertising fluff, it is CAT8.