14 Replies Latest reply: Sep 27, 2011 4:17 PM by chakkarinen RSS

    Host Unreachable

    grungegoth

      My slingbox pro has been working for years and registered properly.  The sling website reports all the slingbox parameters correctly, and the firmware is uptodate  ver 1.4.20.  I am using windows 7 to access, either through the native player or the web interface, and use other machines running windows 2008 for network diagnostics.

       

      On more than two occaissons, while watching the sling box remotely, the slingbox froze.  after trying to restart the player and reconnect, I got in all cases  "there was a problem communicating with the Slingbox. Try Connecting again"..  On one occaisson, I happened to be at home where the slingbox is located and my wife called with the problem while remotely viewing.  When I looked, the network light was off. After rebooting the slingbox, the connection returned without any changes to the network or slingbox.

       

      Now, I am overseas, and this has happened twice, the screen froze while watching, then subsequent reconnection attepmts yeilded the same error.   Once, after waiting a day or so, the connection resumed.  Now, it doesn't work at all.  Since I am no longer physically located where the swlingbox is, I can't reboot it or change its configuration.

       

      I can login to my sling hosted LAN remotely, I can check the LAN connection by remote desk top to one of may machines at the remote LAN.  When trying to connect to the slingbox, I get the same connection error.  I have also tried using my laptop from a remote network such as a hotel or my office and get the same error.

       

      When I ping the slingbox IP address I get "Host unreachable".  I log into my local domain controllers or any windows 7 client, and ping the slingbox IP address I get  "Reply from 192.168.1.103: destination host unreachable".

       

      In each case, the error is reported as coming from one of the hosts NIC cards, which seems strange.  It makes me wonder if there is a host network error, however, that doesn't make sense since the slingbox doesn't use any local network DNS resources other than the hardware router.  The sling box is manually configured to use the local hardware router as its gateway, and has a manually assigned static IP address. The address is in a space outside of the local DHCP address pool, so there is no conflict with any other network device assignment.  I have rebooted the hardware router several times, and enabled/disabled the port 5001 to see if that is the source of the network problem.  I have also flushed the dns cache of any host trying to reach the sling box.  all other network resources are working normally for any host I try from.

       

      since

      1) I cannot connect from the same LAN

      2) I cannot connect from a remote LAN

      3) I cannot connect from an interent location

      4) get a ping error from any LAN host

       

      I have concluded that the network connection has failed.  MAybe the cable has failed or possibly the network switch or router?  if so, would that give a similar error on a ping?  What if the actual slingbox hardware has failed, could that give the same errors?

       

      is there some other tool or method to test the slingbox?  I can access a host on the same LAN as the box if there is soemthing to try, and I can access my hardware routers remotely too.

       

      I'm Stuck.  I can handle any degree of "Tech" to solve this problem, short of opening the box and tinkering with the hardware.

        • Re: Host Unreachable
          chakkarinen Apprentice

          Since you are getting the message "192.168.1.103 is unreachable", this suggests to me that your router may have dynamically assigned another IP address on your LAN to your Slingbox.   This sometimes happens if you have various other devices that come and go from your local area network, so that the router may "rearrange" its dynamically-assigned addresses.   If the Slingbox IP address moves in your LAN, and the directory of all Slingbox addresses maintained at www.slingbox.com doesn't get the word, then your Sling players could lose track of your Slingbox.

           

          I would suggest assigning a static IP address to your Slingbox, such as 192.168.1.254.   To do this, you should log into your router where the Slingbox is physically located, and program your router to assign the static IP address 192.168.1.254 to your Slingbox.   The exact instructions how to do this depend on the brand and model of your router.   But you will need the MAC ID for your Slingbox, which is printed on a sticker on the bottom of your Slingbox and on its original shippping box.   After assigning this static IP address, then program your router to forward port 5001 to this static IP address.

           

          Reboot your Slingbox and your router, and you should be good to go.

            • Re: Host Unreachable
              grungegoth

              As I mentioned, the slingbox is already on a static IP address, and I can remotely manage the router.  The router reports the slingbox as being present with the expected IP address.

               

              I am remote from the slingbox so I cannot power it off, or reset its network configuration.  But I can restart the router (which has been done already).

               

              What I am really looking for is a manner to access the sling box either by its connection code or its mac address, or some other tool.  enough to restart it.  That might be all it needs.

               

              I suspect based on the erratic behavior, that the slingbox is suffering some hardware failure, somewhere starting at its CAT5 cable to the slingbox itself.  It is possible the switch has failed, but there is another PC connected to it that I can reach.  I have seen switches fail for particular ports and connection slots before so it is possible. Given the router reports the slingbox attached, I don't think it is the cable or cable connection.   however, since I had previously seen the same behavior and successfuly restarted the sling box to reconnect, I suspect the slingbox itself is at fault.

                • Re: Host Unreachable
                  grungegoth

                  the sling ip address is 192.168.1.95

                   

                  my DHCP pool is 192.168.1.100 - 254

                   

                  when i ping the sling box i get the message that the local NIC card cannot find the sling box as mentioned in the message.  when I change PC's, the referring IP address always changes to the local NIC card, no matter what machine i use to ping.

                    • Re: Host Unreachable
                      chakkarinen Apprentice

                      Because the error message is saying "host unreachable", I am wondering now if the problem lies within the router itself, since the router is the "host" to the Slingbox in its subnet at the static IP address that your router has assigned to the Slingbox.

                       

                      Regarding your other question, I am not aware of any way to remotely turn off/on or otherwise reset the Slingbox.  All of my early teething problems with my units required that I visit them in person -- or have a friend do so -- to power-cycle the unit or do a "soft reset" (short-time-press of the red button on the back).   But once I got the static IP and port forwarding CORRECTLY programmed (operator error the first time) AND confirmed that all of my connections -- both Internet and video coax -- were fully finger tight, then my systems have worked reliably.

                        • Re: Host Unreachable
                          grungegoth

                          I'll be travelling back to visit my other house soon.  I was hoping for a super slick super sophisticated nutz and boltz IP protocol tool and procedure that would let me access some secret back door on the sling box to reset it...kill it.. reboot it...whatever.

                           

                          I have had issues with this lousy consumer networking junk before : routers failing to pass traffic through certain ports, 2) dropping wireless signals for no reason 3) switches stop passing traffic at design speeds, all kinds of wierd behaviors that take FOREVER to diagnose, because you expect it to be a stupid "user" software setup or a client computer errorr, and you don't expect a"partial" failure of a stupid piece of dumb network hardware like... a switch for goodness sakes... 

                           

                          So i wouldn't be surpised if the switch, the router, the cable or the slingbox itself were to blame.  Because of the erratic nature of the problem, it is difficult to diagnose.  The last time I rebooted the sling box it worked flawlessly for 2 weeks before it failed.  Oh and did I mention, this system has been in place for 4 years without a hitch?  Something has got to be getting old.  The oldest thing in the system is the slingbox (the switch and the routers are less than 2 years old).

                           

                          My most robust solution is to buy another slingbox and set it up ( I have two tv receivers there), but it is also expensive.  The other causes are not easy enough to debug considering the erraticness (replace the switch and the router) plus they are equally if not more expensive (I have a professional grade router).

                           

                          I'll probably have to buy a new slingbox. and change the network cable too.

                           

                          Just so you know, I am pretty handy with networking: I run two LANs on opposite sides of the planet, host a domain with 4 domain controllers, and run a WAN link over VPN between my two houses, MS Exhcnage, Webservers, SQL Server and other network services.  Call it a hobby.

                            • Re: Host Unreachable
                              chakkarinen Apprentice

                              You certainly know more about networks than I ever hope or would attempt to achieve.    You've probably thought of this also, but I have heard that overheating can also cause Slingboxes to behave badly.   I went so far as to move mine out of my video cabinet altogether, and increased the size of the rubber "feet" on the bottom of my Slingbox Pro-HD, so that the bottom now sits a good inch above the hard surface beneath it, with nothing but open air above it to the room ceiling.   If that won't keep it cool, nothing will, short of adding an external fan to try to blow air through its air vents -- AFAIK, the Slingbox comes with no internal fan of its own.

                    • Re: Host Unreachable
                      gsolo516

                      Have you been able to determine why your slingbox effectively disappears from the radar?  I am experiencing the same issue.  I have deployed a Slingbox Pro HD on my sister's home network in Massachusetts,  (behind a Linksys WRT610n router), and the behavior I am seeing is very peculiar.  It almost seems like a HW failure of the Slingbox itself.

                       

                      Here's the behavior,...

                       

                      Can occasionally get the box streaming to my destination on the west coast, sometimes it will go for hours without incident, while other times it will freeze after some time (ranging from 5 to 20 minutes).   After freezing I can remotely log into my sister's router and see that the Slingbox is still connected to her local network at the appointed static IP address.    Looking into the outgoing log on her router, I am seeing very strange packets emerging from the Slingbox and targeting unknown (to me anyway) WAN IP addresses.   This last time following a freeze and dropped connection I looked at the DHCP client list and the Slingbox has disappeared from the active list of locally connected clients.

                       

                      To isolate the remote side I have successfully gotten the failure to occur BOTH from within my local area network both wired and wirelessly, as well as when connecting over 3G on my ipad2 whic effectively ruled out an specific problem with my router.   So the problems are definitely coming from the host end, and they are as flaky (i.e., non reproducable in a systematic way) as can be.   I find it hard to believe that the Slingbox hardware is bad, but not sure anymore,... it is sure behaving erratically.

                       

                      I would love to find a tool that could be used to send the Slingbox simple comands such as to re-cycle power or otherwise perform a warm reset.

                       

                      Any further insight from you would be greatly appreciated,.... got to get this thing running reliably before next Sunday's Patriots football game!

                       

                      Also, are you aware of any firmware updates for the Slingbox that may affect this behavior.  I read with horror about one recent firmware update that actually bricked the Slingbox rendering it unable to even accept an IP from the router's DHCP server.  I'd be interested in the release that followed that one!

                       

                      Thanks,

                      Gary S.

                        • Re: Host Unreachable
                          chakkarinen Apprentice

                          Minor point, but if the Slingbox has been assigned a static IP, then by definition it should not ever appear on the DHCP list, which should only contain those devices that the router has assigned a dynamic address to.  At least that is the way it works on both of my routers with Slingboxes -- the Slingboxes are listed in a separate section of the router's tables.

                           

                          In addition to programming your router to assign a static IP address to the Slingbox, did you also program the router to forward port 5001 for both the TCP and UDP protocols to that static IP address?  This is recommended by the Sling Media folks.

                           

                          I am not aware of any tool to rebootly reboot the Slingbox, unless you can find a plug-in power device for the Slingbox which could remotely shut off the electricity to the Slingbox. 

                           

                          Have you measured the UPLOAD speeds of the internet service where the Slingbox is physically located?   This could be tested by someone with a computer attached to the same router as the Slingbox and visiting www.bandwidthplace.com    Upload speeds less than a few mbps will not reliably stream standard definition TV programs, and upload speeds less than 10 mbps will not reliably stream high definition programs.

                           

                          There are also instances reported on Slingboxes behaving poorly when overheating.   I wound up removing my Slingbox completely from my media cabinet, adding extensions to its "feet" to raise it at least an inch off the hard surface beneath it, and insured that there was open air between it and the ceiling -- the top of the Slingbox definitely gets hot, so I'm trying -- short of adding an external fan -- to keep it cooling off as much as possible.

                            • Re: Host Unreachable
                              gsolo516

                              Chakkarinen,

                               

                              Thanks for the response.   Regarding the DHCP client  list comment,  ...  I have never figured out what the deal is the the  Linksys WRT610n router in this regard.  When you go to the basic setup  screen you can click on DHCP reservation wherein two tables appear.  One  on top which I presumed to be the clients that are currently connected  to the lan, and the lower table lists out the reserved IP addresses that  the router's DHCP server will always assign (per what I reserved for them).     Sometimes the upper table accurately reflects all clients that are  actively connected to the lan, other times not.  Really weird.

                               

                              Anyway,   I have plenty of BW from the Slingbox side, (am getting nearly 3Mb/s  when streaming which should be more than fine), so it's not a network BW issue, nor is it any sort of  router WAN/LAN port redirection problem.    Actually I've been trying  to narrow down the root cause of the freezing/dropping of connection  problem for some time and here is the deal from my perspective,.... I  have found NO way to point at a register value being set the wrong way,  or otherwise any other way to reliably reproduce the problem with a  known cause and affect.   It has been 30+ years since I received my  electrical engineering degree but I can tell you that the randomness of  failures and my inability to logically reproduce the problem points to an  environmental problem on their motherboard.   Some folks have postulated  that the PSU decoupling caps have gone bad, and there may be something  to that.  I've seen some of the posted pictures of bulging and/or  leaking caps, and those puppies going bad would certainly present  unstable power distribution to the components on the motherboard which  is consistent with my suggestion that this erratic problem is an  environmental one, and not a logical one.
                              (well it is actually an  environmental problem which leads to indeterminate behavior from the  digital components to be precise about it)

                               

                              I'm going to place a  good quality notebook cooler underneath the Slingbox and see if the  issue is related to poor design resulting in inadequate ventilation of  the unit.    Haven't these designers at Sling ever heard of designing to  fit within a given Thermal Design Point (TDP)?   Any design shop  (systems and components) worth their weight in salt understands TDP  where they calculate the worst case thermals (and power) that the target  design and constituent components would generate/consume and design the  platform with the appropriate heatsinks and/or fans, heat pipes,  etc,... to ensure that the implementation can adequately ventilate up to  the TDP plus some guard band.   In computer systems designers will  derive what they believe to be the worst case loading on the system from  a thermals perspective, and then design the system to ensure that a  thermal load of that extent can be adequately wicked away from the  components and moved away from the system.    Apparently Slingbox  designers didn't concern themselves with this.

                               

                              One more  thing,.... have also read some folks discussing how when they downgraded  their firmware things started working better for them,....    This also  fits into the realm of a thermals problem within the Slingbox.      Again when you design a computer system for a given TDP you do this by  developing a surrogate loading SW exerciser scenario in the system and  then carefully check that the cooling and ventilation design is doing  its job under the anticipated worst case thermal conditions.   The TDP  scenario typically exercises a bunch of subsystems simultaneously  attempting to, while hopefully representing a reasonable/feasible real  world workload, coming up with the worst case thermals.     Any given SW  (or firmware) that is running on the Slingbox will exhibit a unique  power and thermal footprint.    Changing to a later firmware revision  could very well cause a different pattern of component hotspots, etc  where things could start failing for environmental reasons as well.  A  newer release of firmware, for example, might be trying to do more  intensive compression, transcoding, or some other video image processing  which in turn turns up the heat over a firmware version that might have  been doing more modest processing tasks. 

                               

                              I will report back  to this board after placing the Slingbox Pro HD onto one of these  coolers over the weekend (actually I am grateful to my sister for doing  it for me in Massachusetts while I await the Patriots/Bills game here in  Oregon)

                               

                              (I purchased a Thermaltake CLN0009 notebook cooler from Amazon.com for about $30)

                               

                              My money is on poorly designed ventilation for the device.

                               

                              Cheers,
                              Gary

                                • Re: Host Unreachable
                                  chakkarinen Apprentice

                                  Since your lost connection is intermittent, it does seem to suggest an "environmental" problem, such as overheating.

                                   

                                  I read in another thread about a fellow who struggled with his SB connections, and finally got it to work again -- with no drops so far after 24 hours -- by disabling his firewall software, doing a "super hard" reset, in which he held in the reset button while he unplugged the power cable, waited a few seconds, then plugged back in while continuing to keep the reset button pressed in for another 10 seconds.   When he then setup the SB again, it worked well, and continued to work well after he restarted his firewall software.   Go figure.

                                    • Re: Host Unreachable
                                      gsolo516

                                      My sister deployed the Thermaltake CNL0009 cooler and the erratic behavior has stopped.   When I connect with the Slingbox it immediately begins to stream (no long delays in 'connecting', etc)

                                       

                                      So now it streams beautifully for approximately the time it would take Charter Communications' payload sniffing bot to confuse my Slingbox with hosting a web site,.... and kills the port that the stream is emanating from.   Note that following this I am unable to even make contact with the Slingbox until about 5 or 10 minutes, which I am guessing is the amount of time that they stomp on the port following detection of what they believe to be commercial usage of the residential service.

                                       

                                      Charter will promise you 5 or more Mb/S upload performance and then cripple legitimate ways in which to use it.    Oh yes, upon further reading they would be very happy to sign you up to a Business Class account in order to actually use the BW you thought you had paid for with your residential account.

                                       

                                      So one word of advice,.... if you are a Slingbox user and considering changing ISPs please make sure that whichever ISP you consider will not pull the rug out from under you.

                                        • Re: Host Unreachable
                                          chakkarinen Apprentice

                                          Before you give up completely, I would suggest changing the static IP address for your Slingbox to 192.168.1.254, and then forward port 5001 (both the TCP and UDP protocols) to that static IP address.   Reboot both the router and the Slingbox, then connect again from an outside-the-LAN location and see if it will stream beyond the 15 or so minutes that you are currently being limited to.  Since port 5001 is registered with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority for some uses other than Slingmedia, perhaps the Charter bot will not knock you offline -- if that is what is happening -- when that port is assigned to your static IP.

                                           

                                          And if it continues to happen, then I would suggest calling a Charter technician to discuss further what can be done to call off the bots.   Unless you are exceeding some monthly data transmission limits (for my ISP, they cite a 250 GB per month limit before they will begin to "investigate" and propose a higher priced account to extra heavy users) I would think they would know how to distinguish between business use and personal use, especially if they are joining many of their competitors in encouraging customers to download videos, etc, that they produce or promote.

                                            • Re: Host Unreachable
                                              gsolo516

                                              Hi, I've got the local ip address set statically (via DHCP reservation to 192.168.1.130.   This address should bot matter so long as it remains static and is pointed to by my port forwarding assignment for the port I use for redirection to Slingbox.  They stomp all over port 5001, 443, 3389, you name it.   They are doing deep packet inspection analysis and when they see the slingbox stream they kill

                                               

                                              The limit you mentioned below is for downloads not uploads.   Most ISPs now enforce some upper limit to downloads per month, mine (Comcast) also limits monthly downloads to 250GB per month before they list you as n excessive BW hog.   But we are talking about upload here, and even at 3 Mb upload speed for a 3 hour football game we are talking roughly 3GB. (~ 1GB/hour) so there is no issue with excessive BW usage.   My usage of the slingbox would have been for 3 hours each week x 4 games per month which would amount to about 12 GB per month!

                                               

                                              This is not about bad settings, or excessive BW concumption,....  It is about a company that puts the cus in customer service trying to bully their customers into paying more for the use of the BW that they had already assumed to have purchased and were attempting to use for non comercial application.

                                               

                                              Anyone out there who may be considering Charter Communications for ISP,... Think twice if you are a Slingbox user.

                                                • Re: Host Unreachable
                                                  chakkarinen Apprentice

                                                  Sounds like you have thoroughly tested and confirmed what Charter is doing.   Still, if it were me, I would a formal complant with the ISP -- and probably also with the overseeing federal government agency as well -- before giving up on the Slingbox entirely.   Perhaps the folks who control the local access in your community on not even aware of what is happening?