Allo usbridge dropouts [SOLVED]

Hi,

I have Roonbridge installed on an Allo USBridge with a Volumio instance installed. I am getting an issue where the music stops playing and Roon loses contact with the endpoint. This happens for 15-20 seconds and then connection is restored. By this time the track stops playing and it skips to the next one.

This happens with no DSP or other bandwidth intensifying plugins activated. It also seems to happen more frequently playing back Tidal tracks but does happen with locally stored files.

I have run iperf to test the connection between the server and the USBridge and constantly get results like the following:

volumio@ifi:~$ sudo iperf3 -c 192.168.1.129 
Connecting to host 192.168.1.129, port 5201
[  4] local 192.168.1.197 port 34799 connected to 192.168.1.129 port 5201
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bandwidth       Retr  Cwnd
[  4]   0.00-1.00   sec  9.34 MBytes  78.3 Mbits/sec    0    195 KBytes       
[  4]   1.00-2.00   sec  10.3 MBytes  86.1 Mbits/sec    0    208 KBytes       
[  4]   2.00-3.00   sec  9.91 MBytes  83.2 Mbits/sec    0    212 KBytes       
[  4]   3.00-4.00   sec  10.2 MBytes  85.3 Mbits/sec    0    212 KBytes       
[  4]   4.00-5.00   sec  9.99 MBytes  83.8 Mbits/sec    0    212 KBytes       
[  4]   5.00-6.00   sec  10.0 MBytes  84.2 Mbits/sec    0    212 KBytes       
[  4]   6.00-7.00   sec  10.1 MBytes  84.5 Mbits/sec    0    212 KBytes       
[  4]   7.00-8.00   sec  9.95 MBytes  83.4 Mbits/sec    0    212 KBytes       
[  4]   8.00-9.00   sec  9.50 MBytes  79.7 Mbits/sec    0    212 KBytes       
[  4]   9.00-10.00  sec  10.2 MBytes  85.6 Mbits/sec    0    212 KBytes       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bandwidth       Retr
[  4]   0.00-10.00  sec  99.4 MBytes  83.4 Mbits/sec    0             sender
[  4]   0.00-10.00  sec  99.2 MBytes  83.2 Mbits/sec                  receiver

This seems good enough?

Can anyone please advise how I can isolate where the problem is occurring?

A typical speedtest shows very good internet speeds, this is over wifi:

Our network hardware is Ubiquity Edgerouter-X using hardware offloading, wifi is Unifi AC lite access points.

The Allo USBridge is connected via ethernet cable to the router.

The Roon Appliance is running on a Windows 10 box which is also running a Plex Server. CPU loads never seem to be an issue. The Windows 10 box has two connections to the router, one is AC wifi which has similar speeds to the screenshot above, and the other is powerline networking which is slower but still maintains the same iPerf transfer rates. It doesn’t seem to matter which of the two are connected, the dropouts occur.

What DAC are you using? The Allo didn’t like my PS Audio Sprout 100’s in-built DAC, but works fine with a Schitt Modi 3. Some just don’t play well with the Allo.

iFi micro iDSD running firmware version 5.3 (MQA) support.

So I thought I would try swapping out the USBridge for a spare Raspberry Pi 3B+ I had sitting around, with Volumio and Roonbridge installed so it matches the configuration as closely as possible…

And the problem is gone. What’s more, everything is much more responsive now too. Before I was having to wait for tracks to start, now it’s snappy.

So now my quest is to figure out how to get the USBridge to work better.

I’m thinking about two possibilities:

  1. Replace Volumio with Dietpi and then install Roonbridge on that, so there’s no other services running that could interfere with playback somehow;

  2. Get a USB 3.0 gigabit ethernet adapter for the USBridge to see if that helps. The RPi has gigabit ethernet onboard, whereas the Sparky SBC on the USBridge only has 10/100.

If anyone has any thoughts, please let me know.

Really would not think that the speed of your ethernet/wifi connection will be the issue. That’s shown by your use of the Pi. Also, really can’t see the Roon/Windows setup being the issue. This leaves a problem ethernet connection on the sparky or an issue with the dac. Does the sparky update Volumio without any issue? If so, then I would have thought the sparky ethernet was not an issue.
Connection between the sparky and the allo board?
Try a different DAC?

I have tried both Volumio and Dietpi and prefer Volumio. Changing between the two didn’t solve my issue with the Sprout and Dietpi just needed a lot more messing around to get it to work.

One suggesting that I found to really help the sound quality on the Pi. If you have good WiFi, user that instead of Ethernet. The Pi shared the bus with Ethernet and USB, so there is the potential for noise. I also found an iFi iSilencer 3.0 on the USB cable helped as well.

SOLVED

I connected a USB 3.0 gigabit ethernet adapter to the Allo USBridge. The performance of the device has improved significantly. No more dropouts, and much more responsive with track selection. In fact now it exceeds the Raspberry Pi 3B+ as I can use sample rate conversion up to 384khz / DSD256 with absolutely no problems.

Also iPerf is now showing rates of 150-180mbps on this connection. So it’s basically doubled the network connection speed.

This topic was automatically closed 36 hours after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.