Case Study

Case Study: Network, Reverse Engineering
 

The client performed a full renovation in his home back in 2016 and had Best Buy Geek Squad install a full home A/V setup controlled by Control4.

The client contacted Pueo Audio asking for help as “their system never fully worked for years, and their internet has been down for weeks.”
 
At the first site visit, Chad, Pueo Audio troubleshoot the system and determined the modem and two cable boxes were not receiving power. When tracing the power lines, he found an inadequate 12-volt power supply. The power supply was not putting out sufficient voltage or current via a multimeter. An order was placed for the same part, but the lead time is a week.
 
Due to our reliance on our internet these days, Chad returned the next day with a temporary power supply to hold them off until the replacement part came in.  With installing the temporary power supply, the cable boxes were back up and running; however, the modem was still not working. After reviewing the previously installed network equipment, Chad recommended replacing their router since it was old, outdated, ensuring all of the bases are covered, and the client would have internet back up in their residence. We placed a service call to Spectrum (Modem) for the client and returned the next day when Spectrum came out.  
 
Arriving at the client’s an hour before Spectrum’s coming, we replaced the router and optimized the internal network. The existing network was configured very inefficiently by having devices connected to the router’s switched LAN ports as well as a 16 port switch.
 
The network, DHCP lease pool are reconfigured, ensuring all devices passed through the existing 16 port switch with a single cable between the router and switch to minimize redundant routing paths through multiple components.
 
Once Spectrum arrived, they tested the lines and got the modem back up and running. Chad verified everything was good to go, and Spectrum left.
 
Next, the issue with the Control4 system; since we were not the original installers of the system years ago, we were unable to access the configuration file to find the direct issue. Therefore Chad reversed engineered the problem.
 
The issue:  Their living room receiver and office TV was not responding to the Control4 commands. While going through the rooms, two devices were not communicating due to both being IP controlled. Going through the network, we found both devices in the DHCP setting.
 
How can Control4 control the devices if their IP address is constantly changing? This explains why the client mentioned, “the system would work for a few days after a service technician worked on the system, but then not work again.”
 
The Control4 system is attempting to communicate to those devices via IP; however, the device’s IP address was incorrect.
 
Now, how to figure out what the IP address should be? Chad hooked into the network with a laptop and ran a packet sniffer, which analyzes all packet traffic over the network.
 
Knowing the IP address of the main Control4 processor via the client’s Control4 app and while using the packet sniffer, Chad was able to isolate all traffic from the Control4 processor and discovered it is looking for two specific IP addresses since it can’t locate the devices.
 
Chad then went into the network settings of the receiver and TV and switched them to static assignment and tried both IP addresses until they worked and BOOM, everything came back online.
 
“I have no idea why the original installer and the subsequent service call technicians did not set those devices to static to ensure it would always work, but regardless, I got it to work. The next step that I have to do is reserve those specific IP addresses from the DHCP server to ensure no duplicates occur in the future. Unfortunately, I don’t know all the devices that are IP controlled (since I don’t have access to the configuration file) I will have to wait until the client has an issue and slowly reserve them one by one until it is solved.” Chad Fukumoto
Owner, Electrical Engineer

Have you been to Downtown Satellite City Hall recently?

DMV Case Study: Pueo Audio Solutions

The Downtown Satellite City Hall needs to call out numbers for their customers to come to the service desks to be helped with. Their existing solution consisted of a speaker in the middle of the waiting area sitting on one of the service desks.

This created 2 problems: (1) it is very loud when sitting or being near the speaker; (2) it is difficult to hear if you are far away from the speaker.

The solution was to put 4 each inceiling commercial public address speakers in the ceiling. This allows for a more even volume throughout the entire space without being too loud in certain areas.

We installed the 4 speakers and routed speaker wire back to the server rack through the ceiling. The speakers are being driven by a professional public address amplifier and professional mixer.

Volume control is provided via a conveniently placed and easy to use “knob”.

Everything is clean and easy to use and can now better serve the public when doing business at the Downtown Satellite City Hall.

Pueo Audio, LLC

Spotty Wifi, Outdoor Music, Home Theater Installation 

Wifi
Our client’s WIFI was spotty due to the large and complex layout of the house. They were currently using a consumer “mesh” network with many repeaters scattered throughout the house. While the “mesh” network provides great WIFI signal throughout the home, data transfer rates throughout the network and internet lag significantly behind a commercial setup with wired access points. We removed their existing networking gear and installed our commercial router and wired access points. While an access point next to the modem was sufficient for network coverage on the first floor, the second floor required a dedicated access point. We ran a CAT6 wire from the router, up the wall, through the crawl space, and finally to an upstairs closet, and then to the upstairs hallway. We installed an access point at the upstairs hallway, which provided strong WIFI throughout the entire house.

The next issue was roaming difficulties due to the first and second-floor construction. To make everything work, we created two discrete SSIDs for the first floor and second floor to ensure roaming to be seamless as possible.

Outdoor Lanai
The clients have an awesome outdoor lanai that was begging for some music; we routed speaker wire up the walls and through the crawl space and installed in-ceiling speakers. The speakers are powered by an external amplifier and run music streaming via a Sonos system.

Home Theater
A modest home theater was requested for their grandchildren to enjoy while visiting their home. The home theater was more for kid enjoyment than serious movie watching or music listening. We chose consumer-grade electronics with custom integration on-wall speakers from ELAC. We then selected a Dolby Atmos setup (5.1.2) since it was a single-story house with access to the crawl space and to ensure they got the full surround effect. All speakers were mounted in the ceiling or on the wall to keep everything off the ground with all wiring hidden in the wall & crawl spaces.

Everything turned out great and exceeded their expectations on a tight budget.

Chad Fukumoto, Owner, Lead Audiophile

Utilizing Existing Improvements

The client purchased a new home and performed basic renovations before moving in (paint, flooring, as such).  
 
The home had existing speakers installed in the master bedroom ceiling, and on the outdoor lanai. The living room included wires for a home theater. The client desired to use the home’s existing wiring and speakers.  
 
Bedroom
Upon site visit, we identified that the master bedroom had five speakers in the ceiling for a mini home theater.  The clients wish to have music in his bedroom and not a home theater. 
 
We selected Sonos Connect music streamer and a Russound P75 stereo amplifier.  We set it up to use only four speakers, as the fifth speaker would be no value added (formerly used as a center channel).
 
Outdoor Lanai
The outdoor lanai already included two box speakers mounted in the eaves.  
 
Here we applied another Sonos Connect and Russound P75 stereo amplifier to enhance the outdoor speakers.  
 
Home Theater Wiring
With the inspection of the home theater wiring, we noticed that the front channels were mounted high up (a common location for DIY guys), with the center channel placement being offset (not in the middle) and the rear surrounds unevenly placed at the rear sides of the living room.  Plus, all the wires were routed along the top of the belly band in the living room.  
 
The client expressed he wanted good sound and a proper home theater setup with Dolby ATMOS.  
 
Application Home Theater
We first decided on a receiver to process and power everything.  Based on the difficulty of the room layout (living room ceiling is 17’ high with glass lanai doors to one side and the other side open to the entry foyer we selected the Anthem MRX receiver to take advantage of Anthem’s Room Correction processing which would help remove the negative audio effects the room would have.  
 
To meet the minimum requirements for Dolby ATMOS, we needed height channels.  Due to the height of the ceiling, it was impossible to use Dolby Enabled speakers (that fire up) or having in-ceiling speakers due to the dispersion caused by the significant distance the sound would have to travel from the ceiling negating the accurate depiction of sound coming from a specific area above you.  We eventually settled on front on-wall height channels, which are speakers mounted above the front left and right channels.  
 
Final Configuration Home Theater
Our recommended configuration was a 5.1.2 setup with Front Left, Front Right, Center, Surround Left, Surround Right, Subwoofer, It’s front height on wall vice front on wall. This would require seven channels of amplification; we selected Anthem’s MRX720, which is Dolby ATMOS compatible,  Anthem’s Room Correction software, and the seven channels of amplification.  Anthem had a trade-up program during this time, which allowed him to save 20% off the price of the MRX720.  
 
Good sound for that room required a great set of floor standing speakers.  I had a pair of Paradigm Prestige 85F floor standing speakers used formerly for demo. I was able to offer the client these open box speakers at a discount.  
 
The Prestige 85F is a perfect speaker for his multipurpose use of good music and fitting for movies.  Once he agreed with the Prestige 85F speakers, I wanted to voice match all the channels and decided with Paradigm speakers for the remaining channels.  We chose Paradigm Premier 500C Center Channel, Paradigm Surround 3s for the surround channels, Paradigm Surround 1 for the Front On-Wall channels, and a Paradigm Defiance X10 Subwoofer.  To finish it off we used the living room’s belly band and made all channels symmetrical while hiding all the wiring.  
 
TV Placement
At the time of installation the client’s existing TV was on a stand, and the center channel was too tall, so we mounted the TV over a set of windows (to make it centered on the room) using a full-motion mount and hiding all the wires by adding an outlet behind the TV and routing the wires in the wall.  
 
The result was a clean and crisp look with the gloss black speakers and floating TV.  Since sound quality was important to the client, we equipped him with some Wireworld speaker cables to help smooth the high frequencies and provide a warmer sound as the Paradigms can be a little bright.  In the end, the client now has a quality setup with a music and movie experience that sounds and looks amazing for years to come.
 
Chad Fukumoto, Owner
Audiophile Expert