Friday, March 20, 2009

The Pieces Come Together

I have plans to hop up in the attic (only when Jen is here, lest I fall and can't get up -- she made me promise!) at some point and wire a few rooms for networking.  Brandon did this a good while back, and had plenty of advice on what to do and not do.  I think my job would be somewhat easier, as my house is just 1 storey, whereas his is two.  I ordered a ton (1000') of Cat6 cable from Monoprice (cheap!), along with a bunch of 4-up plates and jacks from Firefold.  They arrived yesterday:

There is also a 100' spool of 12 gauge speaker cable that came with part of the order.  That is another project that would happen somewhat in parallel: I am going to add a pair of outdoor speakers on the patio, driven by my Sonos ZonePlayer 100 (it has an integrated 55 watt amp).  Crawling around in the attic is going to be unpleasant enough that I'll probably try to get all of this (wiring the network cable, wiring the speakers) in one major effort.

Sonos, by the way, is awesome.  Jen got me the first generation (ZP 80, ZP 100, CR 100) bundle for Christmas.  It works like a charm, and when it didn't -- the ZP 80 hooked up to my stereo amp kept disappearing off of the network after 1-3 days -- I filed a trouble ticket on the Sonos support site.  They said online tickets would be responded to within 24 hours.  They responded to mine in probably closer to 30 minutes.  They provided detailed instructions on how to run a particular diagnostic procedure, asking for the results (a simple blinking or non-blinking of the ZP 80's light after a sequence of button presses).  They said that if the result went a particular way (non-blinking, in this case), I should call the support number to continue.  I called, and was speaking to a human after a wait time of literally 5 seconds (maybe less!).  He asked me to run another test, and upon hearing the result, asked for the serial off of the bottom of the unit.  He said the test confirmed that it was a hardware issue, and they would send me a prepaid shipping label via email.  Once my unit was received, a new unit would be shipped to me.  The trouble ticketing system sent me an update when my unit was received at their returns site, and a replacement was shipped that day or the next.  I was without the ZP 80 for probably just a week, and the unit they sent is working fine (no issues at all).

Now, I just need to get an iTouch to use as an additional controller.  The Sonos controller application for the iPhone/iTouch: slicker than the CR 100 unit itself!

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