Star network set up?

My main system comprises a UnitiStar which seems to suffer more than its fair share of bugs/issues. One of which is regular WiFi drop outs with the app (both iOS and Android) unable to find it.

Listening is approx. 60% Spotify/Tidal, 30% NAS and 10% CD, to my ears the NAS source sounds best (rips from my old UnitiServe).

The NAS is a Synology DS718+ which is connected to my BT Smart hub2 in the study by CAT cable, my Star is in the lounge connected by WiFi. Star connects to one of the 3 BT WiFi mesh discs, currently using 5 GHz, BT app states a strong signal and has a link rate of circa 350Mbps.

It is my plan to remove WiFi as a potential cause of my issues (although no other devices suffer any issues whatsoever, except my Mu-So). To this ends I will lift floorboards and run CAT cable to the Star (I’ve already ordered rods for cabling but not decided on what spec CAT cable to use).

My questions are as follows…

Do I simply run a single cable between hub and Star or ideally should the star be directly connnected to the NAS? The NAS has 2x RJ-45 1Gbe LAN Ports along with USB 3.0 ports. If it connects to the NAS, is CAT the right cable or USB?

What grade of CAT cable is ideal for a 15m run, Does it make sense to future proof as much as possible with CAT8?

I could also move the NAS to the Star but this is not the preferred option with flashing lights and occasional fan noise to distract from the music.

I would appreciate any feedback, or other potential solutions, thanks in advance.

You need to run a cable from the hub to the Star. Leave the Nas where it is.

You could also consider getting a switch, such as a basic 5 port Netgear, or a used Cisco 2960. Connect the hub to the switch, and then connect the Star and Nas to the switch as well.

For wires, Cat 6A would work well. Blue Jeans Cables in the US make good cables at sensible prices. I use them for the whole hifi network - modem to router, router to switch, switch to Hifi and Nas - and it works well and sounds good.

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I suggest to keep it simple
A single run from BT Hub to Star - plus the existing NAS to BT Hub is good
But if it makes it easier for cable routing or component positioning, consider adding a simple unmanaged switch - NAS<>Switch<>Star & a single run Switch<>BT Hub.
In a domestic environment a CAT-5e or CAT-6 is perfectly OK, but if you want CAT-8 thats OK - I assume you are planning to buy ready made ‘patch’ cords & not to install the RJ45 plugs yourself.

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Thanks, I’ve got a BT 8 port gigabit switch in opposite corner of lounge to the star which is hard wired to hub and will probably connect via that as it will be far easier (also avoids lifting wooden flooring in study).

Might change switch once I’ve solved the drop out issues, would this be an improvement over the BT one?

Thanks, Ive previously used the RJ-45 field termination CAT8 plugs from linkup that were easy to use and also got myself a tester to ensure all ok. I installed CAT8 cable myself during first fix on my recent house extension (for new TV) but can’t find the extra 30m of cable I had leftover that I suspect the electrician might have helped himself to…

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That sounds ideal, just connect to the switch. The ideal is to have both the Naim and the Nas connected to the same switch, but that may not be possible.

I bought a Cisco nearly four years ago on a recommendation and it’s been very good. But there is a whole world of craziness around setting up the Ethernet so if it works fine by just plugging in to what you have you may well want to quit at that point.

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The connection of ethernet cable to RJ45 plugs is critical to ensure the whole cable assembly conforms to spec, interface errors that might seem irrelevant can easily turn a CAT-8 into a CAT-5, hence why I asked if you were planning to buy ready made patch cords.

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I have experimented with running my Star through a switch and being wired directly to the router, trying a variety of different cables. It made no difference to number of screen freezing events and when using good quality cables made no real difference in sound quality, just a slight difference in my set up.

When I tried Wi-fi with one of my previous Star’s it did not noticeably change the frequency of screen lock ups etc.

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Those linkup, connectors really are easy to use but appreciate I’m no expert. The tester is also a simple is signal flowing rather than to CAT8 spec. So do see your concerns.

I’ve just plugged in a factory made 25m CAT7a cable I had as a back up if my own effort didn’t work on the extension. Just ran it round the edge of the room for now to see if it solves drop outs. If it works might use that under floor.


I suspect this might be the case, but have no doubt until it’s wired WiFi will be blamed…

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For the star, with 100Mbit connection, anything from 5e up will do. You could go for a better shielded one like stp or even up to s-stp if you’re worried about interference. From a future proofing (if you might connect other things there), I would recommend 6. No need to go higher with short runs like 15m.

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Hi… I would recommend connecting your Star to your ‘hub’ switch port… or if you prefer have a local 8 port switch in your main room, and connect appliances/devices inc to Star to that, and then run lead back to your ‘hub’ switchport. You can plug your NAS into either… though I suspect away from your listening room into your ‘hub’ would be preferable.
Regular Cat 5e / Cat 6 cable is absolutely fine … I wouldn’t use shielded unless you have some major sources of electrical interference, or you have a bundle of many Ethernet cables together over a long distance, unlikely in the home.
Ethernet cabling in the domestic environment is really straightforward, try and avoid reading about more esoteric cable types above Cat 6 that really can’t be recommended for your situation.

Whether your link connections negotiate to 100BaseT or 1000BaseT will depend on your devices or switches/hub. If they are modern devices the switch and hub will support 1000BaseT and negotiate to it if the end device supports it.
For your use either is fine, although clearly 1000BaseT gives more future headroom. Cat5e and Cat 6 are good for 1000BaseT to 100 metres.

BTW I do think if you have EasyMesh devices mostly backhaul wired reasonably close to your Star, then throughput is unlikely to be an issue. These days wifi does much more heavy lifting than our rather modest domestic audio applications require.

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Couple of days in with my Star hardwired and it has been found every time by the app, but more interestingly my Mu-So (still on WiFi) has also been faultless…any possibility they were causing a conflict both being on WiFi together?

I suppose it’s possible that there was an IP address conflict which the DHCP server in your router has resolved. Other than that, multiple devices on the same network, wired or wireless, should just work.

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Haha, spoke too soon, Mu-So cannot be found

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