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XTi Networking


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#1 bDUBS1221

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 10:48 PM

I have done several installs with XTi's and I am going to be doing several more systems with probably 18-20 XTi amplifiers per rack.  I was wondering if anyone has tried to connect this many together at once and how you did it.  I wouldn't be opposed to a wired connection but wireless always nice and I do have ethernet networks set up for processors and other devices.

I saw some talk in some other threads about the Silex units and the Lantronix Ubox.  I know the Silex units are limited to 15 devices including usb hubs.  I couldn't find any info about a maximum number of devices on the Ubox.  Any ideas or help with this would be greatly appreciated.


-Bradley

#2 DGlass

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 01:46 PM

We currently have a system of 12 amp running togather with three hubs. Besides some slowness in response time, due to it being a serial connection, they are pretty stable.

If you are looking at at longer distance connection (other than what USB can provide) I have done some tesying on and I am using an Inside Out Networks/Digi Connectware “Anywhere USB” Device. They have a great reputation and have an excellent Tech Support staff that is very assistive. Once the drivers have been installed and the unit is addressed its operation is transparent and it has been working very well with a very solid connection. The unit has 5-ports per device and becomes the IP address for the USB devices to have access to an Ethernet network. Currently this is the only device I have working although there may be others that may work just as well.

This testing has been on my own and outside the official Crown work. The device shipped with old drivers but once I downloaded the latest drivers (v1.7) it has been working solidly. The unit was priced just under $300.00 USD. The Techs at Digi told me they also make this for several other companies so you may find the same device with a different name.

I have attached the link below to their site as an alternative should you need it.

Digi.com

There are a few things when using a USB to Ethernet device of this type to keep in mind.

First: All XTi/CDi/Dsi amplifiers should be HIQnet addressed (one at a time) by direct computer connection before attaching them to the USB-Ethernet extension device.

Second because of timing issues between converting back and forth from USB and Ethernet Do Not try to update firmware through the Ethernet Converter to the amplifiers. This should only be done with a direct connection or through a USB hub connected to the computer.

Thirdly any USB Hubs that may be attached to add more devices should be self powered not Bus powered. This not only applies to using a Hub with the USB to Ethernet converter but in general as well.

Fourthly remember these are serial communication devices so even though the meters and such look real time you are really only seeing one device at a time and they are time sharing the Ethernet connection.

Other than this I have tested up to five XTi amps in various configurations with a five port hub added on and not. Everything I have tested has worked very well.

Note: Now for the obligatory disclaimer. Crown nor myself make any guarantees as to the performance of your individual system. smile.gif

#3 bDUBS1221

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 08:07 PM

This Digi device sounds good and would allow me to connect wirelessly through the network.  Have you tried connecting 12 amps via hubs into the "Anywhere USB" device or just 5 amplifiers directly into the ports on the device?  I am trying to find out whether I would have to get 4 of these units to do the job of just one and a couple of usb hubs.

#4 DGlass

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 07:45 AM

QUOTE(bDUBS1221 @ Oct 17 2006, 09:07 PM)
This Digi device sounds good and would allow me to connect wirelessly through the network.  Have you tried connecting 12 amps via hubs into the "Anywhere USB" device or just 5 amplifiers directly into the ports on the device?  I am trying to find out whether I would have to get 4 of these units to do the job of just one and a couple of usb hubs.
View Post

You can connect hubs onto the Anywhere USB device and add more amps, I have done it. The hubs however must be be self powered from it's own power supply, not powered from the USB line.

#5 Bluelight12

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 08:18 PM

Thank You David. I purchased the Digi.com Anywhere USB and was able to wirelessly connect to the XTI's. I am still working on this as it appears I am having conflicts between the I-Tech's and the XTI's (all the amps are separately addressed). At times I can get them all up on system architect, but then they become offline and I can get the XTI's back. I am using the 1.8 drivers of the USB anywhere.

I have tried both Silex 2000WG and 2000U as well as the Lantronix Ubox, and could only get the Digi.com to work. I am using a Toshiba laptop with Windows XP. After installing the Digi.com software, Windows XP will see the device as a new device to install. Click several times and keep installing the Windows devices (there were approx 5) and the Digi.com recognized the XTI as a USB device.

I am using a Belkin Router, no firewall.

Shane Fleming

#6 Bluelight12

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 11:32 PM

QUOTE(Bluelight12 @ Oct 20 2006, 08:18 PM)
Thank You David. I purchased the Digi.com Anywhere USB and was able to wirelessly connect to the XTI's. I am still working on this as it appears I am having conflicts between the I-Tech's and the XTI's (all the amps are separately addressed). At times I can get them all up on system architect, but then they become offline and I can get the XTI's back. I am using the 1.8 drivers of the USB anywhere.

I have tried both Silex 2000WG and 2000U as well as the Lantronix Ubox, and could only get the Digi.com to work. I am using a Toshiba laptop with Windows XP. After installing the Digi.com software, Windows XP will see the device as a new device to install. Click several times and keep installing the Windows devices (there were approx 5) and the Digi.com recognized the XTI as a USB device.

I am using a Belkin Router, no firewall.

Shane Fleming
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I switched the router to a Linksys and the system is running very stable with the XTI's and I-Tech's. Thank You Very Much for your research and advisement.

Shane Fleming

#7 bDUBS1221

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 10:36 AM

QUOTE(DGlass @ Oct 20 2006, 07:45 AM)
QUOTE(bDUBS1221 @ Oct 17 2006, 09:07 PM)
This Digi device sounds good and would allow me to connect wirelessly through the network.  Have you tried connecting 12 amps via hubs into the "Anywhere USB" device or just 5 amplifiers directly into the ports on the device?  I am trying to find out whether I would have to get 4 of these units to do the job of just one and a couple of usb hubs.
View Post

You can connect hubs onto the Anywhere USB device and add more amps, I have done it. The hubs however must be be self powered from it's own power supply, not powered from the USB line.
View Post



Thanks so much for the info.  Its a big help.

#8 bDUBS1221

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 12:34 PM

Here's an update.

I got the Digi Anywhere USB and connected 15 XTi amplifiers to it (using two 7-port usb self powered hubs from D-Link) and everything worked great.  I also had a Soundweb London BLU-16 and BLU-10 on the same network and I didn't have any trouble at all.  I tried connecting both with ethernet and through a wireless connection and both worked fine.  This is definately the way to go to connect to large numbers of XTi's at the same time wirelessly.  Thanks again for all the help.


-Bradley

#9 frozenwaffles

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 04:27 AM

i am trying to get this to work with the lantronix ubox and i can get it to work with one amp connected, but once i connect 4 the ubox dissapears off my network after about 30secs of being connected.

#10 DGlass

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 12:33 PM

QUOTE(frozenwaffles @ Oct 25 2007, 05:27 AM) View Post
i am trying to get this to work with the lantronix ubox and i can get it to work with one amp connected, but once i connect 4 the ubox dissapears off my network after about 30secs of being connected.

The thing to remember is these amplifiers are serial communication devices and even though we have tried one Ethernet to USB device, that we found to work, we cannot guarantee the performance of an individual system or the operation with every format converter device.

There are a few things you can check.

First:
Has each amp been addressed with a different HiQnet address using the Network Manager?
By default each amp is given the HiQ address of "1" straight out of the box. If you are using multiple amplifiers each amp will need to be addresses one at a time with a unique address of it's own.

Second:
Each amp should have a seperate six byte USB ID. This number looks like an Ethernet MAC address but is used differently by USB.

1)Plug in an amplifier directly via the USB port to the computer.
2)Start System Architect.
3)Once the amp is seen by the software. Open the "Network Manager" found under the main menu "TOOLS" selections.
4)Read the ID number
5)Unplug the amp.
6)Repeat step 1-5 fro each amp.

Each of the amps should have a different ID number.
None of the ID's should start with 00-00-00.

If this all checks out than the issue more than likely resides with the converter box.

#11 schnakesound

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 10:52 AM

David,

I have been following along this thread since it is something that I need to do in my racks.  I have two monitor racks each with (4) XTi 2000s and (1) XTI 4000.  This configuration allows each rack to either have (5) bi-amp mixes or (3) bi-amp mixes and (1) tri-amp for a drum mix.  I also have two house power amp racks set up as follows:
(1) XTi 2000 - highs, (1) Itech 4000 mids, (1) Itech 6000 lows, and (1) Itech 8000 for subs.  Each of the house power amp racks has a rack mount ethernet switch from which to control the iTechs.  If I purchased four USB Anywhere devices and put one in each of the four racks would I be able to control the XTi amps as long as I have assigned each it's own unique control number.  I think I can do this remotely with a Linksys Wireless G Router and pluging an output into and ethernet in on each rack.  I should then be able to see the entire system in SA 1.5 and control each amp independently.  I can either use this as one large system or as two smaller systems depending on what venue(s) I am doing on a given day.

Does this make any kind of sense for controlling my system or as my wife says have I been in the peyote again?

Thanks in advance for your help.

bill  cool.gif
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Visit us at: http://www.schnakesound.com

Bill Schnake

#12 DGlass

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 02:07 PM

Since theXTi series are USB devices we cannot guarantee anything beyond that. We have only tested multiple XTi amplifiers using one "Anywhere USB" device and several USB Hubs to prove proof of concept. However I don't see why having several "Anywhere USB devices shouldn't work as long as everthing is addressed up correctly. It would be intersesting to see how/if it works.

As for connecting the USB device to Ethernet and then to Wireless Ethernet we have never tested it. Remember with this you are converting from USB to Ethernet then slowing the whole thing down with Wireless Ethernet and then trying to process all that information within the time window the program want's to be receiving the data to accept it as valid. Others have tried connecting several XTi amplifiers with one "Anywhere USB" connected to a Wireless router and they have had it working. I can't say however that I have heard of multiple Wireless connections with multiple "Anywhere USB" devices being tried yet.  huh.gif

#13 clssales

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 04:11 PM

Gentlemen,

I have been reading your remarks about amplifier networking and I have a scenario of my own that I would like to toss out to you to check feasibility.  I plan to hook up four XTi and two CDi amps to System Architect using a externally-powered USB hub.  This will take place in the amp rack located back stage and through a wire run of about 200' to 300' to the FOH position where my PC will be located.  I know USB does not stand a chance at this range but how about implementing a USB Balun kit to make this run?  I have seen an Intelix USB Balun kit that boasts transmission distances up to 330'.  Before I spend the $ on the Balun kit, I wanted to see if anyone has had experience with this scenario.  Thanks in advance...

#14 DGlass

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 07:55 AM

QUOTE(clssales @ Sep 9 2008, 05:11 PM) View Post
Gentlemen,

I have been reading your remarks about amplifier networking and I have a scenario of my own that I would like to toss out to you to check feasibility.  I plan to hook up four XTi and two CDi amps to System Architect using a externally-powered USB hub.  This will take place in the amp rack located back stage and through a wire run of about 200' to 300' to the FOH position where my PC will be located.  I know USB does not stand a chance at this range but how about implementing a USB Balun kit to make this run?  I have seen an Intelix USB Balun kit that boasts transmission distances up to 330'.  Before I spend the $ on the Balun kit, I wanted to see if anyone has had experience with this scenario.  Thanks in advance...

We have never tried this method and have no experience with trying to run USB over Cat5 via a Balun at either end. There would be two things to take into consideration. The first is if the signal is degraded by the capacitance of the wire. Depending on the method used by the particular Balun a digital signal over long lengths of cable could be skewed enough for it to not sync with devices at the other end.

The second issue would be if the different signals will all get there and back in the proper time windows due to the differences in the twists of the Cat5 cable.  I know that this can be an issue in cheaper Video Baluns with the different colors ghosting each other.

At this point we can’t say it will and we can’t say it won’t work. We also can’t say which Balun might or might not work based on their method of transmission until someone tries them.

Sorry we couldn’t be more help but I hope the information above will at least show the issues that could arise.


#15 clssales

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 06:08 PM

Thanks for the info.  I will let you know if this works...