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Software Control Setup


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#1 alanstar

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 08:47 PM

I have a 3 way pa set up with an itech6000 driving the subs, an xti4000 doing the mids and a mackie m1400 doing the hf. I currently use a driverack pa to do the crossover etc. What I am wondering is if I replace the mackie with an xti amp, can I then use one software interface (system architect ?) to control all 3 amps in the rack, and do away with the driverack pa ?

... And to take it a step further, (one step at a time I know but ... ), I noticed on the system architect site that you can use wireless, is it somehow possible to have something connecting the three amps in the rack and then controlling it all wireless with my laptop out the front, or would I need to run 3 seperate cables out to the front or is there some sort of device I can use so that I only need to run one cable to my laptop ?

Any help, suggestions, pointers in the right direction, would be much appreciated.

Thanks, Alan.

#2 DGlass

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 12:29 PM

Yes you can use the System Architect to control and monitor all three of the XTi and ITech amplifiers amplifiers. With that said I need to calrify that the Itechs use Ethernet for control and monitoring while the XTi amps use USB and USB by it's nature has a distance limitation.

However..........there are devices out there that allow for USB over Ethernet. Currently I have not found a Wireless USB device that has worked.

However I have found a wired USB to Ethernet device that has work successfully for me, and others. I have not tried it connected to a Wireless Access Point so I don’t know if it will work wirelessly or not but since USB is a serial data protocol I would have to think that it would not translate well to wireless ethernet either.

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Although we don’t “officially” recommend an Ethernet to USB device I have done some testing on the 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 USB-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.
Once I downloaded the latest drivers for the device it has been working solidly. The unit was priced just under $300.00 USD. The Techs at Digi told me that 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.

http://www.digi.com/products/usb/anywhereusb.jsp

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.
Finally You need to use the latest firmware 1.1.2.9 or multiple amps will crash the computer due to a Microsoft USB issue.

Other than this I have tested up to ten XTi amps in various configurations with a USB hub added on.  ***********************************************************************
Note: Now for the obligatory disclaimer. Crown nor myself make any guarantees as to the performance of your individual system.



#3 alanstar

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 09:51 PM

Ok, thanks for that David. What I am wondering is whether I could do this, to eliminate the need for a hub like the one you mentioned ... for the time being, perhaps to get it later if i need it.

Set up itech sub amp direct with computer so that it is doing everything I want it to so that I don't need to control it from out front (I use crossover cable for this right ?). But then to have control of the mid / high xti's from a usb hub with a long usb cord, you mentioned usb may not work over long distance, how long is that distance, for example can I get 5 to 10m so i can at least hear what is going on for testing set up ?

Also, I can't see it in the xti manual but can I get detailed control over things like phase / xover high and low pass, bandpass, different slopes, detailed eq, etc. on the xti's from within system architect ?

(I haven't been able to view/hook up system architect yet as am on mac and waiting for new mac i can boot up windows on)

Thanks, Alan.

#4 DGlass

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 02:52 PM

QUOTE(alanstar @ Nov 2 2007, 09:51 PM) View Post
Ok, thanks for that David. What I am wondering is whether I could do this, to eliminate the need for a hub like the one you mentioned ... for the time being, perhaps to get it later if i need it.

Set up itech sub amp direct with computer so that it is doing everything I want it to so that I don't need to control it from out front (I use crossover cable for this right ?). But then to have control of the mid / high xti's from a usb hub with a long usb cord, you mentioned usb may not work over long distance, how long is that distance, for example can I get 5 to 10m so i can at least hear what is going on for testing set up ?

Also, I can't see it in the xti manual but can I get detailed control over things like phase / xover high and low pass, bandpass, different slopes, detailed eq, etc. on the xti's from within system architect ?

(I haven't been able to view/hook up system architect yet as am on mac and waiting for new mac i can boot up windows on)

Thanks, Alan.

The Anywhere USB device can be used with upto 5 USB devices. Hubs can be added to allow for more USB devices.
The output of the USB anywhere is an Ethernet connection so it and your ITech(s) would then be conneceted to a network switch or wireless router.
Although we have not tested going USB to Ethernet and then to Wireless Ethernet others have done it and say they have had it working. Since the XTi amplifiers are USB devices we can only support it to the USB level.

By definition USB is limited to 5m. This limitation is due to timing issues. However, in theory if you cascade 5 hubs with 5m USB cables, this is supposed to allow you to connect "a" device 30m away. Remember though... each of these hubs needs to be self powered having it's own power supply.

You only need to do direct connection of the computer to an XTi amplifier for intial setup of the device addresses. After that you can control, monitor and program them with multiple amps plugged in. This is because each USB connection of an XTi amplifier when intially plugged in wants to be address 1.

If you would like to see what is available in an XTi amplifier, for control and monitoring with System Architect, you can drag a XTi amp over onto the "Venue View" screen from the "Devices" panel. Once the XTi is on the "Venue View" double click it to open to the main amplifier panel. Then by double clicking on a button you can go to the different sections of the amplifier's programing that are available.