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Rob Beal

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Everything posted by Rob Beal

  1. Thanks, sounds like it's worth exploring the VLAN issue when I'm between shows this year.
  2. No, after doing a fair bit of research last summer (my knowledge of networking was essentially zero before this), I decided that my setup was small and simple enough that separate VLANs weren't required, as a robust switch like the Cisco SG3xx has enough bandwidth to handle it all without getting anywhere close to its limit. For the most part this has been true, as I've never had even a single hiccup in my Dante or NDI streams, but now that you've pointed out your experience, it makes me wonder if separate VLAN's may solve the issue I've been having where my Wireless Designer will occasionally disconnect or require a restart. Now I'll have to decide if it's worth mucking about with VLANs to try to solve a fairly minor issue. Did you find them easy to setup? I don't know how much networking knowledge you have, but setting up multiple VLANs was sort of the point where I started to scratch my head and felt like a fish out of water.
  3. Yes I use a Kiloview E1 encoder for NDI.HX. If you want to try full bandwidth NDI you could try one of the Bird Dog units.
  4. No need for multicast flows, the Dante signals in my setup are only going between the Scorpio and the Ferrofish. I use managed switches (Cisco SG350) but I did test it with unmanaged switches and it worked fine, so I keep those around as backup in case my Cisco switches ever go down. It's worth noting that I use an NDI.HX video encoder which compresses the stream down to 8-20Mbps so it doesn't add much strain to the network. A full uncompressed NDI stream would be around 125Mbps. If you only have one stream that should still be fine as long as you have a good quality Gigabit switch, but you'd have to do your own tests to confirm. I have my Scorpio set to be the clock master.
  5. Yes you can disable EEE in the settings and that's one of the first things you should do.
  6. Thanks, when designing it I was a bit hesitant to commit to splitting my cart into two pieces, as I worried it would be slow and clunky moving two carts around instead of one, but I actually don’t mind it, and it makes me much more flexible. I can easily move the Zuca cart close to set or into a tight spot and then find a more private and comfortable spot for myself, which I appreciate a lot during Covid times. When on location I often stay in the comfort of my van. On my current show I’m actually mixing from my own private office next to stage (whenever we’re in studio at least). I was worried I would feel too removed from set, but there are ways to get around that. The video coordinator now provides a “spy cam” video feed during setups and blockings, we keep a spare mic built on a flexi arm that we stick on set, my crew and I have our own private comms to stay in touch with each other, and I monitor channel 1 of the public walkie to keep tabs on everything else. The ability to stay safe and even take my mask off for the majority of the day is a huge win for me. I’m sure once the threat of Covid is firmly in the rear view mirror I’ll be itching to get back in the thick of the action, but for now I’m really loving the setup. One Ethernet cable is all that’s needed, you just need a switch to combine the signals. With such a simple network an unmanaged switch is probably fine (I tested it using one and didn’t encounter any issues), but to be safe I use a managed Cisco SG350 switch to make sure everything is rock solid and can handle the bandwidth. There are guides online to walk you through the optimal settings.
  7. The patchbay on the remote cart has both inputs and outputs, so I can use it however I need to. If I'm doing playback myself, my Mac Mini on my main cart feeds into my Scorpio via USB and I can send the outputs to the remote cart Ferrofish via Dante to feed speakers/earwigs on set. If I'm working with a separate playback/ProTools operator with their own cart, then they just feed the music and LTC tracks into my remote cart's inputs and it comes back to me via Dante. I keep my VOG separate from my cart, it is a standalone system. And yes the patchbay has BNC inputs for all my antennas (on a separate patchbay on the back), and an SDI video input that gets encoded to NDI. The remote cart is powered by a Remote Audio LiFeBox that feeds a modified Hotstrip so it can switch seamlessly from AC power to DC and stay charged up. It can run for a full day on DC if needed. My main cart is powered by its own Meon.
  8. Sure, here is the remote cart on set, and the “mothership” back in my sound office, connected by Dante.
  9. You don't need to do anything to convert the X outputs to Dante, you simply assign them in the Dante Output Routing page of the Scorpio menu. The Scorpio can output 32 Dante channels. And yes I'm using a Silex DS-501 to convert USB to IP for Wireless Designer, but I find it a bit buggy on Mac OS Catalina, so I'm looking for another solution (or I may just roll my Mac Mini back to Mojave in the meantime, which is the last officially supported OS according to the Silex website).
  10. Yes my wireless all lives in a remote "mini-cart" that I put on set (Lectrosonics Venues, Sennheiser G4 IEM, Comtek, and NDI video encoder), and cable back to my main cart via Dante. I use Wireless Designer on my cart to view the wireless information and control the Lectro receivers.
  11. I am, it gives me all the inputs and outputs I need and is rock solid. I use it with my SD Scorpio.
  12. Thanks Larry, and good idea re: the ALP-500, as I still have a couple of those kicking around in storage. I guess I'll stick with my SNA600 for now, and the next time my boom op encounters range issues I'll try switching to the ALP500 and see if it improves the issue.
  13. I recently moved the IFB feed for my crew down to the 470MHz range (using a Sennheiser SR300 transmitter in the A1 block) in order to keep the frequency a bit further from the rest of my wireless. I've always used a Lectro SNA600 dipole as my transmitting antenna, but technically the center frequency of that antenna is only tuneable down to 550MHz. I know that's probably "close enough" to effectively be fine, but I'm curious if there would be a better antenna for a 470MHz signal. Directional might be nice too, so I can point it at set and give my boom op a bit more range that way too. What are other people using? Rob
  14. This looks interesting, you could keep one on your sound cart feeding into your mixer for private comms, and when you need to walk away from your cart you could just take this with you and maintain communication with your crew.... something I've been thinking about implementing for a while but hadn't seen an elegant solution for yet. I think I'll back this project and give it a try. And if we don't end up using it on set, at least I can bring it on ski trips!
  15. That is strange, any time I’ve tried to do this (use the center holes) the holes never line up well enough to work, as they are only 1.15” apart rather than 1.25”. Is there more wiggle room in the Dashboard’s rack ears, or is there a technique to making gear fit like this?
  16. Interesting, thank you for sharing!
  17. I've spent the past few weeks testing out basically this exact setup. I reached out to the various NDI players with my idea, and the Kiloview distributor here in Canada agreed to send me their NDI.HX E1 encoder and D300 decoder to test out. Happy to report that it integrated seamlessly into my Dante network. My current setup is: - 16 channels of Dante running both ways between my Scorpio on my sound cart and my mobile RF rack (via Ferrofish Pulse 16DX) - Up to 4 channels of video being sent from a Decimator MD-QUAD which I'll put on the video assist cart down a single SDI cable to my RF rack where it hits the E1 encoder - The E1 encoder converts the video to NDI.HX and adds it to my network alongside the Dante audio using a Cisco SG350 switch - Everything gets sent down a Cat5E Ethercon cable to my sound cart - At my sound cart, I have another Cisco SG350 sending the signal to my Scorpio, a Mac Mini, and the Kiloview D300 decoder - From my sound cart I can either use the D300 decoder to send the video into the SDI input on my 17" monitor, or simply open VLC on my Mac Mini and tune into the RTSP stream directly from the E1 encoder. This lets me use my Mac for other uses like Wireless Designer at the same time, and frees up my iPad for Scriptation I initially figured I'd have to keep the NDI and Dante signals on separate VLANS for stability, which I found a bit daunting as a networking newbie, but luckily the NDI.HX stream takes up so little bandwidth that it all lives happily on the same VLAN together, which makes it much simpler to connect to everything with the Mac Mini (so I can run Dante Controller, Wireless Controller, and VLC at the same time). I listened for quite a long time and did not hear any audio issues, and no clocking issues, latency issues or other warning signs. I even tested it on unmanaged switches and it seemed to work fine, but I will stick with my Cisco routers so I can use QoS and set up static IP addresses for easy troubleshooting. Long story short, for simple Dante networks like ours, there's no reason you can't add an NDI.HX stream to your network.
  18. I'd like to tighten up my frequency coordination by adding some passive RF filters to my wireless, but neither Lectro nor RF Venue offer the specific filters I need. All of my receivers are in Lectro blocks 20-22 so ideally I would have a 75MHz filter between 513 and 588 (or a 100MHz filter from 500-600MHz). Has anyone found a source for ordering custom filters like this? I see the Wisycom BFA would do what I'm asking, but it's expensive, needs power, and also provides amplification which I don't need since I already have active PSC antennas. I could always sell my PSC antennas and just buy the Wisycom LFA's, but before I go that route I'd like to explore the custom passive filter options. Side question, what antennas are people using to transmit 470MHz signals? I switched my IFB transmitter down to that block, but Lectro dipoles only tune the center frequency down to 550, and even the miracle whip extensions only say they go down to 486MHz, which I know is "close enough" in RF land, but is anyone making specific 470 antennas?
  19. I've been trying this exact setup with the Silex USB server, but in my brief tests I couldn't get the device to show up in my Mac Mini. Unfortunately the Silex device software does not support Catalina yet. Well, to be more precise, there are two software applications you need to set it up. One is the "SX Virtual Link" software which runs in the background and allows your Mac to "see" the virtual USB devices (in this case, the Silex Server and the Venue Systems) as if they are plugged directly into the computer's USB ports. Silex does have a beta version of SX Virtual Link that has limited Catalina support. But in order to set everything up properly and assign an IP address to the USB Server, you need to run Silex's setup software, which will not open in Catalina. Their tech support people claim it should work automatically as long as you have DHCP set up on your network, but so far I have not been able to get it to work. It may be possible, but I need to do more testing. If you try this setup as well, let me know if you get it working! I'll do the same.
  20. Yeah I hate the fact that the monitor will cost more than the computer, but at least I’ll be selling my current rack mount monitors so I’ll recoup some of the cost. That’s also why I want it to do double-duty.
  21. I'm in the middle of redesigning my cart around a Mac Mini as well. My current plan is to replace my 7" dual monitors with one of these 1RU pullout 17" monitors: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1302336-REG/lilliput_rm_1730_s_17_3_full_hd_pull_out.html I plan on using the HDMI input with the Mac Mini and using the SDI input for video (using a Decimator on the source end to combine video streams to a single SDI), and just switching back and forth with the front buttons as needed. Then in addition to that, I already use an iPad on my cart for Scriptation, so I'm going to use the Duet app to extend my Mac Mini's desktop to the iPad as well: https://www.duetdisplay.com/ My hope is that I'll be satisfied with those two screens doing double duty, since I don't really NEED to be looking at my Mac's screen while shooting, it's more for setting up Dante, Wireless Designer, emailing sound reports etc. I suppose there will be a time when I'll want to simultaneously see the script, the video feed, and Wireless Designer during a shot if I'm troubleshooting RF problems, but I'll wait and see how important that is before committing to a third monitor. I like the idea of using my existing screens.
  22. Rob Beal

    bag drop

    Brilliant. Looks like a great option.
  23. Rob Beal

    bag drop

    Good point, I already have an old Decimator Quad box kicking around, so i could easily stick that at video village. A bigger challenge with that would be fitting a larger monitor in my current cart setup (right now I use a triple 5" monitor device that takes up 2 rack spaces). But that might be an easier fix since I'm already pulling wireless racks out of my cart to remote onto set, so cart space will be freed up. Good thing we still have plenty of hiatus time to figure out how to retool our carts!
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