Jump to content

Network switch for a small Dante network, yes or no?


Ben B
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi!

 

I am on the verge to switch to Dante on my cart. I will connect 3 DSQD to my Scorpio. I understand i could just daisy chain the 3 DSQD into the Scorpio but it somehow feels less safe than having a network switch (is it?). I am new to Dante and although i passed the Dante certification level 1, i still have a couple question that need answering to reassure me before buying everything.

If i choose to go the switch way, i’ll need one that can be powered through my battery distribution system (Audioroot k-art) as my cart runs off batteries.

 

Is there anyone using sort of the simular setup and care to share their experience? Switch? No switch?

 

Thanks for your input!

 

Ben

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am certain that I would have explored Dante if I were a working PSM today.  It is a really good AoIP for a lot of reasons.

 

All I can say, as the owner of a large Dante Fly-pack music recording rig (32 channels at 24/96) is that the switch is a very important part of the system as it grows.  You may well be able to make a "daisy-chained" cart work in your network's most simple iteration but as it grows, which it certain will, the switch(s) become the centerpiece of the network.

 

That being said, it takes a much deeper dive into Dante to make a switched network even work and an even deeper dive to get it to do exactly what you want it to do.

 

So I guess it boils down to if and when a PSM would want to make that move.

 

FWIW, there are really small (four or five port) gigabit switches (unmanaged) by companies like Netgear that a person can find at almost any thrift store if you want to try out something  to get you started.  Make certain that they don't have "power saving" built in as, on an unmanaged switch, you won't be able to turn it off.  You DO NOT want that in your network.

 

If you end up with a managed switch like a Cisco SG300, look to Yamaha for set up instructions.  Detailed and understandable.  The trick with the Yammy instructions is knowing when to quit fussing.

 

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/contents/proaudio/docs/dante_network_design_guide/301_setting_sg300.html

 

Also, look to Audinate for help and I hardily advise certifying at the first two levels through their education offerings.  The third is so "network-nerd" level that I have, sigh, been unable to pass even as I have built a large and functioning network and know the ins and out well.  I have also decided that the third level certification is totally unneeded for what I do (probably just to save face).

 

https://www.audinate.com/learning/training-certification

 

Good luck.

 

D.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Scorpio has two ports that, if I understand it correctly, acts as a switch. So you could plug your computer in one port and the go out to the other to the first DSQD, then daisy chain the other two DSQD. And Dante doesn’t need the computer once you have done the initial setup - the devices remember each other.

But - the beauty of having a switch is you can use Wireless Designer to scan and deploy frequencies for all your DSQDs in one go.

I have a Netgear GS105. It’s a 5-port switch and runs off the 12v distro - bonus point => same plug as Lectro, so your existing cables fit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Tourtelot for the detailed answer. I did pass the Audinate certification level 1 and will then start for the level 2. What you said about outgrowing the daisy chain network is very true... I remember when i started and built my first cart, when it was done i thought to myself i would never need more than my 6 track recorder and couple lavs... :)

 

Thanks Johnny Karlsson for the tip on the Netgear GS105. It does say in the user guide of the switch that it has IEEE enabled (which i learned in the Dante certification level 1 and what tourtelot said, you do not want). Did you encounter any problem?

 

It seems like having a switch is the way to go. I'll keep searching for a 1 Gbit, no power saving, 5 ports, DC powered switch. If anybody has a tip on such a switch, let me know! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Ben B said:

Thanks Johnny Karlsson for the tip on the Netgear GS105. It does say in the user guide of the switch that it has IEEE enabled (which i learned in the Dante certification level 1 and what tourtelot said, you do not want). Did you encounter any problem?

Strangely, when I bought this, I did extensive research and made sure it didn’t have that power saving feature, but the current description indeed does say it does. Maybe mine is an older version(?)

I have had zero problems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use 2 ubiquiti edgerouter x (primary/secondary) and love them.  They are affordable, small, power efficient, and work great with Dante.  They have higher throughout than their Netgear etc cousins, and are really flexible.

One thing to consider with a switched network is ip assignments.  Static ip's work if you don't change your setup, but if you're like me and constantly changing which devices your using on each job, them a dhcp server is a most.  The ubiquiti can be programmed as a switch (not router) that also had a dhcp server.  That's a nice bonus for a self contained system like your cart system would be, and can be easily turned off to plug into another network.

I also use an edgerouter 10x when I need more ports.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Kelsey.  Why do you say that the Ubiquity router has "more throughout" (throughput?) than the Netgear GS series?  Gigabit is gigabit isn't it?  I use the small Netgears but not ofter.  I do have a five-port in the back of my preamp rack that routes the remotes, a four-port ,rack mounted, for small jobs and a couple of 8-port (4x4POE) that I use as POE power supplies or "cable extenders".  They all work fine.

 

I have three large Cisco SG300 switches that I use on large jobs that serve DHCP and run at least two VLANs.  One switch on the stage and one in the control room.  These are set so that some of the ports provide POE.  These allow for a "s**t-load of devices to be on the network.  But as I said earlier, I am out of the PSM work and using this stuff for Fly-pack music recording work so my situation is very different.

 

D.

 

Oh, and BTW, I probably have a dozen Netgear (small-guy) switches, almost all of which I found in thrift stores for $5-10 with the proper power supplies.  So there's that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Ben B said:

Thanks! The edgerouter x looks like what i am looking for. Hopefully the DC plug in the back is the same size as a Lectro one (it seems hard to find any info on the size of that plug).

I have powered my edgerouter x from my bds before, so you should be fine.

 

7 hours ago, tourtelot said:

Hey Kelsey.  Why do you say that the Ubiquity router has "more throughout" (throughput?) than the Netgear GS series?  Gigabit is gigabit isn't it?  I use the small Netgears but not ofter.  I do have a five-port in the back of my preamp rack that routes the remotes, a four-port ,rack mounted, for small jobs and a couple of 8-port (4x4POE) that I use as POE power supplies or "cable extenders".  They all work fine.

 

I have three large Cisco SG300 switches that I use on large jobs that serve DHCP and run at least two VLANs.  One switch on the stage and one in the control room.  These are set so that some of the ports provide POE.  These allow for a "s**t-load of devices to be on the network.  But as I said earlier, I am out of the PSM work and using this stuff for Fly-pack music recording work so my situation is very different.

 

D.

 

Oh, and BTW, I probably have a dozen Netgear (small-guy) switches, almost all of which I found in thrift stores for $5-10 with the proper power supplies.  So there's that.

Hey Doug.  The throughput I'm referring to (if i had checked my spelling) is the switch capacity, not the line rate.  While each port runs at 1Gbps, the switch internally can only handle so many packets per second, and not all switches stack up.  In a common unicast setup this will probably never become an issue.  In larger multicast workflows a lot more data has to be handled by the switch without bottlenecks, even though each line can only handle 1Gbps.

 

I don't mean to say the Netgear won't work or perform well.  I own a netgear GS105e also, and have used it without issues in the past.  I also own 3 varieties of the ubiquit, and a cisco SGxxx (can't remember which model).  I can't find a pps rate for the netgear that I own right now, and the edgerouter x is lower than the edgerouter lite, so it's  possible my memory is off.  When I bought these several years ago I remember having to research the throughput because I ran into issues in my studio network, and increasing the internal switching capacity fixed my speed / bandwidth issues, even though all the networks were 1Gbps throughout.  I settled on the ubiquiti as a good balance between switch capacity and low cost.  I also find them a lot more configurable than the netgears.  For example on one of my edgerouters I run a wireguard server for remote access. 

 

+1 to running VLANs.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, okay.  I can only speak to never having had a problem plugging four Dante devices and a laptop into a Netgear 5-port box.  Thanks for the explanation.  But also, I rarely use these for anything other than Cat cable extenders.

 

D.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Even if the network is dedicated to Dante (it can get tricky if you have other high demand or bursty applications running) I would never consider an unmanaged switch. 

The price of a reasonable managed switch from a reputable vendor is peanuts compared to the equipment usually discussed in this forum. And you can't imagine the amount of pain that crappy networking gear is capable of inflicting. 

 

And indeed multicast Dante can be taxing for poor switches. And it can become a nightmare in case you plug a wireless access point to your network. 

 

If only thanks to the capability to show interface statistics (errors, etc) managed switches are, in my opinion, mandatory. 

 

(Note that I am writing this with my ISP guy hat on)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/11/2021 at 6:03 PM, Johnny Karlsson said:

The Scorpio has two ports that, if I understand it correctly, acts as a switch. So you could plug your computer in one port and the go out to the other to the first DSQD, then daisy chain the other two DSQD. And Dante doesn’t need the computer once you have done the initial setup - the devices remember each other.

But - the beauty of having a switch is you can use Wireless Designer to scan and deploy frequencies for all your DSQDs in one go.

I have a Netgear GS105. It’s a 5-port switch and runs off the 12v distro - bonus point => same plug as Lectro, so your existing cables fit.

Quick update. I ended up getting a Netgear GS105E. After some research i found out you can turn of the IEEE in the setup menu of the switch. (it should actually be turned off by default). 

 

I do have a problem with powering it via my power distro. The old Lectro power cable i have laying around do not power the switch. I am trying to order a replacement power cord and solder a Hirose onto it to see if it's the lectro plug that isn't working or not.

I ordered a Audioroot K-Art with one output regulated at 12V so i might just use that output to power the switch. @Johnny Karlsson what is your setup exactly that you can power the switch through your power distro?

 

I did also have a couple issue where my Dante Virtual Sound card clock sync unlocked and my DVS got muted. After a few minute it locked in again and it worked. I did some research and it's apparently and mac/DVS/thunderbolt Ethernet dongle issue. Has anyone encounter that issue as well?

 

I'm brand new to Dante and i'm still figuring it out. Although i did pass the Dante certification level 1 and 2, when it comes to setup the my own network some things still makes me scratch my head...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Ben B said:

. @Johnny Karlsson what is your setup exactly that you can power the switch through your power distro?

I have powered it previously from a Remote Audio BDS, with the regular BDS cable w/Lectro plug. Currently from a RA MEON LiFE, with a cable I made (4-pin XLR to Lectro plug). No regulator.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...