Single cable setup AR2412 + SQ5

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of htevents htevents 1 year, 2 months ago.

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    Profile photo of htevents

    Hello all,

    Quick question. I have an AR2412 and an SQ5. The AR2412 is in a rack on stage with other gear that has network functionalities. In the rack on stage there is a managed GigaBit network switch.
    The SQ5 sits in a rack for FOH. In that rack is a managed GigaBit router with Wi-Fi.

    Can I connect the AR2412 to the managed switch in the stage rack and the SLink port and network port of the SQ5 to the managed router in the FOH rack and use a single Cat6 cable between stage and FOH or does there need to be a direct connection between the dSnake port of the AR2412 and the SLink port of the SQ5 and do I need to run an extra network cable for network functionalities?

    If it is possible to do it with only one Cat6 cable, how is the reliability of the audio signal and how to setup the port settings in the router and switch?
    Other things I have to look (out) for when using the single cable setup?

    Thanks in advance.

    Profile photo of Søren Steinmetz
    Søren Steinmetz

    Simple answer: no

    The S-Link protocol used between the SQ and AR/AB stageboxes are a point to point protocol, the only thing it has in common with Ethernet is the cables and plugs.
    (then again, a 100Mbit copper-fiber concerter in each end will work, as the protocol uses Layer1 and 2 in the OSI model, where Ethernet TCP/IP etc are Layer 3)

    Profile photo of htevents

    Thanks for your reply. I already kept in mind this was the case, but I thought I read somewhere (I think it was this forum) that people had connected the SLink port and network port to the same managed switch and had audio with it, but I think I remember that wrong.

    Profile photo of Tom

    It is possible, but officially it is not supported.

    First solution (very experimental!):
    If you want to try if it works for you, here are some important things:
    You need managed switches with VLAN support.
    You must create a separate VLAN for the SQ’s IO port and the AR2412’s dSnake port across both switches.
    Consult your switches’ documentations on how to do this.
    Pay special attention to “tagged” and “untagged” settings:
    The ports where SQ/AR are connected, are untagged and not member of any other VLAN.
    The “trunk” ports carry the dSnake VLAN tagged.
    No other ports may be assigned / member of the dSnake VLAN.
    The switches must be configured such that no additional traffic is generated on the VLAN.
    For example discovery protocols etc must be disabled for the VLAN.
    The “backbone” connection between the switches must be Gigabit (or faster).
    If the link between the switches has high load, you will get audio problems.
    The switchports to which SQ’s IO port and the AR2412 must be set to a fixed link speed of 100 MBit/s.
    Otherwise SQ can detect a DX link instead of dSnake.
    If that happens the IO screen will show ‘DX’ instead of ‘dSnake’.

    We run such a setup, but the traffic on the other VLANs is very low (Sennheiser WSM and Artnet).
    We have not tried it with a additional video transmission through the same cable.

    It works for a connection

    When we try this:
    SQ<->Switch<->Switch<->[AR2412 Expander port]<->AB168
    the expander AB168 shows Link errors and audio is interrupted.

    Second solution:
    dSnake is Fast Ethernet, and Fast Ethernet works with only 4 of the 8 wires in a Cat cable.
    If 100 MBit link speed is ok between your switches, better use a pair of ethernet port doublers like Delock 65177.
    Then you use 2 of the 4 pairs in the ethernet cable for the switch-switch connection,
    and the other 2 pairs for the SQ-AR2412 connection.
    So you have 2x 100 Mbit links on 1 cable (I hope this is readable):

    Port Doubler1 Port Doubler2
    FOH router.. A A……..Stage switch
    +———-Cat cable———+
    SQ………..B B……..AR2412

    Profile photo of htevents

    Wow, this is great info, thanks. I think I try the first solution. If that is not working for me, I will just use two cat6 cables.

    Profile photo of htevents

    Well, I am at the point that we are converting the setup to a single cable setup. I do understand most part of the info Tom has provided here, but I would like to get a bit more info before taking it to the field.

    Especialy @Tom, your setup sounds a lot like our setup, simple ArtNet traffic and the SQ + stage box.

    What switches do you use and can you provide me with the exact settings per port of the switches?

    Thank you in advance. If anyone else has a similar setup, please share your switch settings/port setup.

    Profile photo of Brian

    Unless it is physically impossible to run a dedicated network cable, you always want to do that. I realize in some installed locations, adding a dedicated cable might actually be impossible, but you should first closely explore this possibility and not just accept that it is “impossible” without actually making sure that it really isn’t possible.

    If it is impossible, then I suspect any true layer 3 enterprise level managed switch is going to have all the options needed to make this work over VLANs. A consumer grade switch (even one that supports VLANs) is probably NOT up to the task.

    Profile photo of htevents

    Well, it is not impossible to run a second network cable, just undesirable because of the current setup and combi cables we have now. So if it can work reliable with a VLAN setup and just 1 cable to the FOH, it will suit our needs best. If it turns out to be unreliable, I would run the second cable of course.

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