GigaACE & Dante over switches and 10G Lightpipes

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of RS RS 4 years, 7 months ago.

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    Profile photo of doctor_sound

    It’s done!
    Weeks of testing and developing of switch options and a international broadcast venue for live testing…

    I’ve tryed so long to tunnel GigaACE (PRI/SEC), Dante (PRO/SEC) and Control over different VLAN’s over a 10G SFP+-Lightpipe trunk.
    Now it happens…
    I’ve done the UEFA Championsleague -and Euroleague-Draw in Monaco a few days ago.


    DLIVE S5000 (Optioncards: Dante + SRC-Adapter)
    DM64 (Optioncards: AES, GigaACE, Dante128x128)
    2x DX168 (1x Stagebox, 1x Console)
    IP8 (Console)
    4x Microtik CSS326 with 10G SFP+ Modules (Singlemode 10km) [2x Promary / 2x Secondary)
    Lightpipe 200m SC/SC Multimode (8 pipes) I’ve used 4, the other 4 pipes are spare and connected to Mediaconverters. (Plan B Scenario)
    The Bandwith of the lightpipe-trunk was ca. 1,5 Gbit (GigaACE+DANTE+CONTROL) per switch

    GigaACE is a very fragile protocol. It’s absolutlely necessary to deactivat every Layer3-Feature. The switch has to act as a Layer2-Switch.

    At the end, the setup worked very well for me. No Audio glitches at all. Only on thing annoying me… after ca. 5-10 Minutes an error shows up ‘Console sync recovered’ but no Audioglitch in the connected Audiocards and Stageboxes…clean signal.

    For this kind of live-broadcastshow I had 80 Inputs and 90 Outputs (Tielines+Consoleoutputs) and ca. 100 Channels of Dante…
    The whole 4-wire Intercom is tunneled vie tielines through the GigaACE and all wireless mics (Shure Axient Digital) are connected and controled via Dante 96KHz

    For me the time of yamaha is over. I’ve used a PM7 in the past… but the Dlive is mutch more flexible and so intuitive in the way of patching and routing…

    Please contact me for questions. And if anaybody has a hint for my sync message of the console… please feel free to contact me.



    Profile photo of doctor_sound

    Here are some pics of the job.

    I’ve worked for PRG and Production office Germany.

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    Profile photo of

    Very cool! Love hearing about people pushing the envelope!!

    Profile photo of Wolfgang

    I’ll be glad to join you. This is an interesting application!

    Note: It is known that the ACE connection can only run via Layer2 Switch. It can also be found somewhere in the manual 🙂

    I recently tried to connect a DX168 with simple TP-Link fiber optic format converters via fiber optics. Unfortunately this didn’t work, I had clicks and didn’t get Preamp control. Unfortunately you can’t access these converters.
    Does anyone know any format converters that can solve this problem?

    Profile photo of doctor_sound

    I’ve used this TP-Link converter for years… TP-Link MC200CM (2x Primary, 2x Secondary and 2x Spare off course!)
    But now, I’m going with the mikrotik switches…
    for short distance (100-300m) I use Singlemode SFPs and Multimode fibre. It works without problems. (Singlemode Transceivers have more transmit power.
    Also the Adapter patches from SC to LC are Multimode. Only the SFP+ module is Singlemode



    Profile photo of Wolfgang

    that’s interesting. i thought so far that you can’t mix single and multimode, because they are different cross sections and i suspected that the lenses would have to be cut differently, because the angle of light entry is much narrower in singlemode. I must have misunderstood that.

    Profile photo of doctor_sound

    some video guys gave me this hint…

    with Multimode SFPs and MM Core+Patches 250m I have a cable loss of 3-5dB
    with Singlemode SFPs and MM Core+patches I have only 1-2db cable loss.
    Singlemode Transceivers are made for distances of 10km+… 250m is only a patch in singlemode-world 🙂

    best regards

    Profile photo of SteffenR

    I guess a singlemode transmitter would work with multimode fibre but not the multimode transmitter with single mode fibre

    and btw not all singlemode SFP transmitters are made for long distances

    Profile photo of Mr-B

    This is interesting indeed, I too use the TP-Link media converters with Gigace, 4 units plus a spare (😉) but the single mode and multi mode thing is news, wish I had this information earlier. It has been very reliable system for sure.
    I think the longest distance I have tried is 250m surface to mix rack. I have also used optical connectivity on the MADI card to feed various broadcast trucks again all successfully .
    Great system might have to give the 10Gb networks a look, thanks
    Ian B.

    Profile photo of millst

    I tried to do this last summer with a Microtik CRS328 but the 1.8 firmware wasn’t out yet so the dLive wasn’t playing nice with VLANs and trunks.
    I’m keen to revisit.

    Did you actually manage to get the DX protocol working through the switch? I battled with this for days but kept getting glitches.

    Now they have removed the vlan tagging from gigAce, do I just connect the surface and rack onto the same VLAN with nothing else on it or do I connect it to a trunk port and somehow configure the VLAN of the rack and surface?

    Florian, are you able to share your Microtik config, I’m interested to compare it with mine to see if you found more stuff to turn off than me.,

    I also found that when I carried DX traffic, it resulted in a crazy high CPU load on the switch. I raised a ticket with Microtik but I never got to the bottom of it. How does your CPU load look?

    Profile photo of RobbO

    This is a cool setup. We had to run fiber in our venue because of distance issues – it’s not a straight shot from stage to FoH. Mixrack/surface are connected via Whirlwind MC1000 media converters. Not as involved as running through a switch but it works flawlessly.

    Profile photo of avenueservices

    I noticed these new SWISSON XES-2T6 premanaged switches at Plasa this year which offer some nice preset options for VLAN configuration etc across the 6 network ports on the switch with trunk ports primary/secondary to link to second switch. Has anyone seen/tried these with GIGA-ACE on one VLAN config with then running Dante and then control on another of the connections available all assigned preset VLAN settings built in?
    They are not 10gig Trunk ports, only 1gig…

    Anyone like to share thoughts?

    Profile photo of andrewyager

    Mixing and matching fibre transmitters is fine for short distances, but when you do you get light loss, and run the risk of burning out your transceivers if you do it the wrong way around. As a general rule, don’t!

    I’ve been trialling running GigaACE and Dante across a network segment. GigaACE is basically pulling a full 1Gbps of bandwidth, and has basically no room for error. If you need to do this, you basically need 2x 1Gbps links (e.g. a LACP bundle) or a 10Gbps uplink. If you’re going with the former, you may as well not (which is what we’ve decided to do).

    It looks like (to me) that GigaACE basically does not filtering of the Layer 2 frames that run across it as well, which is why running L3 protocols (and even L2 protocols, like STP or LACP) can cause audio glitches and surface/mixrack freezes. Essentially, it relies on believing that every packet that moves across the wire is audio or meant for the devices. You’ll also see in a wireshark capture that the GigaACE protocol sends almost every frame as broadcast, which means that every device on the network segment gets it. While it runs over Ethernet, gotta say it’s not a very friendly protocol.

    (Side note; network engineering is my day job; audio is my night job :). Or more correctly, Network Engineering is my 24×7 job and audio is the job I get to do for fun)

    Profile photo of RS

    Very interesting insights, Andrew! Thanks for that.

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