ME-1 intermittent clicking / ticking noise

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  • #106846
    Profile photo of JakeOfAllTrades
    JakeOfAllTrades
    Participant

    At church we’re hearing an intermittent clicking or ticking sound in the stereo outs of all six of our ME-1s. Recording attached.

    Path as follows:

    SQ6 -> S-Link to AR2412 -> Pakedge SX-8P PoE switch (factory config) -> floor pockets in the stage -> ME-1s

    SQ6 firmware = 1.5.4r3979
    ME-1 firmware = 1.17r61242
    SX-8P firmware = 1.04

    We didn’t always have the issue, but we don’t know exactly when it started. The guys in the band said they thought it was just somebody else’s bad cable crackling so they never mentioned it to the booth. I discovered it recently by accident. We’re guessing it COULD have started in Sep 2021 when we updated the SQ6’s firmware to 1.5.4. That was the last time we changed anything at all.

    Through troubleshooting we know:

    1. The issue only exhibits downstream from the PoE switch. An ME-1 connected directly to the AR2412 does not exhibit the issue.

    2. When the path is broken between the AR2412 and the SX-8P, the downstream ME-1s do not exhibit the issue.

    3. Changing the ME-1s’ power source between PoE and external power has no effect.

    4. The issue is present regardless of the number of ME-1s on the switch.

    5. Updating the firmware on the ME-1s had no effect. (When the issue started they were on a mix of 1.15 and 1.16)

    6. Changing the SX-8P to a Netgear GC510PP has no effect. The 70 watt budget increase also tells us the issue is not caused by a PoE deficit.

    I found some similar issues reported in the forums years ago, but we’ve ruled out any causes that may have been confirmed in those threads.

    We’re aware that 1.5.5r4029 is available for the SQ6, and that that update could resolve it. The rock & the hard place is that while we’d like to have this resolved before Sunday (Easter), bad experience has taught us not to fool around with firmware ahead of a major event. We’re definitely running the update after Easter, but if there are ANY other ideas out there that we can look at beforehand I’d love to hear them.

    Jake

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    #106853
    Profile photo of KeithJ A&H
    KeithJ A&H
    Moderator

    @JakeOfAllTrades

    From your description, the issue does appear to be related only to the third party switch, and there is no reason for this to be linked to a firmware update on any of the A&H products.
    The ME system can work with third party switches, though we cannot guarantee it with all as, unlike something like Dante, the ME protocol is layer 2 and designed for point to point connections or use with the ME-U hub.

    There is more info on use of third party switches in a ME system here – https://support.allen-heath.com/hc/en-gb/articles/4403292650641-ME-Compatibility-with-third-party-switch

    With that in mind and a quick look at the manual for the SX-8P, the first suggestion would be to turn off things like STP and any other clever stuff – essentially try to make the switch as dumb as possible!

    Hope this helps and you manage to get it sorted before the service.
    Keith.

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