SQ Dante Card – switch mode

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of BradM BradM 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #108541
    Profile photo of BradM
    BradM
    Participant

    At my church we’re doing research to determine the best way for us to leverage Dante in our setup. We have a SQ6 & SQ5. We are looking at a short-term solution to see if it’s possible to install SQ Dante cards in each board’s expansion port and then use them without a switch (until we purchase a suitable switch).

    I’ve heard in a training video from Audinate that the “secondary” port on a Dante device is typically not able to be daisy-chained, but he says at the end that some manufacturers do have this capability if specified.

    So then I’ve researched SQ Dante on Allen & Heath’s website and I’ve seen mention of “switch mode” on these cards. I didn’t see any details about this in the documentation on the site, so I thought I’d ask here. What is switch mode? Does this allow you to hook up multiple devices and let the card act as a switch?

    Is the following setup possible (all directly connected with Cat6 cable)?

    Laptop (v. soundcard) -> SQ6 Dante (primary)
    SQ6 Dante (secondary) -> SQ5 Dante (primary)
    SQ5 Dante (secondary) -> PC (v. soundcard)

    Thanks!

    Brad

    #108545
    Profile photo of KeithJ A&H
    KeithJ A&H
    Moderator

    @BradM

    Switch mode does indeed work like a switch, allowing two connections to/through the card.

    So the setup you mention can work but as each Dante ‘node’ requires an address and all nodes need to be on the same subnet, you will need to do a little network fiddling.

    As recommended by Audinate, the easiest thing to do might be to include a DHCP server on the Dante network and allow all devices to be assigned addresses automatically.
    If you’re using a router for network control of the SQ/s (SQ-MixPad, SQ4You) already then you could make use of this:
    Just switch the ‘Control Network Bridge’ on in the ‘Setup > Audio > I/O Port’ screen and the built-in network port and Dante card will be bridged for control messaging.
    Note that this doesn’t carry any audio (Dante) to/from the SQ’s network port, but it means you can ‘see’ the Dante card with Dante controller and use SQ-MixPad on the same network. It also means that the Dante card can receive a DHCP address from a router connected to the SQ’s network port, or the SQ can get an address and receive control messages from apps through the I/O Port connection 😉

    Hope this helps, but if you need more details on the SQ side of things you can contact us using support.allen-heath.com.
    Or if you need more Dante network specific info, Audinate’s support team will be happy to assist.

    Keith.

    #108551
    Profile photo of Brian
    Brian
    Participant

    When connecting Dante only devices, you will be surprised at what “low level” network gear you can use and get to work. We use an old DLink WiFi router (WRT54GL) to connect our Avantis, X32 Rack, Dante PCI card (in Windows computer running Reaper), as well as a Dante AVIO USB device to connect our Mac to for video playback.

    The router acts as a DHCP server for all the Dante devices (your consoles will also need to be plugged into a second regular IP network if you want to connect apps, etc to them). We have turned off the WiFi broadcast, but otherwise haven’t touched any other settings. Everything works great and it was all plug and play.

    It’s really only when you are sending Dante audio over a network that has regular ip data traffic that you have to “tune” the network devices to ensure the Dante audio is passed correctly. If it is Dante only, most situations are basically plug and play with regular network gear.

    #108591
    Profile photo of BradM
    BradM
    Participant

    Thanks! This is VERY informative. I think we can make that work for sure.

    One last question about the SQ implementation of Dante on those cards…

    With “Control Network Bridge” turned on:

    1. Will the LAN port on the SQ board and the Dante card each have their own unique IP addresses from the network’s DHCP server?
    2. …or when you bridge it, is the the SQ board the only one to get a network IP from DHCP, and then the SQ passes control data to the Dante card to be used with Dante Controller for configuration & control?

    Thanks for your help with this. I don’t get a lot of time to play with the board, so I try to get researched up and prepared before I go in. If I need to direct these things to support.allen-heath.com I would be glad to. I thought there might be others searching for this topic since I didn’t see it spelled out in the documentation.

    Thanks!

    Brad

    #108626
    Profile photo of Rafael A&H
    Rafael A&H
    Moderator

    Hello @BradM,

    When enabling Control Network Bridge, the Dante Card and the SQ local network port will have each unique different IP addresses assigned by the DHCP server, but you would only need to connect either of them into the Network to have access to both for control messaging – for example, SQ-MixPad could connect through the Dante card and Dante Controller can ‘see’ the Dante card through the SQ network port.
    This is why it’s labelled as a Control Network Bridge, as it only bridges the control network.

    The only thing you can’t do is to share Dante audio through the SQ’s network port.

    Rafael

    #108643
    Profile photo of BradM
    BradM
    Participant

    Thanks @Rafael! That helps clarify things for me.

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