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Author Topic: Ethernet over XLR  (Read 1338 times)

Bob Faulkner

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Ethernet over XLR
« on: June 28, 2019, 07:52:49 am »

Did a search on the forum... there's plenty of results with "Ethernet" and "XLR", but I didn't find anything specifically as "Ethernet over XLR".

Is anyone doing Ethernet over XLR?  I use Crown MA 9000i amps and would like the convenience of checking their status during shows.  Currently, everything is setup/confirmed with the amplifiers before a show... never had any issues, but it would be nice to "see" what's going on with the amp - from FOH.  We don't drive the amps hard.  Our status check of the amplifiers is currently from viewing the "power-meter" lights around the attenuation knobs.

Was considering something like this for network connectivity:
https://www.redco.com/Redco-EA-4P-MX-01-Ethernet-to-4-Male-XLR-breakout-cable-1.html


Or... for perhaps using wireless (between FOH and the stage), was considering a device that connects into the wired-NIC port (of the laptop) that would convert the wired signal to wireless... and then have the same converter at the amplifiers (connected to a non-managed switch), that would convert the wireless signal back to wired.  There used to be something like this available 10 years ago... very basic; the devices were not switches/routers/bridges; no setup of anything... just plug the devices into the computers and you could have a personal wireless network almost 500' apart. 




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Taylor Hall

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2019, 08:04:48 am »

While you -can- do what you're saying with the xlr/ethernet conversion, I wouldn't recommend it. I don't see much reason to convert from one type of cable to the other, when all you really need is a single ethernet cable run.

What I think you're looking for is a wireless bridge. They're still fairly common and a lot of modern routers can be set up to act like them.

Your second scenario is much easier to set up. All you would really need is your wireless router near your amp rack (assuming the wifi is strong enough to get to your FOH location), plug your hiqnet ports into that and then connect to the router via wifi. Alternately you can set up a dumb hub/switch and run a single ethernet cable back to FOH where you could situate your wireless router.

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Bob Faulkner

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2019, 08:38:52 am »

While you -can- do what you're saying with the xlr/ethernet conversion, I wouldn't recommend it. I don't see much reason to convert from one type of cable to the other, when all you really need is a single ethernet cable run.

What I think you're looking for is a wireless bridge. They're still fairly common and a lot of modern routers can be set up to act like them.

Your second scenario is much easier to set up. All you would really need is your wireless router near your amp rack (assuming the wifi is strong enough to get to your FOH location), plug your hiqnet ports into that and then connect to the router via wifi. Alternately you can set up a dumb hub/switch and run a single ethernet cable back to FOH where you could situate your wireless router.


Thanks.  For a wired connection, was hoping to use an existing snake channel, instead of having to pull 150/200ft. of CAT-5/6 cable.

I would rather do wireless, but having to manage networking gear (i.e. managed devices) - configuration setup, troubleshooting, password(s), etc..  especially for what I need, is not the direction I would like to go.  I'm trying to keep the setup as simple as possible.

If I did this right, a drawing of the wireless setup is attached to this post.  It's very basic.

-- I know a wireless device like this (in the drawing) existed at one time... I'm hoping these are still available.

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Steve Crump

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2019, 09:07:55 am »

Edit.

I should have read Taylorís post a second time before posting.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2019, 09:53:37 am by Steve Crump »
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Russell Ault

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2019, 10:20:16 am »

I'm trying to keep the setup as simple as possible.

Then don't use wireless. Guaranteed to not work the one time you really need it, especially if it's a user-friendly unit.

For a wired connection, was hoping to use an existing snake channel, instead of having to pull 150/200ft. of CAT-5/6 cable.

You could try it and see if it works (you'd need at least two snake channels for 100 Mbps Ethernet) but I'd be very surprised, especially over that distance.

Cat5e is really cheap. I'd just bundle a couple runs of it to your snake (so you have spares) and then not worry about it.

-Russ
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Erik Jerde

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2019, 11:21:22 am »

Thanks.  For a wired connection, was hoping to use an existing snake channel, instead of having to pull 150/200ft. of CAT-5/6 cable.

Unlikely to work.  10/100Mbit ethernet requires two pairs.  Gigabit requires 4.  Most (all?) mic cable doesn't even meet the specs of cat3 cable which if memory serves (it's been a long time) was the minimum for 10Mbps ethernet.  Additionally, 328 feet is the spec max cable length for copper for Ethernet.  That's point to point with solid cable.  Patch bays and splices unless very high quality will further reduce the functional length.  Trying to use sub-standard cable over a relatively long distance is unlikely to work. 

All that said of course it may work, it wouldn't be hard to rig up a RJ45 to 4 XLR adapter and try it.  Make sure you get the pairs right though.  If it does work it would be interesting to know what the reliability and throughput is.  I wouldn't waste my time on it though.

The advice to bundle a couple network lines with your analog snake is good advice.  Use a flexible rubber-jacketed tactical cable and it should be durable and reliable.  Use ethercon shells so it can take the abuse of a live environment.  The idea of using a snake channel reminds me of a recent "audio hacks" post where someone wise commented that "hacks" in the end often take more time and produce a worse result than if you'd just done things properly the first time.
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Pete Erskine

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2019, 11:44:05 am »

Did a search on the forum... there's plenty of results with "Ethernet" and "XLR", but I didn't find anything specifically as "Ethernet over XLR".

use a converter

https://www.blackbox.co.uk/gb-gb/fi/1521/13600/ADSL-Ethernet-Extender-Kit/
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David Sturzenbecher

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2019, 11:45:18 am »

Did a search on the forum... there's plenty of results with "Ethernet" and "XLR", but I didn't find anything specifically as "Ethernet over XLR".

Is anyone doing Ethernet over XLR?  I use Crown MA 9000i amps and would like the convenience of checking their status during shows.  Currently, everything is setup/confirmed with the amplifiers before a show... never had any issues, but it would be nice to "see" what's going on with the amp - from FOH.  We don't drive the amps hard.  Our status check of the amplifiers is currently from viewing the "power-meter" lights around the attenuation knobs.

Was considering something like this for network connectivity:
https://www.redco.com/Redco-EA-4P-MX-01-Ethernet-to-4-Male-XLR-breakout-cable-1.html


Or... for perhaps using wireless (between FOH and the stage), was considering a device that connects into the wired-NIC port (of the laptop) that would convert the wired signal to wireless... and then have the same converter at the amplifiers (connected to a non-managed switch), that would convert the wireless signal back to wired.  There used to be something like this available 10 years ago... very basic; the devices were not switches/routers/bridges; no setup of anything... just plug the devices into the computers and you could have a personal wireless network almost 500' apart.

There are plenty of devices out there that boast the ability to transfer network down a two-wire connection.  All will be much more expensive then a $30 cat6 cable

https://www.transition.com/products/media-converters/eo2pse4052-111-eo2pd4052-111/

https://www.pimfg.com/product-detail/ETHERNET-REP-4

http://www.wantec.com/2wip.html

https://www.2nusa.com/en_US/products/intercoms/2n-2wire

https://www.mobotix.com/en/products/system-components/mx2wire-media-converter
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Frank Koenig

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2019, 11:52:32 am »

I'd go wireless. It's just side information, not mission critical. It may take a bit of fooling around to get it setup initially -- seems like it always does -- but should be hassle-free after that.

I did exactly that with some Powersoft K series and a Windows laptop with Armonia (Powersoft's control app) when I had an analog mixer. Now that I'm digital the amplifier data hitch a ride on the GigaAce snake to FOH. A short Ethernet cable incorporated in the "drive snake" between the mixer's stage rack and the amplifier rack and an Ethernet patch cable between the desk and the laptop complete the connection. All wired.

--Frank
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2019, 12:58:07 pm »

I'd go wireless. It's just side information, not mission critical. It may take a bit of fooling around to get it setup initially -- seems like it always does -- but should be hassle-free after that.

I did exactly that with some Powersoft K series and a Windows laptop with Armonia (Powersoft's control app) when I had an analog mixer. Now that I'm digital the amplifier data hitch a ride on the GigaAce snake to FOH. A short Ethernet cable incorporated in the "drive snake" between the mixer's stage rack and the amplifier rack and an Ethernet patch cable between the desk and the laptop complete the connection. All wired.

--Frank


I would try and find some old 56k UDS point to point modems and a routers (Cisco 2600 series with the v.35 port you need for the modem are under $10.00!!!) on eBay.  That will work great down the snake.  56k is plenty fast enough for telemetry data. 
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