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There's always going to be a little friction in these discussions because people who actually do networks (and other IT) for a living deal in hard reality and not wishy thinking.   Networks

@rmpfyf I’ve lost interest in discussions about Ethernet, cables, switches and routers around here.  Please leave me out.   There are way too many people on here with a deep seated belief that

John, I'm just a tad experienced in networking and have decades of experience delivering far more time sensitive and bandwidth heavy applications than audio.   I've been involved in design a

7 minutes ago, dbastin said:

Would you say the Ubiquiti Edge range is similarly suitable?

Just not as easy to configure and update. Unifi gives a "single pane of glass" for router, switch, wifi. 

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Thanks

I discovered you need a minimum number devices to qualify for the online manangement of Edge devices.  Is that the case with Unifi?

 

Also, getting back to routers and fibre, the price of entry into Unifi is much higher than Edge.

 

I am still inclined to get this unless the $100 or so extra expense is a waste ... will dual core matter? 400MHz v 800MHz?

NB. I assume CRS is RouterSwitch.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, dbastin said:

Is that the case with Unifi?

While there is a clowd management option for Unifi, all the software is free and I (and the other unifi users I know) self-host everything. Who wants to be locked out of network management because NBNCo has another two day outage? I self-host everything. And yes, I've had critical services (mail) running on 4G links for *three days* in the past because NBNCo broke it for the third time in less than a year. 

 

I hear those small 10G switches get bloody hot. If you're not doing 10G and don't need 10G, I wouldn't go there. 

 

 

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On 19/09/2020 at 4:54 PM, Stereophilus said:

Ok @rmpfyf... I read the long post.  My problem, and I think the problem for some (most?) “digital audiophiles”, is we are not quite tech savvy enough to build our own server+streamer system, with software and network setup as you describe.  I have little doubt what you describe would be the ducks nuts, but managing/monitoring/upgrading such a setup is a lot of knowledge to absorb and keep up with.  I put it to you the reason most of us “tweak” is because we digest the smaller increments of knowledge and change to system more easily than going “all-in” as per your description.  And the reason we buy brand name software/server/streamer solutions is because we treat these like audio components with warranties and support.

I was in the same boat, wanted a dedicated music server, but didn't know where to start. Chanh offered to put one together for me and the result was stunning. I am not very tech savvy, but with Chanh help, managed to get it all up and going. It is amazing how helpful he is and how much time he volunteers for helping this community without any financial gain. We are privileged to have people like Chanh on this forum.

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9 minutes ago, qwerter said:

I was in the same boat, wanted a dedicated music server, but didn't know where to start. Chanh offered to put one together for me and the result was stunning. I am not very tech savvy, but with Chanh help, managed to get it all up and going. It is amazing how helpful he is and how much time he volunteers for helping this community without any financial gain. We are privileged to have people like Chanh on this forum.

 

Meh, I still think that guy should have commercialised a bit... @Chanh are you listening :D ?

 

Not suggesting that it'll make you rich or that you should quit your day job, just that there's a good amount of revenue out there to be had and if the audiophile world can do with a dose of anything it's genuine effort... come on mate, if Taiko can sell one of their machines there's (more than) market space for anything of yours.

 

I'd think there would be many happy to pay reasonable amounts for good tech. Particularly those of us in Victoria - $10 says you can start a business and ship product in this faster than it takes us to fly to WA without special permission :P 

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2 hours ago, rmpfyf said:

 

Meh, I still think that guy should have commercialised a bit... @Chanh are you listening :D ?

 

Not suggesting that it'll make you rich or that you should quit your day job, just that there's a good amount of revenue out there to be had and if the audiophile world can do with a dose of anything it's genuine effort... come on mate, if Taiko can sell one of their machines there's (more than) market space for anything of yours.

 

I'd think there would be many happy to pay reasonable amounts for good tech. Particularly those of us in Victoria - $10 says you can start a business and ship product in this faster than it takes us to fly to WA without special permission :P 

I think one has more freedom and creativity if he does not have to commercialise his passion (IMHO). And maybe that is why what Chanh does is so good.

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2 hours ago, rmpfyf said:

Meh, I still think that guy should have commercialised a bit...

I'm glad that hasn't happened. There's a great open source community out there, sharing code without looking to turn it into a commercial venture. Without that spirit of sharing, projects like this wouldn't have a kernel, a network stack, a userland, web server, supporting libraries. 

 

That said, a revenue stream shipping pre-built boxes might be .. a way to drown in a sea of support calls! 

Edited by PCOWandre
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35 minutes ago, qwerter said:

I think one has more freedom and creativity if he does not have to commercialise his passion (IMHO). And maybe that is why what Chanh does is so good.

 

33 minutes ago, PCOWandre said:

I'm glad that hasn't happened. There's a great open source community out there, sharing code without looking to turn it into a commercial venture. Without that spirit of sharing, projects like this wouldn't have a kernel, a network stack, a userland, web server, supporting libraries. 

 

Chanh and co did/do a lot of work on hardware recipes.

 

It doesn't have to be terrible. Ian Jin (iancanada) does a great line of product for DIYers, could be something similar.

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10 hours ago, rmpfyf said:

Ian Jin (iancanada) does a great line of product

I've had a bit of a look at some of that line-up. Interesting, and I'm tempted to order some in for a fiddle when international shipping starts to return to normal.

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Just now, PCOWandre said:

I've had a bit of a look at some of that line-up. Interesting, and I'm tempted to order some in for a fiddle when international shipping starts to return to normal.

I have his stuff - epic and a lovely guy

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I'm curious to see if his reclocker makes any difference, but I'm not sure I have a use case right now. The loungeroom system is still using the PS Perfectwave (_not_ DS) and that claims to have reclocking/buffering inbuilt and as far as I can see, the clocks out of the Gustard U16 on my desktop system are pretty much on-target (those 'accusilicon' modules must be OK). I obviously need to built *another* system for such a project!

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19 minutes ago, PCOWandre said:

I'm curious to see if his reclocker makes any difference, but I'm not sure I have a use case right now. The loungeroom system is still using the PS Perfectwave (_not_ DS) and that claims to have reclocking/buffering inbuilt and as far as I can see, the clocks out of the Gustard U16 on my desktop system are pretty much on-target (those 'accusilicon' modules must be OK). I obviously need to built *another* system for such a project!

I'll share what I've got over PM.

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I've lost the battle for space in this latest renovation and need to put my switchgear up in the attic. Which it does not like.

 

Therefore I'm designing a fully-insulated small room for a server rack with closed loop ventilation. Hopefully it's free heating.

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5 hours ago, PCOWandre said:

It's the free heating in summer that bothers me. 

 

Fairly confident I can insulate and build an active cooling setup drawing air from inside the house (reckon I could even source air from under the house, which is quite nice) - it's where to exhaust it nicely to have some buoyancy in the system enough to have a marginal passive capability should power (or the active system) fail.

 

Have done some good thermal chamber builds previously, insulation should be OK.

 

Would be nice to not have to run dektite on the roof but... argh. 

 

Methinks I'm going to try the long argument to keep the kit in the house first up.

 

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The only way to look at this thread is to answer thus: if you can afford to use routers,switches, and access points other than the ones supplied to you by your telco, do so. Not for the audio quality difference but rather for the reliability point of view. You will be able to spend more time listening to music.

 

I picked up a second hand HP 1810G-24 port switch (it’s fanless) for $50. I spent real money on Ubiquiti Er4 router, and an Ubiquiti ACPro access point. I learned heaps and the best thing is nothing has ever stopped working for the last three years. The access point is probably the best money I have ever spent. I have two teenage kids who are avid gamers who stream at times and not once complained about their ping times as I am dragging files from the NAS and my better half is watching Netflix in 4K. The kids are on wired connections.

 

I even setup VLANS so the kids couldn’t do anything nefarious to one another.

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40 minutes ago, Edward Hewer said:

I even setup VLANS so the kids couldn’t do anything nefarious to one another.

Now that's some modern parenting, I like it :D 

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Lot of recent changes to my digital setup has presented challenges, with my limited knowledge of networks and seamless connection of multiple devices. 

 

Currently my system has QNAP NAS and Silent Angel Rhein Z1 Roon core server, Lumin U1 Mini streamer  all connected direct to my standard Dual band Netcomm router.

Also running an Ethernet cable from this router under the house to our study fed into a TP - Link network switch that is connected to our 2 computers, CCTV etc.

 

Due to how weak the Wi-Fi signal is on the other side of the house, I have been running another router - a TP - Link AC1750 for our phones etc. not hardwired. 

 

I was keen to access Roon via my Bluesound node 2 streamer for outside music, so have run another ethernet cable from the TP - Link network switch directly into the Node 2 .

It is on the same network as the Roon and Lumin plus NAS so simple right?

 

My Problem is my phone can't connect to the same Wi-Fi network as the Node 2, as too weak without a cable, so diverts to the other network of the TP- Link router.

So I can't connect or control Roon with it. 

 

Know some have mentioned Mesh style router setups, but looking for hopefully a simple solve like two networks combined. 

Would appreciate advice from some of you gurus out there! 

@todagt @frednork 

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10 minutes ago, evil c said:

Due to how weak the Wi-Fi signal is on the other side of the house, I have been running another router - a TP - Link AC1750 for our phones etc. not hardwired.

 

By default it does not work if you have more than one router on the network.

 

You need to configure the TP-Link router to run in Access Point mode:

https://www.tp-link.com/ae/support/faq/2066/

Edited by wklie
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6 minutes ago, evil c said:

Due to how weak the Wi-Fi signal is on the other side of the house, I have been running another router - a TP - Link AC1750 for our phones etc. not hardwired. 

Consider using an Access Point instead of that router which might be messing with things.  The AP will give you strong wifi around the office.  These are only $70.

 

https://www.tp-link.com/au/home-networking/access-point/

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Mesh.

Work well.

How big is your budget for a mesh set-up?(Doesn't have to be huge, just selectively good. There's mesh and there's mesh...)

Standard Netcom R, hmm.

You on FTTN or FTTC.

Two routers? Nuh. Wrong.

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5 minutes ago, wklie said:

 

By default it does not work if you have more than one router on the network.

 

You need to configure the TP-Link router to run in Access Point mode:

https://www.tp-link.com/ae/support/faq/2066/

 

 

Think you've hit the nail on the head!

That should solve it perfectly- thanks guys! 👍

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So, getting back to routers ...

 

I have Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X SFP.  It has a DC input and can run on 12v if PoE is not needed/enabled.  It has 1 x SFP.  I think it cost about $130.

 

I spoke with Microtek dealer who suggested there is unlikely to be any benefit changing to Microtek router.

 

It is located here ..

 

nbn connection box > 2m Cat 5e or 6 UTP (not labelled) > EdgeRouter > about 12m Cat 5e UTP > hifi ethernet system.

 

Previously I put a Synergistic Research ECT in it and gained a worthwhile benefit.

 

I experimented with it a bit more.  This time with power.  I have a spare Antipodes Edge with its ODAPS 12v power supply.  So I replaced the Uptone SMPS that was powering the router with the ODAPS.  The benefit was minor but obvious with the 1st track, and confirmed each track after.

 

Next I removed the ODAPS and reinstaded the Uprone.  But this time change the power as follows:

 

Furutech GTX D outlet

Shunyata Ztron Anaconda cable

Shunyata Cyclops conditioner

VooDoo Audio Silver Dragon cable

 

Again the benefit was minor but obvious with the 1st track, and confirmed each track after.  However, the sound character was different to ODAPS.

 

So I now have the router here ...

 

nbn connection box > 2m Cat 5e or 6 UTP (not labelled) > about 12m Cat 5e UTP > Wireworld Platinum > EdgeRouter > hifi ethernet system.

 

It is powered by a Core Audio Ķora LPS, Shunyata Ztron Alpha Digital cable, Shunyata Triton v2. This is powered via Shunyara Ztron Sigma and dedicated audio grade AC cable.

 

It replaces the Edgeswitch 10, so now the nerwork has one less switch in the chain.

 

It is connected to EtherRegen via Afterdark Cat 7 because forcsome reason the fibre connection was not functioning. i previously observed this Cat 7 being quite similar to fibre.

 

This final placement is quite a bit better than just ODAPS or just Anaconda/Cyclops combo, but honestly I expected more.  It may be because I put the ODAPS to power the EtherRegen because that provided the best sound.  The ODAPS is better than the Kora that was previously powering the EtherRegen. If I had another ODAPS to power the router, that could be even more amazing than the current outcome.

 

Of interest I noted the EdgeRouter was using only 27% or its RAM and 0-10% CPU, mostly 0-5%.  There were no other users.  This was streaming Tidal 16 bit 44kHz tracks, I dont know how to find higher res tracks on tidal. 

Nevertheless, its easily better than 24 bit 96kHz tracks I have on SSD (which is presently removed from the server).

 

Next I will tinker with power cords and try to use fibre.

 

$300 extra for a Edgerouter 12 to get a 2nd SFP maybe another step.  Routers with more SFPs (actually jump into SFP+) include:

 

Microtek CCR2004-1G-12S+2XS ($600) but it does not have a switching chip (uses 9 core CPU instead) and has built in PSU

 

EdgeRouter Infinity at $2700 is not viable.

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Being a little more serious, you shouldn't see the EdgeRouter burning much RAM or CPU since you're not using a lot of features. Load it up with BGP and policy based routing and complex packet filtering and the load might go up.

 

If you just need more SFP/SFP+ ports, go for a dedicated switch. Dig through fleabay, there's some bargain Procurves with 4 SFP cages.

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My objectives are:

 

1. minimise noise getting into the rrouter/switch the hifi is connected to - by way of only connecting via fibre, and using quality power supply

 

2. minimise the number/cost of LPSs and power cords

 

The EdgeRouter X SFP has a dual core 880MHz CPU and 256MB RAM (plus 256MB storage for code).

 

Given such small load on CPU some Microtek CRS (switches with limited router capacity) may be a good solution.  In particular the $150 CRS305 has single core 800MHz CPU and 512MB RAM, and of course designed around switch chip.  This exceeds processing power of Microtek routers upto the $150 mark.

 

Apparently it can cope with about 1Gbps ... https://mikrotik.com/product/crs305_1g_4s_in#fndtn-testresults

 

Whereas nbn delivers about 20Mbps for a moderate plan or 80Mbps for top speed plan ... merely fractions of 1Gbps. 

 

Given my observations about CPU and RAM usage

on EdgeRouter X, I suspect the CRS 305 would be ample. CPU would be underutilised and thus probably not get too hot.  But would 512MB RAM be adequate for hi res audio files?  I gather MQA keeps file size down.  Does the likes of Tidal stream DSD?

 

CRS309 provides same processing but with 3 more SFP cages for about $100 more.

 

The CRS106 with 400Mhz single core CPU and 128MB RAM would probably perform well enough for just $60.

Edited by dbastin
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A beaten up Cisco 2600 from the 90s can keep up with hires audio streaming with 16MB of RAM and a 40Mhz CPU. The only router not able to keep up would be a faulty router. At this point, you can pretty much buy anything with the right connectivity and be happy. 

 

I still think you need to focus on finding the source of your noise problem rather than worrying abouts 'speeds & feeds' on the router. 

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2 hours ago, PCOWandre said:

If you just need more SFP/SFP+ ports, go for a dedicated switch. Dig through fleabay, there's some bargain Procurves with 4 SFP cages.

Problems:

- Not easy to use LPS

- Extra power cord

- Extra device possibly injecting noise

Edited by dbastin
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We're going to agree to disagree on this one, OK? I'm going to say putting a linear power supply on a router/switch is just silly, you're going to tell me you can hear the difference, I'm going to point out the router/switch board has a number of switch mode supplies on it anyway, you're going to tell me that doesn't matter. 

 

The conversation is getting pretty circular at this point. There's going to be a bit about removing noise, I'm going to ask where the noise is coming from, and it stops and goes back to something else. Your next equipment investment should be a scope to find noise. They're not expensive these days and you can look for noise on power supplies, marvel at the horrible S/PDIF waveforms on so much equipment and plug the scope into your DAC output playing silence and plug/unplug things to find noise. 

 

Find the networking kit that looks and feels right and enjoy it. There's no technical justifications at this level, so chalk it up the pursuit of happiness. I don't need a 20 core Xeon workstation with 256GB of RAM on a measured technical level, but I like it and it makes me happy. 

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11 minutes ago, PCOWandre said:

I still think you need to focus on finding the source of your noise problem

 

15 hours ago, dbastin said:

nbn connection box > 2m Cat 5e or 6 UTP (not labelled) > about 12m Cat 5e UTP > Wireworld Platinum > EdgeRouter > hifi ethernet system

By process of elimination the noise can only be from

 

a. nbn box and its psu

b. the Cat 5e/6 cable being unshielded

c. the Access Point and its SMPS, and the power circuit it is plugged into.

 

Nothing else was connected.

 

I will try to power a and c via the Cyclops combo. And replace b with fibre.

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Can you make a recording of what it sounds like? Might help work out what it is. 

 

Recently, a small town found their town-wide broadband outages were caused by noise emanating from an old fridge. The source could be a long way away. 

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21 minutes ago, PCOWandre said:

Your next equipment investment should be a scope to find noise. They're not expensive these days and you can look for noise on power supplies, marvel at the horrible S/PDIF waveforms on so much equipment and plug the scope into your DAC output playing silence and plug/unplug things to find noise. 

Am not sure this is the kind of noise @dbastinis referring to but am interested in trying this. Can you explain/point to somewhere which shows,  how to do it?

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For example -- connect scope to DC power supply. The ideal result is a flat line on the screen. If it isn't dead-flat, you have ripple or noise. Now you can change things and look for a change on the screen; and look at the type of noise and determine an appropriate fix.

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10 hours ago, PCOWandre said:

Can you make a recording of what it sounds like?

No.  This is not 'noise' that can specifically be heard.  It has an impact on sound quality.  When it is reduced sound quality improves.  I'd say those that have experienced this a lot can hear a system and comment on how much noise there isn't ... that's what is meant by comments about low noise floor.

 

It can probably be measured with a scope but I am confident using my ears, perception and experience.  And no my ears are not golden, I am sure others have much better abilities than me.

 

I changed the Shunyata ztron Alpha Digital power cord to ztron Anaconda to power the LPS and EdgeRouter.  The character is a bit differentbut the Anaconda is superior in most ways esp midrange clarity, except doesnt make a kick drum feel quite as much like a throbbing heart.

 

I can now comfortably have sound level higher where previously it would become irritating.

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21 hours ago, dbastin said:

No.  This is not 'noise' that can specifically be heard.  It has an impact on sound quality.  When it is reduced sound quality improves.  I'd say those that have experienced this a lot can hear a system and comment on how much noise there isn't ... that's what is meant by comments about low noise floor.

For me you have “hit the proverbial nail on the head”.  It was some years ago that I first experienced a reduction in noise floor and could appreciate the resulting sound quality benefits.  The absence of anything between the notes is profoundly important.  The more things that you do to reduce the noise floor the better the listening experience becomes.  I have been pursuing noise floor reduction in various ways ever since my first light bulb moment.

 

In the context of Ethernet switches and cables it is said by some that as long as the 1s and 0s are delivered intact and on time life is fine.  To me that is a definite misunderstanding of the overall situation.  If along with the 1s and 0s there is unwanted noise, interference or resonance then you will hear the notes generated by the 1s and 0s plus everything else that should not be in the sound stage.  Implement strategies such as audio quality switches and cables to mitigate the unwanted interference etc and the listening experience is consequently enhanced.  It is so simple. 

John

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's some helpful tips I got from Ubiquiti community and Support pages to get EdgeRouter up and running.  It probably took me about 15-30 minutes and I am a novice.

 

 

Basic setup guide can be found here

Crosstalk Solutions tutorial videos can be found here

 

Access the router

https://help.ui.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001016814-EdgeRouter-How-to-Access-the-EdgeRouter

 

Run the Basic Wizard 

 

Most NBN services are DHCP based where no credentials are required for authority.

DHCP is the most common and is the default setup.

Connect your Edgerouter and set up the WAN as a DHCP connection.

https://help.ui.com/hc/en-us/articles/204952254-EdgeRouter-DHCP-Server

 

It will be necessary to take the brave step of removing your existing router and repacing it with the EdgeRouter.

 

I also followed this, and other links it provided.

https://help.ui.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002531728-EdgeRouter-Beginners-Guide-to-EdgeRouter

 

These may also be useful

https://help.ui.com/hc/en-us/articles/205146110-EdgeRouter-How-to-Upgrade-the-EdgeOS-Firmware

https://help.ui.com/hc/en-us/articles/217990978-EdgeRouter-Configure-an-EdgeRouter-as-a-Layer-2-Switch

https://help.ui.com/hc/en-us/articles/204976244-EdgeRouter-Ubiquiti-Device-Discovery

https://help.ui.com/hc/en-us/articles/360016435194-Intro-to-Networking-Fiber-Optic-Cable-and-Transceiver-Types

https://help.ui.com/hc/en-us/articles/204959574-EdgeRouter-SFP-SFP-and-DAC-Compatibility-List

 

I hope this helps.

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