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JCAT Net Card Femto


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36 minutes ago, austinpop said:


Great report, and kudos for the experimentation!

 

Did you try a configuration - let’s call it X - which is the same as IX, except you bridged both JCF ports, while keeping the 2-switch chain between server and endpoint?

 

Hi austinpop, that's a good one, I didn't. Luckily it was simply done by moving one cable from the stock to the 2nd JCF connection. IX and X are close in SQ but I slightly prefer IX which sounds a little fuller and more at ease. One might expect both ports on the optimized JCF to sound better than only one combined with a stock port, however 2xJCF also means that the card draws more current and maybe that explains the difference. I also remember Marcin saying somewhere that he prefers using one JCF port rather than two.

 

Below is the updated tabel. Thanks for the suggestion!

 

By the way, switch 1 is a MikroTik 305 and switch 2 a fanless Cisco 2960G.

 

image.thumb.png.6f5268c5aa7affc21cffa0d0273074e0.png

 

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12 hours ago, bodiebill said:

Last week I received a JCAT net card FEMTO (JCF) and it lead to some experimenting that I would like to share here.

 

For my dual Linux PC setup I had to make a choice whether to first put it in the server with HQPlayer embedded or in the NAA endpoint. I started with the latter as intuition told me that the card would have the most effect downstream. As shown below I was wrong (again 🤔). I had to use a riser cable as my Streacom does not allow for direct plugin of the card.

 

Out of the box I immediately heard more detail with the card in the endpoint. However the sound was not yet listenable: classical violins where strident and harsh, and it lacked the holographic experience that I am looking for. This was to be expected (as others have written here), so I first let the card burn in for 4 days. The sound improved, but I was not happy yet. Some of the stridency was still there. For comparison I used a Beethoven violin sonata (opus 12-3, 2nd movement with Haebler and Szeryng) because it tests the soul versus stridency of the violin and credibility of the (to me) familiar piano sound as recorded by Philips.

 

From the start I noticed that a good external power supply really makes a difference for the JCF, as expected, so for the comparisons below that remained a constant. For now I am using:
iFi power 9VDC => DLS-HPULN LT3045 => 7.7VDC => (Chinese) LT3045 box => 5VDC.

 

In the comparison table below, I is the initial setup with JCF in the endpoint. Time to try the card in the server in several setups, namely II to IX. For this I replaced an Intel dual fiber card by the JCF. I experimented with and without fiber and same for bridging.

 

Bridging to me appears beneficial (notwithstanding Miska's advice against it for HQP-NAA). In Audiolinux I SW-bridged all 4 available server NIC's which includes the 2 JCF NIC's. It appeared that SQ improved as follows depending on which 2 NIC's were used:
stock in & stock out << JCF in & stock out == JCF in & JCF out << stock in & JCF out

so I am using the latter now.

 

For now I have decided to keep setup IX -- although SQ-wise hard to distinguish from copper-only setup VI -- as it saves me the work of changing a long run of hidden fiber cables to CAT6 cables, and gives me the piece of mind of having some isolation between server and endpoint.

 

Changing the net cards in the server also changed the fingerprint for the HQPe software, so I will have to ask Miska for a new license key after having verified that everything is stable.

 

Reactions / similar experiences / suggestions welcome!

 

image.thumb.png.ab68d3cf7186e0b62a0b4c7f2973c0f4.png

 

One configuration which I recommend to use is missing from the picture:

Screenshot_2020-04-13_01-20-50.png.65b88ba448aa353ff0f39114eb9b8116.png

Here "switch2" is of course needed only if the two switches are in different rooms. But this starts to look a bit like a network.

 

 

My network looks like this, massively simplified:

Screenshot_2020-04-13_01-21-08.png.0d83f12ee5ef735c9a8a5c5050b1c7f5.png

 

Each switch is in a separate room. There's a CAT6 going from central patchbay (machine room) where "switch1" is to every room and then every room has a room specific switch which are switch2 - switch4 here (there are more, but this is simplified). This is already something I'd call a network. Every server can play music to any of the endpoints there. In reality I have couple of more servers and endpoints, but full picture would grow pretty big. One of the endpoints is actually a Merging Hapi, so not all are NAA.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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10 hours ago, Miska said:

 

One configuration which I recommend to use is missing from the picture:

Screenshot_2020-04-13_01-20-50.png.65b88ba448aa353ff0f39114eb9b8116.png

Here "switch2" is of course needed only if the two switches are in different rooms. But this starts to look a bit like a network.

 

 

My network looks like this, massively simplified:

Screenshot_2020-04-13_01-21-08.png.0d83f12ee5ef735c9a8a5c5050b1c7f5.png

 

Each switch is in a separate room. There's a CAT6 going from central patchbay (machine room) where "switch1" is to every room and then every room has a room specific switch which are switch2 - switch4 here (there are more, but this is simplified). This is already something I'd call a network. Every server can play music to any of the endpoints there. In reality I have couple of more servers and endpoints, but full picture would grow pretty big. One of the endpoints is actually a Merging Hapi, so not all are NAA.

 

Thanks Jussi. My configurations are also somewhat simplified. I left out my NAS (which I only occasionally turn on for backup) and a wireless router.

 

I have setup your configuration (the simple one on top). To do this I had to swap my two switches as the MikroTik has only one RJ45 connection (and 4 SFP cages) and the Cisco has multiple RJ45 connections (and only one SFP cage).

 

In the table below I have added two configurations: XI is yours and XII is the bridged one which is the same as IX only with both switches swapped.

 

In bridged mode the server acts as a software switch and I know you do not like that idea. And you are probably right in terms of proper network topology. However, I like the SQ best with bridged mode (in this case XII). I am more inside the piano (hearing individual hammer strokes) and the violin soars more and is less strident.

 

I would not call myself a subjectivist (I do make decisions based on ratio and/or theory) but in the end this audio hobby is empirical with one simple aim: goose bumps.

Actually, your software helps me achieve that 🙂.

 

Sorry if we drifted somewhat off-topic, but the main thing for me was how to best utilize the net card FEMTO, and I am happy with the result.

 

image.thumb.png.379d0f41ba2dce65d956607ba89a705d.png

 

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On 12/10/2019 at 7:55 PM, Marcin_gps said:

I'd check 1Gbit and 100Mbit link speeds - this is the biggest difference. 

 

Regards, 

Marcin

Hi Marcin,

Does it mean you have to privilège 100Mbits Over 1Gbit or reverse?

If in à configuration with à server with JCAT net card and à separate player you put an Etherregen (which is 100Mbits on B side)  in between what would be the suitable speed settings for JCAT net card in the server?

Sorry I am not network savvy...

Richard

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On 4/9/2020 at 12:35 PM, Patatorz said:

Already asked but Marcin Mentioned  he has Limited knowledge on Linux.

Antonello (Gentooplayer) said that you can play with kernel in gentoo. There is also other parameters but very unclear compared to what Marcin propose on Windows.

Piero (Audio-Linux) : no feedback. 
 

I would need to deep dive next week to try to make some correspondance between the windows parameters and Linux parameters.

Hello Patatorz

Did you Dive and still manage to come back to the surface with regards to the correspondance between windows optimisations for net card and Linux based OS ones?

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Hello,  in fact i was fed up of trying to understand how to setup the optimized setups of Marcin and gave a try to windows 2019 server. I’m running this OS now and quite happy vs Gentooplayer and AudioLinux.

 

There was some options in gentooplayer but impossible to understand the parameters behind. I should give a try with the new AudioLinux 2.5 while I would be on holidays in august.

Leedh E2 glass / dCS Vivaldi / Cybershaft OP21A / Ypsilon Phaethon

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20 hours ago, Ricardo007 said:

Hi Marcin,

Does it mean you have to privilège 100Mbits Over 1Gbit or reverse?

If in à configuration with à server with JCAT net card and à separate player you put an Etherregen (which is 100Mbits on B side)  in between what would be the suitable speed settings for JCAT net card in the server?

Sorry I am not network savvy...

Richard

 

Richard, I prefer 1Gbit/s 

It sounds better in my system. 

 

Regards, 

Marcin

JPLAY & JCAT Founder

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Could use some help getting my JCAT Network card bridged correctly.  Here's what I've done and what happens:

 

Installed the network card on a Windows Server 2019, using a LP4 connector to a 6pin molex attached to a HDplex DC-ATX (attached to the area on the DC-ATX designated "SATA" and not "PCIe" since I need a 5V input and not 12V.)

 

Both USB ports are attached to my switch; both are functioning. 

 

So here I go into network settings, select both adapters, right click and select "bridge".  I get an error that says "an unexpected error occurred while connecting the Network Bridge".  

 

So I right click on the new Network Bridge icon and see that only one of my ports is checked under "Adapters: Select the adapters you want to use to connect to computers on your local network".   I'm not sure about this but assume that both need to be selected, so I click the checkbox for the other adapter.  Now my internet goes down and, and I click troubleshoot under the Network Adapter and it tells me it can't find an IP address.  The only way I can get the connection back is by removing one of the adapters from the bridge.  

 

So now I go back and read instructions online about bridging and see that you need to set a static IP address; I set up a static IP for both ports using the same IP address that is already assigned to these ports.  I go through the above again and get the same result, an error message saying an unexpected error has occurred.  I'm also not 100% sure that I'm doing this correctly, but here's an example of what I input for both ports when I set up static IP addresses:

 

IP address: 192.168.1.243

Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0

Default gateway: 192.168.1.1 

Preferred DNS server: 192.168.1.1

Alternate DNS server: 192.168.1.0

 

I enter the same information above with a different IP address for the other port, and just use the information I found under ipconfig /all, with the exception of the Alternate DNS server, which I just guess since it can't be the same as the Preferred DNS server.  Using the above details, the connection is fine for both ports before I try to bridge.

 

I delete the adapters, try reinstalling the drivers, same result as above. 

 

I wonder if maybe, actually only one adapter should be selected when I right click the Network Bridge, and connect one port to my endpoint - but the endpoint isn't getting any signal (I've verified it works fine when connected to my network via a switch and not bridged.) 

 

I'm obviously a novice with this stuff -- would really appreciate any help you guys have.  

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15 hours ago, WilliamWykeham said:

Could use some help getting my JCAT Network card bridged correctly.  Here's what I've done and what happens:

 

 

 

Whoops.. needed to add an IP to the Network Bridge Adapter. 

 

Good article - https://www.windowscentral.com/how-set-and-manage-network-bridge-connection-windows-10

 

However I can't get HQPlayer to recognize my endpoint, despite verifying that it's now connected to my network

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15 hours ago, WilliamWykeham said:

However I can't get HQPlayer to recognize my endpoint, despite verifying that it's now connected to my network

 

HQPlayer will only connect to its own NAA adapter on another computer over Ethernet or by a USB direct connection. I have tried NAA on a Mac mini years ago and found the additional step of another computer adds more noise and the endpoint is still a USB local to that NAA machine.

 

HQPlayer can be an engine, such as a Roon front end, but the output is then local USB or NAA.

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