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EtherREGEN: Early general details [We are late but getting closer! ;-)]

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On 5/9/2019 at 6:16 AM, Superdad said:

 

Thanks.  And I forgot to mention that EtherREGEN is going to be on a 6-layer circuit board instead of a 4-layer. John is choosing to do it that way both for performance reasons and because he feels it will actually be easier to route everything. 

All this stuff is WAY above my pay/brain grade so I of course go along with whatever John says is best. B|

Easier to control the impedance of the routes with 6 layers, there does seem to be a preference for running high speed LVDS as microstrip on the outer layers, having half the signal in air as a dielectric and slightly faster propagation does help. It's interesting to see as digital signals get faster, layout is using more and more techniques from high speed analogue rf/microwave. It wont be long before we have speeds where signals will have to be routed as co-planer wave guides or as pseudo co-axial structures, doable on a PCB with high density interconnect designs but expensive. Looking forward to seeing pictures of the boards, always interested in looking at boards! I do it every day. Like yours they show a bit of OCD in the symmetry, years of doing IC's or PCB's does that to you.😁

This is also the fun level of Ethernet, the physical level.

Agree on shields could add more problems, than it fixes. Interesting to think about cables, quite simple to produce, plug into an RJ45...the complexity from the connector to the Phy on a PCB is way more interesting, and almost invisible to most people. A look at some of the info out there such as "en562767.pdf" will illustrate the task ahead for John.

Have fun.

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6 hours ago, Superdad said:

 

Sorry, but until EtherREGEN is done and shipping, we will not have time to experiment with Ethernet cables. :D

 

We expect that the only cable that will matter will be the one coming out of the 'B' side lone port and going into the DAC-connected renderer.  The whole point of the EtherREGEN's sophisticated isolated, dual-clock domain design is to make most upstream variables not matter.

 

All that said, in general we prefer that Ethernet cables not have their shields tied at both ends.  Even though all Ethernet ports have transformers (of varying levels--see my post elsewhere about those), I just don't see much good coming from connecting grounds between Ethernet devices via shield connections. 

 

Thanks for the clarification. Very helpful.

My setup will be unshielded CAT6:  Cheap and easy to cut to size.


[ AERIS G2 ] => [ MC3+USB x 3 <- -REF10 ] => [ Genelec 8341 x 2 + 7360 x 2 ]

[ Switchable to  [ Genelec 8331 x 2 + 7350 ]

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On 5/14/2019 at 6:51 PM, Superdad said:

 

Sorry, but until EtherREGEN is done and shipping, we will not have time to experiment with Ethernet cables. :D

 

We expect that the only cable that will matter will be the one coming out of the 'B' side lone port and going into the DAC-connected renderer.  The whole point of the EtherREGEN's sophisticated isolated, dual-clock domain design is to make most upstream variables not matter.

 

All that said, in general we prefer that Ethernet cables not have their shields tied at both ends.  Even though all Ethernet ports have transformers (of varying levels--see my post elsewhere about those), I just don't see much good coming from connecting grounds between Ethernet devices via shield connections. 

I’m using 3 Jitterbugs upstream (router, NAS, iMac). Can I sell them?

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Since we are getting closer to delivery of etherREGEN, I had a couple of questions re configurations. I currently have the optical Signature RenduSE from Sonore. I use a generic FMC converter between my current  Ethernet switch and the Rendu. My options, I think, will be to 1: get the etherREGEN, and use the etherREGEN optical out directly to the optical in on the Rendu, which seems the easiest way to go. The other alternatives would be to 2: upgrade the FMC converter to the new Sonore optical converter with the existing switch or 3: use  the EtherREGEN with Ethernet port plus the Sonore optical converter. I guess the cheapest way is no.2, most direct way is no. 1, and the most expensive way is no.3. Unless I missed it, I haven’t seen any posts from Uptone indicating there is actually a SQ improvement from the etherREGEN, just technical improvements so not sure I even need to do anything until we hear if these new devices make a difference. I was wondering if someone can make some comments on which scenario makes the most sense, independent of cost.  Is there an expectation that sq and noise reduction is similar between the etherREGEN optical port and the Ethernet port? Thanks

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The fact that I introduced a Cisco switch between my router and my uRendu made a substancial SQ improvement. So I guess that such a innovator  device as the Etherregen will I am sure bring a much higher SQ to my system. Cheers


AMP: Electrocompaniet ECI-6D; DAC: Chord Qutest, iFi iDSD BL, Oppo 205, ECI-6D; Streamer/endpoint: Sonic transporter i5 + uRendu

Speakers: Proac Tablette Reference 8 Signature; CD/SACD: Oppo 205

Cables: Speakers (Acoustic Revive) + RCA (au24sx) + RJ45 (Vodka Audioquest) + USB (Diamond Audioquest) + Power (Pangea's + Actinote's)  

Filters: Jensen VRD- iFF + Pink Faun Isolator + Acoustic revive ground isolator RGC-24

Switch: Cisco Catalyst 2960 8 Port

Others: Sboosters MKII + HDplex 200  

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Has John compared the sound of an EtherREGEN prototype board with 12V LPS-1.2 vs the supplied SMPS?  It would be useful to know how much a good LPS contributes to the sound.  Or maybe it doesn't.


NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10/HDPLEX 200W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> ISO REGEN/LPS-1.2 --> iFi iDSD Micro --> Focal CMS50's 

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7 minutes ago, rickca said:

Has John compared the sound of an EtherREGEN prototype board with 12V LPS-1.2 vs the supplied SMPS?  It would be useful to know how much a good LPS contributes to the sound.  Or maybe it doesn't.

 

Not yet.  The current working EtherREGEN board set is too delicate to even move far on his bench. :S  And the power networks on that working unit are far from what is going onto the board he is laying out now.  Much more will be shown and experimented with once the real preproduction boards are in our hands.  

 

And while he and I--and maybe a few lucky beta testers--will have one, I'd rather leave it to others to say how much they do or don't hear with an upgraded PS versus the stock SMPS we will be shipping it with.  I mean really, pretty much every EtherREGEN buyer will already have some sort of nice LPS on hand to try it with--be it an UltraCap or some other.

But you knew that...9_9

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Please feel free to invite me as a beta tester? 😂


AMP: Electrocompaniet ECI-6D; DAC: Chord Qutest, iFi iDSD BL, Oppo 205, ECI-6D; Streamer/endpoint: Sonic transporter i5 + uRendu

Speakers: Proac Tablette Reference 8 Signature; CD/SACD: Oppo 205

Cables: Speakers (Acoustic Revive) + RCA (au24sx) + RJ45 (Vodka Audioquest) + USB (Diamond Audioquest) + Power (Pangea's + Actinote's)  

Filters: Jensen VRD- iFF + Pink Faun Isolator + Acoustic revive ground isolator RGC-24

Switch: Cisco Catalyst 2960 8 Port

Others: Sboosters MKII + HDplex 200  

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Well, I am based in Manhattan. At least I am qualified based on the country... 

For the rest, I have my doubts... 🙂

Cheers, 

Jorge


AMP: Electrocompaniet ECI-6D; DAC: Chord Qutest, iFi iDSD BL, Oppo 205, ECI-6D; Streamer/endpoint: Sonic transporter i5 + uRendu

Speakers: Proac Tablette Reference 8 Signature; CD/SACD: Oppo 205

Cables: Speakers (Acoustic Revive) + RCA (au24sx) + RJ45 (Vodka Audioquest) + USB (Diamond Audioquest) + Power (Pangea's + Actinote's)  

Filters: Jensen VRD- iFF + Pink Faun Isolator + Acoustic revive ground isolator RGC-24

Switch: Cisco Catalyst 2960 8 Port

Others: Sboosters MKII + HDplex 200  

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On 5/24/2019 at 2:10 AM, Superdad said:

 

Not yet.  The current working EtherREGEN board set is too delicate to even move far on his bench. :S  And the power networks on that working unit are far from what is going onto the board he is laying out now.  Much more will be shown and experimented with once the real preproduction boards are in our hands.  

 

And while he and I--and maybe a few lucky beta testers--will have one, I'd rather leave it to others to say how much they do or don't hear with an upgraded PS versus the stock SMPS we will be shipping it with.  I mean really, pretty much every EtherREGEN buyer will already have some sort of nice LPS on hand to try it with--be it an UltraCap or some other.

But you knew that...9_9

So, just to confirm, if an LPS-1 is used, the DC output barrel (5.5/2.1) will need to be connected to source mains earth, as this is effectively how the supplied SMPS will be wired? 

Earlier in the thread, you touched on this - so forgive me if I’m going over old ground.

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12 hours ago, BlueDL said:

So, just to confirm, if an LPS-1 is used, the DC output barrel (5.5/2.1) will need to be connected to source mains earth, as this is effectively how the supplied SMPS will be wired? 

Earlier in the thread, you touched on this - so forgive me if I’m going over old ground.

There will be a "ground screw" on the back of the EtherREGEN which you can use to attach an external ground wire if you desire and are using a power supply where the output negative is not connected to ground.

 

You may not need a ground connection in all cases. The ground is necessary to "shunt" high impedance leakage coming in on an RJ45 jack. The isolation circuitry going across the "moat", from A side to B side is quite good but not quite perfect when it comes to high impedance leakage. Doing the grounding thing drops the high impedance leakage by at least 60dB which in combination with the circuitry means no detectable leakage at all on the B side. The circuitry alone (no grounding) is probably enough in many situations, but knowing audiophiles many will want to do the grounding anyway.

 

The primary reason for the grounding is connections going from one jack to another on the 4 port side (the A side), without it high impedance leakage current freely goes from one jack to another. With the grounding the leakage between ports is drastically reduced.

 

It is important to understand what I mean by "grounding". It is NOT "earthing" (ie a ground rod). It means a connection the safety ground in your house wiring.  (the third prong in the plug) This works because the safety ground is connected to the neutral of the AC mains, this is what allows it to shunt the leakage current, NOT any "earthing".

 

In summary you may not need the grounding, but you might. There is no way to tell in advance, you need to try it both ways and listen for yourself. If your power supply output is not grounded you can use the "ground screw" to hook up a connection to your safety ground.

 

John S.

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2 hours ago, JohnSwenson said:

There will be a "ground screw" on the back of the EtherREGEN which you can use to attach an external ground wire if you desire and are using a power supply where the output negative is not connected to ground.

 

You may not need a ground connection in all cases. The ground is necessary to "shunt" high impedance leakage coming in on an RJ45 jack. The isolation circuitry going across the "moat", from A side to B side is quite good but not quite perfect when it comes to high impedance leakage. Doing the grounding thing drops the high impedance leakage by at least 60dB which in combination with the circuitry means no detectable leakage at all on the B side. The circuitry alone (no grounding) is probably enough in many situations, but knowing audiophiles many will want to do the grounding anyway.

 

The primary reason for the grounding is connections going from one jack to another on the 4 port side (the A side), without it high impedance leakage current freely goes from one jack to another. With the grounding the leakage between ports is drastically reduced.

 

It is important to understand what I mean by "grounding". It is NOT "earthing" (ie a ground rod). It means a connection the safety ground in your house wiring.  (the third prong in the plug) This works because the safety ground is connected to the neutral of the AC mains, this is what allows it to shunt the leakage current, NOT any "earthing".

 

In summary you may not need the grounding, but you might. There is no way to tell in advance, you need to try it both ways and listen for yourself. If your power supply output is not grounded you can use the "ground screw" to hook up a connection to your safety ground.

 

John S.

Thanks John for the thorough explanation.

I guess I’ll need to try the SMPS vs LPS-1 comparison first, as that may avoid the need to use a socket solely for a grounding plug (there are no free wall sockets and only one free on the power strip next to my audio rig!).

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24 minutes ago, BlueDL said:

Thanks John for the thorough explanation.

I guess I’ll need to try the SMPS vs LPS-1 comparison first, as that may avoid the need to use a socket solely for a grounding plug (there are no free wall sockets and only one free on the power strip next to my audio rig!).

If you are using all 4 RJ45 ports on the A side an LPS-1 is not going to supply enough power. An LPS-1.2 WILL when set to 12V. If just using 1 port an LPS-1 MIGHT work, we won't know for sure until we get back the board I'm laying out right now which has everything that will be on the final board.

 

John S.

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7 hours ago, JohnSwenson said:

If you are using all 4 RJ45 ports on the A side an LPS-1 is not going to supply enough power. An LPS-1.2 WILL when set to 12V. If just using 1 port an LPS-1 MIGHT work, we won't know for sure until we get back the board I'm laying out right now which has everything that will be on the final board.

 

John S.

Well, fortunately, I’m currently using an LPS-1.2 to power my Netgear switch at 9V, so I’m ready to ‘switch’ to the EtherREGEN. Lame!.......sorry :)

 

I’ll compare the SMPS with an LPS-1.2 without ground connection and finally an LPS-1.2 with a ground connection.

The A side will have an optical feed from an FMC at the router end and a wired connection to my Sonictransporter, with the microrendu being connected to the ‘special’ port. I guess the upgrade path will be to go wired into the ‘special’ port (via second FMC) then optical (A side) into an OpticalRendu. Maybe use of an OpticalModule from the special port into an OpticalRendu is the strived-for utopia, but I’ll look out for feedback from others long before I get the go-ahead from the ‘domestic treasury’ !

 

Sorry to mention the Sonore products, but they seem to be the ideal companions to partner the EtherREGEN, at least at the moment.

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7 hours ago, BlueDL said:

Maybe use of an OpticalModule from the special port into an OpticalRendu is the strived-for utopia

 

There may be other ways into nirvana 😀

But I’m quite sure, involving John S design in one way or another will bring you there. 

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10 hours ago, BlueDL said:

The A side will have an optical feed from an FMC at the router end and a wired connection to my Sonictransporter, with the microrendu being connected to the ‘special’ port. I guess the upgrade path will be to go wired into the ‘special’ port (via second FMC) then optical (A side) into an OpticalRendu. Maybe use of an OpticalModule from the special port into an OpticalRendu is the strived-for utopia, but I’ll look out for feedback from others long before I get the go-ahead from the ‘domestic treasury 

I think if the wire comes out from the special port and goes into the normal fmc before going into OR will bring down the performance. It is because fmc is using cheap components and cheap clock. You should consider the clean side is coming out from the optical port of EtherRegen and going into OR to see the difference. 

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4 hours ago, lateboomer said:

I think if the wire comes out from the special port and goes into the normal fmc before going into OR will bring down the performance. It is because fmc is using cheap components and cheap clock. You should consider the clean side is coming out from the optical port of EtherRegen and going into OR to see the difference. 

Hi. The scenario I described uses the clean port to feed (wired) the microrendu (no FMC here). The optical connection is made on the other side of the moat and its signal is derived from the router. At the router end, although an OpticalModule is probably the best option, I see nothing wrong in using a standard FMC to connect to duplex LC Multimode OM1 or OM2 fibre (at an eighth the price). Sure, if I were to use an FMC between the EtherREGEN and an OpticalRendu in future, it would need to be an OpticalModule fed with a clean 5V - agreed.

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25 minutes ago, BlueDL said:

Sure, if I were to use an FMC between the EtherREGEN and an OpticalRendu in future, it would need to be an OpticalModule fed with a clean 5V - agreed.

 

This doesn’t make sense. Between EtherRegen and opticalRendu, you only need a fiber wire. 

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9 minutes ago, R1200CL said:

 

This doesn’t make sense. Between EtherRegen and opticalRendu, you only need a fiber wire. 

Agreed.

There is, however, a comparison to be made between going direct optical into the OR vs using the clean wired port into the OR via an OM (FMC).

I wouldn’t have mentioned it had I not been responding to the previous post, as I believe that using the clean port as an ‘input’ (perhaps from the music server for best results, but either that or the router feed) and the optical port as output (when using an OR) should be enough. My post (a couple above) actually states this is where I hope to upgrade to at some future point.

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1 hour ago, BlueDL said:

There is, however, a comparison to be made between going direct optical into the OR vs using the clean wired port into the OR via an OM (FMC).

 

Sounds like a expensive test. And all said in this thread indicates you will loose the effects of the EtherRegen and only have the effects of the OM left, as your signal can’t be better than your last device in the chain.

You may on a good day, achieve something with two EtherRegen, but I doubt it. 

 

Also your dream about using your LPS-1.2 and a opticalRendu may not be so straightforward. You must as a start be 100% sure you don’t need Vbus power to have a good chance to succeed. Or purchase the JS-2. (I may do myself 😀)

 

Adding a IsoRegen to your MicroRendu will most likely have the same effect as purchasing an UltraRendu. And that is a cheap upgrade, well worth test out, as I think you can return it. 

 

And the big question is then, after adding the EtherRegen to the system, will adding a opticaRendu make it worth the cost, and any difference in SQ at all.

 

 

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