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EtherREGEN: The long development and active launch discussion thread.

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26 minutes ago, daverich4 said:

I have the opticalRendu with the generic optical switch they sold as a package in the beginning. It was my intention to replace that switch with the EtherREGEN but I need to plug my NAS and Mac Mini into it. I think that means I would need to have one of them plugged into the A side along with the opticalRendu in the SFP port and you don’t recommend that?

 

Some people may be getting too worried and overthinking things--in advance of obtaining and experimenting. Even if we did not have the active isolation power/data/clocking moat the EtherREGEN is a terrific and carefully done switch which should outperform most everything else out there (show me another switch using 12-core per port magnetics and differential clock lines everywhere). :D

So even if you plug your opticalRendu into the 'A' side along with either your NAS or Mac mini (putting one of them on the 'B' side), it will work great.  Or you could put the NAS and Mac mini together on the generic switch you have and run one copper line from that to the 'B' side.  That would have the opticalRendu alone by itself on the 'A' side of the moat. You'll just need to try and see hear.

 

Please remember that while we decided to make both sides of the moat equally clean (in power, data, and clocking), and did so in connection with including an SFP cage with consideration that some opticalRendu users would benefit, the truth is that the opticalRendu is one of the few optical-only endpoints on the market and thus is not our primary market for EtherREGEN.  In addition, there are technical reasons why the SFP cage must stay with the chips on the 'A' side.

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1 hour ago, Superdad said:

 

Some people may be getting too worried and overthinking things--in advance of obtaining and experimenting. Even if we did not have the active isolation power/data/clocking moat the EtherREGEN is a terrific and carefully done switch which should outperform most everything else out there (show me another switch using 12-core per port magnetics and differential clock lines everywhere). :D

So even if you plug your opticalRendu into the 'A' side along with either your NAS or Mac mini (putting one of them on the 'B' side), it will work great.  Or you could put the NAS and Mac mini together on the generic switch you have and run one copper line from that to the 'B' side.  That would have the opticalRendu alone by itself on the 'A' side of the moat. You'll just need to try and see hear.

 

Please remember that while we decided to make both sides of the moat equally clean (in power, data, and clocking), and did so in connection with including an SFP cage with consideration that some opticalRendu users would benefit, the truth is that the opticalRendu is one of the few optical-only endpoints on the market and thus is not our primary market for EtherREGEN.  In addition, there are technical reasons why the SFP cage must stay with the chips on the 'A' side.

 

Thanks for the reply. I think I’ll have to wait until the EtherREGEN is out in the wild before deciding what path to take. 

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For the SFP port can one use a copper GBE module like the one at: https://www.fs.com/products/11773.html

 

And which compatibility choice and transceiver are compatible? I need more copper ports so am thinking of using the SFP port for copper as well, probably for the link to the router as it is GBE.

 

Thanks.

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10 minutes ago, _JL_ said:

For the SFP port can one use a copper GBE module like the one at: https://www.fs.com/products/11773.html

 

And which compatibility choice and transceiver are compatible? I need more copper ports so am thinking of using the SFP port for copper as well, probably for the link to the router as it is GBE.

 

Thanks.

It's hard to tell whether it is compatible, there is no agreed upon terminology for an RJ45 SFP that uses 1000Base-X protocol but Ethernet interface. The fact that it just says 1000Mb is a good indicator that it will probably work.

 

Your proposed usage should work very well.

 

John S.

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3 minutes ago, JohnSwenson said:

It's hard to tell whether it is compatible, there is no agreed upon terminology for an RJ45 SFP that uses 1000Base-X protocol but Ethernet interface. The fact that it just says 1000Mb is a good indicator that it will probably work.

 

Your proposed usage should work very well.

 

John S.

 

Hi John,

 

Thanks for the quick reply. So should I get the Cisco compatible model with GLC-T transceiver type? There are so many choices ...

 

Jack

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9 minutes ago, _JL_ said:

 

Hi John,

 

Thanks for the quick reply. So should I get the Cisco compatible model with GLC-T transceiver type? There are so many choices ...

 

Jack

I don't know for sure. We do not care about brand compatibility (they ALL use the same protocol, but each company has a manufacturer ID in the SFP module and some company switches will only work if they see their own ID in the module). We do not look at the manufacturer ID so it doesn't matter what ID it has.

 

The big thing is to make sure it is gigabit and ONLY gigabit. Anything that says 10/100/1000 will definitely NOT work.

 

John S.

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On 8/2/2019 at 11:31 PM, Superdad said:

PROGRESS UPDATE:

 

As pretty and near-done as the pre-production boards looked (see https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/38968-etherregen-we-are-getting-much-closer/?do=findComment&comment=973852), there were just too many hours under-the-microscope changes to make them viable for use in beta test or for us to risk going straight to production.  

 

Plus, John has decided to implement a complete new scheme for power-on sequencing of each main logic chip and the clocks. Certain parts need to be receiving a clock before they start, and some parts are best turned on after others to assure function in all situations.

We already have two very small microprocessors on the board. We will separately flash them during production with code for the clock synth and the switch chip on each side, so they will program those parts each time power is applied (then they turn themselves off to keep quiet).  There is plenty of extra code room in these processors, so John ran traces to reset pins on various parts and will write and tweak code to turn them on at just the right time. Quite elegant!

 

In addition, since this next (hopefully final) round of pre-production/beta boards are also for bench test, he decided to bring out to small via pads a variety of chip pins to make it easier for him to watch exactly what is going on between them. Most of the main logic parts we use have the tiniest of pins (a lot of them sort of tucked under), and getting a probe wire soldered to one--and then having it not break off--is an exercise in hours of frustration.

 

I found a few mechanical I/O parts movements and some interference stuff, so those got adjusted as well.  

Sent off the new board files and the very slightly revised BoM (Bill of Materials) to our board house this afternoon.  Should be able to get a very quick turn as all the parts have already been purchased (for more than 250 first units).  

Well, all but one. John realized he had left off (from the last boards) the terminating resistor for the external BNC clock. It only came up when I went to identify it for when we have a few boards made in production where the BNC jack and resistor are left off so we can accommodate special orders for 50 ohm clock input termination. I am glad he had left the resistor off because it gave me a chance to ask him to put it in an accessible spot and to make it larger than the grain-of-salt 0402 size we use for most resistors on the board.  I hate soldering 0402s by hand!

 

So while we are sad that the first pre-production/beta boards will just go in a scrap heap (a few $K investment), a lot of things, small and large, were learned from them, and implementing a proper, programmable chip reset sequence mechanism--versus having reset controllers everywhere--makes so much sense.  All the magic stuff--data and clocks flowing in the loops across the moat/isolators and into key logic parts and through the flip-flops--is working beautifully. (It should, because many prior months of work was already done!)

 

So really, aside from EtherREGEN being far more advanced than anything else out there, folks will really be getting a refined, second generation product right out of the gate! :D

 

 

Will keep you all posted.

Have a great weekend,

--Alex C.

------------------

 

P.S. For those following my stupid bike-fall saga:

I finally had X-rays done yesterday, and yes it turns out I did fracture three ribs (#4,5,6 if I recall; not too much of a surprise as I heard the cracks when I landed!).  Then the doc insisted on a CT scan to be sure I did not puncture or partially collapse a lung. (Why they felt they had to pump me with heavy duty pain drugs to do it I have no idea. I hate that stuff and it makes me sick.) Anyway, after 4 hours in the emergency room until 11:00 p.m. last night, they gave me the news that nothing is serious--beyond the serious pain I have when I move around.  Amazing how much we use or torso for everything! They kept asking me my pain "level" on 1-10 scale.  It's zero, and then I make some normal movement and its an instant 11! :o

I'm figuring it out (sleeping on a pad on the floor is the only bearable thing), and I know it will get better in time.  

So many thanks for your words of sympathy--but no more. It's music--and EtherREGEN time! B|

 

 

OUCH!!!!  Hope you heal up OK and quickly Alex! . . .  And am looking forward to the Ether-Regen too of course!  😃😃

 

https://youtu.be/uMyCa35_mOg 

tom petty waiting GIF


---------------

Rich Brkich

Owner, Signature Sound

Liverpool, New York USA

Website: http://www.sigsound.com

FaceBook Page: http://www.facebook.com/Signature.Sound.HiFi

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10 minutes ago, RichB said:

OUCH!!!!  Hope you heal up OK and quickly Alex! . . .  And am looking forward to the Ether-Regen too of course!  

 

Thanks Rich.  Hope all is well there in upstate NY.  Bet lake Onondaga is lovely this time of year.

I’m feeling a bit better after lots of rest and some difficult nights.  Still at half time with only modest energy. I can cough and laugh a bit now, but a big sneeze will nearly make me faint from the pain (happened for the first time this morning; had to lay down for 20 minutes after that!).

Guess I’m just old with brittle bones… :P

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23 hours ago, Superdad said:

 

Thanks Rich.  Hope all is well there in upstate NY.  Bet lake Onondaga is lovely this time of year.

I’m feeling a bit better after lots of rest and some difficult nights.  Still at half time with only modest energy. I can cough and laugh a bit now, but a big sneeze will nearly make me faint from the pain (happened for the first time this morning; had to lay down for 20 minutes after that!).

Guess I’m just old with brittle bones… :P

 

All is well up here. Typical CNY summer weather (which is usually pretty nice if I say so myself) - keeping busy with various projects (and keeping a regular eye here on the Ether Regen progress 🙂 ). By the end of this year (or earlier) I will have gone through all the Musicaps I bought from you for Merlin speaker upgrades! 

 


---------------

Rich Brkich

Owner, Signature Sound

Liverpool, New York USA

Website: http://www.sigsound.com

FaceBook Page: http://www.facebook.com/Signature.Sound.HiFi

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Really, really hope the pain is diminishing. My biggest issue, and I didn’t have nearly your trauma, was putting my car’s stick shift in reverse. Lots of time spent trying to avoid parallel parking. 

 

If anyone doesn’t think their choice of Ethernet cables is inconsequential,  just try some different designs in your system setup.

 

I finally got my hands on a couple of Shunyata’s, a new cable design. It ran rings around my existing WireWorld Platinum and Starlight 8 cables, in/out of the Cisco 2960 switch.  Needless to say, I’ve put a couple of these on order. 

 

Really looking forward to the EtherREGEN to see how much farther my system can go.


Steve Schaffer

Roon Nucleus/ WD USB Drive / dCS Vivaldi Upsampler  / dCS Vivaldi DAC / dCS Vivaldi Clock / Spectral DMC-30SV preamp / Spectral DMA-500 monoblocks / Wilson Audio Alexia Series 2 speakers / Shunyata Denali - DPC6 - Sigma Ethernet / Synergistic Research Galileo interconnects / Uptone EtherREGEN switch

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2 hours ago, stevebythebay said:

 

If anyone doesn’t think their choice of Ethernet cables is inconsequential,  just try some different designs in your system setup.

 

I finally got my hands on a couple of Shunyata’s, a new cable design. It ran rings around my existing WireWorld Platinum and Starlight 8 cables, in/out of the Cisco 2960 switch.  Needless to say, I’ve put a couple of these on order. 

 

Really looking forward to the EtherREGEN to see how much farther my system can go.

 

Are you referring to the Sigma or Alpha?  I will be purchasing one of these, but am waiting first for the EtherRegen, as I will use it between this and my Zenith.  Like you, I’m looking forward to seeing how much further these two moves will take my system.  


Digital:  Innuos Zenith Std Mk2 > Shunyata Alpha USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Anaconda interconnect, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, GIK bass traps

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3 minutes ago, kennyb123 said:

 

Are you referring to the Sigma or Alpha?  I will be purchasing one of these, but am waiting first for the EtherRegen, as I will use it between this and my Zenith.  Like you, I’m looking forward to seeing how much further these two moves will take my system.  

Used both the Sigma and Alpha in my config.  The Sigma (in lieu of a WireWorld Platinum Starlight 8) and the Alpha (for the Starlight 8) both of the WireWorld are their initial product (not the newer ones).  Been using them with a Cisco 2960 switch.  Based on a quick test of half a dozen albums I've order a pair of the Sigma's.  What I've found is that you really don't want to mix differing technologies -- the WireWorld is Cat8 (shielded) untwisted flat design with the Shunyata Cat6a unshielded type with a traditional type configuration.  They seem to work against each other, or at least diminish the intended results.  That's what I discovered when initially swapping just the Sigma for the Platinum.  Better but nothing like adding the Alpha into the mix.


Steve Schaffer

Roon Nucleus/ WD USB Drive / dCS Vivaldi Upsampler  / dCS Vivaldi DAC / dCS Vivaldi Clock / Spectral DMC-30SV preamp / Spectral DMA-500 monoblocks / Wilson Audio Alexia Series 2 speakers / Shunyata Denali - DPC6 - Sigma Ethernet / Synergistic Research Galileo interconnects / Uptone EtherREGEN switch

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27 minutes ago, stevebythebay said:

What I've found is that you really don't want to mix differing technologies -- the WireWorld is Cat8 (shielded) untwisted flat design with the Shunyata Cat6a unshielded type with a traditional type configuration.  They seem to work against each other, or at least diminish the intended results.  That's what I discovered when initially swapping just the Sigma for the Platinum.  Better but nothing like adding the Alpha into the mix.

 

Interesting finding.  I have a long run of Wireworld Chroma from wall jack to my Zenith presently.  The plan was to run that into the EtherRegen and then have an Alpha or Sigma feeding the Zenith.  Hopefully the EtherRegen does succeed in allowing the cable on one side of the moat to have no audible impact on the other side of the moat.

 

Your comments about the Sigma have me rethinking the order of my moves.  The high demand for the EtherRegen may make it tough to obtain one once it’s finally available.  

 


Digital:  Innuos Zenith Std Mk2 > Shunyata Alpha USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Anaconda interconnect, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, GIK bass traps

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On 8/8/2019 at 8:07 PM, stevebythebay said:

Used both the Sigma and Alpha in my config.  

 

Looking at the specs Shunyata has published for their Ethernet cables, it appears the only difference is the number of CMode modules.  Venom has 0, Alpha has 1 and Sigma has 2.  The EtherRegen should lessen (or eliminate?) the need for any common mode filtering.  It’ll be interesting to hear if the differences between their three Ethernet cables vanish when used with the EtherRegen.


Digital:  Innuos Zenith Std Mk2 > Shunyata Alpha USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Anaconda interconnect, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, GIK bass traps

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2 hours ago, stevebythebay said:

But the proof will be in the “pudding”.

 

True that.

 

I was just struck by the fact that this thread was started in March of 2018.  Hopefully not much longer.


Digital:  Innuos Zenith Std Mk2 > Shunyata Alpha USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Anaconda interconnect, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, GIK bass traps

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3 hours ago, stevebythebay said:

What I’d hope is that for similar cable designs used into/out of the EtherREGEN the noise brought in would dissolve on its way out, preserving whatever attributes the cables might offer, be they good or ill, for the downstream system.  


Whatever you do with cables: Make sure there is no earth connection. That doesn’t rule out plugs with metal, but in general most of them. One example is the Audioquest Vodka that has metal plugs. It will work. Probably heavenly overpriced as most audiophile cables 😀

 

Blue Jeans is a very good choice.  
 

My link previous post another good option. 
 

And please rember, that even it there was a general recommendation for using a one meter cable before, that is NOT the case with EtherRegen. So length shouldn’t matter. Serach Johns post in this tread. Sould be something about it there in details. 

 

So hopefully we can leave the cable discussion dead. It’s a bit OT 😀


However it is relevant whenever there will be a tread about how the EtherRegen sound quality. 

(Ops. A switch with SQ 😀. Yes, that’s that’s what we all expect. And it’s already  proven by OpticalModule, and some other overpriced options). 

 

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On 8/11/2019 at 10:11 AM, Superdad said:

 

The aluminum cases for the first 250 unit production run are on order--with a promised delivery date of October 2nd.

 

The second round of pre-production boards (discussed here: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/38968-etherregen-we-are-getting-much-closer/?do=findComment&comment=978513) are due to arrive August 26th.  They may work perfectly, or they may require some (hopefully) small tweaks.  With luck these next boards will be usable for some field beta test.  Once we are satisfied, then we can release into full production.  

 

Please don't try to pin us down any closer to a date at this moment. Just because the cases will arrive at the beginning of October does not mean that is when we will begin shipping.  It really will be 3 weeks after whatever date it is that we release the final boards to production.  Testing first.  Have to get this right.

Thanks for your patience everyone. :D

 

--Alex C.

 

 

I'm just hoping for Santa to bring me one - anything earlier is a bonus. :)

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On 8/10/2019 at 7:21 PM, kennyb123 said:

 

Looking at the specs Shunyata has published for their Ethernet cables, it appears the only difference is the number of CMode modules.  Venom has 0, Alpha has 1 and Sigma has 2.  The EtherRegen should lessen (or eliminate?) the need for any common mode filtering.  It’ll be interesting to hear if the differences between their three Ethernet cables vanish when used with the EtherRegen.

The Cmode filters are ferrite rings.

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5 hours ago, marce said:

The Cmode filters are ferrite rings.

 

Where did you get that information?


Digital:  Innuos Zenith Std Mk2 > Shunyata Alpha USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Anaconda interconnect, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, GIK bass traps

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1 hour ago, kennyb123 said:

 

Where did you get that information?

They look like ferrites and that's what you would use on Ethernet cable so you don't add losses and impedance mismatches for the signal. A basic common mode filter is passing the wires through a shared magnetic core of some sort. Pretty basic common practice.

Apologies just read the rest of the thread!

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