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About the Installation Process

To help you get started with the installation of the HAL System, we have provided a simple breakdown of the key installation tasks—presented in the recommended order. If you are new to the HAL System, we recommend that (after reviewing this workflow) you spend a few moments reviewing the basics of the system before actually beginning the installation. We understand that your job is to get this system installed as quickly and efficiently as possible, but a slight detour to review the product details is well worth your time. See Introduction to the HAL System.

The Installation Workflow

There are seven key tasks involved in the installation of a HAL System. An overview of each task is listed below, along with page references to the specific details for each task. We recommend that you review this entire list to get a sense of the work flow, and then return to the first task to begin the actual installation process. Note that the order of some of these tasks can vary. See each task description for more details.

Task 1: Install and connect the HAL.

This task involves the physical attachment of the HAL hardware to your audio rack. You can perform this task off-site or on-site. Once installed, you then connect other devices to the HAL and, if necessary in your environment, connect the HAL to your Ethernet network. If you are installing onsite, you may want to pull and terminate the shielded CAT 5e cabling first (see Task 3: Pulling and Terminating shielded CAT 5e Cabling) so that the cables are ready to connect to the HAL. For details on installing the HAL, see Task 1: Install and Connect HAL.

Task 2: Configure the system.

Before the system can function properly, you must configure the hardware (the HAL, EXPs, RADs, and DRs) as well as the audio processing and path. You perform this configuration using the Halogen software that is shipped with the HAL hardware. (The software is also available on the Rane website.) You can configure the system by loading a configuration file that contains the appropriate hardware settings, audio flow, and processing; or you can create the configuration directly on a live device. We strongly recommend using a configuration file as a starting point!

In most cases, the audio designer will have already created this configuration file, which makes your installation job much easier. All you have to do is load the file into the HAL device. For the purposes of this guide, we have assumed this scenario—that the configuration file has already been created for you. If not—well, you’re going to need to do a little more reading. You can find additional information about configuration files in the Halogen Help System (accessed from the Halogen software) as well as in the HAL System Design Guide (available on your product DVD as well as on the Rane website).

note: If the final configuration is to be completed later, but you merely want to install the equipment and make sure the system can send and receive audio, you can create a very simple configuration to accomplish this. See Creating a Verification Configuration for more information.

Regardless if you’re creating a new configuration or simply loading a pre-defined configuration, you will need to install, start, and use the Halogen software.

note: Where this configuration task falls in the installation process is somewhat flexible. If you prefer, you can install and connect the RADs, DRs, and EXPs prior to loading the configuration file. There are advantages, however, in loading the configuration first. Whether or not the configuration is loaded, as long as the HAL is powered on and connected prior to installing the peripheral devices, you can determine immediately upon installing a RAD, DR, or EXP (by observing its status indicators) if it is functioning properly. But if the configuration is also in place, you can immediately determine if the EXP, RAD or DR model you just installed matches the model specified in the HAL configuration (if there’s a mismatch, the EXP's front panel LED's flash, the RAD’s LEDs flash red and the DR's LCD screen displays Configuration Mismatch). Also, if you have wireless access to the HAL, loading the configuration file early in the process makes it possible to then view the configuration from a laptop as you’re installing the RADs, DRs, and EXPs. If you do not have a configuration file and you plan to simply test that the installed equipment can successfully send and receive audio, disregard this recommendation. You will create a simple test configuration after you have installed all of the equipment.

Task 3: Pull and terminate the shielded CAT 5e cabling for the EXPs, RADs and DRs.

Each EXP, RAD and DR connects to the HAL via a shielded CAT 5e cable. We recommend pulling this cable prior to installing the RADs and DRs. Doing so makes it much easier to troubleshoot their installation. Note that each RAD and DR requires a home run. As noted in the previous task, if the shielded CAT 5e cables are installed and terminated, and the HAL is powered on and connected, you can verify if the RADs and DRs are working properly as soon as you connect them. For details on this task, see Task 3: Pulling and Terminating shielded CAT 5e Cabling.

Task 4: Install and connect HAL Expansion Units (if needed).

If your system requires one or more Expansion Units (EXPs), you should install and connect them to the HAL before beginning the installation of your RADs and DRs. This task involves using shielded CAT 5e cable to connect each EXP in a daisy-chained fashion. That is, connecting the first EXP to HAL, connecting the second EXP to the first EXP, and so on. For details, see Task 4: Installing and Connecting HAL Expansion Units. It is important that you install the correct EXP model in each location and in the correct order in the daisy-chain. If you load the HAL configuration prior to installing the EXPs, you can view the status indicators to determine if you have installed the correct model. If the models do not match, the front panel LEDs on the EXP flash. You can also see this status in Halogen's Hardware Workspace.

The older HAL1 system used a FireWire based expansion bus. This bus allowed you to connect up to four EXP1 expansion units in a daisy-chained manner. For details see Task 4 (legacy): Installing and Connecting HAL1 Expansion Units

Task 5: Install and connect the individual RADs and DRs.

This task involves the connection of the RADs and DRs to the shielded CAT 5e cable, followed by the physical installation of the RADs and DRs into the switchboxes in the wall. A key part of this task is to double-check that you are installing the correct RAD and DR models in each location. The wiring diagram should specify which RAD and DR models go in which locations. Also, if you load the HAL configuration prior to installing the RADs and DRs, you can view the RAD and DR status indicators to determine if you have installed the correct model. If the models do not match, the bottom four LED indicators on the RAD flash red, while the DR LCD screen displays Configuration Mismatch. In addition to verifying that you’ve installed the correct model, this task involves the verification that the RAD and DR hardware is communicating properly with the HAL. Again, the RAD and DR status indicators provide this information. For details, see Task 5: Installing and Connecting RADs and DRs.

Task 6: Install and connect all analog devices.

This task needs little explanation and is here simply to suggest where in the workflow we recommend the installation and connection of analog devices. The HAL and some EXPs provide you with analog inputs and outputs. You know what to do with them!

Task 7: Verify connections, perform audio test, troubleshoot, and save the final configuration.

After installing the HAL, EXP device(s), RADs, DRs, connecting any other analog devices, and loading the configuration file, you need to verify that everything is working properly. See Task 7: Verify and Troubleshoot Installation.

note: If you do not have a pre-defined configuration file but you want to verify that the hardware is working, you need to create a simple verification configuration. See Creating a Verification Configuration for more information.

You’ll be happy to learn that Rane has taken much of the guesswork out of the verification process. Although you will review the status indicators on the HAL, EXPs, RADs, and DRs at the time you install these components, we recommend double-checking these indicators in the final verification task. There are three primary sources of information to help you quickly troubleshoot any problem:

  1. RAD LEDs and DR LCD screens: By simply viewing the LEDs on the front of a RAD and the DR LCD screen, you can see immediately if the device is receiving power, if its data communications connection is working, and if its model matches the model configured for the port to which it is attached. With a RAD, you can also see if it's transmit (Tx) and receive (Rx) functionality is working, if it is actively receiving an audio signal, and if its audio signal is overloading.
  2. HAL LEDs: LEDs on the HAL provide power and signal information for all the connected RADs and DRs as well as information about the Expansion Bus and Ethernet network (if applicable).
  3. EXP LEDs: LEDs on the EXPs also provide power and signal information for all the connected RADs and DRs as well as information about the Expansion Bus.
  4. Halogen messages: After the configuration file is loaded into the HAL, you can use Halogen to determine if you installed the appropriate RADs and DRs in each location or if a RAD or DR is configured incorrectly. The software displays color-coded messages telling you of any problems. The software also contains the configured audio flow, which you should examine if there are audio problems that cannot be traced to a hardware issue. It’s possible that something in the audio flow (in Halogen's Processing Workspace) was configured incorrectly.

When you have completed the installation, fully tested the system, and feel confident that the configuration is accurate, SAVE AND BACK UP THE CONFIGURATION FILE! If you or someone else inadvertently (or even deliberately) changes configuration settings on a live device and, as a result the system stops working, you will be very happy that you have a backup. For more details, see Save the Final Configuration File.

Now, on with the installation (after reviewing the basics of the system, of course!). … Details begin here: Task 1: Install and Connect HAL