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Overview of Digital Remote Devices

The Halogen software gives you microscopic control over almost every aspect of your audio system. This detailed control is great for the system designer, but not so great for end users who simply want to turn up the volume. The last thing they want to do is open a software program! Digital Remote (DR) hardware devices, a variety of which are available for your HAL System, provide system users with easy control of volume, audio selection, preset activation, and moreā€”out in the locations where the control is needed.

A huge advantage of these DR devices is their plug-and-play nature. When you connect a DR to the system, HAL automatically discovers and addresses it. In addition, just as with RADs, DRs use point-to-point wiring which eliminates problems of cable length, termination, and addressing. Troubleshooting time is also reduced because of DR status indicators on the HAL that immediately report the DR wiring status. And, finally, designers can test remote operation with or without the actual hardware. This offline testing is possible because of the Halogen software representation of each remote in the system.

DRs connect to the HAL via DR ports, which are basically the same as RAD ports but with no audio. In other words, the DR ports provide a communications link and power, but no AES3 digital audio. Because RAD ports contain all the functionality needed by a DR, you can also connect DRs to RAD ports (if, for example, all your DR ports are full and you have a RAD port available). The opposite is not true, however. You cannot connect a RAD to a DR port.

Some DR models (DR2, DR3, DR4, DR5 and DR6) can behave in a variety of ways. You use the Halogen software to configure how the controls on these DR devices behave. You can also enable and disable the individual controls on a DR (both manually, via control links to other remotes, and through the use of presets).

note for drag net users: Digital Remotes serve a similar function as the Smart Remotes used with Dragnet products. There is a key difference, however. Smart Remotes are multi-drop devices that must be daisy-chained together. Because they share bandwidth and power, the more Smart Remotes you connect, the slower the communications and the more sag in power delivery. DRs, on the other hand, are each connected directly to the HAL System and are, therefore, able to provide consistent, high performance. In addition, unlike Smart Remotes, you no longer have to worry about device addresses, cable length, cable termination, troubleshooting of the wiring, or complex processes for linking controls to audio processing.

DR Grounding

Careful grounding of DRs is important for optimum performance. Except for the DR4, all RADs and DRs are powered from the +24 VDC & Ground twisted pair located within the shielded CAT 5e (or better) cable connecting them to the HAL system of multiprocessors. The exposed metal of all RADs and DRs is connected to the ground conductor inside the cable and to the cable shield when properly terminated. The shield conductor and the ground twist are in parallel and are connected together at both cable ends. Except for in the RAD16z, this in turn connects the HAL/audio equipment rack grounding point and the metal (if used) junction box mounting the RADs and DRs.

note: For some electrical systems (e.g., isolated grounding systems - sometimes called a single point or star ground) the grounding procedure outlined above may short two fingers of the building ground system. If this creates a problem, then use of non-conductive junction boxes, or insulating mounting methods are recommended (or very much required!).