The EXP2x is a Dante Expansion Unit for the HAL1x expansion bus. Each EXP2x adds 32 Dante Receive and 32 Dante Transmit audio channels to your HAL System at up to 96 kHz sample rates. The EXP2x provides automatic sample rate conversion for easy integration to the 48 kHz world of HAL audio with a Dante network at 44.1, 48, 88.2, or 96 kHz. Like all Dante devices, the Dante Receiver and Transmitter pair must be set to the same sample rate and latency within Dante Controller in order to subscribe or connect to each others’ audio. As soon as the EXP2x is connected, its Dante channels become available for use from within the Halogen software.
Unlike all other Rane EXP devices, names and all the settings inside the EXP2x are read-only in Halogen software. The only thing you can do in Halogen with the EXP2x is click the Locate button to flash a light on the front or rear to identify the device. Configure the EXP2x Dante device name, audio channel names, audio routing, latency, sample rate, secondary Ethernet port mode, and every EXP2x setting using Dante Controller software, available free from Audinate. https://www.audinate.com/products/software/dante-controller.
Once you’ve set the EXP2x settings on a live Dante system using Dante Controller and talked live to the HAL1x using Halogen, all EXP2x settings and names are read from the Dante network and saved inside your HAL and the Halogen configuration file. These settings remain saved and intact in the EXP2x’s Dante cards (a Brooklyn II card from Audinate). You cannot edit these settings in Halogen. There is only one place to make changes: Dante Controller – it is well-equipped for the job. Read the Dante Controller User Guide from Audinate’s website. It is worth your time.
To connect, route or subscribe audio channels between any two Dante devices, all devices must be configured with the same sample rate and latency settings using Dante Controller software. Because Rane has chosen to disable editing of all Dante network settings inside Halogen software, this creates a clear distinction between where to go to configure or change a system. And there is no concept of pushing settings from Rane to Dante or vice versa. All Dante audio network settings are managed, set up and configured using Dante Controller.
Dante Subscriptions & Flows
When you route a receive and transmit audio channel using Dante Controller’s grid, Dante creates a single, unicast Flow. This audio route is called a subscription. A single Dante Flow can contain multiple audio channels, typically 4 audio channels. The number of channels in a Flow can change as you add more subscriptions, change latencies, or after you restart your network. It’s all about Dante optimizing network bandwidth when it can as you subscribe audio channels between devices. Dante Controller lets you view and manage Flows which may rarely be required.
When clicking the routing grid in Dante Controller, Dante only creates unicast flows. If you need audio to be received by two or more devices, you must manually configure multicast Flows within Dante Controller. See the Dante Controller User Guide for details such as using IGMP in managed switches to manage networks requiring many multicast Flows. Also note that the different Audinate Dante implementations support different number of maximum Flows. The Audinate Brooklyn II card inside the EXP2x supports 32 Flows in and 32 Flows out, maximum. Unlike unicast Flows, by definition and default, multicast Flows use network bandwidth on the entire network, even when no receivers are set to listen.
The Brooklyn II card inside the EXP2x has its own firmware that is a Rane-customized file specifically for the EXP2x. Audinate does not have this, or any firmware file; the Dante manufacturer controls the firmware file. Yet, like all HAL System firmware, the EXP2x Dante card’s firmware is included within the Halogen software. Thus, only by updating Halogen software is it possible to update the firmware in the EXP2x Dante card. All HAL hardware device firmware is stored in the HAL device. See the Help entry “Understanding the Role of Firmware in the HAL System.”
What Ethernet switch can I use for my Dante network?
Answers to this and many other Dante questions are found here <<< this word ‘here’ is a link (https://www.audinate.com/resources/networks-switches). The Cisco 300 Series Ethernet switches are available in many varieties, such as the 10-port, SG300-10. They are very affordable, managed, and some offer PoE versions if needed. If you use an Ethernet switch with “Green” Energy-Efficient Ethernet (IEEE 802.3az) turn off this feature in the switch. This green technology can delay packets hundreds of milliseconds which will stop all Dante audio from working.
The EXP2x also provides two Dante Network jacks: Primary and Secondary. Using Dante Controller software, you can configure the Secondary connection to operate in Switch or Redundant mode. When in switch mode, the secondary port works in parallel with the primary. In redundant mode the secondary port is a fail-over connection to the Dante secondary network, which is a physically separate network from the Primary Dante network.
note: Unlike other expansion devices, names and most settings of the EXP2x are read-only in Halogen software. Configure EXP2x device name, audio channel names, audio routing, secondary Ethernet port mode, latency, and other settings using Dante Controller software, available from Audinate. https://www.audinate.com/products/software/dante-controller. When connected these read-only settings can be viewed from the EXP2x hardware dialog.
As with all the HAL1x Expansion Units, the EXP2x connects to HAL via a shielded CAT 5e (or better) with a cable length maximum of 100 meters (300 feet).
note: The Expansion Bus is a daisy-chain topology supporting up to 32 expansion devices. See HAL1x Expansion Units for details on latency, cable type and cable length.
Following are pictures of the rear and front panels of an EXP2x.