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 Post subject: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:11 pm
Posts: 61
Hey guys,

we are young computer scienctists and something popped into our mind:

What do you think of a 96 (4x pulsar adat) to 160 (4x scope adat) ADAT-I/O-Solution with
ONE SINGLE PCI-EXPRESS x1
or
ONE SINGLE EXPRESSCARD (for laptops)?

Should we develop something in this way?

It's a huge mobile recording platform without any big CPU-load as you know from firewire-devices...

Greetings,
Robin


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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:34 pm 
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Please provide more info:
Is it inside the scope platform? A 3rd party device?
With/without dsps? Etc etc
:)


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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2001 4:00 pm
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Location: Melbourne Australia
First question I would ask is why ADAT when MADI is the next generation ?


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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:50 pm 
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the19thbear wrote:
Please provide more info:
Is it inside the scope platform? A 3rd party device?
With/without dsps? Etc etc
:)


For sure it is normal Scope-Platform - it will be in an additional external case with a good power supply.
Just the interconnect between your PC/Laptop is the magic - with an PCIe (x1) or ExpressCard-Adapter are FOUR FULL POWERED PCI-DEVICES possible...

dante wrote:
First question I would ask is why ADAT when MADI is the next generation ?


Because SCOPE/SP or Pulsar-Boards do not have MADI? ;)

In the next step we can maybe build a Z-Link to MADI-Converter - Z-LINK can handle 8x 96/24, ADAT only 8x 48/24 so - great improvement?


What's on your mind?

I'll test it now with a Luna II, Pulsar 1 and one Pulsar SRB ... Maybe later an additional SCOPE/SP...
If it works - i'll share my experience and can sell it to you too...

greetings ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:55 pm 
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depending on the cost, and if it boosts pci perfomance on my i7 1366 i will definitely considering it! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:56 pm 
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Sounds great! so it is basically something like this?
http://www.virtuavia.eu/shop/pci-express-to-pci-expansion-box-p29809.html

If it can be done cheaper than that, and work just as good as in normal pci slots then i am sure you have some potential buyers!
(including me, depending on the price)

It would be way cool if the case was a 2-4 unit rack, slim, with the scope cards next to each other(unlike a computer case) instead of on top of each other (like in a computer case)
basically i would like to avoid the big clunky box that you see in the link i posted above, but i would love all the insides:)


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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:47 pm 
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the19thbear wrote:
Sounds great! so it is basically something like this?
http://www.virtuavia.eu/shop/pci-express-to-pci-expansion-box-p29809.html

If it can be done cheaper than that, and work just as good as in normal pci slots then i am sure you have some potential buyers!
(including me, depending on the price)

It would be way cool if the case was a 2-4 unit rack, slim, with the scope cards next to each other(unlike a computer case) instead of on top of each other (like in a computer case)
basically i would like to avoid the big clunky box that you see in the link i posted above, but i would love all the insides:)



Yes the19thbear,
it will be basically the same, BUT:
- the "dirty little cheap boxes" allow only a power consumption of 200-300mA per PCI-Devices (a Luna II requires 6W - minimum 500mA) - a Scope will be use a lot more!
- the power supply is a really cheap one, without any stabilizing and cleaning... not very good
- it's too short for a SCOPE/SP...

i'll investigate my solution with a swiss vendor of hardware and will give feedback about interferences, heat etc...


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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:14 am 
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very nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:31 am 
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completely another topic, but i bet you could sell these: A usb/firewire to adat converter. You cant get them anywhere, and it would be so cool to be able to hook up an external 16/8 channel converter to a laptop and record stuff on the go, without any special interface for the labtop.
:)
Really great to see you guys here! i hope everything goes well with your development!


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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:04 am 
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thehe wrote:

For sure it is normal Scope-Platform - it will be in an additional external case with a good power supply.
Just the interconnect between your PC/Laptop is the magic - with an PCIe (x1) or ExpressCard-Adapter are FOUR FULL POWERED PCI-DEVICES possible...



How would you achieve a PCIe to 4 Scope PCI card adapter as the STDM cables used to link/chain cards are only capable to link 3 cards ?


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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:19 am 
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you can link 4 cards by making your own link cable. several people have had it working here. But maybe we only really need 3 ports, since it is (was) officially supported..


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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:27 am 
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the19thbear wrote:
you can link 4 cards by making your own link cable. several people have had it working here. But maybe we only really need 3 ports, since it is (was) officially supported..


Anybody tried with 5 ?


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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:11 pm
Posts: 61
Hey guys,

I'm recently ordered some components to build up a development system and I'm thinking about a beautiful 19inch 2U Rackmount for it, all with nice Neutrik & D-Sub connectors...

Who can confirm that 3 chained cards "should" be the maximum?
Where is the technical limit?
We need to know, because if the system can handle 8 or more cards together, i have to develop S/TDM-Breakout connectors - should be 5*20 pins ==> 100 pins (not so easy to get ;))
Think about four 19-inch 2U-Rackunits, each powered with four Scope/SP, chained together + 4 PCIe cards to plug them all in.
That are 16 SCOPE/SP with a DSP-capacity of 240 DSP! :o
Already a system of 4x SCOPE/SP plugged into a Laptop with ExpressCard would be great for live recording...
Buy a SSD and just DO IT.. without heavy processor load... niiiiiice :) *justThinkingLoad*


What's your current configuration!?

Next thought:
A 19-inch Rackmount holder for Luna Expension box where 2 of them fit in and STRONG Neutrik Firewire-ports to break out...

Come on, let's do the work which Creamware not did to get it solid!

:)
Greetings,
Robin


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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:07 pm 
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You need to contact soniccore to ask them why the max i s 3 (or 4) cards. It might have had to do with the pci bus speeds? if it is, then we dont have to worry about it since we are using pcie..

A 2 unit rackmount box would be great!
You have to consider the price though. Magma has made similar boxes, and most people who have to pay anything in that price range, would just buy and XITE instead, because it runs on pcie and has more power.

The strength with your configuration is alot of in/outs. But the price needs to be low as well (not alot higher than the virtuvia boxes i linked to earlier i think)
Maybe you could make pcie->2 pci converter boxes that are cheaper, and then a full 4-whatever is the max that is more expensive.

Nice Dsub and neutrik connectors is always nice, but as i said, if it raises the price, then people will buy an Xite instead of your box.
Im just thinking out loud here :)


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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:24 pm 
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OK, just to elaborate a bit more on that topic.

The official maximum number of "chainable" cards is 3.

19th bear just mentionned that some people have/had a 4 card system by making their own STDM cables.

Just to make things simple (correct me if I am wrong): Scope software just see the PCI boards as one board and chain the on board DSP thanks to STDM cables. I do not know if IO are connected to the scope host software through PCI or STDM would be enough.
But a Scope system the STDM connexion between all boards is necessary to share DSP ressource.

So it should be possible to make more than 3 cards work together thanks to custom STDM cables (as 19th bear told).

But you wouldn't be able to have 4 separate racks connected to a PCIe mainboard working with a unique Scope software as you have to link the differents rack with STDM cables (or you would have to create an external STDM connexion adapter maybe inspired from the Xite-1 STDM but please use a different connector male instead of femelle. And there is also the ground and power supply issue.

To sum-up:
- PCI is used for scope host software dialog, power supply the cards, get access to host RAM for memory hugry devices like reverb, samplers or delays and may also be necessary for IO handling.
- STDM connexion is used for inter-DSP data exchange and is necessary to allow the system to work.

I also wonder is if PCIe to PCI adapter can be used. Does the host software "see" the board through the PCIe to PCI bridge. The only experience I have is what my PCI to PCI Magma rack provide me.

I also wish I could find a solution to give old PCI scope cards to a second life. That's the reason why I build a rack based host for 2 of my boards to achieve a backup system as mentionned in this topic:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=28203
I used a fanless TranquilPC rack PC to host 2 PCI boards with a compactflash Win 98 SE powered system and got something completely silent, I still use as homemade NOAH unit.


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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:03 am 
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I would also suspect that the max of 3 boards is/was due to the DSP performance limit you reach.
Some people report that they see no significant difference between a 3 Scope Pro (45 DSP) system and a 2 Scope Pro + 1 Scope Project (36 DSP) system. The obvious explanation of that being that when DSP chip spend more time to exchange data with their friends they have less time for processing signals. I also read somewhere that 2 STDM cables would be enough to bridge a 2 or 3 Scope Pro system even if each Scope Pro has 5 connector.

At that time, the mainboard also provided a maximum of 5 PCI ports and the PCI bandwidth was also a limitation.
And there was also the power supply limit.

But if the target is to get more IO rather than get a more DSP powerfull system, the question might be different then.


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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:08 am 
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i will be just happy to have 2 or 3 PCI S|C cards connected to my PC without losing PCI performances as i'm experiencing now with 1366 socket (5 masterverb). moving to 4+ cards is maybe not so worthwile....

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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:09 am 
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if you grant me 15+ masterverb with a scope and 1366 chipset, i will buy for sure if the price is acceptable!

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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:10 am 
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HUROLURA wrote:
OK, just to elaborate a bit more on that topic.

The official maximum number of "chainable" cards is 3.

19th bear just mentionned that some people have/had a 4 card system by making their own STDM cables.

Just to make things simple (correct me if I am wrong): Scope software just see the PCI boards as one board and chain the on board DSP thanks to STDM cables. I do not know if IO are connected to the scope host software through PCI or STDM would be enough.
But a Scope system the STDM connexion between all boards is necessary to share DSP ressource.

So it should be possible to make more than 3 cards work together thanks to custom STDM cables (as 19th bear told).

But you wouldn't be able to have 4 separate racks connected to a PCIe mainboard working with a unique Scope software as you have to link the differents rack with STDM cables (or you would have to create an external STDM connexion adapter maybe inspired from the Xite-1 STDM but please use a different connector male instead of femelle. And there is also the ground and power supply issue.

To sum-up:
- PCI is used for scope host software dialog, power supply the cards, get access to host RAM for memory hugry devices like reverb, samplers or delays and may also be necessary for IO handling.
- STDM connexion is used for inter-DSP data exchange and is necessary to allow the system to work.

I also wonder is if PCIe to PCI adapter can be used. Does the host software "see" the board through the PCIe to PCI bridge. The only experience I have is what my PCI to PCI Magma rack provide me.

I also wish I could find a solution to give old PCI scope cards to a second life. That's the reason why I build a rack based host for 2 of my boards to achieve a backup system as mentionned in this topic:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=28203
I used a fanless TranquilPC rack PC to host 2 PCI boards with a compactflash Win 98 SE powered system and got something completely silent, I still use as homemade NOAH unit.


in my opinon, the cards just need a valid IRQ-handling...
since the PCIe-solution will have a additional controller and will simulate the PCI-bus without any losses, you can grow up the system to a lot of more cards becaus 4 cards share one dedicated controller...

if we can handle that the 5 STDM busses (5 for scope!) can be shared between the boxes, it may can be a lot more powerful?!
problem here is to get enough cards to try that out ;) sonic-core don't answer on ANYTHING i write to them nor i can get anybody onto the phone...
i'm german and sonic core is a german company - they don't even have an answering maschine...

anybody here to borrow me 16 scope/SP? :D


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 Post subject: Re: Question: Do you want 4x scope on ExpressCard/PCIe?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:14 am 
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bosone wrote:
if you grant me 15+ masterverb with a scope and 1366 chipset, i will buy for sure if the price is acceptable!


i ordered all the things an will try out a Luna+Pulsar+SRB-card setup in an:

dual operon quadcore, 16gb ram, dual nforce pro chipset pc...

i'll provide a masterverb-screen ;)


so... i REALLY think, that it is possible to connect a lot more cards together if you take a look at the old PCI-bus-specifications...
66mhz, every card need an IRQ...

if you now use a dedicated controller to shipping around the IRQ-problem and THEN connect 5 s/TDM-busses with scope (you said, that theres no difference between 5 busses or 3 on a scope-connection), I really think, that there is a LOT OF HEADROOM for the cards itself if you can take a s*** on the PCI-bus....

it's really interesting and i can't wait to get the hardware-parts.... hopefully digitech will be fast, too - need to build "some" S/TDM-cables ;)

greetings and stay tuned!

robin


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