DC1048 and 4 Series Firmware Update Adds Crucial Inc/Dec Gain Control

Posted by | January 18, 2013 | , , | No Comments

Not the pithiest title there, but one that is easily searchable…even through the blizzard conditions here at XTA this morning!
OK so currently that might be  a slight exaggeration, but it’s coming down thick and fast now and the offices may well be deserted by lunchtime 😉

Snowy view from  the office window over the river this morning...

Snowy view from the office window over the river this morning…

Bundled in with the FIR filtering additions to the 4 Series, we have added some very useful remote functionality to the range, and this has also been included in DC1048 firmware.  If any of you have used Crestron systems (or similar)  or had reason to need remote control of our gear outside AudioCore or iCore, we added (some years ago now) a layer of simple remote control protocol to give basic adjustment of key parameters, without the “framing and packeting” that the full remote access requires.

This simple system allows changes to input and output gains, mutes, and memory recalls.  The only slight flaw in this approach was that the gain adjustments were all absolute so, unless you were prepared to start from a known gain value and overwrite the current setting(s) in a unit, gain controls remotely could cause jumps in level.  This is not peculiar to our units – it is just a consequence of “blind” remote access (same thing would occur with for example MIDI control – any system where the starting point (current value) of a control has not been queried or cannot be determined.

Obviously AudioCore’s full protocol queries a unit for all its settings so adjustments made are from a known starting point, but this simple system is “one-way” and so cannot get the settings first.

To circumvent this problem, we have added (not replaced  – absolute gain settings are still possible) an increment/decrement command to the simple protocol that allows adjustments to be trimmed about the current value of any channel, with step size and limits also available.

There’s no need for this post to go into the details of how it works as it’s all in a TechNote on the website  here

This  document replaces the previous one and expands greatly on how to construct the simple messages so even if you don’t need the new facility, it might be worth checking it out if you need to work out how to recall a preset remotely for example…

So just to be clear – this protcol enhancement has been added to all 4 Series in Version 2.20, and to the DC1048 in version 1.20 (and the MC2 version, the Ti1048).

A couple of nice little extras have also gone into the DC1048 – there is now an extra step in the LED Timeout parameter – choose for the button LEDs and LCD backlight to stay on for 5 to 90 seconds (as before) or choose “Off”  – this leaves all the lights on permanently.

This was added after some customer comments that they loved the way the LEDs and backlight faded up and down when the unit was accessed, but when the lights went off, in the absence of any audio (no if no meters showing), it was hard to tell  from  a distance if the device was actually powered up!

Also added is a virtual “COMMS” LED in the form of  the LCD backlight.  Now (assuming the LED Timeout hasn’t been set to its new “Off” position!) if the unit is accessed remotely, the LCD backlight will fade up for 5 seconds to show it’s been addressed.  If you have more than one unit, you’ll be able to see if any aren’t responding on the network – no backlight on!

All firmware is available to download in a zip file, bundled with the loader app here

Now I’m off for a snowball fight in the car park!

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