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What RS485 card to use for Behringer ultradrive?


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I'm currently trying to program my ultradrive via laptop, as trying to do it on the little screen can be a little unaccuracte and frustrating. My laptop has a RJ-45 output but is only suitable for networking and not the RS-485 output the ultradrive needs. Can anyone suggest a suitable card that would fit a PCMIA slot so that I can get it all to work?


Thanks Andy

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:) "laptop rs485"



USB versions:

http://www.easysync.co.uk/usbrs422_single.html - £38

http://www.mev.co.uk/usb.htm#usb485 £100

http://www.bb-europe.com/product.asp?sku=USOTL - £80




Interesting to note that the above wasn't listed on the manufactures website... perhaps usb is the way to go?



any usb / pcmcia rs232 adapter and something like this: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/New-UK-RS232-To-RS48...tem280053818572




ps. will be interested in which you go for... could do with a rs485 adapter at some time....

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Disclaimer: I've never used one of these units, but I do know a bit about rs232 and rs485...


According to P15 of the manual, you can run in 3 modes. If just driving 1 unit, use rs232 from pc to unit. If driving more than 1 you can either daisy-chain pc and all ultradrives together via rs485, or connect the pc via rs232 to the first unit, and then daisy chain the rest via rs485.


The latter ("PC<>LINK mode") seems the sensible way forward when using more than one unit - USB rs232 interfaces are common, rs485 ones less so. RS232-serial converters are cheap - the ones that I use cost about 15 pounds from CPC.

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You can indeed control the ultradrive from RS485, personally I don't see the point (unless you want the ability to drive the rs485 signal down your snake - although RS232 can be sent also as the ultradrive only utilises 4 pins?)


An RS232 adaptor can be bought for no more than a tenner and then as has been previously stated you can cascade subsequent ultradrives...


I don't see the justification in spending out for a RS485 adaptor - unless of course you have other needs for one. (Or use loads of XTA equipment)



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RS485 uses 3 pins (A,B,ground), the DCX RS232 uses 3 pins (Txd, Rxd, Gnd), so it seems an either way decision, but RS485 will go down the snake better (as in less crosstalk to other stuff, and will go further distances) as it's balanced, and the ground connection is just a screen, and thus is optional.


Anecdotal evidence is that RS232 will go down the snake to a DCX over normal snake lengths (eg 150ft) quite happily. So thats what most folks will use.

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Anecdotal evidence is that RS232 will go down the snake to a DCX over normal snake lengths (eg 150ft) quite happily. So thats what most folks will use.


You can always use RS422 if you need to send RS232 down long cables - the protocol is the same but RS422 uses balanced twisted pairs. RS232 to RS422 convertors are reasonably cheap and probably more widely available than RS485 stuff.


RS485 protocols are different to RS232/422 as it is a shared network so you'll need both suitable hardware and software on the PC.





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I use a nother ultradrive FOH for the interface between 232 and 485 but also a a spare. failing that CPC do a great usb Cat5 extender for £30.00. I was thinking off putting a rs232 to usb convertor in each of the amp racks with ultradrives in and one of thuse Neutric USB d size connectors on the patch pannel. That way one of these CPC cat5 externders can be used to send the 232 down to FOH where there reciever turns the cat5 back to usb.







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I've an Ultradrive 2496 controlling my camco vortex amps and have them all in the amp rack, rather than the ultradrive being in my outboard rack like others do.


I use one of these


Anyway, I've got it installed in my rack screwed to the wood, along with a 4 port linksys wireless router so I can connect to it with my laptop from mix position. It looks pretty neat! Though, certain firewalls don't seem to like the device, even windows firewall...


There are alternative setups, mine isn't the most efficient, though at the time, I only had enough money for the 1 port version. You can get them with more ports if you need to connect to other devices such as the amplifiers.





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