Release v3.5.0 (June 4, 2019)
Supported Device Firmware versions
Neutrino AEC/Uno AEC/Rio v5.4.1
Solaro DSP v3.3.1
NeuPanel Mini v5.3.4
NeuPanel Touch v5.6.1
Site manager v5.3.3
XTouch control v3.5.0
Xilica Designer system requirements
Computer with a processor 1GHz or higher
Windows 7 or higher
OS X 10.8 or higher
500MB of available space
1GB graphics card
- Support new universal control devices, including: Atterotech UND6IO, Atterotech UND6IO_BT, TASCAM generic Telnet protocol, NETIO 4C Smart PDU, NETIO 4C Smart PDU, KMTronic 8 channels Relay Box.
- Support for AES/EBU and USB audio card in Solaro devices.
- Additional control modules in Solaro Controller, including: Logic Flip-Flop (persistent), logic data persistent storage, numeric ata persistent storage, binary data persistent storage.
- Support editing and control panel zoom short cut keys. (Ctrl-mouse wheel and Command-mouse wheel)
- Resize module channel label font.
- Support new Dante API V4, add in capability to change Dante device network interface at Dante View.
- For XTouchApp running on Mac and PC, it will remember the last used IP interface and will not ask the user to re-select the interface to use. It will also restore the last used window size during startup.
- Support mixing of X2 and Solaro devices in Solaro projects.
- Fixed various 3rd party control protocol bug in Solaro device by making Solaro device 3rd party control protocol similar to Neutrino device 3rd party control protocol.
- Fixed Room Combiner background music not showing when not connected to external meter.
- Fixed Controller UI Radio button output value not updated when radio button being pressed.
- When converting from NeuConsole project file to SolaroConsole, if the project file is being password protected, this project file cannot be opened in SolaroConsole. This is due to the wrong password encryption algorithm used in NeuConsole. This cannot be fixed on SolaroConsole side. To get around this issue, the user has to remove the password protection for the project file using NeuConsole before converting the file to SolaroConsole use.
- When opening Solaro device for control in Network view, the preset trigger module configuration cannot be shown properly in the control panel. (The control panel will always say preset trigger disabled) Due to some technical implementation issue, this issue cannot be fixed.
Introducing Xilica Project Types
When creating a project, the user will be asked whether they are creating a Neutrino/Uno/Rio DSP projector Solaro DSP based project. As the Neutrino system is rather different from the Solaro system, we cannot allow users to mix the two types of devices in the same project. Also some supporting devices only work with specific type of DSP processors. For example, NeuPanel Mini wall controls are only compatible with Neutrino/Uno/Rio series processors. By separating out different project types, only devices that can be used in the project will be displayed in the Component Library menu. This avoids confusion of which device can work with which.
The following lists some differences between the Solaro system and the Neutrino/Uno/Rio system. For different projects, the information will be presented differently.
• Solaro DSP has 200 presets, Neutrino can only have 70
• Solaro DSP can support up to 64 preset triggers, Neutrino only has 8
• Solaro DSP supports Power ON preset, not available for Neutrino
• Solaro scheduler can only schedule for Solaro devices
• Solaro has no fan
• Site Manager can only support Neutrino based devices
• NeuPanel Mini and NeuPanel Touch 7 only supports Neutrino based devices
Network connectivity requirement
Both Neutrino and Solaro device discovery is based on UDP broadcast and usually this type of broadcast will only be within the same LAN. So all devices (i.e. Processor, control panel and computer software) has to be on the same subnet in order for it to discover each other. Each device will be broadcasting out a UDP heartbeat every second. When a device received such heartbeat, it will know the presence of the device. If it has not received a heartbeat for 3 seconds, it will consider the other device as offline. For Neutrino based systems, some control messages go through TCP connection, which will guarantee delivery. While for status update from DSP devices, it will go through UDP broadcast to all devices on the same subnet which could be lost under network congestion situation. For the Solaro system, both control and status updates will go through TCP connections and make the status update more reliable (and hence more Wi-Fi friendly).
Running under a Computer with Multiple Network Interfaces
Before Xilica Designer v.3.2.0, the application would broadcast its heartbeat, letting other network components know that it is alive. In this situation, it allows others know its IP address.In the older version of the software, if you have multiple interfaces, it will ask you which IP to use. The IP chosen is only for the heartbeat purpose, that does not mean it only detects devices on that interface.
In later versions of Xilica Designer, that mechanism has been changed. Now, the designer application will NOT broadcast its heartbeat in the network. It now goes through all network interfaces of the host computer and will check for available devices. In Network view, it will display what network interfaces that the design application has detected. When UDP broadcast messages need to be send out from designer application, it will broadcast it to all network interfaces. Once a device is a detected, its broadcast message will contain its IP address, then TCP connection can be setup to the device through the corresponding interface. To validate whether a device is properly connected through network, we recommend running a TCP test andUDP test for the device. To test TCP / UDP connections,
Right click the device in Network view.
Select "Device Setup".
Under the Network tab, click "TCP Test or UDP Test" to test your connections.
Dante device naming and configuration
For Neutrino based systems, the Dante setup is being handled by the device internally. That means that the configuration (including Dante Device name, Dante channel name and Dante routing configuration) is managed by the Neutrino CPU. In particular, the Dante device name is fully controlled by the Neutrino CPU. As we need to identify the Dante device (which is an independent network device node, and has no relationship with the Neutrino CPU device node), we internally set the Dante Device name to be the Mac address of the CPU interface.In the software, it will re-construct a single device based on this relationship. This design works but is NOT very good as that means we cannot change the name of our Dante Device. Also the name being set is kind of difficult to actually identify it. So we recommend to setup our Dante device from our software instead ofDante controller. Some users try to change the device name from Dante controller and set up the Dante route. But after theNeutrino device is rebooted, the Dante device name will be renamed back to the Mac address and hence lost all Dante routing. (Please take note on this and do not change the Dante device name from Dante controller). For Dante IP setup and Dante routing, it will only be set when the user initiates it from the software application. For example, Dante IP settings will only be set when we modify device Dante IP from Network view’s Device Setup. (Right click device block in Network view to access Device set up)And for Dante routing, it will only be modified when the device is being brought Online.With the Solaro system, this issue is solved. Now the Dante device name can be changed within the Xilica Designer software and in Dante Controller.In the Solaro device, the device CPU will query the Dante device Mac address and pass the address to the Xilica Designer software. The software will look for the Dante device Mac address and associate it to the Solaro device. Now the Dante device name will NOT be reset when the Solaro system reboots.When Dante is configured with the Solaro system (i.e. IP setup, routing setup, etc.), it will go directly to theDante device using a Dante protocol and it will not have to be handled by the Solaro CPU.
Solaro Device Card Configuration
Solaro devices are a fully modular, drag & drop configured network processor. The modular design makes it highly-configurable with plug-in card based I/O architecture. You can plug-in the modular cards in any combination and order. However with the Solaro FR1 model, FR1 audio cards can only be placed in slots 1-4. Slots 5-6 can only plug-in non-audio I/O cards. To start your Solaro device design, you can use the Xilica Designer software to drag in the Solaro device. You can select the target I/O card configuration and start your design even before you have the physical device. After the design is complete, you can map your design to the physical device in the network. At that time,the Xilica Designer software will check the I/O card configuration to ensure that it matches with the hardware device. If a mismatch is detected, the user will be warned but the user has the option to continue loading the design to the device. Under this situation, only the matching I/O card will function as it is designed. The mismatched cards will NOT have any functionality. For GPIO cards, the same GPIO card can act as logic (On/Off) or control/voltage (0-100%) input value. The same hardware card can perform both functionality. It all depends on the designer software and which card configuration you select. If you select the card as GPIO, it will have an On/Off logic behaviour. But if you select it as GPIO control, it will have 0-100% behaviour.
Solaro Device Resources Information
Solaro devices support device resource usage and information. This information can be read back from the device. To obtain such information, you can go to Xiica Designer’s Network View. Right click the device block and select Device Setup. Under the Resource tab the following information will be displayed:
• Device internal temperature
• Device memory usage for each core
The information displayed on that tab will NOT be refreshed automatically. You will need to switch to another tab and then back to the Resource tab for the application to update the value.
Solaro QR Diagnostic Test
For Solaro QR devices, diagnostic functionality is already included in the firmware. (Since diagnostic functionality is already built into the production firmware, you DO NOT need to load a different firmware to device. All you need to do is to initiate the diagnostic test) The following is the procedure to perform the diagnostic test on Solaro device.
Connect the device USB port to the computer running Xilica Designer.
Connect the Ethernet port and Dante port to a switch. Or you can connect these 2 ports by a network cable. During the test, it will test the Ethernet port and Dante port physical connection.
From the menu bar select "Device Management" > "Solaro USB Firmware Recovery" > "Solaro Advance Recovery" > "Boot device into diagnostic mode".
There are 2 test modes, once is quick test which takes about 2 minutes, and the full test will takes about 1hour 10 minutes.
- Follow the on-screen instruction to power reset the device.
- Once the application detected the boot of the device, it will put the device into diagnostic mode.
- Once started, the “AUDIO IN” led on front panel will start flashing to indicate that the test is running.
- When the test is DONE, “AUDIO IN” will stay GREEN to indicate test is completed.
- The test result will be displayed by the “AUDIO OUT” led. If it is RED, it means some test failed. If the led is GREEN, it means all test passed.
- Reboot the device normally and you are able to retrieve test result form Xilica Designer software.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Once the test is started, it is better to wait until the whole test finished (“Audio Out” LEDis lit – either GREEN or RED). As if you disrupt the test by powering off your device, this may cause corruption of the firmware. And you may need to perform USB firmware recovery to the device.
Once the test is done, no matter whether it is failed or passed, a test report will be stored on the device. Now if you reboot the device, and Xilica Designer detected that such diagnostic report exists on the device. It will provide a button for you to download the diagnostic report from the device. You can go to Device SetupDialogue in Network View to retrieve the report.
At the bottom of the test file, it will have a summary section to indicate which part of the test is failed. The following is a sample of it.
QUICK TEST SUMMARY:
SPI Flash Test ----------- Passed
ARM Memory Test ---------- Passed
I2C Interface Test ------- Passed
MAC Address Test --------- Passed
Network Interface Test --- Passed
Dante Device Protocol ---- Passed
Dante Connection Test ---- Passed
RTC Test ----------------- Passed
File System Test --------- Passed
DSP Memory Test ---------- Passed
ALL TESTS COMPLETED!
Feature License Mechanism
For Solaro systems, we can add in additional functionality by purchasing a license. Currently we have an optional AEC license available. After you have purchased a Solaro QR or FR device, you can activate the AEC feature to the device by installing a license file to the device. A license file is specific to a particular to the device based on the Mac address of the device. To obtain a license file, please contact Xilica and provide the Mac address of the target device. We will then generate and send you the license file. To install the license file to the device, go to Network view and select Device Setup from the device icon. In Device Option Configuration there is a button to install the license file to device. We recommend backing up the existing license file before you proceed the install. The following is a screen capture for the install dialogue.
For Solaro systems, the AEC feature can support 2 types of AEC configurations for AEC tail length of 125ms or 250ms. For 125ms module, we can support up to 16 channels per device. For 250ms module, we can support up to 8 channels per device. To use a specific type of AEC module, simply drag it from the DSP component list on the left hand side. For these 2 types of AEC modules, you cannot mix them together in a schematic. Once you have placed a125ms AEC module to the schematic, you are NOT allowed to place the 250ms AEC module- and vise versa.
Associate XTouch control designs with Solaro DSP devices
For XTouch controls which run on mobile devices (i.e. iOS and Android), these devices are usually more adhoc, and the mobile device will not be available when loading the project ONLINE. To get around this issue, we have made a mechanism to store XTouch design panels onto Solaro DSP devices. When the XTouch application is connected to the network, instead of loading the design from Xilica Designer, it can go out to the network and query which Solaro DSP devices have a control panel design loaded. The User can then pick the control panel design and apply it to the touch panel. To do that, use Xilica Designer to associate a completed design to a Solaro DSP as show in the following image.
Once you have done that, the DSP device will show up an button indicating that it has XTouch design associated to it. You can also click this button to edit the associated control design. (Note: Editing the control design through this associated button is the same as double clicking the XTouch Control Device icon.
To use these associated design, you can follow the procedure in your XTouch device.
a. Swipe up on XTouch panel to bring up the menu bar.
b. Select the Network config button (The second one from the left). Then a list of available device with control design on the network will be displayed.
c. Select the design you want to apply and apply it.
Saving site project files to Solaro DSP devices
When loading a project online, Xilica Designer will automatically save the project file to all Solaro DSP devices in the project. This file is for backup purposes. Only the latest loaded project will be saved to the device. All older versions of the project file will not be stored. (Note: to protect your project, you can either setup a password for your project file before going online. That way the saved project file is password protected. Or you can setup password for your DSP device to protect the project file being downloaded. To retrieve the saved project file, in Network view, right click on the device icon to bring up the Device Setup dialogue. If a project backup exists in the device, a Download Project Backup File button will be displayed. Just click on the button and follow the on-screen instruction to retrieve the file.
Setting device real-time clock backwards
When trying to synchronize Solaro DSP device clocks to a previous time from Xilica Designer, the DSP must be rebooted. This time recall l will mess up the internal timing of the device and a reboot is necessary. Xilica Designer will warn the user and perform the reboot automatically after clock sync. However, if you are setting the clock forward, the reboot is NOT necessary and Xilica Designer will not perform the reboot for the device.This also applies when you are doing Sync Clock to All Devices action in Network view. We will check each device and issue individual warning message for each device that is setting clock backwards.
New UI Elements (Momentary ON/OFF Buttons)
A new UI object has been added. This momentary ON/OFF button can be used to trigger momentary toggle actions. It is very similar to an ON/OFF toggle button, except it will hold its ON state for the duration of user holding the button. As soon as user release the button, the state will be come OFF again.
The button also supports a minimum action duration. That is when being pushed to ON, it will start for a minimum amount of time in ON state. (The default minimum is 50ms). The user can also specify the button to repeat the action as long as user is hold on to the button.
New UI Elements (Radio Button)
A new Radio button has been added. This UI element is part of a slider/option type object. For the slider/option type object, we have added in a new “dial type” option for users to select from. (Note this radio button is only useful for parameters that have a few different valid values. i.e. an input selector or output selector). To define the radio buttons, you can drag in multiple instances of the same control object onto the XTouch panel. Each instance of the control object will represent one button within a group of radio buttons. You can define the Target Control Value for each of the button. The grouping of radio buttons is defined by the actual parameter that each control object is controlling. If they are controlling the same parameter, they will automatically be treated as a group. Each individual radio button within a radio button group will perform its specific target value when being pressed. It will also display the parameter state by highlighting itself if the parameter value is the same as its target control value. Allowing users to add as many radio buttons as needed, will allow the flexibility to only control certain values of the parameter (it does not need to define all possible values for the parameter). If the control value isa slider (i.e. a gain), you can still use radio buttons to setup certain specific target values for discrete value control.