The Model 5401 provides the PTP v1 compatibility required by Dante, as well as supporting PTP v2 for AES67 applications. In addition, the unit generates up to eight sine-wave audio tones on Dante transmit (output) channels, useful during audio network installation, maintenance, and operation. A clock input connection allows the Model 5401 to synchronize with a variety of timing reference signals.
“With Dante becoming ubiquitous in fixed and mobile facilities of all sizes and types, we saw the need for a cost-effective, purpose-designed, dedicated master clock,” says Gordon Kapes, president of Studio Technologies. “While an inherent strength of Dante networking is its carefully implemented use of IEEE 1588 to ensure that all connected devices maintain a common timing reference, the actual performance can vary widely depending on the specific Dante devices in use and the overall number of devices on a network. There are many Dante-compatible devices that can provide adequate basic performance as a master clock, but with the Model 5401, networked audio systems get the benefits of a high-performance ‘grandmaster’ PTP server, along with additional unique capabilities. The feature set, along with the associated internal hardware and software, were designed to provide optimum performance, flexibility, and system integrity.”
As the company also states, "the Model 5401 provides excellent master clock performance using its accurate and stable internal oscillator, which is temperature-controlled and exceeds the performance of standard Dante devices by at least an order of magnitude. While its standalone performance is excellent, the Model 5401 can also be “locked” to a variety of external signals for integration into facilities that include a master timing reference. Compatible signals include word clock, video sync, and 10 MHz sine-wave."
Word clock, typically 48 kHz, is often used in audio-only facilities and is compatible with the Model 5401’s sync input. Video reference (“sync”) signals are found in broadcast, post-production, and entertainment facilities. The Model 5401 supports the most-common video format/rate combinations including “black burst,” bi- and tri-level HD, and several that are specific for 4K applications. Industrial and commercial facilities often utilize a GPS-disciplined source of 10 MHz as a timing reference. This sine-wave signal is directly compatible with the unit’s sync input.
The Model 5401 is capable of generating eight separate sine-wave tones, each configurable in level and frequency. The tones are digitally-generated in hardware that is separate from that associated with the unit’s PTP functionality. This allows the Model 5401, unlike a general-purpose Dante-enabled device, to perform its timing tasks without risk of interruption due to conflicting resource demands.
Dual Gigabit Ethernet (“GigE”) network interfaces allow the Model 5401 to support switched, redundant, and split Dante operation. An integral Web server allows simple monitoring and configuration of the unit’s clock, audio tone, and general Dante performance. Front-panel indicators, LCD display, and pushbutton switches provide personnel with direct access to key operating parameters. The Model 5401 can be powered by AC mains or 12 volt DC. When both are connected, redundant power operation is supported. Its lightweight enclosure mounts in one space (1U) of a standard 19-inch rack.
Founded in 1978, Studio Technologies designs high-performance video, audio and fiber optic products for the professional audio and broadcast markets. With a growing line of Dante-enabled Audio-over-Ethernet products, the company's product categories include fiber-optic transport, intercom and IFB interfaces, announcer consoles, and loudspeaker monitor control systems.