Over the last couple newsletters some very interesting DSP features of the DNA series products have been covered. This month the ability to monitor amplifiers and loudspeakers across the network is going to be discussed.
As has been mentioned previously, the DNA 20K4 Pro, DNA 10K4 Pro, and DNA SC48 all connect to the computer via a standard Ethernet network. There are standard Ethernet jacks on the back of these products that allow a typical Ethernet network to be assembled using a standard Ethernet switch. This can allow several devices on the network to all communicate with the computer at one time. Thanks to a few really handy features in the software, it is possible to monitor what is going on with both the amplifiers and the loudspeakers.
Amplifier Current Draw
It is possible to control and monitor how much current the amplifier is drawing from its power cord. On the setup page, there is a control called EBP or External Breaker Protection. This control can be set to limit the amount of current the amplifier draws from the power system. Proper use of this control can keep the sound system rocking instead of tripping the power breakers all night long. The minimum value this control can be set is 9.0 Amperes. This means that it is possible to put two amplifiers on one 20A circuit together and instead of tripping the circuit, they can limit their output instead. Right next to the EBP control is the read out that informs what the amplifier’s current draw is at this time. When the amplifier is on with no input signal, this value is typically around 2 Amperes. When in standby mode, this value is about 0.5 Amperes. The displayed value will change to inform the current state of the amplifier’s current draw. These current draw values are plotted in a graph on the utility page which can be accessed by clicking on the page tab that looks like a gear.
Amplifier Device Page
The Utility Device page shares a lot of useful information about the current state of the amplifier. There is a graph of the power supply’s current draw, a graph of the “DC Link Voltage” (which is the DC reservoir in the amplifier), and a graph of the amplifier’s thermal capacity status. There are also entries that offer the fan speeds, number of power cycles, number of brown out and over voltage events, and power supply start up protection events. The firmware version of the amplifier is also available on this page. This page is a wealth of information regarding the current health of the amplifier overall. It is good to be familiar with what this page normally looks like so it is easy to spy aberrant behavior.
Amplifier Output Page (a.k.a. that’s all nice, but what about the loudspeakers???)
The DNA series amplifiers are very advanced amps that are constantly monitoring what is going on with the loudspeakers that are connected. After clicking on the page with the little gear icon, there are tabs to the right which allow selection of the device (as discussed above) or each of the output channels. On each page there are graphs for driver current (which is the current the amplifier is sending to the load), driver impedance (this is the impedance that the amplifier measures across the output terminals), and protection limiting (this graph shows how aggressively the DSP limits the output of the amplifier for various reasons). There are also entries on the page to describe the current driver impedance, minimum and maximum impedance values, the load for which the amplifier is configured, and various fault state events. The amplifier may be configured on this page for low impedance operation or 25V, 70V, or 100V constant voltage operation. It is also possible to specify a minimum and maximum impedance that should be measured by the amplifier. This can be extremely handy in identifying when the loudspeaker is either in the process of failing, or has failed. When these controls are set appropriately and the value of the connected load falls outside the prescribed values, the amplifier monitoring flag in the system view will change from green to yellow to indicate that there is a problem that needs to be investigated.
It is clear that the DNA series amplifiers are appointed with many advanced features that allow an advanced operator deep inside knowledge regarding the current state of the amplifier’s health and the health of the connected loudspeakers with a simple Windows computer, laptop, or tablet that is connected to a standard Ethernet network.
Please stay tuned for the software update to System Engineer. It is coming soon!
The current version of PodWare is 6.24.04. This version is available for download from our website:
The current version of firmware for the DNA 10K4 Pro and DNA 20K4 Pro amplifiers is 1.238.
The current version of firmware for the DNA SC48 is 1.364.
Loudspeaker Master Preset Stack version is 20161020
The firmware and loudspeaker presets are included in the PodWare download zip file for PodWare 6.24.04.