Jarrettsville, MD—January 2020… East Shore Sound is based about a half hour north of the Baltimore Metro Area but the company handles event production, system design and installation, and broadcast communications nationwide. This past October, East Shore Sound owner Bill Saltzer and his team were responsible for the intercom systems at Telemundo Networks’ 2019 Latin American Music Awards, held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. To connect the intercom system throughout the venue, the East Shore Sound team relied on Luminex GigaCore network switches.
“We started using Luminex GigaCore switches about two years ago, primarily with Riedel’s Bolero wireless intercom product,” Saltzer recalls. “We mostly use GigaCore switches for Bolero systems because the integration with Bolero is seamless, and we like how GigaCore handles PTP [Precision Time Protocol] clocking. Also, GigaCore’s PoE capability allows us to deploy a single cable to each antenna so we don’t have to run separate cables for signal and a power supply, which is handy.”
For the 2019 Latin Music Awards, Saltzer specified a Luminex GigaCore 26i and a GigaCore 14R. “We had 54 Bolero wireless users on the system, with between 10 and 12 antennas deployed throughout the facility, including the backstage area, the downstairs dressing rooms, the stage up top, the main house seating area, and the loading dock,” he relates. “We had 18 device endpoints plugged into the two switches.”
Luminex’ GigaCore 26i provides 24 RJ45 1 Gbps Ethernet connections and 6 SFP cages, which Saltzer finds handy, as well as a serial RJ45 console port. The GigaCore 14R offers 12 locking Ethercon connectors and 2 SFP cages. “We especially like the Ethercon locking connectivity on the GigaCore 14R because that’s what we use to connect the intercom antennas,” Saltzer observes. Both the GigaCore 26i and 14R support RLinkX link redundancy and VLAN segmentation, as well as a long list of protocols, such as Dante, RAVENNA/AES67, Ethersound, Q-LAN, and many more.
Using SFP cages, the East Shore Sound team connected two fiber links to the switches as a primary and a redundant connection. “Luminex makes it easy to program redundant paths without worrying about how they handle Spanning Tree Protocol,” Saltzer observes. “By connecting the switches via fiber, we were able to have antennas originate from two different areas, with the GigaCore 26i located downstairs in our main intercom distribution area and the GigaCore 14R out by the production truck, which was parked in the loading dock area.”
For the Latin American Music Awards, East Shore Sound just used one dedicated VLAN for intercom. “We were not tied into other systems,” Saltzer notes. “I know people who use GigaCore for convergent networks and really like the functionality but in the circles we travel in, everybody has their own hardware preconfigured and set up, so it’s not feasible to share one network for audio, AV, lighting, and intercom.”
Overall, Saltzer finds GigaCore switches to be easy to use. “Compared to other switches, the web GUI makes it pretty easy to configure and change on the fly,” he remarks, “and Luminex’ online resources are easy to use. They have tech support, but we haven’t had to use it.”