The Studio Technologies Model 5401A is suitable for use in fixed and mobile broadcast facilities, post-production studios, commercial and educational theater environments, and entertainment applications. Only power and one, two, or three Ethernet network connections are required for full operation. Using Dante's inherent capabilities two Model 5401A units can serve in primary and secondary Leader clock roles for redundant operation.
The unit's three Gigabit Ethernet ("GigE") network interfaces can be configured for use in a range of network implementations. For high-performance applications two of the interfaces can support Dante redundancy operation while the third is used for accessing the management webpages. To meet the latest interoperability standard the Model 5401A's Dante implementation supports AES67-2018. The unit also supports the Dante Domain Manager™ (DDM) software application.
An integrated web server allows fast and flexible monitoring and configuration of the unit's networking, clocking, and Dante performance. Front-panel indicators, an LCD display, and pushbutton switches provide users with direct access to key operating parameters.
The Model 5401A can be powered by 100-240 V, 50/60 Hz mains or a source of 12 volts DC. Both can be simultaneously connected to provide redundant operation. The lightweight enclosure mounts in one space (1U) of a standard 19-inch rack. Industry-standard connectors are used for Ethernet, DC power, and AC mains interconnections.
Applications for the Model 5401A include broadcast and post-production facilities, college and university audio networks, arenas, stadiums, and corporate installations -- virtually any application where substantial numbers of Dante-compatible devices are utilized. The Model 5401A will serve as a stable and consistent Leader clock for the entire Dante "network." And, as expected, the Model 5401A is compatible with all Dante devices, no matter what their primary function or manufacturer.
Why a Dedicated Dante Leader Clock?
With Dante ubiquitous in fixed and mobile facilities of all sizes and types, the need arose for a cost-effective, purpose-designed, dedicated Leader clock. 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.
The Model 5401A can provide excellent Leader clock performance using its accurate and stable internal oscillator, which is temperature-stabillized and exceeds the capability of standard Dante devices by at least an order of magnitude. While its standalone performance is excellent, the Model 5401A can also be "locked" to a variety of external signals for integration into facilities that include a central or main timing reference. Compatible signals include word clock, video reference, and 10 MHz.
Word clock is a square wave signal that is often used as a timing reference in audio-only facilities. Several word clock rates, including 48 and 96 kHz, are compatible with the Model 5401A's sync input. Video reference ("sync") signals are found in most broadcast and post-production facilities. The Model 5401A supports the most-common video format/rate combinations including "black burst," bi- and tri-level HD, and several that are specifically intended for 4K applications.
Word Clock Output
The Model 5401A generates a precise word clock output signal that can be used as a timing reference for related equipment. It's specifically intended for "locking" digital audio devices in applications that use the Model 5401A to provide timing reference signals for the associated Dante equipment. In this way, all devices in an installation will share a common timing reference.
The word clock output rate can be selected to be 44.1, 48, 88.2, or 96 kHz. The underlying timing source for the word clock output is derived from the Model 5401A's main timing source. As previously reviewed, the internal oscillator, if desired, can be "locked" to an external source. The main timing source is divided and processed by the Model 5401A's logic circuitry to create the highly stable word clock output. This ensures that the word clock output is synchronized with the unit's PTP server functionality.