New Nucleus Version Needed with 2 LAN Ports

I am petitioning Roon to produce and make available a special type of Nucleus that has the following features:

  1. Two LAN ports
  2. With CPU power that is between the current Nucleus and Nucleus+

Reason for (1): one LAN for router connection and the other LAN for direct connection to a separate music renderer/streamer’s LAN input to get the best sound quality that is not “contaminated” with the noisy environment of a router. The 2 LAN ports have to be strictly separated from each other to avoid any “cross talk.” Believe that Nucleus is best used as a Roon core host/server because of its optimized Roon OS implemention. The current Nucleus devices are not very good as music rendererer/streamer/player (that is the reason audiophiles opt for top-end music server/renderer devices such as Taiko, Innuos, Antipodes, and many others).

What I am looking for is a cheaper Nucleus version of Antipodes K40 ($9K) Music Server with Direct Ethernet Stream Output (a 2nd RJ45 LAN port in addition to another LAN port connecting to a router), but without the expenses of Antipodes K40’s internal linear power supply. I intend to use specially treated rechargeable battery power to drive such special Nucleus. This special Nucleus as server only is connected via the LAN ports to a rechargeable battery-powered streamer/renderer, which in turn is connected to a rechargeable battery powered DAC via specially designed i2s connection (via 4 separate cables rather than in HDMI format).

Reason for (2): my own music files are all in PCM files because of use of a R2R ladder DAC (so all DSD files get converted to PCM first) and I also do not need any upsampling (because it would make sound quality worse). Just want to make sure that there is a version of Nucleus that is enough for my roughly 4TB contents of music without going to the extreme of a Nucleus+.

Hope other people will share my needs. If so, let’s join forces to petition Roon to produce a special Nucleus version that has the desired features.

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Not really a support item, should be in feature requests I believe.

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Topic moved to #roon:feature-requests.

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I’ve been petitioning Roon to allow RoonOS to support a 2 LAN device (with DHCP support for both ports) for a while. They have no desire to support that functionality even though it could be used with any machine with a USB adaptor. The main thrust of my argument has always been the ability to feed a streamer direct, particularly via Nucleus. I think it would add value.

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Thanks Henry. As you can see, the value of Nucleus lies in its being a fully optimized Roon core host server because Roon knows its OS best. Its music rendering part is seriously subpar. That is exactly why we are making the petition. Are you aware of any DIY NUS with dual LAN ports that are compatible with Roon Rock OS?

Not exactly if you have a rough idea what’s going on a LAN interface or a TCP/IP stack. Main point: There is no ‘audio’ happening at this stage. Just data. Packets in such an environment are NEVER pure as in your understanding and never will be. It’s not necessary as well. A GBit LAN has so much excess capacity that you could feed an army of downstream devices and never see any packet loss or non timely arrivals.
Following that logic you could also expect a Word document crafted on such a dual LAN machine being more wordophil. Or so.

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Further - if you see any benefit in a secondary IP address in a Nuclues (spoiler: there isn’t) just assign it. A single physical LAN interface can have numerous.

The new ruggedised NUCs are dual LAN. But like I said, any NUC can have a second LAN port added with a USB adaptor so there would be the potential benefit of that extra functionality to all Nucleus and NUC users.

Bernd, I can’t think of any streamers that can work normally (updates, administrative web pages etc) using the present ability to assign a private IP. And the benefit of what is proposed is not necessarily having to have a switch in the same room as your hifi. One less box, one less power supply. And there are no down sides to this beyond Roon having to put the work in to make this work. If the second port isn’t used it won’t even show on the interface, exactly the same as if you have no optical drive plugged in for ripping. You wouldn’t know it was there.

All of this said, I know that the discussions I have had with Roon suggest that they are not keen on adding a layer of complexity to the networking side of the support effort. They need to see that any extra effort is more that balanced by a positive benefit to users. But I hope this at least makes it to the beta of ROCK 2.0 so they can assess it at a practical level because we’ve done the theory to death.

Well you just move the switch you don’t want to see in the equation from a box into the Nucleus. Any decently made room would have CAT7 cables in the wall with outlets. Any switch (myth busting: an audiophile version only exists in the wet $$$-dreams of snake oil salesmen) would live in another room.

Help me. No idea. All internal devices (in your home) should be NATted i.e. have a private IP. Which strips them of no option and gives protection of the firewalled local network.

But this discussion is not about that, so I’ll strike that one as a red herring!

Pretty much every commercial streamer I’ve encountered needs to be exposed to DCHP in order to allow updates over the internet and to allow web or app based admin to happen. That puts them behind the firewall but with routes in from fellow IP’s. I’m not sure again why that is controversial. When connected through a switch that is how they work. The proposal is to allow that via a second port on a RoonOS powered device allowing you to ditch the switch.

You clearly lack some basic understanding of networking. Exposure to DHCP? The term alone is funny. This only is a (clever) method how a network participant gains a mandatory network address. You may assign a static which results the same only is error prone and generates unnecessary work. At some point all local network components will hit a switch (likely at the router). And being scared of switches - sorry I would leave that to more outlandish approaches of the real world.

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Considering Roons mantra is to separate core and endpoint I can’t see this gaining any ground I guess it would operate as a virtual switch like Nas devices such as qnap can do. They can pass DHCP addresses through which is what would be needed. I honestly don’t see the need myself I have heard no benefits of playing around with networking in any of my systems. And as you say I think this would cause more support issues and counteract what its supposed to make better. If it does at all.

Audiophile networking will be the next $$$ generating hype… owww wait!
Let us make our networks more complex and blame Roon if it does not work :woozy_face:

Networking protocols and devices are robust and simply work if you let them.
Throwing audiophile expectations and believe in the mix will not make the analogue domain better, and the digital domain either.
Now for some popcorn and a drink, it will get messy out here… :partying_face:

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Perhaps by this he meant to automatically set the default gateway address for access to firmware updates etc? I don’t know, but possible as without a gateway, internet access will fail :wink:

I would agree. Maybe a bit robust. But not insulting by any intention. :pensive:

I don’t lack understanding Bernd, and I’m no stranger to networking. Also you can do this for pretty much any OS capable of running Roon Core. It seems Nucleus owners are the only Roon users who absolutely do not have this available to them. :wink:
One more point. Roon recommends the use of Roon capable endpoints but denies Nucleus users what would be the simplest way to do this.

Like I said above hopefully this will make it into beta for objective evaluation. I am conscious this gets away from the OP’s request for hardware support in Nucleus so I’ll say no more except you won’t get one without the other.

Well, let’s paint a picture.

You want to have your streamer connected to the internet w/o passing through a switch. - Why? What would be a logical benefit?

I assume we talk about a setup with a single point of internet access (your ISP’s router). - At this point it is a routing switch for all devices in the house (NATting addresses to the internet). Nothing gained.

You want Roon to add another LAN port to the nucleus. Which makes it a switch at best, a router in the worst case. In any case - if you hook up your streamer here it’s connected to a switch - whatever one tries to spin the wording.

You end up with a more complex setup, not a single benefit, a devastated support at Roon dealing with lots of weird errors.

Haven’t touched DHCP yet and maybe better off not doing it.

If Roon aren’t in suicidal mood they probably will avoid this mess.

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I’ve offered the routing mode already, it just works already, but you have to use static IP

The option which people seem to want is the “software switch” mode (Linux network bridging).

There is no benefit. And, as you pointed out, it will make network troubleshooting more difficult.

This is why I have posted abrasive comments in response to products like the Melco switch and the EtherREGEN. These things do nothing more than to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt among less technically aware audiophiles. It’s the worst kind of snake-oil because, unlike kryptonite cables, they add to the support and troubleshooting burden.

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It doesn’t work for any commercial Roon Ready streamer that I’m aware of Danny. The reason being that to do that the device has to offer you the option of setting an IP.