Once it’s fully supported from both ends, I intend to access my PS Audio DS DAC via its Bridge 2 and the network, from my NUC that’s currently running RoonServer. (I’m currently using a USB connection.)
This setup is complicated by the fact that I live in a New York rental apartment with an Internet access point in another room, and with really thick, pre-war walls that make wireless dicey.
So, I plan to connect the DS/Bridge 2 to the NUC via a network switch (TrendNet 5-port). Eventually the switch will also be hard-wired to my Internet router. I also intend to occasionally connect a network drive (for backup) and my MacBook laptop (for new music upload). I’ve tested out much of this and it seems to work, but I can’t test out the most important part–the audio connection from the NUC to the Bridge 2–because this isn’t supported yet, either by Roon or by PS Audio. (It will soon–don’t know when–be supported by both.)
Most how-to’s say to connect the Bridge 2 to the audio source via a router. As I understand it though, in the kind of configuration I’m setting up (with several devices on a “node” downstream) a network switch, not a router, is the proper hardware. (Do I have this right?) For those more knowledgeable than I am–it doesn’t take much–is such a setup likely to work?
A switch will work fine to connect the NUC to the BII, as long as you are using static IP addresses. If you need DHCP to assign dynamic addresses, that is usually a function of the router, so you will need a link from the router to the switch.
If you want to test it now, try another streamer like JRiver which can stream to the BII from your NUC already. That will ensure the connection is working and you’re all ready for Roon when it is available.
Karl, thanks. Actually, I’m already experimenting with JRiver, for exactly that reason, but using my laptop as the source (since the laptop is easier to make changes to). No luck so far; the Bridge, connected via the switch, is not showing up in JRiver.
This kind of setup is possible, and a better option than using a WiFi bridge or powerline ethernet. We do something very similar when walking around with RoonReady demos at trade shows–laptop wired to an endpoint with no router, and it works fine.
You’d need to set up the ethernet interface on the NUC + the BridgeII with a static IP address on the same subnet, and make that subnet different from the one used with the wireless connection to the router.
For example, if your wireless network is 192.168.1.x, you could set up the ethernet port on the NUC as 192.168.2.1 with a 255.255.255.0 netmask and the BridgeII as 192.168.2.2, with the same netmask. They should find each other just fine.
I don’t see why that wouldn’t work with UPnP + JRiver, too, but I have no specific knowledge of whether it does or not in practice.
Brian, thanks for this very detailed response. If I was more knowledgeable about networking, I’d be able to do this in 5 minutes with that info. But I’m not.
Because it’s easier to manage (having a keyboard and monitor), I’m testing this out first on my MacBook.My (private) IP address on the is 10.0.1.4. The wireless router is 10.0.1.1 . Subnet mask is 250.250.250.0. If I’m understanding you, I should set up my computer on the ethernetwork as 10.0.2.4 (eg) and the BII bridge as (eg) 10.0.2.5, both with 255.255.255.0 subnet masks. Yes?
OK, but the Bridge also wants me to set “Gateway.” I’m thinking a Gateway should be irrelevant–but how should it be set? It also wants me to specify primary and secondary DNS server addresses. And what about my unmanaged switch? Does it have an IP address?
So far I have not been able to access the DAC bridge from my browser.
I should set up my computer on the ethernetwork as 10.0.2.4 (eg) and the BII bridge as (eg) 10.0.2.5, both with 255.255.255.0 subnet masks. Yes?
OK, but the Bridge also wants me to set “Gateway.” I’m thinking a Gateway should be irrelevant–but how should it be set?
If you can leave it blank, try that first. It should also be safe to set it to the IP of the NUC. You can try it both ways if the other doesn’t work.
It also wants me to specify primary and secondary DNS server addresses.
Leave those blank if it will let you. Otherwise, it doesn’t really matter what you put in, since the bridge will be isolated from the internet. If you have to make something up to fill the space, “220.127.116.11” and “18.104.22.168” are fine for primary/secondary.
And what about my unmanaged switch? Does it have an IP address?
Nope, unmanaged switches don’t have IP addresses.
Thanks. But now the Bridge has started fighting me. It keeps shifting back into DHCP mode and overwriting my changes, which is not a Roon issue. Thanks for your help. I’ll keep trying.
Update: I just heard from the PS Audio folks about this issue. They tell me there’s a firmware update coming that fixes the problem that makes it difficult for me to enter static IP info on the Bridge 2. That’s great.
Brian, one thing occurs to me as I learn more about how networks work. I’m hoping to, at some point, connect up the network switch to ethernet so that Tidal, Internet radio, etc., can stream over a wire and not wirelessly. This wire would originate from a LAN port on the Airport Express router, and they, as far as I’ve been able to determine, are addressed the same as the wireless segment. The addresses chosen here are outside the wireless Lan. Will streaming via ethernet work if I do things this way, or would I be better off, in that case, reserving IP addresses that are in the router’s range?
As soon as you run a wire from the router to the switch, you should switch the bridge and NUC back to DHCP. At this point, all IP addresses will be in the same subnet.
Until that point in time, configuring them in the same subnet will not work, since the NUC will be in an ambiguous situation, with two interfaces (wifi and ethernet) that appear to be on the same network, but are actually isolated from each other.
Thanks Brian. I seem to have succeeded with precisely that setup with JRiver as the server. At first I found that the music stopped when I turned off wireless to my laptop (the current source), but now I have it working with no wifi while streaming high-bitrate web radio. Possibly a glitch or two, but that could be because I’m doing something wrong with JRiver; I find its interface baffling. If everything works the same with Roon, I should be good to go.