SymNet Designer Software v. 1.15 - ReadMe File
Copyright 2002, Symetrix, Inc.

Overview of contents of this file
(Why you should consider reading this document)

  • Bug fixes in Version 1.15 over V1.1
  • Instructions for upgrading from SymNet Designer Version 1.01
  • Preventing data loss of existing Designer site files when upgrading
  • New features and other changes in SymNet Designer Version 1.1

     

    I. Bug fixes in Version 1.15 over V1.1

    Version 1.15 -
    • Repairs problem with gate modules being converted into expanders when re-opening a saved file.
      - If a gate module was placed in a design and then the file saved, when the file was re-opened, the gate would have the controls of an expander.
      - It would be difficult or impossible to get the gate settings correct at that point.
    Version 1.14 -
    • Removes display of 32 input Matrix modules.
      - An upcoming release of SymNet Designer will have Matrixes with 32 inputs. While these are not available in V1.14, they were displayed in the toolkit.
    • Repairs randomization of triggers in saved files.
      - SymNet Designer has a feature which allows the configuration change to be triggered by a control signal input. When a saved design file was opened, the trigger was corrupted, whether it had been set or not to a random value. This random value could cause an undesired configuration change if the entire site file was downloaded to hardware.
    • Repairs replication of settings and control screens when undoing in Configuration View.
      - When using the undo feature to undo a change in the Configuration View only, any unit settings or control screens created in that configuration could be duplicated making identical copies in the list of unit settings and control screens.
    • Repairs Cursor meter operation on saved sym files.
      - SymNet Designer has a feature where a meter in the meter bar can be attached to any selected wire in a Design View. THis feature would only work until the file was saved and re-opened.
    • Repairs signal inversion in mixers.
      - Version 1.13 had a problem where signals connected to mixer modules could be unintentionally inverted.
    Version 1.13 -
    • Fixes data loss bug with Design Settings.
      - Versions 1.1 thru 1.12 would not correctly save design settings in the Site file. Module Settings were functional as of V1.11.
    • Fixes bug with CobraLink Bus send/returns losing meters when reopening saved files.
      - The meters that are available when opening CobraLink Bus send/return modules would not appear after a file had been saved and re-opened.
    • Adds warning message when deleting buses, CobraNet Bundles - Previously, there was no warning when deleteing SymLink Busses or CobraNet Bundles from a configuration that any bus or bundle send or return modules that referenced that bus would be deleted when the bus or bundle was deleted.
    • Allows asssigning DSP to super-module I/O
      - Added feature to allow forcing a DSP assignment to a super-module I/O and to a whole super-module. Prior to this, it was ineffectual to try to force the assignment of a DSP to a module within a super-module as the routing of the audio signal would not be controlled as expected.
    • Repaired bug with Autorange display on Scope
      - Under certain circumstatnces, it was possible to have the Auto-range scale display in the oscilloscope module temprarily not read correctly.
    • Improved splash screen display with Large Fonts set
      - The splash screen did not display correctly when the PC video settings selected "Large Fonts".
    Version 1.12 -
    • Repaired erroneous message when upgrading firmware.
    • Made minor changes to ability to force assignment of super-module to a DSP. Requires V1.13 for this feature to work fully.
    Version 1.11 -
    • Fixes data loss bug with ModuleSettings.
      - Versions 1.1 would not correctly save modulesettings in the Site file.

    Instructions for upgrading to SymNet Designer Version 1.1 from an earlier version of the application

    Overview:
    A) Upgrade hardware firmware (REQUIRED!!!)
    B) Uninstall older version and convert old designs (if desired)

    A) Upgrading Hardware Firmware

    IMPORTANT:
    In order to run SymNet Designer version 1.1, the firmware in your hardware devices must be upgraded to the latest level. If you are receiving this software with a new SymNet device from the factory, then the firmware versions should already be correct. However, if you are using it with an existing SymNet device, then the firmware must be upgraded.

    Current Versions
    As of this writing, the current versions of the SymNet firmware are as follows:

    SymNet Microprocessor file: Version 1.102
    SymNet FPGA file for SymNet DSP Devices: Version 1.100

    (See "Why are there two different files?" below for more information.)

    Upgrading Firmware

    1. Install SymNet Designer 1.1 using the provided Setup utility.This will copy the necessary firmware files to your hard drive.
    2. Launch SymNet Designer 1.1.
    3. Connect your hardware devices as they would be for normal operation. It is recommended you disconnect or power down all audio sources connected to SymNet during the upgrade.
    4. In SymNet Designer 1.1, choose Hardware > Upgrade Firmware. The dialog that appears will tell you the current version of the firmware in your hardware devices.
    5. Click the Upgrade button under SymNet Microprocessor file. An open file dialog will appear allowing you to navigate for firmware files. By default it should take you into the
      C:\Program Files\Symetrix\SymNet Designer 1.1\Upgrade folder.
      Select the file SNMv1101.bin and click Open.
    6. After this finishes, click the Upgrade button under SymNet FPGA file. Select the SNFv1100.bit file and click Open.
    7. If you have more than one SymNet device, select each device using the address dropdown at the top of the dialog box and repeat steps 5-6.
    8. If you are using CobraLink and have more than one ring, also repeat for all devices on all rings using the Ring dropdown at the top of the dialog box.
    9. When finished, click Close.

    Why are there two different files?
    SymNet firmware has two components, the microprocessor file and the FPGA file. They are generally independent and both may need upgrading.

    The microprocessor file contains the code that SymNet's embedded microprocessor runs. This microprocessor is responsible for communicating with the host, managing the DSPs, external control, and many other tasks. The microprocessor file is common to all SymNet DSP devices and CobraLink devices.

    The FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) file controls the programmable logic devices used in SymNet. These devices manage the SymLink bus, facilitate DSP communication, and several other tasks. The FPGA file is common to all SymNet DSP devices. However, a different file is required for CobraLink devices. The file intended for SymNet DSP devices is prefixed with SN, e.g. SNFv1100.bit. The file intended for CobraLink devices is prefixed with CL, e.g. CLFv2001.bit. SymNet Designer checks the file contents to prevent you from using the wrong type of FPGA file.

    B) Uninstall older versions and convert old designs (if desired)

    You should decide if you want to keep the previous version of SymNet Designer installed. Check out the new feature descriptions in this document and use the program on new designs for a while before deciding that you want to upgrade existing designs. Remember that after you have upgraded the firmware to Version 1.1, it will no longer work with previous versions of the application. You will need to downgrade the firmware by reinstalling the old firmware using the V1.01 software.

    SymNet Designer Version 1.1 is a different program from earlier versions. By default, it will install into a different folder and not conflict with earlier versions.

    This is done so that existing installations can be supported without modifying existing designs.

    SymNet Designer Version 1.1 changes the format of the ".sym" design files. When version 1.1 reads design files generated in earlier version, it internally converts them to the new format. It will not alter the design file on the PC until the file is saved by the user.

    Version 1.1 Design files each have the data of up to 8 configurations in a single file. This is done so a single file can contain all the data stored in the 8 configurations that can be stored in the hardware along with all other hardware programming. Therefore, more than one Version 1.01 file may need to be combined into a single Version 1.1 file.

    IMPORTANT:
    When the file is saved, it will no longer be read-able by previous versions. It is important to make back up copies of existing design files if you are not sure you want to commit to the new version.

    If you want to upgrade your existing design files to V1.1 format you should do the following:

    1. Using Version 1.1, open up the V1.01 Design file that you want to occupy configuration slot 1 of a new Version 1.1 file. This will put the design from the loaded file into configuration slot 1 of the new file.
    2. Select one of the other configurations using the 'Configuration' menu.
    3. Select 'Import...' from the 'Configuration' menu. A file selector dialog will be shown.
    4. Select the Version 1.01 design file you want to go into the selected configuration slot. This may require changing the file type selector at the bottom of the selection dialog to look for Version 1.0x files.
    5. Repeat step 4 until all relevant configurations are combined.
    6. Select 'Save As' from the file menu and save the file to a new name. It is not recommended that you overwrite the existing Version 1.01 file in case you need to go back to Version 1.01 for some reason.
    7. Select the 'Triggers and Power On Default...' item from the 'Configuration' menu.
    8. Re-enter the triggers and power on defaults used in the Version 1.01 system. In version 1.01, This data was only saved in the hardware, not in design files.
    9. Select the 'Event Scheduling Manager' item from the Tools' menu.
    10. Re-enter the events used in the Version 1.01 system. In version 1.01, This data was only saved in the hardware, not in design files.
    You can also extract all the currently downloaded data in the hardware into a Version 1.1 design file. This will extract all the saved configurations that were archived into the hardware as well as all relevant hardware settings that are now stored in the design files, including Power On default, Triggers, and events. If you wan to do this:

    1. Using Version 1.1, select 'Upload Entire Site' from the 'Hardware' menu.
    2. When the process is complete, a new site file will be opened and the configurations and data from the hardware will exist in their appropriate places.
    3. Save the file. You will be prompted for a new file name. Do not overwrite existing 1.01 files as you may need them later.
    You can uninstall SymNet Designer Version 1.01 from your computer as follows:

    1. Locate and start the Control Panel from the Windows Start Menu. It will be located in different places depending on your version of Windows.
    2. Select the 'Add/remove Programs' item from the Control Panel.
    3. Select 'SymNet Designer' from the list. be sure not to select 'SymNet Designer V1.1'.
    4. Select 'Change/Remove' and follow the instructions.
    Your design files will not be removed during installation. However, it is always a good idea to make backups of critical files before installing or uninstalling programs.

    If 'SymNet Designer' does not appear in the uninstall list, it is not currently installed on your PC.

    II) Preventing data loss of existing Designer site files when upgrading

    In order to prevent loss of data saved in Version 1.01 files and hardware, the following guidelines are recommended.
    A) Backup Version 1.01 design files.
    B) Don't use the same file names for Version 1.1 design files.
    C) Retrieve data stored in hardware using V1.01.
    D) Choose the default locations when installing software.
    E) Do not use Version 1.1 software with V.1.01 firmware or Version 1.01 software with V.1.1 firmware.

    A) Backup Version 1.01 design files.
    It is highly recommended that you backup your version 1.01 design files to a secure location before using or installing Version 1.1. Even if all else goes completely wrong, as long as you have those files, there is a way to recreate your old setup. If the files are lost or overwritten with Version 1.1 files, you may not be able to go back.

    B) Don't use the same file names for Version 1.1 design files.
    If you are going to maintain both versions of the software on your PC, it is highly recommended that you include something in the file name of all Version 1.1 files you save that indicate their version. This way you will be able to tell which files are which if the files become co-mingled.

    Even if you are not going to maintain both versions, it is a good idea to use this practice at least until all your design files have been converted and you have fully embraced Version 1.1.

    C) Retrieve data stored in hardware using V1.01.
    Prior to upgrading the hardware's firmware to V1.1, Un-archive all data stored in the hardware using version 1.01. Also, write down or otherwise record the trigger, power on default, and event data in the hardware using Version 1.01. This data may not be available after you upgrade the firmware. And it is not stored in Version 1.01 files.

    D) Choose the default locations when installing software.
    When you install any version of SymNet Designer software, allow the installation to go to the default folder. This will ensure that different versions do not interfere with each other.

    E) Do not use Version 1.1 software with V.1.01 firmware or Version 1.01 software with V.1.1 firmware.
    The versions of software and firmware must match. The only operation that accesses hardware you should do with mismatched software and firmware is upgrade to the correct firmware. Upgrading is generally possible regardless of the firmware mismatch. If this is not true the ReadMe.txt file will make a point of mentioning this.

    III) New features and other changes in SymNet Designer Version 1.1

    Overview:
    A) Supports CobraLink units for CobraNet access and IP control
    B) Support for SymNet ARC (Adaptive Remote Control)
    C) Enhanced RS-232 control protocol
    D) Enhanced control over analog control inputs
    E) New External Control Manager
    F) Separation of Browser from Toolkit
    G) Additional External Devices icons
    H) Enhanced Site File storage
    I) Optional confirmation of downloads
    J) Redistribution of RS-485 control to all units
    K) Control of object precedence in Control Screens

    A) Supports CobraLink units for CobraNet access and IP control
    Version 1.1 supports the new CobraLink units. CobraLink units allow movement of audio and control over an Ethernet switched network using CobraNet technology.

    CobraNet to allow interfacing with third party CobraNet equipment (e.g. power amps, mic amps, A/D's, D/A's, etc.) by using a standardized protocol for audio and control over Ethernet. A CobraNet Bundle Manager is included for control over the CobraNet interface.

    CobraLink units allows for much larger systems to be created and over longer distances. Each CobraLink unit can master 7 SymNet DSP units in a SymLink Ring. Up to 8 CobraLink Rings can exist for a total of 56 SymNet DSP units. This permits a staggering 11.2 Billion instructions per second of DSP power.

    Ethernet connectivity means the PC can be connected via Ethernet instead of RS-232. This equates to much faster downloads and screen updates, longer distances between PC and SymNet ring(s). In fact, using VPNs, and appropriate network equipment, you can control the system over the Internet.

    B) Support for SymNet ARC (Adaptive Remote Control)
    Version 1.1 supports SymNet ARC (Adaptive Remote Control) units. Up to 32 of these highly customizable remotes can be attached to a SymNet unit. The SymNet designer interface provides for programming, simulation, downloading and uploading of menus to the ARC network.

    ARC menus can be easily created, based off externally controlled faders and buttons in SymNet modules. Menus can then be tailored for your particular application.

    C) Enhanced RS-232 control protocol
    Enhanced RS-232 control protocol allows better control via AMX or Crestron units.

    D) Enhanced control over analog control inputs
    Analog control inputs now allows for scaling and inverting, allowing you to calibrate control for your particular analog controllers.

    E) New External Control Manager
    The Version 1.1 External Control Manager screen shows control of entire site at a glance. It combines ARCs, Crestron/AMX devices, and analog control in a single screen.

    F) Separation of Browser from Toolkit
    In Version 1.1 the Browser has moved from Toolkit to its own floating window.

    G) Additional External Devices icons
    Additional External Devices icons have been added to better represent your environment.

    H) Enhanced Site File storage
    In Version 1.1, site files now permit the storage of all eight configurations in a single file.

    Configuration level functions are brought out to a new menu allowing the importing of Version 1.01 configurations.

    The site files also permit the Storage of configuration triggers, power on default state, events, and picture bitmaps, all of which formerly had to be stored manually.

    The site file simplifies the downloading and uploading of an entire site's data with a single menu item action.

    Multiple site files can be simultaneously loaded in the interface.

    I) Optional confirmation of downloads
    When downloading designs to hardware and defeat able confirmation can be required to prevent accidental downloads.

    J) Redistribution of RS-485 control to all units
    In Version 1.1, RS-485 control attached to the master SymNet unit can now be distributed to all SymNet units in the site.

    K) Control of object precedence in Control Screens
    In version 1.1, Control Screens are now more configurable with the ability to add selectable object precedence. The designer can control which of overlapping objects is viewed in its entirety. In addition, text object cannot have their frames made invisible.