SymNet Designer Version 2.02 Release Notes

Copyright 2002, Symetrix, Inc.


Overview of contents of this file


I) Changes in Version 2.02 from previous versions

II) Main New V2.0 Features

III) Installation Notes

IV) Upgrading Firmware for V2.0

V) Issues with Site files from previous versions of SymNet Designer



This document is intended for those users upgrading from Version 1.2x and 1.1x. If you are upgrading from Version 1.0x, you should first read the upgrade instructions for version 1.1x. This file is located on the installation CD in the "Help" folder. It is also installed to the SymNet Designer folder, C:\Program Files\Symetrix\SymNet Designer 2.0\Release 1_1x Notes.txt and is available on the web site.

I) Changes in Version 2.02 from previous versions

Changes in V2.02

SymNet Designer V2.02 is a maintenance release for version 2.0. All users of V2.0x should upgrade to V2.02.

Version 2.02 fixes a bug that could cause crashes when downloading certain site files, especially those with many external controller assignments. Files generated with V2.0x are readable by V2.02. Files generated by V2.02 may or may not be readable by older versions.

Changes in V2.01

SymNet Designer V2.01 is a maintenance release for version 2.0. All users of V2.00 should upgrade to V2.01.

Version 2.01 includes fixes to a few bugs that were detected in the initial release of V2.00, mostly affecting users of CobraLink and BreakIn/BreakOut units. V2.01 includes upgrades of the FPGA firmware files from CobraLink and BreakIn/BreakOut that are required when upgrading. Files generated with V2.00 are readable by V2.01. Files generated by V2.01 may or may not be readable by V2.00.

II) Main New V2.0 Features

SymNet Designer V2.0 is a major release and adds many new features.


1) 6 dB/octave low pass and high pass filters - 6 dB/octave sloped low pass and high pass filters have been added to the Mono and Stereo Filter sub-classes in the Filters & EQs class in the Module View Toolkit.


2) SPL computer modules - Gap Sensing - A new sub class of modules has been added to the Dynamics class in the Module View Toolkit. It includes mono and stereo SPL computers for controlling the long term volume of a signal based on measuring the ambient room level when the signal is quiet.


3) Output selector modules (de-multiplexer) with mute - Four new sub classes of modules have been added to the Input Selectors class (which is now labeled Routers). They include mono and stereo output selectors and output distributors for selectively sending a single source signal to either one of many, or any of many output destinations respectively.


4) Added sweep speed and limits to tone generators - The sine tone generator now has programmable sweep start and end frequencies, as well as a sweep rate control and the ability to sweep repetitively.


5) Parameter Presets (16) - The settings of operator chosen module controls can now be grouped into up to 16 presets, which can be downloaded to hardware and triggered by time, external control or a control in the SymNet Designer application.


6) Support for BreakIn and BreakOut hardware devices - Two new SymNet unit types, BreakIn12 and BreakOut12, are now supported by SymNet Designer.


7) Bug Fixes - General improvements to system reliability and usability.


8) Added Mono and Stereo Programmable Filters - Two new sub classes of modules have been added to the Filters & EQs class in the Module View Toolkit. They include mono and stereo programmable low pass, high pass, and band pass filters. These filters allow greater control than standard filters by adding controls for filter type, resonance, and slope.


9) Analyze works inside Super-modules - The Analyze feature has been improved to take into account the contents of Super-modules.


10) Added more obvious "Needs Downloading" indicator - An easier to see Download Status window is now available to indicate the current state of communication with hardware, indicating if the current design has changed since the last download to hardware.

11) Added "Duplicate" to Right click menus - The duplicate feature can now be accessed using the right click menu on items which formerly supported this feature only through the main menu.


12) Added support for 31 Rings, 16 addresses - The SymNet Designer application and hardware firmware has been upgraded to support up to 31 rings of 16 units for a total of 496 units and a maximum sustained DSP power of 245 GFLOPS (billion floating point operations per second).


13) Allow every Ring to have its own unique ARC network - Each Ring of SymNet units can now support a different ARC network of up to 32 ARCs, allowing up to 992 ARC devices to be used.


14) Added Mute to Input Selector - The existing Input Selector modules now have a mute control.


III) Installation Notes

Version 2.0 installs to a separate location than 1.2x or 1.1x on your hard drive. Version 2.0 will not interfere with your Version 1.1 or 1.2 settings. The two versions can cohabitate on your PC. It is important to note, however, that the firmware on the hardware must match the version of SymNet Designer that communicates with it. Version 2.0x will only communicate with hardware that is running the firmware released with Version 2.0x, etc.. If you intend to switch between versions of SymNet Designer with the same hardware units, you must remember to change the firmware each time.


IV) Upgrading Firmware for V2.0

IMPORTANT: In order to run SymNet Designer version 2.0, 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.

There is a new "Verify" button in the Upgrade Firmware dialog. This makes it easier to verify that you have the correct Microprocessor firmware file for the currently running version of SymNet Designer. However, it does not check for the correct version of the FPGA firmware file. This must still be done manually.

Current Versions

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

SymNet Microprocessor file: Version 2.000 (applies to both SymNet DSP and CobraLink devices.)

SymNet FPGA file for SymNet DSP Devices: Version 1.201

SymNet FPGA file for CobraLink Devices: Version 2.002

SymNet FPGA file for BreakIO Devices: Version 1.000

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

Upgrading Firmware

1. Install SymNet Designer 2.0 using the provided Setup utility. This will copy the necessary firmware files to your hard drive.

2. Launch SymNet Designer 2.0.

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 2.0, 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 2.0\Upgrade folder. Select the file SNMv2000.bin and click Open.

6. After this finishes, click the Upgrade button under SymNet FPGA file. Select the SDFv2000.bit file and click Open. (If you are upgrading a CobraLink device, select the CLFv2002.bit file instead.)

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 perform several other tasks. The FPGA file is common to all SymNet DSP devices. However, a different file is required for CobraLink and BreakIn/Out devices. The file intended for SymNet DSP devices is prefixed with SD, e.g. SDFv2000.bit. The file intended for CobraLink devices is prefixed with CL, e.g. CLFv2001.bit. The file intended for BreakIn/Out devices is prefixed with BI, e.g. BIFv1000.bit. SymNet Designer checks the file contents to prevent you from using the wrong type of FPGA file.

V) Issues with Site files from previous versions of SymNet Designer

In version 2.0, the site file (.sym file) format had changed from 1.2x. You will be able to open all 1.1x/1.2x site files in V2.0 or later. However, files saved with version 2.0 will not be readable by version 1.1x or 1.2x. If you intend to maintain both versions on your computer, we recommend the following guidelines to minimize difficulties with file formats:

A) Backup Version 1.1x/1.2x design files.
B) Don't use the same file names for Version 1.1 design files.
C) Choose the default locations when installing software.
D) Do not use Version 2.0 software with V1.1x/V1.2x firmware or Version 1.1x/1.2x software with V.2.0 firmware.

A) Backup Version 1.1x/1.2x design files.

It is recommended that you backup your version 1.2 or earlier design files to a secure location before using or installing Version 2.0. Even if all else goes completely wrong, as long as you have those files, there is a way to recreate your old setup.


B) Don't use the same file names for Version 2.0 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 1.2 and earlier 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 2.0.


C) 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.


D) Do not use Version 2.0 software with V1.1x/V1.2x firmware or Version 1.1x/1.2x software with V 2.0 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 the case, the ReadMe.txt file will make a point of mentioning this.