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Connect two MRCCs and a Remote 7 - Printable Version

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Connect two MRCCs and a Remote 7 - Darryl - 08-03-2021

Its possible to connect 2 MRCCs together using a CAT6a shielded Ethernet cable to enjoy remote routing and lots more ports. But can you use a Remote 7 too? Yes you can, with a custom RJ45 splitter!

In this configuration, the Remote 7 will function as MIDI thru ports for MRCC outputs 1-5, rather than independently routable ports.

We plan on making a custom splitter some day, but everything takes forever... so if you want to make one for yourself its pretty easy.

We used an RJ45 splitter with the mandatory shielded connectors we found in a 2 pack on Amazon.com or Banggood.com, that looks like this:
   
It has to have all the pins connected straight through.
A 2 pack is nice, just in case the first try doesn't work out. Wink This isn't an Ethernet hub or switch, don't use one of those it could damage something.

Modify the Splitter
On the side of the splitter with two RJ45 connectors, on the left side connector, use some electronics tweezers to lift 3 pins on the left side and 3 pins on the right side. Pry the pins up so they are vertical, being careful to leave the middle 2 pins intact.
Trim those 6 pins off with flush cutting wire cutters. Trim them as close to the housing as possible. 

Here's how mine looks after trimming the 6 pins off, you can see the two pins left in the middle:
   

That's it! Now use a shielded CAT6a cable to attach the first MRCC to the single connector side of the splitter. 
Attach the other MRCC using the connector where the 6 pins were removed.
Attach the Remote 7 with a shielded CAT6a cable to the connector with all the pins.

Here's mine... the white wire is going to the MRCC that will use the Remote 7 outputs. The green wire is going to a Remote 7 on my keyboard stand. The black wire is going to an MRCC in a 19 inch rack.
   

We tested connecting the MRCCs with shielded CAT6a cables, like the one we supply with the Remote 7. However, for a short run of 6 to 10 feet, you can probably get away with an MRCC to MRCC connection using a regular CAT5 cable if that's all you have. YMMV 
The cable from MRCC to the splitter, and splitter to The Remote 7 requires the shielded cable for any length, the kind with metal shrouded connectors.


RE: Connect two MRCCs and a Remote 7 - Darryl - 08-03-2021

Before someone asks... can you use 2 splitters for connecting a Remote 7 to each of the MRCCs? We haven't tried it, but it should work.


RE: Connect two MRCCs and a Remote 7 - oldgearguy - 08-04-2021

When you wire this up, is the Remote 7 directly addressable from either MRCC, or is it "attached" to a specific one?
(in other words - do I need to use the Y button from 0, 1, or both MRCCs when I use an extended output port?)


RE: Connect two MRCCs and a Remote 7 - Darryl - 08-04-2021

(08-04-2021, 01:43 AM)oldgearguy Wrote: When you wire this up, is the Remote 7 directly addressable from either MRCC, or is it "attached" to a specific one?
(in other words - do I need to use the Y button from 0, 1, or both MRCCs when I use an extended output port?)

The Remote 7 will only be attached to the MRCC that is on the single connector side of the splitter. In this configuration, the Remote 7 can only act as MIDI thru ports for MRCC Outputs 1-5. The Remote button on MRCC will be used to route to the other MRCC's outputs.

The purpose of the splitter modification is to disconnect the Remote 7 from the 2nd MRCC. The 6 pins that are being removed are 5 MIDI outputs and 5V DC. Otherwise, we'd be connecting 5V to 5V and MIDI outputs to MIDI outputs, which wouldn't break anything, but the Remote 7 wouldn't work.

Theoretically, you could put a splitter on both sides so both MRCC's could have Remote 7s.


RE: Connect two MRCCs and a Remote 7 - Darryl - 08-04-2021

If you are wiring your own splitter, this is the optimal configuration.
   

The shielded connectors are not optional. The Remote 7 requires the shield as a ground path to MRCC.


RE: Connect two MRCCs and a Remote 7 - Dark Waves - 08-04-2021

This is a cool tip, I'll be getting one of these splitters to go with the second MRCC I just ordered.  Couple of questions:

The verbiage you've used here and elsewhere about cable specs, specifically shielded connectors, is often absent in descriptions on store pages, even if shielded cables are specified.  Is there a minimum cable type that will always meet the requirement, say Cat6 or Cat6a or something else?  I have one of these that I was hoping to use between the two MRCCs: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1337320-REG/c2g_00818_12_cat6_snagless.html

With 2 MRCCs working in tandem, will both need to be connected via USB to the computer for a) firmware updates, and / or b) routing to a DAW?

Do the 6 pins on the splitter being trimmed as short as possible pose any kind of shorting potential, or are the contacts in the cable connector far forward enough to preclude a likely short?

Thanks!


RE: Connect two MRCCs and a Remote 7 - Jesse Johannesen - 08-05-2021

I would assume it's critical to make sure they're trimmed low, since shorting them is exactly what we're trying to avoid, but I am going to let Darryl answer this one as I have yet to work with this particular configuration.
Jesse


RE: Connect two MRCCs and a Remote 7 - Darryl - 08-05-2021

(08-04-2021, 06:35 PM)Dark Waves Wrote: This is a cool tip, I'll be getting one of these splitters to go with the second MRCC I just ordered.  Couple of questions:

The verbiage you've used here and elsewhere about cable specs, specifically shielded connectors, is often absent in descriptions on store pages, even if shielded cables are specified.  Is there a minimum cable type that will always meet the requirement, say Cat6 or Cat6a or something else?  I have one of these that I was hoping to use between the two MRCCs: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1337320-REG/c2g_00818_12_cat6_snagless.html

With 2 MRCCs working in tandem, will both need to be connected via USB to the computer for a) firmware updates, and / or b) routing to a DAW?

Do the 6 pins on the splitter being trimmed as short as possible pose any kind of shorting potential, or are the contacts in the cable connector far forward enough to preclude a likely short?

Thanks!

We also found that its not always easy to identify the shielded cables on some shops. If its labeled CAT6a (or greater) Shielded, that is a pretty good sign. The best indicator is that it has the metal shroud over the connectors. Those are the shields we need and are what connects ground from MRCC to Remote 7. The shields on the connectors must be connected to each other via a drain wire in the Ethernet cable. I don't know why anyone would use shielded connectors and not connect them, but you never know. Best to stick with reputable suppliers.

You will need to connect each MRCC to the computer, one at a time, to do FW updates. 
They can both be connected by USB to your computer if you need both showing up in your DAW. That would be the most efficient way to route to specific outputs from the DAW, rather than routing from the DAW to the first MRCC, then routing to the other MRCC. That's more complication and adds an extra hop that will add latency. 

Jesse is correct, in our experience, as long as you trim the pins close to the socket housing its good enough. If for some reason the trimmed pin is touching a pin on the cable, it would only cause one of the MIDI ports on Remote 7 to malfunction. It won't physically damage anything. In that case, maybe try filing the pins down further with a nail file.


RE: Connect two MRCCs and a Remote 7 - Dark Waves - 08-05-2021

Thank you.  I wish all companies could answer questions so clearly, pertinently, and thoroughly.  That's very helpful!


RE: Connect two MRCCs and a Remote 7 - oldgearguy - 08-05-2021

(08-05-2021, 12:47 PM)Darryl Wrote:
(08-04-2021, 06:35 PM)Dark Waves Wrote: With 2 MRCCs working in tandem, will both need to be connected via USB to the computer for a) firmware updates, and / or b) routing to a DAW?


Thanks!


You will need to connect each MRCC to the computer, one at a time, to do FW updates. 
They can both be connected by USB to your computer if you need both showing up in your DAW. That would be the most efficient way to route to specific outputs from the DAW, rather than routing from the DAW to the first MRCC, then routing to the other MRCC. That's more complication and adds an extra hop that will add latency. 

So if you connect both MRCCs to the computer you will be able to see 24 distinct virtual ports?  That's great if it "just works" without having to do anything extra.