Cisco switch

French Rooster posted:

better to separate the hifi( streamer, nas) from tv, phone, computers.   So cisco 2960 or 3560 8 port will be enough, the rest of non hifi / audio components on another switch.

None of the scenarios mentioned above propose to physically separate networks. Btw, doing so doesn’t really make sense. The streamer needs to access the Internet and I need to access the NAS and NUC from my main computer.

I have then 2 options :

- Option 1 : a brand new WS-C3560CX-12PC-S doing every thing
- Option 2 : an old Catalyst connected and powered (PoE) by the actual switch (SG200-10FP)

In both cases all devices are interconnected.

The only way to obtain a galvanic separation is for the streamer to access the network through WiFi.

So my initial question to Simon was : is “option 1” as efficient as “option 2”?

TomSer posted:
French Rooster posted:

better to separate the hifi( streamer, nas) from tv, phone, computers.   So cisco 2960 or 3560 8 port will be enough, the rest of non hifi / audio components on another switch.

None of the scenarios mentioned above propose to physically separate networks. Btw, doing so doesn’t really make sense. The streamer needs to access the Internet and I need to access the NAS and NUC from my main computer.

I have then 2 options :

- Option 1 : a brand new WS-C3560CX-12PC-S doing every thing
- Option 2 : an old Catalyst connected and powered (PoE) by the actual switch (SG200-10FP)

In both cases all devices are interconnected.

The only way to obtain a galvanic separation is for the streamer to access the network through WiFi.

So my initial question to Simon was : is “option 1” as efficient as “option 2”?

perhaps i don’t understand well what you want to do.   For my set up for instance, my phone and tv are connected to my router. From this router, i run a dedicated switch ( cisco 2960), where is connected my nds and my serve.  My computer is connected to the router. So the nds and unitserve are separated from the tv, phone, computer. They are not on the same switch, but on the same network.

TomSer posted:

Simon,

I have a CISCO SG200-10FP to which I connect all my networked devices (Cisco WiFi access point, Synology NAS, PoE Camera, Roon NUC , 2 desktop computers).

I’m planning to replace my nDAC with one of the new Naim network players.

As it seems that the Catalyst series work well with Naim streamers, I will replace my actual switch with the WS-C3560CX-12PC-S. It’s fully managed and has 12 ports.

Would it be preferable to connect to the SG200 a cheaper switch like an old Catalyst 2960 and use it only for the Naim streamer and the Roon Rock?

Or will WS-C3560CX-12PC-S do the trick while managing my network?

Hi, shouldn’t need to separate switches for different hosts, in fact one of the main reasons of a switch (as opposed to a hub) is exactly because it is not necessary to do this. I don’t do this and understandably I heard no sound ‘difference’ with adding different hosts in as well as my streamer into the switch. Best structure the switches to suit your home network layout. Certainly see no benefit of using a general switch between the Catalyst and streamer... effectively it will be undoing the benefit ... which is I suggest better regulated physical layer synchronisation clock. This is only meaningful between physical links.

The 3560 is fine, in fact I use one to feed my streamer right now, just ensure it’s fanless if it’s going to reside in your living space and not cupboard out of the way.

Simon

Edit. Your above post, option 1 is the best approach assuming it matches your layout and minimimizes the runs of Ethernet patch leads.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

It is the Catalyst switches I have found to be beneficial as opposed to any default Cisco switch or other vendor switch.

Hi Simon, and all. Be aware that the the Cataylst brand isn't a distinct enough differentiator. Specificlaly there are a routers which include network modules that say they have Catalyst switch ports in them but they are a long long way from the Catalyst switches we are discussing here. I wouldn't want someone being tripped up by a dodgy auction listing on this. Russ

TomSer posted:

- Option 1 : a brand new WS-C3560CX-12PC-S doing every thing
- Option 2 : an old Catalyst connected and powered (PoE) by the actual switch (SG200-10FP)

Tomser, a further vote for option 1, I'm running the same setup here with no issues.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
TomSer posted:

Simon,

I have a CISCO SG200-10FP to which I connect all my networked devices (Cisco WiFi access point, Synology NAS, PoE Camera, Roon NUC , 2 desktop computers).

I’m planning to replace my nDAC with one of the new Naim network players.

As it seems that the Catalyst series work well with Naim streamers, I will replace my actual switch with the WS-C3560CX-12PC-S. It’s fully managed and has 12 ports.

Would it be preferable to connect to the SG200 a cheaper switch like an old Catalyst 2960 and use it only for the Naim streamer and the Roon Rock?

Or will WS-C3560CX-12PC-S do the trick while managing my network?

Hi, shouldn’t need to separate switches for different hosts, in fact one of the main reasons of a switch (as opposed to a hub) is exactly because it is not necessary to do this. I don’t do this and understandably I heard no sound ‘difference’ with adding different hosts in as well as my streamer into the switch. Best structure the switches to suit your home network layout. Certainly see no benefit of using a general switch between the Catalyst and streamer... effectively it will be undoing the benefit ... which is I suggest better regulated physical layer synchronisation clock. This is only meaningful between physical links.

The 3560 is fine, in fact I use one to feed my streamer right now, just ensure it’s fanless if it’s going to reside in your living space and not cupboard out of the way.

Simon

Edit. Your above post, option 1 is the best approach assuming it matches your layout and minimimizes the runs of Ethernet patch leads.

simon, i probably miss something in the understanding.  I have often heard of the benefit of a dedicated switch for the streamer and nas, serve, core: separate tv, phone, and noisy components as computers from the audio chain.  I have my tv, phone, computer connected to my router and the cisco 2960 is connected to the router. On the cisco i have only the nds and serve.    So i am wrong ?    A lot of members use a dedicated switch only for the streamer and nas.    I am in the doubt now.

Hi French Rooster, no need to seperate out the differant devices onto differant switches. Check my post here about the testing I did last year. IF having seperate switches works within you home environment, such as minimising cabling, then great. But there is no sonic disadvantage from having multiple devices on you switch. As SImon has suggested, the improvement appears to come from the timely network packet delivery offered by these enterprise grade switches. Russ

 

rjfk posted:

Hi Simon, and all. Be aware that the the Cataylst brand isn't a distinct enough differentiator. Specificlaly there are a routers which include network modules that say they have Catalyst switch ports in them but they are a long long way from the Catalyst switches we are discussing here. I wouldn't want someone being tripped up by a dodgy auction listing on this. Russ

Yes its only the Catalyst switches mentioned we are talking about.. I wouldn't want someone to think just because it says 'Cisco' on the switch that it will necessarily bring the benefits that have been described on this forum.

French Rooster posted:

simon, i probably miss something in the understanding.  I have often heard of the benefit of a dedicated switch for the streamer and nas, serve, core: separate tv, phone, and noisy components as computers from the audio chain.  I have my tv, phone, computer connected to my router and the cisco 2960 is connected to the router. On the cisco i have only the nds and serve.    So i am wrong ?    A lot of members use a dedicated switch only for the streamer and nas.    I am in the doubt now.

Yes no benefit at all for a dedicated switch - its what switches are designed to do. I can only assume some people have been misled or perhaps don't really understand what a switch does and how.

Yes if a device is very (read extremely) electrically noisy then that noise will conduct through wires including the mains and the air,  (and possibly be unlawful in the EU), so best keep a good physical distance between a known very electrically noisy device and your audio components. Remember ethernet uses differential pairs and so common mode noise, by design, has effectively no effect on operation, but also remember ethernet and more generally TCP/IP, depending on your terms of reference, can be inherently 'noisy' in operation whatever the host.

Simon

I think there is a possibility of interference being conducted through less well engineered switches.

With the Netgear switch there was a slight degradation effect if my PC was plugged into the same switch as the NAS and streamer; with the 2960, I think this effect has disappeared.  I think this may be due to better engineered ground planes in the switch and a better power supply providing lower impedance paths for the stray currents.

Running my “new” 2960 as a “dedicated” switch only because I would run out of ports otherwise, and want full gig capability for the rest of the house. And for $29 all in, why not? Sounds maybe 10-20% better than the fanless 24 port Trendnet that is the main switch. 

Anyway, my question is, which port should I plug in the onward connection to the main switch? Currently have it in one of the 8 10/100 ports, but should it be plugged into the 10/100/1000 uplink port? 

 

charlesphoto posted:

Anyway, my question is, which port should I plug in the onward connection to the main switch? Currently have it in one of the 8 10/100 ports, but should it be plugged into the 10/100/1000 uplink port? 

I use the “uplink” port to link back to the rest of my network. That’s mainly because I’m using it with an SFP,  but with regular Ethernet cables, any port works fine. 

on the beginning, when i bought the nds, and the unitserve, all was connected to my commercial router ( with phone and tv).   Then, after reading some posts, i bought a little 5 port switch, netgear gs105, where i connected only my nds and serve:  the upgrade in sound was immediate. For me, this separation from the router / tv/ phone was very beneficial.

After i just replaced the netgear by the cisco 2960.   Perhaps, finally, the benefit was not the separation from the commercial router but just the fact that the router was a crap?

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

 

Edit. Your above post, option 1 is the best approach assuming it matches your layout and minimimizes the runs of Ethernet patch leads.

Hi Simon,

Thank you for your reply.

Option 1 was what I intended to do.

Having two switches interconnected seemed, obviously, a bit odd in the context of my home network.

I worked as a sys. admin. in the late nineties, begin of two thousands, and know the benefits of a switch versus a hub.  Of course, I’m no engineer with advanced network skills.

But, after reading some comments of people quoting you, or interpreting your explanations, I thought that, for some strange reason, layering switches would help. To be honest, I first thought of some audiophile mumbo-jumbo. But then read your bio which indicates clearly that you know what you’re talking about.  So I took the liberty to ask you directly.

I’ll buy a small fanless Cisco Catalyst 3560CX-12PC-S Switch and store it the same place as the one I have now (check my profile, I posted some pics of my small setup).

Everything should be ready when/if the new streamer comes 

 Tom

 

ChrisSU posted:
charlesphoto posted:

Anyway, my question is, which port should I plug in the onward connection to the main switch? Currently have it in one of the 8 10/100 ports, but should it be plugged into the 10/100/1000 uplink port? 

I use the “uplink” port to link back to the rest of my network. That’s mainly because I’m using it with an SFP,  but with regular Ethernet cables, any port works fine. 

Hmmm, your use of the SFP has me thinking. I still swear by the FMC’s I’m using pre-renderer giving me better sound quality, but I’m wondering if I used a second 2960 (since used cheap as chips), and if I went from the Trendnet switch to the 2960 with ethernet, and then SFP uplink to SFP uplink, and then ethernet out to the microRendu if I couldn’t then eliminate the FMC’s and their power supplies. I would have a dedicated power circuit to plug the near renderer 2960 in as well that it wouldn’t share with anything else. Thoughts?

TomSer posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

 

Edit. Your above post, option 1 is the best approach assuming it matches your layout and minimimizes the runs of Ethernet patch leads.

Hi Simon,

Thank you for your reply.

Option 1 was what I intended to do.

Having two switches interconnected seemed, obviously, a bit odd in the context of my home network.

I worked as a sys. admin. in the late nineties, begin of two thousands, and know the benefits of a switch versus a hub.  Of course, I’m no engineer with advanced network skills.

But, after reading some comments of people quoting you, or interpreting your explanations, I thought that, for some strange reason, layering switches would help. To be honest, I first thought of some audiophile mumbo-jumbo. But then read your bio which indicates clearly that you know what you’re talking about.  So I took the liberty to ask you directly.

I’ll buy a small fanless Cisco Catalyst 3560CX-12PC-S Switch and store it the same place as the one I have now (check my profile, I posted some pics of my small setup).

Everything should be ready when/if the new streamer comes 

 Tom

 

Wow, $500-1000 vs $30-50 for a used 2960 as a sub switch. I’d think long and hard about that one. I might also wait to see what kind of true audiophile switch Uptone will be coming out with later in the year (probably in the $400 range). 

charlesphoto posted:
ChrisSU posted:
charlesphoto posted:

Anyway, my question is, which port should I plug in the onward connection to the main switch? Currently have it in one of the 8 10/100 ports, but should it be plugged into the 10/100/1000 uplink port? 

I use the “uplink” port to link back to the rest of my network. That’s mainly because I’m using it with an SFP,  but with regular Ethernet cables, any port works fine. 

Hmmm, your use of the SFP has me thinking. I still swear by the FMC’s I’m using pre-renderer giving me better sound quality, but I’m wondering if I used a second 2960 (since used cheap as chips), and if I went from the Trendnet switch to the 2960 with ethernet, and then SFP uplink to SFP uplink, and then ethernet out to the microRendu if I couldn’t then eliminate the FMC’s and their power supplies. I would have a dedicated power circuit to plug the near renderer 2960 in as well that it wouldn’t share with anything else. Thoughts?

If you want to see it that way, a 2960 with SFP can act as an FMC. I have a newer white one, which has two SFP ports, connected to my router. This provides fibre optic links to two other 2960s elsewhere in the house, one for my NDX, and another for more or less everything else.

My original reason for using an optical LAN was that my house is in an exposed location, quite prone to lightning strikes, particularly via the phone line. Having had a Unitiserve, amongst other things, destroyed by lightning, I put in the optical cable for isolation. Whether or not it sounds any better/different, the jury is still out. It's pretty cheap and easy to do if you fancy giving it a try.

Another advantage of doing this, of course, is that you will no longer get your wrist slapped by S-in-S for using those pesky FMCs 

Thanks for the reply Chris. Sounds good, though I may not be able to get a fiber cable through the floor from the office closet where the switches and server reside to the living room. I may explore what it sounds like plugging the NUC into the Trendnet switch in the office closet, and then moving the 2960 to the living room hifi area and only having the mR connection, and see if powering it from the dedicated outlet eliminates the need for the FMC’s. 

charlesphoto posted:

Thanks for the reply Chris. Sounds good, though I may not be able to get a fiber cable through the floor from the office closet where the switches and server reside to the living room. I may explore what it sounds like plugging the NUC into the Trendnet switch in the office closet, and then moving the 2960 to the living room hifi area and only having the mR connection, and see if powering it from the dedicated outlet eliminates the need for the FMC’s. 

LC connectors on fibre are smaller than RJ45 plugs, so there are no excuses! (I originally did this with POF cabling, which is even thinner, and has no plug at all, but still requires FMCs.)

charlesphoto posted:

Oh, and Chris, is there any specific SFP modules for the 2960 I should look for? Cheaper is better of course. 

Yes, the model you want for a 2960 with LC connector is a GLC-SX-MM. The genuine Cisco ones are pretty expensive, but like the switches, can sometimes be found quite cheaply on ebay. There are lots of non-Cisco versions which should work, and are cheap to buy new. It is often necessary to log into the switch in order to prevent it from blocking non-OEM ones, though. 

charlesphoto posted:

Perfect. And last one, I promise! What’s the difference between OM1 and OM3 cable? Which should I go for?

Mine are just bog standard OM1. I'm pretty sure using OM3 will be fine too, but a bit like using Cat7 when Cat5e is all you really need.

Perfect. Looks like I can get OEM transceivers off the bay for about $5 each, another switch for $30 and cable for about $10 and good to go. Should be able to tape the end of the fiber cable to one my existing ethernet cables and snake it through the hole. Thanks so much!  

So I was rummaging around in work today and lo and behold I found a spare Cisco 2960 C Series PoE 12 way switch! It's one of the white ones. A few dumb questions - do I need to take any precautions regarding the PoE or can just go ahead and connect up as normal? Secondly, there's a reset button on the back - does this return to it to factory settings?

No need to worry about the PoE, it will only come on if the endpoint requires PoE. Standard Ethernet cables are fine in either case. Yes to the reset, but have an online search for it's precise use. Come back if you get stuck and I'll have a look online. Russ

 

 

rjfk posted:

No need to worry about the PoE, it will only come on if the endpoint requires PoE. Standard Ethernet cables are fine in either case. Yes to the reset, but have an online search for it's precise use. Come back if you get stuck and I'll have a look online. Russ

 

 

Up and running Russ thank you. Hmmm, hard to put your finger on it but it certainly adds a little something! 

For those using the Cisco switch (or another), try swapping the supplied lead with a Naim standard power cable, or even better as i have been waiting (Nova upgrade / downgrade drama) to try a Powerline - i found it improved matters to be more Naim.

I did try a high end Supra cable, did post on the forum, it messed the sound up for me, i would love to use my Chord Aray but that is very happy on my Nova and going nowhere.

after several months with the cisco 2960, i finally returned to my netgear gs105 powered by a high quality linear ps( hdplex).  I had too much bass and body with my system and room.

The sound with the netgear / hdplex combo is better balanced for my ears, a bit softer and nicer, with same involvement and dynamics.   

The cisco is technically better but also noisier vs my combo.  I hear a bit more details, longer notes, and nicer tone colors.   The cisco is more forward and gives a bit more bass and body, but for me it is too much.   All is finally system dependent.    With a bigger room than i have, i would keep the cisco i guess.  

So I bypassed the little TP-Link FMC’s I’ve been using by going from a 2960 via SFP and optical fiber to another 2960 at the hifi and then out to the microRendu with my Ghent ethernet cable. Much better imo. More bass and body and smoother, more musical and less “hifi” sounding. Might be too much for some, as French Rooster describes above, but def, less aneamic sounding then through the FMC’s (though also less detail, but that might be perception). Also was able to lose an LPS, and just overall simplify the setup. So if anyone is considering this option, it works, and is inexpensive. The second $29 2960 I bought looked practically brand new, as well as the $5 ea OEM SFPs. One of the best bargains in streaming hifi. 

charlesphoto posted:

So I bypassed the little TP-Link FMC’s I’ve been using by going from a 2960 via SFP and optical fiber to another 2960 at the hifi and then out to the microRendu with my Ghent ethernet cable. Much better imo. More bass and body and smoother, more musical and less “hifi” sounding. Might be too much for some, as French Rooster describes above, but def, less aneamic sounding then through the FMC’s (though also less detail, but that might be perception). Also was able to lose an LPS, and just overall simplify the setup. So if anyone is considering this option, it works, and is inexpensive. The second $29 2960 I bought looked practically brand new, as well as the $5 ea OEM SFPs. One of the best bargains in streaming hifi. 

Glad to hear it worked out for you. I've had essentially the same setup running for a while now, and it has been robust and trouble free. So far, I have refrained from making any sound quality judgements, and that was not my initial reason for using fibre connections, but I might try bypassing the whole thing with a temporary Cat5e connection to see if I can tell the difference.

The hardest part was feeding the cable through the hole in the floor joist, but once I discovered the little clip can come off the end of the LC cable it went quickly. I also have several runs of ethernet bundled through the same hole so the optical is at least a nice shield from those. My thing is it needs to be a combo of function and sound. If it functions better and doesn’t sound worse then I’m fine with that. Better (or different better) sound is icing. I wouldn’t bother a/b’ing if you’re fine with the sound. 

charlesphoto posted:

The hardest part was feeding the cable through the hole in the floor joist, but once I discovered the little clip can come off the end of the LC cable it went quickly. I also have several runs of ethernet bundled through the same hole so the optical is at least a nice shield from those. My thing is it needs to be a combo of function and sound. If it functions better and doesn’t sound worse then I’m fine with that. Better (or different better) sound is icing. I wouldn’t bother a/b’ing if you’re fine with the sound. 

Mine was a tricky installation, through crumbling, half-metre thick stone walls etc. I had some pairs of simplex cables made up, so that the single LC connectors were small enough to feed through the holes I'd drilled. One pair even snakes its way around my consumer unit - I wouldn't want to do that with Ethernet cables!

I'm certainly happy with the sound, but I'll probably try reverting to Cat5e just for kicks, as I have a long cable I can use temporarily. 

Couple of days ago I was having a rummage through some old boxes at work and what did I find but a Cisco Catalyst 2960-8TC-L along with the blue config serial cable.

Booted up the Cisco and found that unit was not in default mode, connect serial config cable to an old PC with serial port, fired up Putty and defaulted the switch.

Last night I connected up the Cisco via its only Cisco 1xGb port to my exiting HP switch and the 272 to port 1, sat back and had a listen. 

Well to my surprise this is a welcome FREE upgrade.

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