How do multiple wings connect to the console? And how do wings connect to the node when using it with OnPC? With each device having only one etherCON connector it seems that a network hub or switch will be required to connect multiple devices together. Am I missing something?
This is true.
You need a good switch that can handle multicast, IPv6 and at least 100MB speed.
Hmmm... good to know. Thanks.
In my opinion, that goes a little against the focus on "ease-of-use" and "patch-and-go" for the dot2. I think it would have been nice for novices if the wings were more "plug-and-go". Just my $0.02.
If you are just adding a single wing to a Core or XL-? then it would plug in directly with a network patch cable, Simple.
If you are adding multiple wings, then probably you are also using more than 4 DMX outputs too, so now you are into more of a 'System' (Node(s)/Artnet) anyway, rather than just 'A desk, and some Lights'. In this case you'd likely have a Switch anyway.
Of course you *Should* use a Rock-n-Roll Tough Switch such as ELC, Luminex, or similar.
In practice and for testing, I've had acceptable results using a simple 5-port Gb switch bought from the 'Computers' department of a local hypermarket.
"You pays your money, and takes your chances"
Regarding "Ease of use" - accepting that you might need to plug more than one Wing or Node into a Switch (how hard is that really, no more difficult than plugging a DMX line into a Splitter), you're just about done.
Go to Setup - Wings, Select and Enable the Wing, click, click, click.
With pre-assigned IPv6, no IP Address settings or any other configuration needed.
With a Node it gets a little bit more complicated; you have to assign which Universes you want to Output, but you don't need to be a Rocket Scientist to figure that one out, it's just a couple more clicks.
"If you are just adding a single wing to a Core or XL-? then it would plug in directly with a network patch cable, Simple." - Good point.
True... it's not that hard at all. But for the novice/inexperienced it still is (slightly) more involved than something dead simple like - "...plug your first wing into the 'Wing1' port on the back of the console, and your second wing into the 'Wing2' port, etc...". I was just thinking that maybe it could be made to be even easier.
Also I was thinking that when the wings aren't working it's an additional point of failure and troubleshooting that the novice/inexperienced with limited knowledge has to deal with.
I've know couple of novices for which putting this other separate "black box" that they don't understand into the middle of things would add to the confusion and apprehension they already have about a console, especially when the wings aren't working and all they know is "I plug this cable into the first wing and that port on the switch, this cable into the second wing and that port on the switch, and this other cable into the console and that port on the switch... I did that, but the wings aren't working".
But, as you point out, when using one wing and just the DMX outputs it IS dead simple - just plug the wing directly into the network port on the back of the console. And likely the truly novice/inexperienced will be doing no more than that anyway - i.e. not using network protocols or multiple wings - so they won't need a switch and it will be dead simple for them.
(Just in case they're reading this -- I meant no offense to any one on the team that created dot2. I really like what they've done and the direction their headed, and the whole idea behind the dot2 line. I'm just the kind of person that naturally often thinks: "How could this be even better." Especially for things that I already really like! And, I apologize, that part of me kicked in when I saw that you can't just simply connect all your wings directly into the console.)
Connecting the wings via a switch has also a great advantage: It doesn't matter where the wing is attached/placed. Via network you can place the Wing maybe on the stage to get short access to some lights, without running the whole way back to the FOH...
Good point as well. Seems like the pluses of that method are beginning to outway the "not as easy as just plugging directly into the console" argument, for me.