It is a simple process to set up a Local Area Network for your Lectrosonics gear, but it requires an understanding of some fundamental concepts to get things setup correctly, consistently.
Before we dive in, If you’re new to connecting to Wireless Designer over a network or have limited experience with networking, our web help tutorial will walk you through some of the basics.
There are two ways to connect to Wireless Designer over a network:
1) Via DCHP, where a router assigns an IP address to the unit/s;
2) Manual IP address entry
Before you begin, assemble the following items. Ideally, you will want to have all of these available, so you can be prepared for whatever you may encounter on the job:
1) A computer switch with as many ports as you think you might conceivably need; one port per device with one extra for your laptop. We used a Netgear GS105 with 5 slots.
2) An inexpensive router. We used a Netgear C-3700. It does not have to be a WiFi router. In fact, we recommend not using a WiFi router in a cart/bag situation.
3) Your device of choice. This can be a DSQD, an M2T or a Venue 2. For this illustration, we used an M2T.
4) A laptop with the latest version of Wireless Designer installed. Check our Support page to confirm.
5) A connection cable. The correct cable has a micro USB on one end and the standard USB on the other end (if obtaining from us, the part number is 21926).
Forming and Connecting with a Router
Routers are common components in network setups. Your router at home is not only a modem, WiFi transmitter/receiver, and ethernet switch, but it is also a network router. Like most routers, it has the ability to automatically assign IP addresses to connected devices, using DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). This automatic technology is the same technology that allows your smart phone to automatically connect to the WiFi network at your local Starbucks, without having to manually assign an IP address to your device. Lectrosonics devices are capable of this same type of automatic network connectivity when you set them to “DHCP Enabled” in network settings.
Before we explain the steps, let’s look at how you enable DHCP, depending on what you are connecting:
Where to Enable DCHP in Lectrosonics Transmitters & Receivers
The Network Settings menu is in the main menu tree (see page 8 of the manual)
The Network Settings Menu is in the main menu tree (see page 7 of the manual)
Venue 2 (see page 21 of the manual)
Enable DHCP with the LCD interface: Press the rotary encoder and navigate to the Top Menu then to NETWORK SETUP. Press the encoder and highlight SELECT PARAMETER. Navigate to the DHCP Enable item. Highlight EDIT and rotate the encoder to select YES on the display. Press the BACK button several times to return to the main window.
Once DHCP is enabled:
1) Plug your laptop into the router:
2) On your laptop, click the Network icon, then connect to the device that you just plugged in*:
* If your system is not recognizing the device, go to Network, then Internet Settings. On the Status tab, go to Properties, then IP Settings. Ensure that the IP is set to Automatic DHCP.
3) Check to see what your laptop’s IP address is. To do this, click your Windows icon, and in the Search field, type “cmd.” Click the Window for “Command Prompt App.” When the window opens:
Type in “ipconfig,” then Enter. You will see this window:
4) Look at the section “Ethernet adapter Ethernet.” Write down the numbers for IPv4 Address, Subnet Mask and Default Gateway.
5) Plug your Lectrosonics unit into the router and turn it on.
6) On your Lectrosonics unit, go to Network Settings, then Turn On DCHP (select the check box). Press the Back button, then reboot the unit. Once rebooted, go back into your laptop and check your Network Settings. You’ll see that an address has been assigned. Write down that number.
7) Launch Wireless Designer. Choose Connect (Live), then connect via Network. Manually enter the IP address for the device you want to connect to. Click on Search; the device should appear. Click OK.
You are now networked to your device!
So that you don’t have to manually enter this IP address next time you connect, you can save this connection to a connection list in Wireless Designer.
Forming and Connecting Manually with a Switch
If you don’t have a router or cannot use one for some reason, you can connect manually using a switch. The switch’s only function is to provide a hub through which your various devices can communicate with each other.
1) Plug your Lectrosonics device(s) and laptop into the switch.
2) You will have to set up your IP address manually:
Setting IP Addresses Manually*
When you do not have a router connected to your LAN (local area network), you cannot use DHCP to automatically assign IP addresses to your Lectrosonics devices. Instead, we can choose unique IP addresses for each device on the network (including your computer). First, let’s dissect the numbers in an IP address:
IP Addresses have two parts – the network identifier and the host identifier (device ID). The network identifier defines the common network address that all of the devices in your network connect to. The device ID differentiates the individual connected devices from each other. In the spirit of the upcoming October holiday, you can think of things this way: If you threw a costume party, the network identifier would be the address that everyone agreed to meet at for the party, and the host identifier would be each person’s unique costume.
So, what part of the IP address defines the network identifier and what part defines the host identifier? Well, it depends on the “subnet mask.” The subnet mask looks like an IP address, but it is actually used to cut the IP into two pieces by defining how many bits will be used for the network identifier verses the device identifiers. For example:
If your IP Address is: 192.168.001.003
And Your Subnet Mask is: 255.255.255.000
Then your subnet is: 192.168.001.XXX
And your device ID is: XXX.XXX.XXX.003
In this example, the subnet mask maps out the first 9 digits in the IP address, leaving the final 3 digits to identify the connected hosts/devices.
To connect a second device to a network, its IP address must use the same network identifier, but a unique device ID like 192.168.001.004 . This is how one should determine what IP addresses to use for each device when programming IP addresses manually (without DHCP). It is uncommon in these types of setups to assign a Gateway Address. The port should be set to 4080 in almost all cases on the Lectrosonics gear and when searching for the device in Wireless Designer.
* These instructions are pertinent to Windows-based machines. In our next List, we’ll go over how to do it on Mac-based machines.
3) On your Lectrosonics unit, go to Network Settings, then Turn Off DCHP (select the check box). Set the IP address, Gateway and Port and write those settings down. Press the Back button, then reboot the unit.
4) On your laptop, go to Network, then Internet Settings, then Properties, IP Settings and Edit. Change the IP Settings to “Manual.”
5) Turn on IPv4. A dialog will pop up, in which you will enter “192.168.0.XX.” Where “XX” is, assign your IP address. This will be a different number for each device that you connect.
Set the Subnet Prefix Length to 24. The Gateway will be the same number that is on your Lectrosonics device. Leave the DNS entries empty. Click Save.
6) At this point, the instructions will be the same as we explained for Routers, from Step 7 onward.
7) Repeat these steps for each additional device that you want to connect to the Switch.
So, what if you’ve followed these instructions exactly and your network connection isn’t working? We’ve addressed most of the software bugs in Wireless Designer’s Version 2.0. The most likely reason for the network connectivity failing is a firewall issue, so you’ll want to check with your location’s IT personnel if you are connecting through an installed network.