Whirlwind's All New E SYSTEM

The DCS88
CobraNet© Digital Audio Transceiver Module

Features and Functions

What is CobraNet©?
CobraNet is a computer network protocol designed to distribute many channels of real-time , high quality digital audio over standard Ethernet hardware. Since CobraNet is a network, any audio input group (called a “bundle” consisting of 8 audio channels) can be routed to any audio output group located anywhere on the network. 100Base-T Ethernet can transmit up to 64 channels (32 in each direction), 1000Base-T (Gigabit Ethernet) increases the capacity to 640 channels.

Systems can be reconfigured in real time, they can be expanded without rewiring the facility and the audio can remain in the digital domain throughout. Audio sources and destinations can be located or relocated anywhere on the network with CAT-5 cable allowing distances up to 100 meters. This distance can be increased by the addition of standard Ethernet switches or by converting to fiber optics

What is a DCS88?
The DCS (Digital Contract Series) products by Whirlwind are the first low power CobraNet compatible transceivers. Each DCS88 unit can convert 8 mic or line analog inputs to CobraNet protocol and transmit them over the network to any other CobraNet compatible device. In addition, each DCS88 unit is capable of receiving and converting 8 channels of digital CobraNet audio back to line level, analog audio.

Why low power?
This breakthrough feature, developed by Whirlwind engineers, provides for the remote application of operating power directly through the CAT-5 connecting cable.

Locate a Whirlwind DCSP power supply at any convenient location within 100 meters of up to 4 DCS88 transceivers. Connect your CobraNet lines into the supply and connect the outputs of the supply to the DCS88s. That's it! This greatly simplifies the design, implementation or expansion of a CobraNet network in new or existing systems. There will be no need for AC drops at each location and in many applications, no need for expensive conduit. Power supplies are available to power one or as many as four DCS88s.
(Clockwise from top - DCS88R, DCS88P, DCS88S)

(DCSP4 - four unit power supply)

Remote power also allows the DCS88 to have a small “brick shape” size. This allows placement of the unit anywhere – under a table, in a ceiling or crawl space – without any additional wiring. Just plug in the CAT-5 and go! There are also panel mount and rack mount versions available.

How is a DCS88 configured?
The functions of the DCS88 can be accessed through controls and switches on the unit or through up to four remote controls connected directly to either of the two DCS88's RJ45 remote ports. A remote hub (not pictured) increases the number of remotes that can be applied to a DCS88 to eight, where each remote controls one channel.

Can I save configuration parameters?
Yes. Each DCS88 has four memory locations that can store its settings. The first three can be used to store and recall the most commonly used settings as presets. The fourth is used with the “Auto-Store” feature to automatically store all settings after five minutes of control inactivity. In the event of a power interruption, a DCS88 will recall these saved settings and be operational within 4 seconds of power restoration.
A special “advanced mode” allows users to store and recall presets in memory, manage front panel and remote lockouts, turn auto-save on and off, and determine what version of software the DCS88 is using. Requires no external PC or controller.

“I want more control!”
That's easy. Load up Whirlwind's PC Control Application on any WIN98/2000/XP computer connected to the network. This intuitive graphical user interface will automatically discover each DCS88 on the network, assign and display the unit name and put you in control. The unit's name is stored in non-volatile memory inside each DCS88 and you can change the name to make each box easy to identify.

The application allows the operator to adjust input levels, select mic or line input mode and assign individual channel names in the application. A special linking function gangs two adjacent channels together for controlling stereo sources with a single fader.

All parameters can be saved to a disk file as presets for instant recall at a later time. This is especially useful for setting up a system “on the fly” when you need to change settings for different church services, meetings, banquets, etc.

(PC Control Application Screen Shot)

Can these units operate independently?
For simple routing of audio between two points, DCS88s can be connected without using any additional CobraNet equipment or controllers. Just connect two DCS88s to each other through a DSP4 power supply with a crosswired jumper cable and you have an instant 8X8 digital snake. Input levels and mic/line selection can be controlled at each end or use the “CROSSWIRED CONTROL MODE” feature to control the unit at the “far” end of the cable.

What about security?
A lock out feature disables both the front panel controls and remote control access to prevent adjustment by non-qualified personnel. Activated in Advanced Mode or by dipswitch settings. Does not affect controlling the unit via Whirlwind's PC Control Application. When operating with the PC Control Application, units are password protected to allow basic operation but prevent the changing of critical parameters.

Is it compatible with other control protocols?
The DCSPT Protocol Translator (not shown) is available to convert Whirlwind Asynchronous Remote Protocol (WARP) to AMX or Crestron protocol to allow interface with those systems.

OK, the big question, “How does it sound?”
The Whirlwind brand has always stood for quality. Well, we think this is the best sounding CobraNet device available. We've put every bit of our 25 years of experience designing broadcast quality mixers and mic preamps to good use here. But don't take our word for it, A-B it with any other CobraNet unit and you'll hear the difference a Whirlwind makes.

Part Numbers:
DCS88S Standalone DSC88
DCS88P DCS88 – 12” X 8” panel mount
DCS88R DCS88 – 19” rackmount
DCSP1 Single Unit Power Supply
DCSP4 4 Unit Power Supply
DCSRT8 8 Channel Tabletop Remote
DCSRW1 Single Channel Wall Mount Remote
DCSRW8 8 Channel Wall Mount Remote
DCSPT Protocol Translator
DCS88PCCA PC Control Application
ES100-4 4-port 10/100 Ethernet Switch
ES100-8-FC 8-port 10/100 Ethernet Switch and CAT-5 to fiber optic converter

* Please call, or e-mail or fax for pricing
1ST Audio USA
2844-46 Dewey Avenue
Rochester, NY 14616
(585) 621-6270
Fax: (585) 621-6278
Toll Free Orders:
or 1-888-816-4262
e-mail - jackie@1staudiousa.com