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Remote dongle swap

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Remote dongle swap

Postby engrssc » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:29 pm

We are beginning the planning for an upcoming organ concert. One of the guest organists has an interesting request. Several of his offerings would/could be played on the existing main sample set - no problem. However, he wants to play several pieces using one or more sample sets that he has the license for. The church does not want to buy these (quite expensive) sample sets since he already has (a public license) for them and he does not wish to buy a license for the organ's existing sample set. There is enough HDD or SSD space to (pre) load his sample sets, but to play his sample sets would require switching to use his dongle.

The organ's existing dongle is mounted inside the HW computer and functions fine. It is obviously quite inaccessible. One thought was to extend the dongle's USB port so that it would be externally accessible. (That would permit either dongle to be connected to the computer) Having to shutdown the computer during the swap so far does not seem to be an issue. I have reasons for not wanting to do that external USB port bit.

I know of USB switches for sharing/connecting one set of keyboard and mouse, together with two USB 2.0 port of 480Mbps high speed.between 2 computers. Question, can such a switch be used to share/connect 2 dongles switching (one at a time - remotely) with the single HW computer?

https://www.amazon.com/UGREEN-Selector-Computers-Peripheral-One-Button/dp/B01MXXQKGM

or

https://www.amazon.com/UGREEN-Switcher-Extended-Computer-Keyboard/dp/B07M8YZDVZ/ref=dp_ob_title_ce

There are several ways to switch which sample set organ would be active/playable at a given time, A non issue. And a simple sub-routine could also re-start HW etc after dongle swap.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Remote dongle swap

Postby csw900 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:57 am

I do not see what the problem is.

If you can take the internal dongle out so it can be plugged into one of these switches along with the other dongle then why not just plug each dongle in one at a time. They can then be swapped just by unplugging one and plugging in the other.

Is it possible that both dongles could be plugged in and active at the same time? I do not know but it is easy to test just by doing it and seeing if it works.

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Re: Remote dongle swap

Postby engrssc » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:43 am

csw900 wrote:If you can take the internal dongle out so it can be plugged into one of these switches along with the other dongle then why not just plug each dongle in one at a time. They can then be swapped just by unplugging one and plugging in the other.


It has been generally agreed that handling (each) dongle during the concert is to be avoided. This is esp requested (true) by the guest organist. He is okay with opening the console prior to the concert to "place" his dongle into such as an internal "switching" device. Something like a security concern (on his part). I've found it better to work out an exceptable plan than to attempt something else if at all possible. Call it artistic temperament maybe?. :roll:

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Remote dongle swap

Postby organplayer » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:04 am

That's a very interesting question, because we had the same problem some time ago.

First we should ask Milan whether it is possible to have 2 dongles with different licences connected on two USB ports at the same time. He sohuld know this without any doubt. I dont't have two dongles with different licences, therefore I can't try.
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Re: Remote dongle swap

Postby engrssc » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:24 am

organplayer wrote:First we should ask Milan whether it is possible to have 2 dongles with different licences connected on two USB ports at the same time. .


At the same time - no.

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Ed
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Re: Remote dongle swap

Postby IainStinson » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:34 am

Could you do this with two powered hubs?
Connect both powered hubs to the computer. Put one dongle in each hub. Only power on ONE hub at a time. Shut the system down completely between changing which hub is powered.
You'd need to be sure that the hubs only worked when powered and didn't derive their power from the USB connection when the power supply was not provided.

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Re: Remote dongle swap

Postby IainStinson » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:55 am

Or (this may work)
Without HW running connect both dongles ( a,b) to the computer. Use Windows device manager to disable the USB port used for one of the dongles (a). Start HW. It should find the dongle in the enabled USB port. To switch dongles, with HW not running, use the device manager to disable the USB port with dongle a connected and enable the port with dongle b connected.

You may find the dongle driver gets confused. In this case reboot after disabling / enabling USB ports.

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Re: Remote dongle swap

Postby engrssc » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:40 am

A consideration is that the console is headless and switching (back and forth) would need to be done during a live concert. :roll: I've made no promises or commitments at this point. I said I would look into it as in a feasibility study. So I'm looking. :wink:

As far as powered hub(s), there are small 4 port hub that can switch power to each port individually.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Port-USB-2-0-Hub-On-Off-Switches-AC-Power-Adapter-Cable-for-PC-Laptop-NJ/113779338187?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2763.l2649

Figuring the need to reboot HW as well the need to select the organ. So far only 2 organs would be involved. Our Armley Schulze and his PAB. I haven't really thought much about the (24 channel) audio routing differences yet but with our MOTU AVB 24Ao system, think a separate routing for each instrument could be done. AVB allows for multiple routing setups, altho I've never tried that yet. :o

Never quite sure how get involved in these things. Could be "no" is not in my vocab. :shock:

Rgds,
Ed
Last edited by engrssc on Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Remote dongle swap

Postby OrganoPleno » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:58 am

csw900 wrote:I do not see what the problem is.


Then spare us your reply and save the responses for those that do.
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Re: Remote dongle swap

Postby engrssc » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:14 pm

I recall quite a long time ago on this Forum there was a discussion about how and when the dongle is "looked at" by the HW software. Not sure that would be even relevant as nothing (understandably) with HW allows for hot switching. And for sure whatever we do has to have 100% positive results.

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Re: Remote dongle swap

Postby organtechnology » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:15 pm

engrssc wrote:A consideration is that the console is headless and switching (back and forth) would need to be done during a live concert. :roll: I've made no promises or commitments at this point. I said I would look into it as in a feasibility study. So I'm looking. :wink:

As far as powered hub(s), there are small 4 port hub that can switch power to each port individually.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Port-USB-2-0-Hub-On-Off-Switches-AC-Power-Adapter-Cable-for-PC-Laptop-NJ/113779338187?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2763.l2649

Figuring the need to reboot HW as well the need to select the organ. So far only 2 organs would be involved. Our Armley Schulze and his PAB. I haven't really thought much about the (24 channel) audio routing differences yet but with our MOTU AVB 24Ao system, think a separate routing for each instrument could be done. AVB allows for multiple routing setups, altho I've never tried that yet. :o

Never quite sure how get involved in these things. Could be "no" is not in my vocab. :shock:

Rgds,
Ed


Hi Ed,

All things considered I would surmise that the optimal path is to get an inexpensive USB extender cable and plug the first key into it before starting the organ, then after using that organ, shut down the organ, swap to key #2 and restart the organ.

Crude but effective and follows the KISS principle.

Thomas
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Re: Remote dongle swap

Postby engrssc » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:35 pm

organtechnology wrote:All things considered I would surmise that the optimal path is to get an inexpensive USB extender cable and plug the first key into it before starting the organ, then after using that organ, shut down the organ, swap to key #2 and restart the organ.

Crude but effective and follows the KISS principle.


Really appreciate any and all thoughts, altho I have to keep in mind whatever needs to be done needs to be done live during a concert by a possibly nervous (about his performance) organist and not thinking of any tech issues. And already agreed by upon by all parties is not to consider having to handle either his or our dongle(s) during the concert itself.

Then, too, for myself, I have to consider how much time and effort it will take. It's one thing if this "feature" would be used often (don't know that) or just for this one time. I did find briefly, that there is a possible maximum lead length issue with that first switch

https://www.amazon.com/UGREEN-Selector-Computers-Peripheral-One-Button/dp/B01MXXQKGM

that I was considering. Many times there are "gottchas" when you try to use something for other than it's intended purpose.

A while ago, I had a conversation with someone who was floating an idea something about being able to "rent" a given sample set for a fee for a given period of time such as a concert, etc. The rental hardware would consist of a flash drive with the given sample set and also a licenced dongle with the HW program along with the given sample set's license. My take away from that conversation - Ain't gonna happen.

Rgds,
Ed
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