The Mystery of the Missing Universes

I just recently wrapped a feature, and we had a very interesting/upsetting networking issue for about three weeks.  Universes would disappear from our nodes.  Not all of the universes- just some.  Fast forward through too many calls/texts/emails to friends/manufactures/tech support and we found the culprit.  On a batch of unmanaged switches the shop had recently purchased, there was a “green mode” that would save power by turning off IP addresses it felt weren’t sending enough traffic.  Since we were using SACN and those universes were not changing during these times, the switch turned them off.  Oh, and you couldn’t disable this “feature” at the switch.

The solution obviously is to throw away the switches, but if you can’t- we switched to Artnet and everything worked just fine, since Artnet screams DMX packets down the line whether any values have changed or not.

Your other option, if changing protocols isn’t possible, is to create some fake channels on each universe and leave them in a chase the entire shoot.  This solution wasn’t 100% successful, but it certainly helped reduce the dropping of universes by quite a bit.

I hope you don’t get hit by this issue, but if you do- I hope this helps.  What networking nightmares have you lived through?  Hit me in the comments.

Featured image: Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

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