Inline Comment

Putting a Tieline Merlin TLR Series onto the Wheatnet

Configured as 6 Mono Sources.


With every radio system from Krone fields to EIA flanges, there are things you need to know to get a job done. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to gain the knowledge, sometimes sombody can shorten the learining experience. That's what this article is about.

Using any program without instructions can be a pain: Razor is no exception and for once, it has no built-in F1 help like the wonderful help files found in most things Wheaty. I've done all of the required suffering - and I know your pain! Recently, I had a call from an engineer friend who had spent a long, frustrating day on international support lines to no avail. When he called me to confer, it took a while to remember fully and for the painful lessons learned to come back to me!

By default, Merlins will come up as stereo sources and attach to the Wheatnet without too much grief. But their real power is that they can accept 6 simultaneous calls to present on 6 mono source channels on the Wheatnet.

To get them into your Navigator as 6 x Mono channels, you must use the Razor program available from Wheatstone which is used to configure the Wheatnet interface card built into the Merlin.

So here, to save you some pain (and me the trauma of remembering again) is the knowledge you will not see anywhere else - unless they have copied it from! [That sometimes happens you know :) ]

Before you start: make sure that Navigator forgets all about any previous attempts at attachment. Delete the third-party item. Wait for the memory of it to fade.

Essential to know: The only time Razor makes changes to a Merlin is while the Merlin is being powered up.

For it to make changes, Razor must be running and actively asking for a reboot with that Red Screen dialogue having come up- the one that nags every 2 minutes. Otherwise, it sits waiting to connect for ever saying "Connecting to ..."

The connection Razor makes to the blade is at MAC address level. I suspect it uses BootP protocol, but that's a hunch. The re-booting Merlin's MAC address is spotted by the Razor (acting as a BootP server ??) sitting waiting to see the reboot. When it sees the MAC it's waiting for starting up, it uses the boot protocol to configure the internal Wheatnet card's settings - but only if there needs to be a change made.

It seems to me that the parameters transferred during the re-programming boot include the IP address for the unit to use, the channel configuration required and the system name to present to the Wheatnet.

Using Razor, make the changes. Delete the 3 Stereos which are there by default. Then, add back 6 monos for both the Sources and for Destinations.

This may be superstition, but adding the monos to the config one at a time and re-booting the Merlin is more successful than trying 6 at once and rebooting then.

And this may also be superstition but I seem to remember that re-powering was required rather than a software re-boot. It nearly makes sense.

Once the re-configuration and re-powering has been done - and only when it has been completely finished - should you add the "Third Party Device" to the Wheatnet using Navigator. Otherwise, it will get well confused and the Genie Icon will not appear, remaining as an unresponsive device detached from the blade you assigned it to and with the soul-destroying "?" icon in the system view panel.

When you add it to the Navigator, be absolutely certain that the name you gave it with Razor matches precisely with what you add in Navigator as a third party device. I think case is important, but experience has made me hyper-careful. That the IP should match is obvious.

Once you know all that, it's a cinch. Pity is, nowhere was this information to be found. It would have saved me a lot of effort and both Tieline's and Wheatstone's support folks lots of calls.

The result of what you have just done will be truly amazing, and if you want to unleash the power, have a look at our Blade Runner. I think you'll find you now need it!

And if you can add your experience, please feed it back to us on the contact form: we will pass it on to those in need.

My Razor is v. 1.3.2 Nov 2014