The time on the MMD2's is not the same as the time on the Server PC/Meeting Application and will drift further away over time.
Version(s): all, workaround for always-on systems not needed after v3.00
Explanation & troubleshooting:
In a Dicentis system there is one time server, this is the Dicentis server. It runs a 3 rd party program called “NetTime” which acts as an NTP server for the Dicentis system.
It is possible that the system time is off because there are two or more time servers in the network. Make sure there are no other devices that have a time server running besides the main server PC in the same network.
Time will drift if along with the "Net Time" service, the "Windows Time" service is also running. This service should be turned off on a Dicentis Server:
On the Dicentis server, check if the program "Net Time" is running.
To investigate and troubleshoot NetTime:
Check the settings of the program & make a screenshot of the program's window and the program's Settings window.
Check the logs of the program (Network Time > Settings > Logging level > View - copy the text to a file).
If the system is in no way connected to the internet, the time on the server PC will drift, but the PC should provide NTP information to the MMD2s at start-up prior to v3.00 and periodically after with > v3.00 so Server PC/Meeting Application and MMDs remain in sync.
Make sure that the firewall does not block traffic to & from NetTime.
If the system is connected to the internet, NetTime should be able to connect to 0.pool.ntp.org which is the NTP server configured by default, you can check this is OK by pinging it.
Behaviour prior to version 3.00:
Prior to version 3.00, the Dicentis system only synced with the server during boot-up. The Server will not sync the discussion devices periodically. With version 3.00 and later a periodic sync is added.
This meant that if you keep the system running for a prolonged time, the time will drift on the discussion devices and will most likely be slightly different on each MMD due to variation in the devices' internal clock.
Therefore, it would be advised to periodically power off the system through the Meeting Application & power it on again before the meeting. This is in fact standard advice to spare the devices' screens and limit power consumption.
Workaround for always-on systems prior to version 3.00:
The best way of preventing time drift is to switch off the MMDs. Either by switching off the (A)PS or PoE switches. Once they turn on again they connect to the SW services and the MMD clock will be synchronized with the server.
In this system the MMDs are always on. This will have a negative impact on the product lifetime expectations.
A workaround for the MMD time drift problem is to create a task that is started every day, week, month (whatever the need) that automatically restarts the Dicentis services. Use windows Task Manager to do this.
This task should run the program:
With the argument: RestartServices
Note: The user account that is used to runs the task, requires administrative rights
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Version: <=1.12 but also applicable to other older versions
The APS in question was running on v1.12 and needed to be upgraded to v2.60 and any firmware updates would continually fail (even other intermediate versions). The below procedure is not specific to this update and can also be used for updating from other older versions.
Install the 2.60 release on the Server PC and connect the PC to the APS directly (no network router or switch in-between).
Make sure nothing else is connected to the APS. Make sure the Dicentis services on the server PC are stopped.
When downloading the firmware to the APS it will fail the first time because of the change in name on the APS between version 1.12 and 2.60. Download the firmware again and then it will be fine.
If the update fails a second time, please check the LED behaviour of the APS:
Front LED should show alternating Green/Amber.
If not; switch the APS off and on again and re-try the update.
If the update keeps failing, the problem could also be caused by the PC used in the updating process, try a different PC and connecting cabling and follow the above steps once more.
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A participant who uses a seat with Priority permissions set was not able to use the Priority button and interrupt other participants in the meeting.
The reason why this didn’t work as expected was because the system made use of the participant database in order to assign specific participants to seats.
When the system is used in this way, the permissions a participant has will overrule any seat permissions.
For example, a participant who has the Priority permissions, will have this permission at any seat where they are logged in (either by the system or for example using an NFC card). This is regardless of any permissions set on the seat.
A participant with Priority permission on a seat without Priority permission will have Priority.
A participant without Priority permission on a seat with Priority permission will not have Priority.
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Dicentis can run on a server with multiple network cards, adding a variable that points to the network card that connects to the APS and other Dicentis equipment is required for it to work correctly.
Symptoms of a system that is not correctly configured:
The system would be working well for a few hours but at some point the Dicentis services no longer connect to the APS and the system stops working. Discussion devices show a red mic light and are disconnected; no audio. Rebooting the system or services will fix the problem temporarily, but it will return after 1-2 hours.
Dicentis needs a variable setting in Windows in order for it to choose the right network card. If this variable is not set and there are multiple network cards available, it may choose the wrong network connection. The discovery protocol can run out of another network connection which in turn makes it possible that Dicentis devices are discovered but the system cannot connect to the server.
From Dicentis version 2.70 onwards, a Windows environment variable can be added, this variable will persist through Dicentis software updates and it’s the preferred method if multiple NICs are required in the system.
Details taken from the Dicentis Software Manual, chapter 13.19:
Using the environment variable, DCNM_PREFERRED_NIC, the interface index can be set that you want to be used by DICENTIS .
Use "Route Print" from the command prompt to find out which Interface number is used by DICENTIS.
Create a new environment variable via:
"This PC" \ Properties \ Advanced system settings \ Environment
Variables \ System variables \ New
with variable name: DCNM_PREFERRED_NIC
with variable value: the interface number you retrieved via the “Route print” command.
Note: If there is only 1 network interface available in Windows, this will be used (regardless
the number that was set).
Note: If no environment variable, or an invalid number was set and there are several network
interfaces, the network interface that was found first will be used (current situation).
Alternative workarounds for previous software versions:
Disable all network interfaces apart from the interface that Dicentis is connected to.
Install Dicentis on a Virtual Machine which only has access to one network interface card. Make sure that the selected NIC receives a fixed MAC address from the VM software, otherwise licensing issues may occur when the MAC address changes.
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Product(s) affected: Dicentis cabling Versions: all
Description: Trouble mixing and matching older & newer Dicentis cable assemblies (cables and connectors). The problem is usually that the cables and connectors do not fit together correctly or it's very hard to put them together.
Solution: In the past there were 2 types of connectors available and two types of cabling. The connectors and cabling could not be 'mixed and matched'.
DCNM-CBCON-I which were blue-tinted transparent connectors meant for DCNM-CB250-I (new product name) or DCNM-CB250 (old product name) solid core cabling.
DCNM-CBCON-N which were used with stranded cabling which was available as DCNM-CB250B installation cable or as a cabling assembly available with product number DCNM-CBxxB.
Now both connectors have been replaced by one common connector which can be used on both types of cabling; DCNM-CBCON (transparent, no colour).
All types of connectors can be used with the DCNM-CBTK tool.
It's advisable to use DCNM-CBxx-I cables for lengths over 5 metres as these cables are solid core which provides better performance for cable lengths over 5 meter.
DCNM-CBTK Toolkit for connectors and cables
Dicentis Cable Assemblies - stranded core
Dicentis Cable Assemblies - solid core
DCNM-CB250-I System installation cable 250m
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