• To directly access the forum, ensure your bookmark url includes /forum.

Pink Faun Lan Isolator

bencat

Amplifier Destroyer
Wammer Plus
Feb 6, 2010
8,053
5,079
193
Liverpool
AKA
Andrew
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
There has been quite a few threads on the Wam both in two channel and here about reducing noise on those of us with digital system were we send music over an ethernet connection . Ti this end i have to be up front and say i have fitted LPSU units on my system at all points possible and this has most certainly in my case reduced back ground noise and produced a better more natural sound . Others my disagree and say this is just me imagining it , which of course may well be true but I enjoy the music more so things will stay .

I visited another Wammer yesterday who has just started on streaming and is using a Mano Ultra II Music Streamer which is a Pi based item with considerable work on reclocking etc. Sounded very good . I had been sending PM,s with Paull for a while and advised him to buy one of the Cisco Network Switches that are going for £25 for new old stock . He did and had not been able to get it to work . A quick plug and turn by me having used them before got everythin g working after the usual self diagnosis it goers through and once we were playing music again I noticed a jump in sound quality and a reduction in back ground noise . Paul was less sure as it was music he did not know but one things was cvertain it was not any worse. 

Did a quick look at his streamer and they offer the following as an add on . Thye seem quite concerned with noise getting in to the system so wondered has anyone tried one of these ? I can see how they work and would this help even more in getting the Server as noise free as possible .

https://nintronics.co.uk/pink-faun-lan-isolator.html

 

Tony_J

Moderator
Staff member
Mar 4, 2013
19,956
1
14,118
198
Bunessan
AKA
Tony
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Did a quick look at his streamer and they offer the following as an add on . Thye seem quite concerned with noise getting in to the system so wondered has anyone tried one of these ? I can see how they work and would this help even more in getting the Server as noise free as possible .

https://nintronics.co.uk/pink-faun-lan-isolator.html
Hi Andrew - as far as I can tell, the only (technical) thing they claim is that it "... provides galvanic isolation between the device that is connected to the network and the network itself"; however, as that is already part of the standard specification of wired Ethernet interfaces, I am having difficulty understanding what benefit is being offered here (other than the usual "inky blacks" etc. flim flam). So for me, the Emperor's new clothes are (in this case) pink.

 

Cable Monkey

Moderator
Staff member
May 16, 2006
9,099
1,784
158
Birmingham, UK
AKA
Henry
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
There are a number of Lan isolators on the market. Most have their roots in ‘medical grade’ isolators that were there as a safety measure from the voltages that can be found in a medical environment, and as electrical isolation for devices trying to measure micro/nano volts in the human body. Their mechanism is to provide absolute isolation (no common earth) and superior iron. Galvanic isolation is via 1:1 transformers and the quality of the iron is important in any transformer. Do they work in a HiFi setting? I tried one (not the brand discussed) and it caused drop outs in my setup. It went back and I pursued an alternative path.

 

tuga

. . .
Wammer
Aug 17, 2007
12,723
5,167
173
Oxfordshire, UK
AKA
Ric
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Hi Andrew - as far as I can tell, the only (technical) thing they claim is that it "... provides galvanic isolation between the device that is connected to the network and the network itself"; however, as that is already part of the standard specification of wired Ethernet interfaces, I am having difficulty understanding what benefit is being offered here (other than the usual "inky blacks" etc. flim flam). So for me, the Emperor's new clothes are (in this case) pink.
According to Jussi Laako (HQPlayer) Ethernet's galvanic isolation only works with UTP (unshielded twisted pair) cables (the ones with plastic connectors).

So depending on the cables used the PF isolator may actually do something.

 

Tony_J

Moderator
Staff member
Mar 4, 2013
19,956
1
14,118
198
Bunessan
AKA
Tony
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
According to Jussi Laako (HQPlayer) Ethernet's galvanic isolation only works with UTP (unshielded twisted pair) cables (the ones with plastic connectors).

So depending on the cables used the PF isolator may actually do something.
If that is the case (and it is not clear to me that it is), then there's a much cheaper and simpler solution. Use UTP, and if that is impractical, get an RJ45 to RJ45 connector and add a 6" UTP patch cable to the end of the STP cable. A tenner max.

 

tuga

. . .
Wammer
Aug 17, 2007
12,723
5,167
173
Oxfordshire, UK
AKA
Ric
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
If that is the case (and it is not clear to me that it is), then there's a much cheaper and simpler solution. Use UTP, and if that is impractical, get an RJ45 to RJ45 connector and add a 6" UTP patch cable to the end of the STP cable. A tenner max.
I use UTP.

And considering that Laako is an IT engineering expert, and who doesn't sell cables or hi-fi gear, I think that he can be trusted in this matter.

 

Tony_J

Moderator
Staff member
Mar 4, 2013
19,956
1
14,118
198
Bunessan
AKA
Tony
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I use UTP.

And considering that Laako is an IT engineering expert, and who doesn't sell cables or hi-fi gear, I think that he can be trusted in this matter.
It would appear that two different things are being confused here.

Ethernet's galvanic isolation is concerned with the signal path only; the twisted pair is transformer-coupled to the transmitter at one end and the receiver at the other, so the signals on the TP are floating (not referenced to ground) and the transformers at either end are concerned with eliminating stray voltages on the cable; they should be rated for 500V isolation, to protect the device if large voltages appear on the cable as a result of damage, etc.

The presence or absence of a shield isn't at all related to the above - if there is a shield, it is (should be) connected to the protective ground used by the equipment. As with any situation where cabling between two pieces of equipment introduces an earth connection, there is the possibility of creating a ground loop. However, that has nothing to do with, and has no effect on, Ethernet's galvanic isolation per se.

 

tuga

. . .
Wammer
Aug 17, 2007
12,723
5,167
173
Oxfordshire, UK
AKA
Ric
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
It would appear that two different things are being confused here.

Ethernet's galvanic isolation is concerned with the signal path only; the twisted pair is transformer-coupled to the transmitter at one end and the receiver at the other, so the signals on the TP are floating (not referenced to ground) and the transformers at either end are concerned with eliminating stray voltages on the cable; they should be rated for 500V isolation, to protect the device if large voltages appear on the cable as a result of damage, etc.

The presence or absence of a shield isn't at all related to the above - if there is a shield, it is (should be) connected to the protective ground used by the equipment. As with any situation where cabling between two pieces of equipment introduces an earth connection, there is the possibility of creating a ground loop. However, that has nothing to do with, and has no effect on, Ethernet's galvanic isolation per se.
I'm sure I have gotten the mechanics wrong. I can't find the relevant post but somewhere else he says:

"It hugely matters if you use UTP or STP cable. Because STP cable connects grounds of two devices, potentially allowing dirty ground currents to flow, while UTP cable doesn't and the signals are galvanically isolated using transformers (if you don't use PoE). Transformer isolation exists there for a reason! STP cable can be only used if you have a very carefully designed grounding layout on your entire system (and not for long runs for various reasons)."

"One can use shielded STP cables only in very specific circumstances, where both sides of the connection are connected to the same common ground point by some other means."

 

tuga

. . .
Wammer
Aug 17, 2007
12,723
5,167
173
Oxfordshire, UK
AKA
Ric
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Here's another post:

"Ethernet uses differential signaling on a twisted pair and doesn't need shielding in first place.

Ethernet is useful for isolating ground potentials between equipment, it has been designed that way on purpose. Using shielded cables destroys this important property.

Do NOT use shielded ethernet cables with audio equipment! Only use standard inexpensive CAT6 UTP patch cables - those are the best."

 

Psilonaught

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 16, 2007
3,165
1,588
158
Saffron Walden
AKA
James
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
...all of which is consistent with my post above.
Just digging up this thread.

I've taken heed of the UTP recommendation here and also bought a used medical lan isolator off eBay (£20). Added to my Cisco (£50) managed route and fiber to ethernet (£40) converter I feel that I've been able to create a clean ethernet feed into my Aqua LinQ. No need to spend a fortune!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Strider

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
108,229
Messages
2,291,725
Members
69,197
Latest member
night_tripper