CAV6.6 / MC11 link software - Page 5
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I have the plugin version 1.30/1 as well.
When I run the plugin, it shows "no info" 6 times and then just sits there. Is it possible that the new build broke the plugin? This is my first attempt at using these products.
My goal is to evaluate this solution for use with a Russound CAV6.1 system. I am very intersted in having 2 or more different tracks playing at the same time in different rooms. Can this be done (if I get the proper sounds card of course) by just selecting another source on the uno s2 keypad? I'm not clear about how the stream source gets started and am hoping that it doesn't require the use of the keyboard or mouse.
My alternative is to use Russounds SMS3 server but it will cost me more than this by far.
Thanks for all your time and Happy Holidays everyone :-)
You can certainly do what you describe, however, you'll need a
separate sound card for each source (or a sound card that
supports multiple audio outputs).
Media Center supports multiple, independent, concurrent output
"zones." Each zone is mapped to output its audio to a different
sound card and can be configured with different playback options.
Zones are configured in MC11 using the Player -> Playback Options
-> Zone Manager menu option.
It can get a bit confusing because MC11 uses the term "zone" to
refer to a set of output configuration settings (which are used
as sources to the CAV6.6), whereas in the Russound world a "zone"
is the physical location where a keypad and speakers are.
The cav66.exe program maps each MC11 zone to a source input on
the Russound CAV6.6. This mapping is specified in the cav66.ini
file. In the cav66.ini file each of the MC11 zones is associated
with the CAV6.6 source inputs (in sequence, 1 to 6).
For example, if you wanted to have two independent MC11 audio
outputs that connect to source 3 and source 5 on the Russound
CAV6.6 you'd perform the following steps:
a. Create six zones in MC11 (Zone 1 to Zone 6). Configure Zone 3
to output to sound card A, and Zone 5 to output to sound card B.
The other four MC11 zones can be ignored (or you can use them for
b. Physically connect (with audio cables) the sound card A output
to the CAV6.6 source 3 input, and connect the sound card B output
to the source 5 input. From this point, anything that's played
(output) on MC11 zone 3 will be heard on CAV6.6 source 3, and
anything played on MC11 zone 5 will be heard on CAV6.6 source 5.
c. Edit the sources section of the cav66.ini file to look like
the sample below. These settings tell the cav66.exe program to
ignore MC11 zones 1, 2, 4, and 6 and to pass-along any keypad
commands for CAV6.6 source inputs 3 and 5 to MC11 zones 3 and 5
[Source 1] ; this is MC11 Zone 1, ignored
[Source 2] ; this is MC11 Zone 2, ignored
[Source 3] ; this is MC11 Zone 3, actively used
[Source 4] ; this is MC11 Zone 4, ignored
[Source 5] ; this is MC11 Zone 5, actively used
[Source 6] ; this is MC11 Zone 6, ignored
d. Run the cav66.exe program.
The cav66.exe program is then smart enough to understand that
when, for example, the (Russound) zone 2 keypad has source 5
selected it will pass along the keypad commands to control what
MC11 zone 5 is doing. If you switch the keypad to source 3 it
would then send the keypad commands to MC11 zone 3.
To answer your other question about how the "stream source" gets
started, this can happen in one of two ways. You can use the
Russound keypad to select and play playlists that have been
defined in MC11 (press and hold the Stop button on the keypad to
access the list of playlists). Alternatively, you can use MC11
directly to select songs for playback (first activate the MC11
zone you want to control). The keypad can then be used to go to
the next song, pause, etc.
[n.b., I use only one zone/source but I think I got the above
Hope this helps!
1) Next/prev track/artist keys now wrap through playlists. That is, when you reach the end of the playlist, it will wrap to the beginning, and vice-versa.
2) The next/prev artist keys will now switch to "first letter mode" if they are held down for more than 2% of the playlist. In first letter mode, only the first letter of the artist will be displayed for 1/3 of a second. This feature is designed to make it much faster to locate the artist you are looking for in a playlist containing hundreds of artists.
3) When browsing playlists, it is now possible to hold the play key down in order to add the selected playlist to Playing Now. If the play key is not held down, then the selected playlist will replace the contents of Playing Now, just as in previous versions.
As always, if you find any problems with this release or have any requests, post them here. Thanks for the many people posting here and answering questions for others - much appreciated.
Any other options?
What if the MC PC had 2 serial ports... Couldn't your software take control of both serial ports? Then, connect one to the HAI panel (COM1), the other to the CAV6.6 (COM2). Your software could send anything received on the COM1 out over COM2. Anything received over COM2 could be sent over COM1. That way the HAI would think it was connected directly to the CAV6.6.
I guess the only issue might be that either the HAI or your software would be confused when the CAV6.6 responded to commands sent by the other device? Maybe the link software could pass data to COM1 for just the 5 seconds after data had been received on COM1 (and link sw would ignore that data for its own use during that time). If a command hadn't been received from the HAI in the prior 5 seconds, then it wouldn't be sent any of the replies from CAV6.6. Not sure how often the devices are polling or if there are unsolicited event notices from the CAV6.6 that both 'clients' would need to see.
Here is some background on Russound/HAI integration from the HAI website...
OmniPro II gives you control of your music choices and
lets you customize your music experience when
connected to a Russound CAV6.6 or CAM Audio
Different music, in different rooms, for different people -
it's one of the most exciting and fastest growing options
for home entertainment.
The HAI OmniTouch touchscreen interface provides a
convenient method for selecting your favorite music as
part of a complete HAI home control solution.
The Russound CAV6.6 and CAM Audio Distribution
Systems give you the ability to select and distribute
music from any audio source to different rooms in your
house simultaneously and independently. Using an
HAI OmniTouch touchscreen, you can control on/off,
volume, muting, transports, audio source, and many
other functions for each audio zone.
Additionally, you can create modes in your HAI
OmniPro II to customize your music and home control
experience. Imagine returning home to your favorite
music playing, lights set to your desired levels, and
temperature to a cozy settingjust by disarming your
system. Never again will your children disturb your
neighbors in the middle of the night because they forgot
that the outside speakers were on - OmniPro II will
make sure that it doesn't happen by turning the outdoor
audio zone off after dark.
HAI coordinates home control with Russounds home
entertainment for the ultimate in convenience and
I guess the biggest problem with developing something like this is the fact that I don't have any other hardware that is capable of talking to the CAV, so I can't test it myself. So if and when I find time to develop it, I'll need someone to volunteer their time as a serious tester.
Now comes the trouble
Sometimes the plugin doesn't pass on info the keypad and vise-versa and I have to restart it.
I created a few playlists (maybe I didn't make them in the correct format?) but I cannot do anything with them from the keypad. If I hold the stop key, the plugin reports "browsing playlists" but then I can't use any other keypad buttons to scroll them.
When I press the + - buttons, the song changes to the next artist. Can I make these do the next album instead?
Last thing - The track name scrolls and is followed by the current date/time. I put in DisplayTime=N in the ini but it still appears.
2nd last thing - do you have a manual or complete list of the features of the plugin yet? If this all works out, I will pass on a donation for all your hard work.
- 8 Posts. Joined 12/2005
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1. I have a 2 CAV6.6s linked together with 10 of the 12 zones used. I have a SMS3 media server that crashed and is being replaced right now. There are a few frustrations with the SMS3: A. Most of my music is digital in .WMA download format from Walmart Online. SMS3 wants you to rip the cd in whole album form. It is difficult to get music from the PC to the SMS3. B. The ripping by the SMS3 is very poor. It often has noises, skips, and pops interjected into songs. C. The SMS3 is a box that runs UNIX and is prone to bad crashes. The place I bought my SMS3 said that of 25 units sold in the past several months, 3-4 have been returned with unrecoverable errors.
2. From what I read I think the hyslopc and MC11 solution is preferable to the SMS3. I would be interested in any comments.
3. I will sell my new replacement SMS3 on ebay and then buy a computer for MC11. I am space constrained and would like a suggestion for the type of PC, ghz, RAM, OS and sound cards.
4. I have the UNO-TS2 as one of my Keypads. Does the UNO-TS2 work in this environment?
5. Does MC11 support protected .WMA files?
6. The forum threads seem to be the only "manual" for the plug-in. I would like to write a user manual for everyone's use. Has anyone attempted and can we collaborate?
1) v1.31 is a little bit young, and might have some bugs. Once (only) it "zoned out" on my PC, too, but generally it has been fine, so I decided to just wait and see if it happens again. Sounds like there is a bug in there somewhere. You might want to run the previous version for a while until I sort out this problem, although if you're patient enough to use the new version and try and work out why/when the bug occurs, I would sure appreciate it.
2) I haven't tried the SMS3, but my experience with my own plug-in is very positive . The only problem I have is that the PC I'm running it on locks up once every 1-2 months or so.
3) I think the original thread had a bit of info about hardware. Basically you don't need a fast PC, but you probably want a quiet and reliable one. A great resource for that is Silent PC review. I highly recommend using an ASIO-based soundcard if you are interested in multi-zone. The new Creative cards look pretty good - I'm thinking about getting one myself.
4) I haven't heard of anyone using my software with the UNO-TS2, but it should work fine as long as you have the latest controller firmware. Definitely let us know how it works out.
5) Not 100% sure if MC11 supports protected WMA files, but I think it does. You could post that question over on the MC forums.
6) Someonewho was having problems browsing playlists. I suggested he tried a new cable, and it seems to be working for him now, but I don't know for sure if it was the cable or not. Someonewho - can you let us know?
7) It's not currently possible to redefine the +/- keys. While it would be possible to manually map these to any field, I would prefer it to be smart and automatically use whatever field the playlist is sorted by. However that's not easily possible with the current MC API. I have asked J River to extend the API to allow me to find out how a playlist is sorted, but haven't heard back from them yet. It would probably be possible to scan the playlist looking at the most common fields and try and guess the sort order, but I would prefer something more reliable.
8) Make sure DisplayTime is in the [Source 1] section.
9) I am in email contact with another forum user who has kindly taken the time to write a really good manual. He's gotten pretty far with it, so hopefully he can post something soon. I'm sure he would appreciate all suggestions and help.
Someone suggested making the keypad UI more like the SqueezeBox, ie much more menu-based. Appreciate all thoughts on that.
Hope this helps...
This would let you simply skip through a percentage of the playlist much like the remote commands 0-9 now allow you to do. This might be handy for people that use completely un-ordered playlists where skipping to the next artist or album is pretty much the same as skip to next song. My playlists are mostly un-ordered and I rarely use the remote.
How about... SkipNext=Random for the free spirits among us!
Press and hold the Pause button to access the setup menu -- screen displays "SkipNext".
Press Next or Previous to scroll through other (future) configuration settings.
Press Play button to select this setting -- screen displays current (default) setting "Artist".
Use + and - to scroll through settings Artist, Album, Genre, Random, 5%, 10%, 25%.
Press Play to select desired setting -- screen displays "SkipNext"
Press Pause to exit configuration settings.
Boy, it's really easy thinking-up things for someone else to do! We all really, really appreciate everything you're doing hyslopc!
- 131 Posts. Joined 10/2004
- Location: Calgary
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I have re-posted the v1.31 software here. The zip now includes documentation in the form of a PDF file. Please post any comments you have on the documentation to this thread. Many thanks to John G and others who contributed - much appreciated!
Docs look good Carl! Nice to get it all in one place.
I did install Jriver Media Center and Hyslopc's plugin on a MCE 2005 box without any trouble. I was able to run Windows Media Center at the same time as running MC11 streams.
The reason it seemed I was not able to select the playlists was because there were several "recently played" playlists that were being generated automatically and were named with a date and time. Several of these had the same date and time as the current day so as I was scrolling through the lists, I thought it wasn't working. I deleted the auto- recently played lists and can now see my custom lists ok. I could have just kept scrolling enough to get to my lists but didn't go far enough I guess.
The date showing up even after adding DisplayTime=N was because the song was displaying it's name and then the date/time of the song itself. I thought this was actually a system time but was fooled.
I'm not sure why the plugin would sometimes stop passing data between MC11 and the CAV6.6 . I have ordered a new machine from 2parts Fusion with a M-audio Delta 66 card and will see if the better card and machine make any difference. This is the real deal since I am impressed with the testing so far. I am sure that it was not a serial cable issue but am not sure it wasn't a COM port conflict of some sort.
I have heard that Delta cards don't work well with MCE2005's Media Center so I will be using the other 7.1 sound card as the windows default and the Delta card only for MC11.
Thanks for the manual!
Your 2004 CAV6.6 controller and keypads may or may not be at the
appropriate firmware version levels to work correctly with
hyslopc's cav66.exe program. Installing the program will not
automatically update the firmware on the controller or keypads.
What you should probably do is download the latest version of the
program (the link is a few posts up). Read the documentation and
try installing and using the program as described. Running the
program should not harm your CAV6.6, even if it has the wrong
firmware version. If it works, then you don't need to do
If it doesn't work as described you'll need to determine what
firmware versions you currently have and update them if
necessary. The recommended firmware versions are found in the
You can determine what firmware versions you have by accessing
the controller and keypad setup menus from one of the keypads.
You should consult the CAV6.6 documentation for details, but this
basically involves removing the border cover from one of the
keypads (it just pops off), pressing or pressing and holding the
setup button that's then exposed, and navigating the menus to
find the current firmware versions.
If you're not technically savvy, you may want to have a
qualified installer upgrade the firmware for you. They should
be able to do this in an hour or two. If you want to tackle it
yourself, the directions are in the CAV6.6 documentation and
other documentation on Russound's web site. Note that you
may need to jury-rig special wiring to update the keypad firmware
(the connectors on the keypads are non-standard).
The CAV6.6 documentation, and firmware versions can be found
in the Document Center section of Russound's web site (free
I've not had to do a keypad firmware upgrade myself (mine's brand
new). However, If you check the UNO-S2 documentation it gives
you a lot more information.
When you pull the border cover off of a keypad, you'll see the
"update port" to the right of the keypad. This has three or four
wire sockets that need to be connected to specific pins of the
serial cable. I suspect there's a special adapter cable for this
or you can try jury-rigging it.
Also, it looks like you'll need to pull the keypad out of the
wall because there's a jumper on the back of the keypad that sets
the keypad to "run" mode or "OS update" mode. You need to switch
this to OS update mode to upgrade the firmware.
There's probably a lot more specific documentation on Russound's
Again, good luck!