This document describes information related to enabling and operating in Long Distance P-Link Mode. The Long Distance P-Link allows P-Link connections of up to 650 feet (198 meters) in distance with a single cable. This is more than triple the distance of a regular P-Link. Long Distance P-Link carries power, audio and control like the regular P-Link, but is limited to connections between CONVERGE® Pro 2 (CP2) and Beamforming Microphone 2 Array (BFM2) units, and BFM2 to BFM2 units.
Long Distance P-Link Mode is available at no cost to both existing and new customers with CP2 and BFM2 units.
CONVERGE Pro 2
Long Distance P-Link Mode is an option for all CP2 AEC products:
The Long Distance P-Link supports only the BFM2 peripheral SKU, which restricts the use of other peripheral devices in the same chain. It is an optimal solution for BFM2 only P-Link chains that require more than 200 feet (60 meters) of distance between BFM2 units, eliminating the need to use other peripheral devices as distance extenders in a P-Link chain. Like regular P-Link, Long Distance P-Link allows up to three (3) BFM2 units in a single P-Link chain.
Note: A different mode can be employed in each P-Link chain of an individual CP2 unit in a stack.
USING LONG DISTANCE P-LINK
No hardware changes are required to CP2 and BFM2 hardware.
The only requirements to start using Long Distance P-Link are:
- CONSOLE/CONSOLE AI® software
- Firmware upgrades
- CAT6, 550 MHz, 23 AWG, solid conductor cable. Do not use Copper Clad Aluminum (CCA).
Latest versions of both software and firmware available in the ClearOne Resource Library:
Upgrade BFM2 units to firmware v22.214.171.124 (or newer) using a regular P-Link cable (less than 200 feet/60 meters). Long Distance Mode has been added to firmware v126.96.36.199. Older firmware cannot be used with the long P-Link cables (up to 650 feet/198 meters). Newly purchased BFM2 units may have older firmware and need to be upgraded before using long P-Link cables.
Upgrade CP2 units to firmware 188.8.131.52 (or newer).
Units that have not been loaded with a configuration (at default) will operate in normal distance P-Link mode. If your beamformers are connected with a long cable (>200 feet/60 meters) then they will not be discovered by the CP2 unit until a configuration has been loaded that enables the Long Distance mode. For this reason you will need to load two configuration files one after the other. The first load will set the long distance mode but does not contain Beamformers. The second load will keep the long distance mode and also contains beamformers. Once Long Distance mode has been set you will only need to load modified configurations only once. If you default the units back to factory default then you will need to do the two configuration load as described.
1. Connect Beamformers to CP2 with short P-Link cables (<200 feet/60 meters)
2. Upgrade CP2 to v184.108.40.206 or newer (may require a power cycle or reset after upgrade has completed)
3. Upgrade Beamformers to v220.127.116.11 or newer (may require a power cycle or reset after upgrade has completed)
4. Load a configuration file with Long Distance P-Link mode enabled but with all Beamformers removed. (system may reset)
5. Connect Beamformers to CP2 with long P-Link cables (<650 feet/198 meters)
6. Disconnect CONSOLE/CONSOLE AI and then reconnect. At this point you should see the Beamfomers.
7. Load your configuration file with Long Distance P-Link mode enabled and with all the Beamformers.
For offline configuration, follow the same steps. They will create both configuration files in offline mode and then once they are at the site they will follow the same steps as outlined.
The Long Distance P-Link Mode setting can be found under the General tab in the Device Settings window:
There are many scenarios in which you may choose to use a Long Distance P-Link.
- Sites where BFM2 units need to be mounted more than 200 feet (60 meters) from the CP2 and/or other BFM2 units, and....
- with no other devices in between the CP2 and/or BFM2 units,
- using a single cable between each CP2 and/or BFM2 unit.
- Sites where only BFM2 units are needed; no other peripheral devices are needed.
- Sites where one CP2 unit is used for multiple rooms, such as...
- when one CP2 unit is used for up to 3 rooms, with more than 200 feet (60 meters) of distance in between devices,
- or if BFM2 units in different rooms need to be daisy-chained.
Classrooms, Conference Rooms, Corporate, Prisons.
REGULAR P-LINK VS LONG DISTANCE P-LINK COMPARISON CHART