Topic: Wireless options for ARC USB on a Mac?

Apologies if this has been covered; I didn't see anything fruitful in a search.

Looking to have an Advanced Remote Control sit on a rollaround desk alongside a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and am trying to figure out the best way to get the data into TotalMix FX. Obviously this does not need to be a modern solution, just a rock solid one.

An RF transmitter and receiver pair? An adapter that turns the data into Bluetooth data, and an app that turns it back into a virtual USB port? An adapter that puts the USB data on the WiFi network, and an app that senses that data and turns it back into a virtual USB port? No clue really.

I'd need a slimline rechargeable battery pack about the same size as the ARC, and an adapter that lets it power the ARC while data is being transmitted. That's the easy part. I'm picturing a dongle that's just USB to USB with a little power micro USB inlet on the side. A Y cable would be fine too, just trying to keep this whole thing small.

I know, I know - Google it. I have, and will. But someone has done this, and hopefully they can share what worked and what didn't.

2

Re: Wireless options for ARC USB on a Mac?

As the ARC USB only uses USB 1.1 and draws only little current a wireless solution might indeed be available. Never searched for that, though.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Wireless options for ARC USB on a Mac?

The ARC is a MIDI controller. Would TotalMix FX sense it in the same way if you connected a Yamaha UD-BT01 to it? Or would it be sensed as any other MIDI controller? I'm unclear on whether its control of TotalMix is fully proprietary. Will do a forum search...

4 (edited by Jonah 2020-06-12 16:24:29)

Re: Wireless options for ARC USB on a Mac?

I did a bunch of power bank research to find something thin, no wider than the ARC, and about an inch shorter so that the UD-BT01 wouldn't add depth. The ideal cable is a double angle USB A to B, about 6". Most importantly the bank has to not have auto shutoff, i.e. you have to have either an actual switch or something with a trickle charge mode, because the whole apparatus is so low-current. Every manufacturer has a different name for that..."always on," "low power charging," or simply something that advertises the ability to charge watches and Bluetooth earbuds.

The best option right now appears to be the Aukey Slimline 10,000mAh USB-C PD. You can't charge it while the Bluetooth adapter is in place, but the port location/orientation will allow for the adapter to fall completely in line with the bank, and should just clear a second available USB-A port for another device (that also is around or below 50mA in that mode). USD $30.

The runner up is the Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 PD, which would leave an available USB-C power delivery port open for either charging or supply (again at a trickle), but the adapter will hang off the side of the bank and protrude a bit from the back of the ARC (like .1"). Same cost as the Aukey. The button would be on the bottom of the unit, and the LEDs on the adapter would be harder to see.

Will report back once I have this thing tightened up.

5 (edited by Jonah 2020-06-12 16:44:20)

Re: Wireless options for ARC USB on a Mac?

That Aukey is great. I forgot that it has a Micro USB inlet on the side, so you can just leave the UD-BT01 plugged in and you get a spare USB-A port open as well. However, Aukey did not mention online that (like some other popular 10,000mAh models) the trickle charge mode shuts off after 2 hours. Good for battery life, but annoying to have to open Audio Midi Setup and reconnect to the UD-BT01.

This bluetooth adapter is (I believe) the only one currently on the market. It seems like some developers have gotten it to pass SysEx data, but mine doesn't on the current firmware, which is 1.0.5. So while it's exciting that all the notes and CC data will pass from the ARC to the computer (I'm using a BT 4.0 adapter that's LE compliant), it's a bummer that TotalMix won't recognize that there's an ARC speaking. TMFX 1.6.3, ARC rev 7 firmware.

Now, I can read the SysEx stream coming off of the ARC when it's directly connected. I suppose I could make a virtual port in Bome that acts as a Thru from the bluetooth port, but adds that one SysEx command at however many repeats per second, which in theory would fool TotalMix into thinking it's hearing directly from an ARC. I'm not an experienced MIDI programmer, so there's one thing that's really quite confusing for me:

What the heck is TotalMix listening to? I get that the ARC is doing everything on Channel 1, but it's not on any of the four ports that TotalMix shows to the rest of the system. So even if I do create this Thru patch, I don't know where to send it.

Any guidance or observations would be appreciated.

Re: Wireless options for ARC USB on a Mac?

Jonah wrote:

What the heck is TotalMix listening to? I get that the ARC is doing everything on Channel 1, but it's not on any of the four ports that TotalMix shows to the rest of the system. So even if I do create this Thru patch, I don't know where to send it.

Any guidance or observations would be appreciated.

Bump. Would appreciate some input from anyone intimately familiar with the ARC's MIDI implementation.

I did get word back from Yamaha:

It is difficult to troubleshoot this particular product for a number of reasons. BT01 was really designed for peer to peer control to tone generator, like a keytar to a synth. With that said it should send all MIDI commands including SysEx.

7 (edited by Jonah 2020-06-23 22:38:32)

Re: Wireless options for ARC USB on a Mac?

Okay so:

1. For whatever proprietary reason, Bluetooth MIDI doesn’t get TMFX to think the ARC is directly connected.

2. It sounds like TM Remote will accept an ARC connection in the future, but not yet, and then of course you’d have to have an iPhone or iPad dedicated to this.

3. Actual wireless USB was around from 2007-2012, and fizzled out with the rise of Bluetooth. None of those products are still supported, and even the most flexible ones (isochronous capable) were still not a complete USB implementation. Seems like the ones based on the WisAir chip have the best potential. Cables Unlimited made a multimedia dock with a dongle transmitter and receiver...no drivers for anything past Tiger though. Tough road to hoe.

4. Four words: wireless USB device server. The long out of production IOgear 4-port hub was updated through Mojave. Hawking Technologies took over production or bought the rights or whatever. The HMPS2U is sort of findable nowadays. But the real resource here is Silex, as they seem to support all of their servers, going back almost 20 years. I’ll put up a list of model numbers that look like they have potential soon.

8 (edited by Jonah 2020-06-23 23:10:26)

Re: Wireless options for ARC USB on a Mac?

IOGEAR Wireless 4-port USB Sharing Station:

https://www.iogear.com/support/dm/downl … ?mnid=1061

Hawking HMPS2U:

https://hawkingtech.com/product/hmps2u/ … Manual.pdf

However, the above are 12V/2A and thus not so good for long-term battery pack use. In Silex land, there are more options:

The DS-520AN is the current model. It’s pretty big for just one port, and has a non-standard power inlet. I forget the power draw. Pricey.

https://www.silextechnology.com/connect … y/ds-520an

The SX-DS-3000WN (or -WAN) draws 500mA on 5V and has one old review where someone used it for MIDI control. There is a knockoff or OEM version, in black, currently available under the bizarre Jim King brand name, labeled Tenpa.

https://www.silextechnology.com/sx-ds-3000wn

The SX-2000WG+ is pretty bulky but looks like it would work. Shows up on eBay with good frequency.

https://www.silextechnology.com/sx-2000wg

Alternatively, one can get any Silex wired USB device server, and attach a travel WiFi router. I bought the most current (but still EOL’d) version, which draws 500mA on 5V and is compact. SX-DS-4000U2:

https://www.silextechnology.com/sx-ds-4000u2

Vonets makes the smallest routers with the lowest power draw (400mA). The VAP11N-300 and the VAR11N-300 are both available on that site that makes Jeff Bezos richer. Also notable is the TP-Link TL-WR902AC, which like the SX-DS-4000U2 is 67mm wide, for stacking. 1000mA published draw though.

9 (edited by Jonah 2020-07-15 07:09:50)

Re: Wireless options for ARC USB on a Mac?

Not sure if anyone's listening, but yes the ARC works perfectly with a USB device server and a travel router set up as a wifi bridge. My rig is that Silex SX-4000 and Vonets router above. The Vonets had to be plugged directly into my Mac for setup. I'm not sure if one can use it as a mesh bridge, I'm fine with it having a different name than the studio wifi.

The Silex is really impressive, I didn't have to talk to it at all - just plugged it into the router and SX Virtual Link picked it up automatically, no config necessary. And it even reconnects automatically after a power loss -- not immediately, but it gets there. Has to wait for the router to fully boot & connect, I suppose.

10

Re: Wireless options for ARC USB on a Mac?

We're listening, but your posts are hard to digest. Now that you seem to have found a working solution a simple post describing that setup in detail and with links to the used  devices would be apprecitated by many, IMHO.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME