All the Familiar NEXUS Functionality in its most Compact Form

A single NEXUS Base Device is always a very compact tool. Each row in the Base Device measures just three units in height due to the dimensions of the plug-in boards. Even more space-saving is the new NEXUS single-unit Base Device. Instead of the usual design with the cards upright, it is populated horizontally, giving five free slots for cards plus a sixth one for the CPU board.

The backplane accomodating the high clock-rate TDM bus was redeveloped from the ground up for the NEXUS mini-rack, since this method of crosswise board installation requires a different bus layout to that of the 3-U version. Everything else remains the same: The free choice of all the available NEXUS boards as required by the customer, the 256 time slots for each Base Device, and the two power-supply units for redundancy.

The NEXUS single-unit Base Device was developed because many applications require only a few inputs and outputs; often, just an extension of the NEXUS network is needed. Outside broadcasting, where just one or two microphone signals are to be picked up, is the ideal application for the new NEXUS mini-rack. This is also true for situations where multitrack recorders are directly connected to the NEXUS STAR over MADI lines. Such set-ups require only a limited number of peripheral connections which can be suitably accommodated by a single-unit Base Device. A common application for this compact unit is broadcast coverage of race meetings, for example, cycling, skiing, or motor racing. Such events require microphones to be placed along the entire course. The five available slots are more than adequate for such applications.

The 1-U Base Device is also attractive as a standalone solution for studios or indeed any situation requiring a space-saving alternative. Its suitability is further enhanced due to a tendency towards higher component density in the design of NEXUS I/O boards. For example, using the new 8-channel microphone and D/A interface boards, up to 24 microphone inputs and 8 returns can be accommodated inside one 1-U Base Device used as a stage box. This is also very interesting in the context of tight OB truck installations.

When used to populate the small NEXUS Base Device, the newly designed HXAD boards featuring eight stereo inputs and SDI boards with 16 inputs and outputs also offer a large number of I/Os, making maximum use of the five card slots.

Thus, NEXUS becomes a space-saving solution even as a local stand-alone router and format-converter in studios or can equally well be used as part of a compact portable recording kit for high-quality concert work. The 28-bit TrueMatch microphone converter will also offer the best possible sound in the small-format rack.

Just like any other Stage Tec product, the NEXUS boards were designed for operation for minimum power dissipation. The overall power consumption is between 1.5 and 5 watts per board. Despite this, due to the high component density and the critical flow characteristics of the horizontally installed boards, the small form-factor NEXUS Base Device is slightly less efficient at dissipating heat than the 3-U version. Therefore, to avoid overheating caused by other devices installed in the same rack, the mini-rack Base Device incorporates a horizontally mounted cooling fan that activates when necessary, a real novelty in Stage Tec equipment. This allows the single-unit device to be installed virtually anywhere, even immediately above the PA system power amplifier, or basking in the hot summer sunshine at the top of a camera crane.

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