The Swissonic Professional Router 2, Mk2 is a welcome improvement in specifications. The previous Mk1 maxed out at 300Mbps and the Mk2 is capable of transferring data at 1,000 Mbps. This is our third Swissonic 2 rack router.
Typically we run networking kit to send data from a Midas M32 at FOH. On stage there could be a few iPads or mobile apps for monitors and in-ears. Possibly an X-Touch linked to the M32 for a monitor engineer. All these devices require Cat5 or wireless connections, so we have the Swissonic router handling that with DHCP enabled.
For larger outdoor events where the FOH position is at a distance we have a second Swissonic router with DHCP disabled and a long Cat5 run to stage so we have a reliable Wi-Fi connection 40-50 meters away from performers. This allows the on stage Swissonic router to assign IP addresses to wireless devices at the FOH position. This is particularly useful when crew are too far away to get a reliable signal, particularly at busy events where there can be 2,000 - 3,000 audience members with phones all searching for a Wi-Fi network to join.
The old Mk 1 router, although only 300Mbps were ideal for sending DMX Art-Net data over Ethernet, control data for the M32, and various mix control apps for tablet devices. The Mk2 with its increased bandwidth should allow us to send HDMI data over IP so we can put the video wall controller on stage. All of this over a single Cat5 cable, which will improve set up and load out times not having to run multiple cables between the stage and FOH. Even running Dante enabled devices over this thing seems possible.
The build quality between the Mk1 and Mk2 is identical. My only concern is having the reset switch on the front panel. It is handy to have it accessible without removing the router from the rack, but it seems possible it could be pressed accidentally or maliciously being so visibly open. Perhaps a pinhole sized switch would have been a better choice.
In future I can see all of our Mk1 routers being replaced with Mk2. The Mk1’s have been incredibly reliable for touring and have provided flawless service without the need for any changes to be made at any show even once.