Axia PowerStation FAQs
- My PowerStation MAIN has a yellow indication on the PSU, but I have no AUX connected. What does this mean?
Check the setting on the PowerStation Engine Options page, and be sure that "use backup power" is set to NO. If you have it set to YES and do not have an AUX connected, then the MAIN is looking for the AUX power but can not find it, so it illuminates the PSU error status to let you know something is wrong. Checking "NO" will clear the error.
- We just outfitted 3 studios with previous Axia gear. Is that obsolete now?
No way! PowerStation plugs right into existing Axia networks, and other Axia gear connects to and works seamlessly with PowerStation. All Axia equipment uses standard switched Ethernet for audio and logic transport. This guarantees that our future products will always work perfectly with even the earliest Axia equipment.
- Some of PowerStation’s Ethernet ports have PoE. Why?
Many new Ethernet devices use PoE (Power over Ethernet) to eliminate wall-warts or ride-along power supplies. PowerStation has PoE in anticipation of future broadcast gear that will use PoE.
- Why are those heat sinks so big?
PowerStation is completely silent and fan-free! Those heat sinks provide convection cooling so you can rack it with the rest of your studio gear. PowerStation breathes so easily that the front-panel is cool to the touch, and the perforated front panel ensures unobstructed airflow without the need for rack spacers.
- If the power supply were to fail in one box, would it affect any systems in the other, or is the backup truly redundant?
The backup power is truly redundant, meaning that not only is the console power supply redundant, but power for the mixing engine, audio, logic and even the Ethernet switch is redundant as well. In short, every component in both the MAIN and AUX will continue operating if one or the other power supply quits. The switchover is seamless, too - it takes place automatically and does not affect your audio. In the case of such event, a front-panel alarm illuminates; clients using PathfinderPC can have an e-mail notification sent as well.
- Why the redundant power? Are you afraid your power supplies will fail?
Quite the contrary! Some folks prefer the security of redundant console power supplies, so PowerStation offers this. In fact, PowerStation’s redundant power protects not just the console, but the audio inputs, the Ethernet switch and the mix engine, further ensuring your studio’s uptime. As far as we know, no other console company provides this level of power backup. Axia buys state-of-the-art power supplies from a company who makes OEM power supplies for Fortune 500 companies. They’re part of a family of power supplies designed for high-uptime telecom apps; designed to withstand all-weather installation at the base of cell towers in remote locations. We have the utmost confidence in these high-end components, and you can, too.
- What’s the difference between PowerStation MAIN and PowerStation AUX?
PowerStation MAIN is the core of the studio. It contains the Mixing Engine, console CPU, audio I/O, GPIO logic ports, Ethernet switch and power supply for all these, plus the console. PowerStation AUX connects to the MAIN using one CAT-5 cable and one power link. It instantly doubles your audio and logic I/O, and adds automatic redundant backup power too.
- What if I need more I/O than is built in to PowerStation?
No problem; it’s easy to expand your I/O by adding a PowerStation AUX to any PowerStation MAIN. Of course, you can plug an Axia Audio Node into PowerStation’s Ethernet switch, too. In fact, you can connect as many as 14 Livewire devices to any PowerStation MAIN. Even your playout or production PCs (using the Livewire Audio Driver or an AudioScience Livewire sound card) can plug into the Ethernet ports on the back of each PowerStation MAIN.
- Are you sure that’s enough I/O for an on-air studio?
Clients have been telling us that the growing number of Livewire-ready devices are helping shrink the need for conventional I/O. For instance, two dozen Livewire partners are now making profanity delay units, satellite receivers, high-end audio cards and content delivery systems that integrate with Axia networks using an Ethernet cable to transport all audio, logic and messaging.
- How much I/O does PowerStation MAIN have?
PowerStation MAIN comes with 4 Analog inputs, 2 AES/EBU inputs, 2 Mic inputs with switchable Phantom power, 6 Analog outputs and 2 AES/EBU outputs. There are also 4 GPIO ports and 14 Ethernet ports for connection of Livewire-enabled audio devices. Connecting a PowerStation AUX via Ethernet doubles the audio and logic I/O, and adds redundant power capabilities.
- Some of your competitors’ gear has built-in switches. But you said that the Cisco switches you specified were more powerful than any switch they could design. Now, your gear has a built-in switch. What gives?
We did say that, and we stand by it: we were comparing their TDM routers with Cisco switches. Certainly you’ll agree that the Ethernet switching core Cisco provides is more powerful than a TDM switching core. Remember, switches located in the studio are just edge switches. They are not highly complex, since they primarily just provide access to local I/O. It’s the central core switch that does the heavy lifting of intra-facility signal routing. We still think that Cisco knows more about making Ethernet switches than anyone else. That’s why we specify their equipment for Axia networks’ core switches. But our clients asked us for a one-box solution for studio I/O and switching, and we gave them what they asked for: PowerStation. And by the way, PowerStation’s edge switches use the very same chipsets that Cisco switches do.
- Do I need an external core switch to connect PowerStation studios?
PowerStation includes “simple networking” capabilities; you can connect up to 4 PowerStation studios together, daisy-chain style, using the network switch that’s built in - with no need for an external switch to link them. Copper Gigabit ports and SFP ports for fiber are both provided. If you want to network more than 4 studios that are built with PowerStation, you’ll need a core switch.
- How large a console can I use with PowerStation?
PowerStation supports Element consoles as large as 40 faders or as small as 2 faders (and everything in between) in either single-frame or split-frame configurations.
- You say that I can build 'stand-alone studios' with PowerStation. What do you mean? I thought Axia gear was all networked.
PowerStation was designed after listening carefully to clients who asked for an easy way to set up one or two independent studios. PowerStation combines audio I/O, machine logic, mix engine, console CPU, Ethernet switch and power supply (with optional power redundancy) into one fan-free box. This dramatically cuts setup time, since there’s only one piece of equipment to configure. Consequently, you can use PowerStation to quickly build a self-contained studio that operates all by itself. Of course, if you want to connect your PowerStation studio to an IP-Audio network, you can, with one easy Ethernet connection.
- Why should I choose PowerStation instead of assembling a studio from discrete components?
PowerStation makes studio building easier and faster. With PowerStation you don’t have to configure lots of separate components; to get a studio up and running quickly you simply connect your audio sources, name them using the Web interface, and start feeding audio. There’s not a lot of configuration to do because all the functionality of those separate components are contained in a single box, and they all talk to each other already.
- How many studios are running Axia now?
As of April, 2014, there are over 5,000 installed studios worth of Axia equipment. The adoption curve is still moving sharply upward, so by the time you read this, there are likely to be many more.