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  1. #1
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    A1/T1 Ethernet to fibre optic conversion

    Hi all,
    I am looking into an Ethernet-Fibre optic-Ethernet conversion system with my T1 currently configured as a Roon endpoint. I’ve been looking at the following equipment on Amazon;

    https://www.amazon.ca/Ethernet-Conve...06XPZ3XQK?th=1

    I am by no means an IT guy but I’m hoping that this simple system could provide some of the noise/galvanic isolation benefits without breaking the bank cost wise. Will this system work? And is it worth the trouble? All assistance is appreciated as always.

    John S

  2. #2
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    Re: A1/T1 Ethernet to fibre optic conversion

    I've not read report of people using the brand of FMC in post #1, but I expect it to work as long as it supports both 100Mbps and 1000Mbps connection from the copper Ethernet side.

    A simpler way - you can get this from Mike:
    GigaFoil v4 Inline Ethernet Filter
    (Note that there is an incompatibility report with Netgear Mesh product.)

    Inexpensive way:
    A cheaper alternative to do fiber network isolation is to use a pair of fiber media converters (FMC) in a setup like this:

    WiFi router or network switch - (LAN cable) - FMC - (fiber) - FMC - (LAN cable) - Lumin

    Lumin T2 / D2 / M1 / U1 (MINI): Use a pair of TP-Link MC210CS

    Lumin S1 / A1 / T1 / D1 : Use a pair of TP-Link MC110CS (Note: old hardware revisions of MC210CS is not compatible)

    Between the pair of FMC you need a single mode SC-SC duplex fiber (note: SC-SC is for a pair of FMC, not for SFP):
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/3m-SC-SC-du...frcectupt=true

    The Lumin-side FMC needs to be driven by a LPS, an inexpensive one is:
    https://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/st...gDrillDownView
    Peter Lie
    LUMIN Firmware Lead

  3. #3
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    Re: A1/T1 Ethernet to fibre optic conversion

    Thanks so much Peter, I just ordered a pair of FMCs and sc-sc cable. Interested in seeing if there is an improvement (or at least piece of mind). As always, you are a great resource for all us Lumin owners. Cheers

  4. #4
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    Re: A1/T1 Ethernet to fibre optic conversion

    You didn't mention the LPS. That is really important for the receiver side.
    Peter Lie
    LUMIN Firmware Lead

  5. #5

    Re: A1/T1 Ethernet to fibre optic conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Spinaker01 View Post
    Hi all,
    I am looking into an Ethernet-Fibre optic-Ethernet conversion system with my T1 currently configured as a Roon endpoint. I’ve been looking at the following equipment on Amazon;

    https://www.amazon.ca/Ethernet-Conve...06XPZ3XQK?th=1

    I am by no means an IT guy but I’m hoping that this simple system could provide some of the noise/galvanic isolation benefits without breaking the bank cost wise. Will this system work? And is it worth the trouble? All assistance is appreciated as always.

    John S
    Yep, I've got just this setup, and started as you did, with consumer-level FMCs. It works pretty well, and as you surmise, it provides a very notable reduction in the noise floor due to lowering susceptibility and impact from RFI/EMI getting onto copper Ethernet, and...just as notably, it also prevents the passage of low- and high-impedance AC leakage currents (more on this below) but there are other solutions available now that provide even better performance.

    The most important factor for any digital-to-digital link is the 1) the quality of the clocks in these devices and 2) the quality of the power supplies powering these devices. The key here is to reduce impact from RFI/EMI and prevent the passage of low- and high-impedance AC leakage currents. The latter is particularly important because it has an impact on jitter and...significantly, clock phase noise. Clock phase noise is insidious in digital music file streaming because it impacts timing, and timing is critcal for music reproduction.

    While the Gigafoil is a good product, its kinda pricey. What I've done instead is get the Sonore OpticalModule (OM) fiber media convertor for $249; less than half the cost of the GigaFoil.https://www.sonore.us/opticalModule.html

    This has a significantly better set of clocks than the el cheapo TP-link or Gtek FMCs I originally started out with and you referenced, as well a high-quality RJ45 jack for the copper Ethernet end. As I've found out with all of this, everything makes a difference, and this includes the quality of the SFPs used. Even the type, number and wiring of the isolation transformers in the RJ45 jacks and the PHY chip in the convertor makes a difference. The OM also has a significantly better clock than these cheap consumer-grade FMCs.

    The Sonore uses a high-quality SFP-style optical transceiver and it takes OM-1 specification LC/LC style optical fiber. I've bought Tripp-Lite OM-1 spec LC/LC fiber for my setup. It is also considerably less expeensive than the GigaFoil.

    Sonore has done a very good job of defining an optical system specification for use in high-end audio with their SystemOptique specification.
    https://www.sonore.us/systemoptique.html

    The other key part of the setup is to use quality linear power supplies. The Switch-Mode power supplies that are provided with generic FMCs are the worst, because they cause low-impedance and high-impedance AC leakage currents on the DC signal voltage that is the analog signal on your Ethernet cables, and as I've mentioned above, these cause jitter and strongly impact clock phase noise.

    My recommendation is to follow this specification for best performance and use the components they recommend. The only difference in my system is I am using a 7M run of Tripp-Lite fiber instead of a 1M run, and I am using a generic FMC at my upstream end.

    My current setup is Mac Mini Roon Core >Pace Router which has Ethernet ports>upstream TP-link LC FMC with System Optique certified SFP optical transceiver powered by Jameco Reliapro LPS>TrippLite LC/LC OM-1 fiber to downstream Sonore OM FMC powered by Uptone Audio LPS-1.2 linear power supply. The LPS-1.2 will not pass either low-impedance and high-impedance AC leakage currents and brings a considerable improvement in audio quality.

    The other component in the chain that makes a considerable difference is the Ethernet cable, and I've found the Shunyata Ethernet cables to be better than anything else I've evaluated by far. Even the "entry-level" Shunyata Venom Ethernet cable absolutely trounced all the other "audiophile-grade" Ethernet cables I evaluated. The best I've tried and am using are the Shunyata Sigma Ethernet cables, so if you need to use an Ethernet cable, I can recommend these. The common-mode noise filter on these and the Shunyata Alpha really lowers the noise floor from common-mode devices (e.g. your smart phone, tablets, WiFi sources, etc., etc.)

    Last but not least, the power cord powering your devices also matters as these can
    make a significant impact, and I'm using the new Shunyata Venom 14 Digital power cable to power my Mac Mini, the Meanwell transformer brick for the OM, and the Keces P3 power supply that powers my network bridge. You can see a video of the impact these have on the noise on AC mains here: https://youtu.be/42hmSXhiblc

  6. #6

    Re: A1/T1 Ethernet to fibre optic conversion

    Last couple of points:

    I could make further improvements by replacing the TP-link FMC with a Sonore Optical Module at the upstream FMC end, along with an Uptone Audio linear power supply to power it, but Uptone Audio is about to release their new EtherREGEN Ethernet switch, which has a built-on SFP optical transceiver port, and I may well go with that, as it looks to be amazing, and I expect will outperform all other "audiophile"-grade Ethernet switches at a price of only $640. Most importantly, the EtherREGEN will not pass low- and high-impedance AC leakage currents onto the Ethernet cable to be transmitted into the network bridge and DAC.

  7. #7
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    Re: A1/T1 Ethernet to fibre optic conversion

    Puma offers many good points and options that will more than get you across the line.

    Best part is you can piece it together over time to hear what each contribution will offer, but as Audiophiles were probably more on the compulsive side and want it all now!

    Stay tuned, I have discovered some cool pieces that will quiet your whole system down, enough where you will gain decimals in sound...and won’t break the bank!


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  8. #8

    Re: A1/T1 Ethernet to fibre optic conversion

    Question for wklie: If any Lumin can be converted from ethernet to fiber connectivity using the converters you have outlined, is there any advantage at all to having the fiber connection built in like on the X1? Are the sonics and advantages of fiber the same in both situations? One could do this experiment on the X1 comparing the fiber input to the ethernet input used with converters.

  9. #9
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    Re: A1/T1 Ethernet to fibre optic conversion

    Native fiber support is superior to the use of FMC and is confirmed by the review here:
    https://6moons.com/audioreview_articles/lumin7/2/
    Peter Lie
    LUMIN Firmware Lead

  10. #10

    Re: A1/T1 Ethernet to fibre optic conversion

    Thanks, wklie. Just what I was looking for.

  11. #11
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    Re: A1/T1 Ethernet to fibre optic conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by UltraFast69 View Post
    Stay tuned, I have discovered some cool pieces that will quiet your whole system down, enough where you will gain decimals in sound...and won’t break the bank!

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
    Please do tell?



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  12. #12
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    Re: A1/T1 Ethernet to fibre optic conversion

    Well, I’m reporting back after having had the FMCs in my system for a few days. Sound quality wise, I’m not certain I heard much of a difference- I do live a bit rural so maybe my high speed is a bit less contaminated than city folk? On the other hand, I noticed an uptick in drop outs which I have worked very hard to get rid of in my system (a lot of upgrades on the house Ethernet system, Roon front end, etc.) as they drive me nuts. So I would have to call this experiment a swing and a miss, but that could be due to the bargain basement implementation I used. If I had heard a significant improvement, I may have considered an upmarket solution to get rid of the dropouts, but for me, not a path I am going to pursue. As always, your mileage may vary. Thanks to the group.

  13. #13

    Re: A1/T1 Ethernet to fibre optic conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Spinaker01 View Post
    Well, I’m reporting back after having had the FMCs in my system for a few days. Sound quality wise, I’m not certain I heard much of a difference- I do live a bit rural so maybe my high speed is a bit less contaminated than city folk? On the other hand, I noticed an uptick in drop outs which I have worked very hard to get rid of in my system (a lot of upgrades on the house Ethernet system, Roon front end, etc.) as they drive me nuts. So I would have to call this experiment a swing and a miss, but that could be due to the bargain basement implementation I used. If I had heard a significant improvement, I may have considered an upmarket solution to get rid of the dropouts, but for me, not a path I am going to pursue. As always, your mileage may vary. Thanks to the group.
    Thanks for the update. FWIW, its hard for me to assess your results without knowing anything about your configuration and the devices you've used and how you've implemented the configuration. If you're inclined to provide more details, it might allow us to understand your findings.

  14. #14
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    Re: A1/T1 Ethernet to fibre optic conversion

    Thanks Puma Cat. Not sure what I can tell you, running Roon directly into T1 via el cheapo RJ/E Ethernet cable from the wall. This has been stable for me with very few dropouts or lockup’s-maybe once every couple of days of regular usage. Inserting the GTech FMCs and TrippliteF/O cable (just before the T1 with a 1 meter El Cheapo Ethernet cable) caused dropouts every 20-30 minutes, so I have to guess that the quality of the FMCs I’m using are really not up to the task as this is the only part of my configuration that had changed.

  15. #15
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    Re: A1/T1 Ethernet to fibre optic conversion

    Well after doing a full router reset and reviewing some parameters, the FMC conversion seems to be running flawlessly for the past several days. Can’t say yet whether it sounds better than Ethernet directly to the Lumin but subtleties tend to take awhile for me to appreciate. In the mean time, I have taken Peter Lies advice and ordered a better Ethernet cable from the second FMC to Lumin connection and 2 of the Jameco linear wall wart power supplies. Life is good.

  16. #16
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    Re: A1/T1 Ethernet to fibre optic conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Spinaker01 View Post
    2 of the Jameco linear wall wart power supplies.
    Wait.

    The Jameco model I listed was 9V for the TP-Link FMC I specified, and I believe the 10Gtek FMC you use needs 5V. Applying a wrong voltage may fry your FMC.
    Peter Lie
    LUMIN Firmware Lead

  17. #17
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    Re: A1/T1 Ethernet to fibre optic conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by wklie View Post
    Wait.

    The Jameco model I listed was 9V for the TP-Link FMC I specified, and I believe the 10Gtek FMC you use needs 5V. Applying a wrong voltage may fry your FMC.

    No worries, I bought 5v models. Thanks Peter

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