I’ve created some free, open source software to allows you to easily select between a number of Axia Livewire Inputs/Sources, and send them to one Output/Destination on a Node, QoR, Powerstation, or IP Driver. This software is called The Livewire Simple Delegation Switcher, and it’s designed for small radio stations that’s can’t afford of justify the cost of PathfinderPC.

Update December 2017: All information about this software is now on it’s own page.

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What are people using at the moment?

It seems there are currently a few approaches to studio delegation switching in Axia Livewire networks:

  • PathfinderPC with a Mini Panel
  • PathfinderPC with Programmable Buttons on the Element and Fusion consoles
  • An external switcher such as the Elan RMD-01
  • Directly changing the stream numbers in a Node or Processor

How does the Livewire Simple Delegation Switcher work?

The software consists of a single configuration file and EXE. You can setup as many selector buttons as you like. Each one represents a Livewire Stream Number. As soon as you click on a button, it sends that Livewire stream to the configured destination. The active source has a red coloured background. Simple.

Your sources could be studios, computers, codecs, satellite feeds – anything! As long as it exists on your network as an Axia Livewire source, you can use it.

The application uses the Livewire Routing Protocol – a TCP based protocol with simple text commands. I wrote a Python client implementation a couple of years ago, so this new program takes advantage of that. There’s lots of nifty things you can do with the LWRP – including debugging GPIO ports.

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This software does not require a central server, yet you can still run it on as many computers as you like at any one time. The software subscribes to route change notifications on the Livewire device, so as soon as you change the stream number in one place, it shows up on every other computer running this software.

Requirements

  • Microsoft Windows
    • Tested on Windows 7, Windows 10, & Server 2008 R2
    • 32-bit or 64-bit is acceptable
  • 15MB Free Disk Space
  • Network access to your destination Livewire device (TCP Port 93)

Installation and Configuration

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  1. Download the latest release from this website
  2. Extract the ZIP file to a convenient location on your computer (e.g. C:\StudioSwitcher\)
  3. Rename config-sample.json to config.json
  4. Open config.json in Wordpad
  5. Set the IP Address and Output/Destination number of your destination Livewire Device
  6. In the “Sources” section, specify the names and Stream Numbers of all the sources you wish to be available in the application
  7. Run LW-Delegation-Switcher.exe and try it out!

Other usage suggestions

This software isn’t limited to your main program feed. You could also use it for:

  • Internet stream switching
  • Headphone switching
  • Monitor switching in a producer’s area
  • Switching the audio feed in your shared office space – give everyone access to this software and they can all compete to pick the audio feeds all day long!

Troubleshooting

There are a few common problems you may experience while running this program. Here’s some suggested troubleshooting steps:

  1. The Livewire Device isn’t accessible
    1. Try pinging the Livewire device
    2. Ensure there is no firewall blocking access on TCP Port 93
    3. Check to see there is no password set on the device (this isn’t currently supported)
  2. There is an error with my JSON file
    1. Compare the configuration to the sample provided
    2. Copy and paste your full configuration on JSONLint to check it for errors
  3. The application crashes with the error message “Failed to execute script LW-Delegation-Swicther
    1. Try running the Debug version of the program from Command Prompt
    2. Log an issue on GitHub with the full error message and any other information that would help us debug it

Has this saved you time and money?

I know this program has the potential to save radio stations some money, and hopefully make life a little easier. If this is true for you, perhaps you could consider supporting me in one of the following ways:

  1. Subscribe to my Broadcast Technology newsletter (if you’ve already done this – thank you! Consider nagging your industry friends until they do the same)
  2. Link to this website from your own social media, blog, etc.

Contributions welcome!

This software is open source. Feel free to send a pull request my way!

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I'm Anthony Eden, and I'm a broadcast technician / software developer / technology solutions engineer. I've been working in broadcast media since 2008 (getting my start in Community Radio while still at school), and developing software and websites for just as long. Right now, I work in the broadcast industry and provide some freelance services through Media Realm.

Follow Anthony on Twitter: @anthony_eden