Tracking backup allows a continuous and full back up of a master console to another device, which will automatically take over if anything happens to your main console. Tracking backup is ideal for show-critical scenarios where a backup solution must be provided.
Click the video for a description of Tracking Backup.
The most common system to use with tracking backup, is a Master console and a Backup console networked together, which both have the ability to control any Ethernet devices on the network, such as an Ethernet to DMX gateway. The Master and Backup devices will then be able to send DMX to the Ethernet devices, using the sACN or Art-Net 4 protocols.
See the video to find out about the Zero 88 Gateway 4 and Gateway 8 Ethernet to DMX gateways.
Due to the way Art-Net data is cast, Art-Net cannot be used with tracking backup when Art-Net is configured to use a static IP.
This is because when the Master and Backup synchronise, they will share the same Ethernet over DMX IP address when configured to use a static IP. This is fine for sACN, however because Art-Net data is unicast, no two Art-Net controllers can share the same IP. Therefore to use Tracking Backup with Art-Net, ensure your master is configured to use a DHCP address, or the Primary/Secondary IP. The backup will then use its respective setting when synchronised.
The following can be used as the backup device in a Tracking Backup system:
- Another console of the same type - for example a master and backup FLX
- ZerOS Server - running as the same desk type as the master console.
- SCD Server - running as the same desk type as the master console.
- Phantom ZerOS on PC with an Unlock Dongle - running as the same desk type as the master console.
Ensure your backup device is licenced for the same number of DMX Channels as the master you are backing up if you wish the backup to fully takeover in the event that the master goes offline.
The Master and Backup device must be running the same software version.
To configure your Tracking Backup system, first choose "Master" on the console you wish to be the Master device. The IP address options will allow you to configure your Tracking Backup Master console network settings. You can choose between using a DHCP address, or a static IP address.
You can then exit Setup on the Master device, and continue to program or run your show.
On the console you wish to be the backup device, choose Backup under the Tracking Backup settings. The IP address options will allow you to configure your Tracking Backup Backup console network settings. You can choose between using a DHCP address, or a static IP address.
Once your network settings are configured, on both the Master and Backup devices, the Backup device will then display any Master consoles it can see on the network under "Master Consoles". The Desk Name of the Master console will be displayed. This can be configured in Setup -> Settings -> Desk Name on the Master console.
Click on the Master console you wish to backup. If it isn't displayed, your network settings are either incorrect, or the Master and Backup devices are not on the same network and port forwarding is required. In these cases Manual Entry can be chosen, and the IP address of the master console can be manually entered.
You can then exit Setup on the backup device.
Upon exiting Setup on the backup device, both the Master and Backup will receive a popup, asking you to confirm which show file you wish to use. This popup will display the IP address of the Master and Backup device, the show name of the Master and Backup device (if the show has been saved to USB), and the last time the show was saved to the devices internally.
ZerOS is therefore asking whether you wish to send the Master's show file over the network to the Backup, or the Backup's show file to the Master. In most cases you will require the backup to take the master's show file, and therefore the master show is sent to the backup.
Choosing to send the Master's show to the Backup, will overwrite the current show on the Backup.
Choosing to send the Backup's show to the Master, will overwrite the current show on the Master.
Therefore, a third option is provided, to allow you to save the current show to USB first.
After choosing your show, the show will then be sent over the network. Once the Master and Backup are synchronised, the synchronisation screen will be shown on the Backup device (pictured).
The Backup device is now tracking the master, and programming changes made on the master, are automatically sent to the backup. If the Backup looses sight of the Master console on the network, whether that be because the Master looses power or network connection, the Backup device will automatically take control of the rig.
In the Synchronisation screen, the playback status table is shown, indicating which playbacks and cues are currently running on the master device currently in control (Stack 0 is the Master Playback).
A Take Control button is provided in the Synchronisation screen, giving the option for the backup device to manually take control. Pressing this, would then result in the Master console tracking and backing up the Backup device, and the Master would then be displaying the Synchronisation screen.
If the Master has gone offline, the Backup will automatically take control. If the Master then comes back online, it will not automatically take control again. Instead, the Master will display a Take Control button, and the Backup device will alert you that the Master has come back online (pictured).
You can then choose for the Backup device to go back to tracking the master.
If whilst the Master has been offline changes have been made to the show file on the Backup device, again you can choose which show file you wish to use.
On ZerOS Server, when Tracking Backup is enabled to either Master or Backup modes, the IP address and subnet of Tracking Backup are displayed on the front display when the "Backup" LED is illuminated. The IP address will be displayed first, and then the display will cycle to show the subnet.
If you see 0.0.0.0 shown on the front display when the "Backup" LED is illuminated, this means ZerOS Server's Tracking Backup IP has been set to DHCP, however there is no DHCP Server on the network.