Author Topic: Kramer VS-Series Vertical Interval Switchers  (Read 3979 times)


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Kramer VS-Series Vertical Interval Switchers
« on: June 30, 2016, 02:40:13 AM »
One of the Venturii modules that gets used around my house on a daily basis is the V_KAD module. Several years ago I assembled some parts to form a whole-home audio system, and needed some kind of distribution for it. I came across Kramer switches, and discovered that they had (most) of the features I was looking for, and so long as purchased used from eBay, were in the right ballpark. I bought two of them, and then proceeded to write a Venturii module to control them both. Fronted with a web-based interface that even my 6-year-olds can use, it has become part of our daily lives here.

The VS-series of Kramer switches are designed (from what I have read) to be production-ready audio and video matrices, and can be either manually operated or remotely controlled. The VS-606XL, for example, has 6 Composite + Audio inputs, and 6 Composite + Audio outputs. In my case I discard the video inputs and outputs, being interested in the audio only, however what drew me to these devices was the remote control option. Using a published protocol and supporting multi-dropped RS-485, these devices are perfect for my application.

Coupled with a Russound 12-channel (6 stereo channels) amplifier, the VS-606XL acts as a traffic cop to each of the amplifier's pair of stereo outputs. Using Venturii, I can then direct six different sources to six different sinks, or pairs of speakers located around the house. Or, all speakers can play a single source, plus any combination in-between.

The only feature that the VS does not have (although the protocol supports it which was a little misleading) is the ability to control the volume. Thus, the source volume is passed through to each output unaltered, and a change in source volume affects all connected speaker pairs. So far no one has really complained about this, but it has been on my long-term bucket list to build some sort of matrix with audio options. I've looked into a number of IC's designed for exactly this purpose, but so far my research into the matter has turned up no compelling results. (Plus the IC's I was looking at are quite expensive!)

In the mean time, the V_KAD module continues to happily switch audio through the Kramer VS's, and this is one of the most interacted-with modules of Venturii.
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