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Product Integration

Matrix Switch Corporation products are often utilized as components of a larger solution. Here you will find resources to assist with integrating our products including an overview of control options, product features, protocol details, and example source code for developers working with 3rd party control systems and software. We also welcome you to utilize our Product Integration Forum to search through existing answers and post your own questions.

System Control Overview

Available control options for Matrix Switch Corporation products depends on the product type. With a few exceptions, the product types below come with the listed control options by default.

  • Video and audio routers

    • Web interface

    • Remote panel control

    • TCP/IP port 40 MASCOT protocol interface

    • RS-232 serial interface

  • Remote panels

    • Web interface

Many products have additional control options, including:

  • RS-485 serial interface

  • GPIO port

  • Contact closure pins

  • AUX router level port


Remote Panel Control

Matrix Switch Corporation remote control panels utilize TCP/IP port 40 over an Ethernet connection to control video and audio router products. This allows for remote panels to control a router even from long distances.

NOTE: Our products are designed to be used on private secure networks. A remote connection to a router device should be properly secured by a VPN or other secure channel, if a public or non-trusted network is used. The consequence of exposing a device to an insecure network (port 40 or the web interface on port 80) is the possibility of unauthorized control of the device, including modification of the installed firmware.

MSC offers fixed size button panels as well as LCD control panels which can control an arbitrary number of matrix inputs and outputs. Fixed size button panels can be utilized with routers with different matrix I/O sizes, but control will be limited to the lowest number of destinations or sources of the two devices. For example, a 16 input, 1 output panel (MSC-CP16X1E) could be utilized to control a single destination of a larger 16x16 video router (MSC-XD1616L for example).


Panel Offsets

The starting destination and source can be configured for fixed size button panels, which allows for multiple panels to be used to control a portion of a larger router. Continuing with the previous example, multiple 16x1 panels could be utilized to control different destinations of a 16x16 router, by changing the destination offset of each panel.


Virtual Routing

The MSC-GCP2U32 2RU LCD panel supports Virtual Routing. This feature enables advanced routing scenarios which can be used for controlling a subset of a router or for combining multiple routers into larger matrices. This includes the following scenarios:

  • Remap: allows for remapping I/O and/or limiting destinations or sources of a router being controlled.

  • Multiple Levels: allows for combining multiple routers, possibly of different sizes, each as a separate matrix level.

  • Duplicated Sources: provides a means of increasing the number of total destinations, by replicating inputs using external DAs to 2 or more routers. For example two 16x64 analog video routers (MSC-XV1664) could be utilized, with external input replication, to create a 16 input by 128 output analog video matrix.

  • Chained: this provides a means of expanding the total number of sources of a matrix, by combining routers into a primary and secondary stage. For example five 16x64 analog video routers (MSC-XV1664) could be used to create a large 256 input by 16 output matrix, by connecting the outputs of 4 of the secondary routers (64 total) to the inputs of the 5th router used as the primary router (as depicted in the diagram on the right).


Panel Commands

Panel commands provide a means of utilizing panel buttons for custom purposes. Panel buttons can be configured to execute arbitrary MASCOT protocol commands. Example uses include recalling presets or executing one or more specific cross-point connections.


Additional Matrix Levels

Many Matrix Switch Corporation routers support combining multiple matrices as additional levels. For example, an MSC-XD1616L router can be connected to an MSC-XA1616L router to add a 16x16 analog audio matrix. The resulting router would typically result in a 16x16 SDI matrix as the primary level (supporting SDI video and embedded SDI audio) and the 16x16 analog audio matrix as the secondary level.

There are several options for connecting multiple matrix levels together, depending on product features, including:

  • TCP/IP port 40 Mascot interface (the master router must be a Pyxis series router but slave routers can be any MSC router generation)

  • RS-485 Mascot serial port (for devices which have an RS-485 interface)

  • D25 AUX connector (for connecting a router with a D25 AUX connector to another MSC device without a full control system, such as the MSC-AA1616)

The chosen interface depends on the features of the products and proximity of the devices.

Controller-less secondary levels are offered with a dedicated D25 interface, which provides a lower cost option to add a single additional level to MSC routers which have a D25 AUX interface.

Pyxis controller systems (model numbers with an X in them) have firmware support for adding from 1 to 3 additional levels using RS-485 or TCP/IP over the Ethernet port. RS-485 provides a dedicated interface, but requires custom D9 cables and termination on each end of the daisy chain RS-485 bus. Utilizing TCP/IP over the Ethernet port provides a potentially easier option, using an Ethernet network, with the possibility of additional levels being separated by much longer distances.


GPIO Control and Status and Contact Closures

Support for General Purpose I/O can be found on several of our routers utilizing a D25 connector. This interface offers up to 24 I/O lines with the I/O direction controlled in blocks of 8. These systems can be configured to execute arbitrary MASCOT commands in response to an input pin being connected to GND (the 25th pin of the D25 connector). This offers a flexible interface for using pins as contact closures for custom panel control, recalling presets, and more.

Some systems provide dedicated contact closure pins on the same D9 connector used by the RS-232 serial interface. This includes the following Mini Routers: MSC-HD22L, MSC-HD41L, and MSC-HD42L (only supports control of the 1st output). This interface is dedicated to contact closures, for providing an external panel like interface and is not as flexible as the GPIO interface offered with some of our other routers.


Software Protocol Control

Matrix Switch Corporation products utilize our own native protocol called MASCOT and also have support for some additional 3rd party protocols.

MASCOT Protocol

This easy to use ASCII based protocol is also very flexible and can be utilized to control all aspects of our products. This protocol is used on TCP/IP port 40, which is the most commonly used software controlled interface, as well as by the HTTP web interface. RS-232 and RS-485 serial ports also use this protocol by default. MASCOT commands can be typed into the Command tab of the web interface, through a Telnet session to port 40, or via a terminal program (like Putty) on a RS-232 or RS-485 serial port of an MSC router device.

Simple MASCOT protocol command example:

X 1,2<CR>

The example above is the X Command which is used for executing a matrix connection. This example connects input 2 to output 1 for all matrix levels. The <CR> at the end of the command represents a Carriage Return character (ASCII character 13). So in summary this command is an X character followed by an optional space, the ASCII digit 1, followed by a comma, the ASCII digit 2, and finally a Carriage Return character.

The MASCOT protocol consists of many commands, but only a few of them are needed for most common scenarios.

Common MASCOT Commands

  • X Command: Execute a matrix connection.

  • P Command: Preset recall. Allows for recalling stored matrix connections for all or just a part of the routing matrix.

  • S Command: Matrix status command. Outputs the current matrix routing state as matrix source numbers separated by commas, one line for each destination.

  • MtxCfg Command: Can be used to output matrix configuration information, including: matrix size, current routing connections, labels, and presets. The output consists of industry standard JSON formatted data.

More details on the MASCOT protocol can be found in the MASCOT protocol PDF document below:

MSC-Mascot-Control-Protocol.pdf


Example Software Programs

We provide some example Python scripts for status and control using the MASCOT protocol, to help you quick start the process of integrating Matrix Switch Corporation products for your application.

The following Python example script provides a command line program for executing arbitrary MASCOT commands over TCP/IP port 40 and displaying the response.

MSC-Mascot-Example.py

The following script provides an example of sending the MtxCfg7 command, parsing the JSON response data, and displaying the data in formatted tables. This includes the routing state, labels, and stored presets.

MSC-Mascot-MtxCfg-Example.py