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Electronic Theatre Controls Inc

Docked Universal Fader Wings Compatibility with Ion

Question/Issue

My fader wing could talk to my Ion before it went in for a WinXP to Win7 upgrade, but now it can't.

My fader wings talk to my Ion via USB but are docked to each other, why can I only talk to the wing with the USB connection?

Why can my fader wing only talk to my Ion through a USB connection rather than through a docked connection?

Explanation

There are two generations of the Universal Fader wing. You can identify the generation by looking at the color of the wing's USB port:

  • black: older version, uses USB 1.0
  • orange: newer version (revised), uses USB 2.0

Old vs Revised USB Connectors ANNOTATED.jpg

Each version has a different compatibility with WinXP and Win7 Ions, as listed below:

  WinXP dock connection Win XP USB connection Win7 dock connection Win7 USB connection
Old wing (black, USB 1.0) YES YES NO YES
New wing (orange, USB 2.0) YES YES YES YES
NOTE: Docking includes if multiple wings are docked to each other. For example, if two old wings are docked to each other and one has USB connection running to a Win7 console, you will only have communication between the console and the wing with the USB connection. It will not pass the data through the dock connection, both wings will need a USB connection.

What is the difference between the USB connection and the dock connection:

  • A USB connection goes straight to the Ion's motherboard, which can negotiate between USB 1.0 and 2.0 reliably
  • A docked connection requires going through USB hubs. If the Ion is Win7, those hubs are using USB 2.0 and will have a hard time translating USB 1.0, which is why you should not have a Win7 Ion docked to an old wing
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