CUBE Equipment

Full rack

We are now using dual 2.2G Intel Xeon processor pc's with 512M RAM, dual NIC's (one Gig, one 100Base) and 3D Labs Wildcat 6210 graphics cards to drive our Cube.

The fully loaded rack was designed to be a roll-in replacement for the previous generation of Cube graphics engine.  Network connection, graphics feeds and stereo sync pulses are all located on convenient connectors in the rear of the rack.


KVM switch

The front of the rack has a Tripp-lite 8 port KVM switch used to feed the monitor on the top of the rack.  The KVM is isolated from the main graphics outputs by six Extron 109xi interface boxes.



Keyboard and mouse (or track pad) are on a rack-mounted slide-out tray and control the seven pc's in the rack through he KVM switch.


Network switch

Rack mounted and accessible from the rear of the rack, the eight port 1Gig network switch is for internal communication among the pc's in the rack.  There is no connection to the outside world on this network.


100Base hub

A second network channel uses this 100Base hub to connect the machines in the rack among themselves and also to the outside world.


We used whatever equipment rack we had sitting around for our first generation pc Cube engine, but that lead to a mess of peripheral gear around the rack.  This rack is 72" tall and most importantly 36" deep, allowing essentially two racks worth of gear to be mounted, one in front (the pc's) and one in the rear (all the peripheral gear).  Nice wheelies and front and rear case covers make this rack easy to maneuver and shippable too.



Rack mounted, but having the isolated BNC outputs external to the rack, this configuration allows for easy connection to our matrix video switch via the cables coming up from under the computer floor.


An awful lot of heat is generated in the rack.  A big fan is cheap insurance against overheating.


Video distribution amp

Distribution of the vertical sync signal of the master pc to the other 5 graphics pc's and of the stereo trigger signal for the active stereo glasses' emitters is handled by a simple video distribution amp (one in- six out x 2).



A little planning can prevent daisy-chaining of power strips and dangling messes of wall-warts in the rack.  This rack-mounted arrangement gives the rack 36 receptacles on three separate 120 volt/20 amp power circuits.


Breakout cable

To get the genlock signal required by the Wildcat 6210 graphics cards, we use an HD-15 to 5BNC breakout cable.  The vertical signal from the vga graphics on this cable loops through an unterminated input on the video distribution amp and again becomes an HD-15 feed through another HD-15 to 5BNC breakout cable, which then feeds the Extron box of the first graphics channel.