Rangecast FAQ
[FAQ-1076] Error Message: NO MULTISYNC or MULTISYNC UNRESPONSIVE (Code 7)


Page Type: SYMPTOM


SUBJECT

This message means that Multisync is not operating correctly.


OVERVIEW

Multisync is software that coordinates the scanning pattern of multiple scanners sharing the same programming, so that each transmission is received by only one scanner in the cluster, while other scanners are free to detect simultaneous transmissions on other channels. For low latency (realtime control of scanners), Multisync operates locally (over a LAN, not instead of over the internet) on a 'master' PC arbitrarily chosen from among the PCs participating in the cluster. If the Multisync software freezes, or is somehow blocked from operation, the senders will report that Multisync is unresponsive. This can also happen if attempting to connect PCs into a single cluster that are on different LANs, since the PCs cannot communicate with each other over a shared local network.


BACKGROUND

A "cluster" is a group of senders operating with the same hub name and feed site number.


[FAQ-1129] What is a Cluster?

A group of radio scanners operates as a "cluster" when all of the scanners are programmed to receive the same channels, and the scanners operate collaboratively via Multisync to efficiently receive transmissions on these channels. Each cluster is associated with a "cluster number", channels are assigned for reception to a particular cluster (by number), and scanners within a cluster (with the hub and number as part of its Rangecast ID) are programmed to match the programming assigned to the cluster.



SYMPTOMS

SYMPTOM on Sender - NO MULTISYNC error message - Image below




SYMPTOM on Status Page - Sender error code 7 (which means Multisync Unresponsive)

SYMPTOM on Player - The same transmission may be recorded multiple times (by different scanners), resulting in "duplicate transmissions" being heard on the Rangecast player. In addition, since the scanners are not coordinating their activities, there may be missed transmissions that are never available to the player.


METHOD

CORRECTING A MULTISYNC FAILURE -- First simply wait about 20 minutes, and the Sender may automatically fix the problem. If that does not happen, then follow procedure below to check, confirm and repair possible misconfiguration.



1) WAIT FOR 20 MINUTES BEFORE INTERVENING -- The problem may be automatically repaired.


[FAQ-1077] Rangecast will clear some problems automatically - It may be best to wait 20 minutes.

The Rangecast system is designed to be self-healing from many common problems. Although errors are generally reported quickly so you can be aware of performance and current operations, for many errors, it is often advisable to wait for 20 minutes and see if the problem corrects itself without intervention. If the cause of the problem is that some computer is temporarily offline (e.g while rebooting, undergoing maintenance, or subject to a temporary network outage), this allows time for the computer to recover and resume normal operations. Similarly, some aspects of the Rangecast system are designed to wait for a few minutes before attempting to automatically reconfigure or correct problems.



When multiple PCs are linked together in a multisync cluster, if the PC operating as the multisync master goes offline this error will occur. This can be due to a network outage, PC reboot, or software maintenance. The system will wait for at least 10 minutes before choosing another PC that's still online to become the new master. This can result in temporary multisync errors that last for a few minutes but the system will heal itself.


2) IF THE PROBLEM LASTS LONGER THAN 20 MINUTES -- CHECK IF ANY SENDER IN THE SAME HUB AND SITE IS ON A DIFFERENT LAN. If so this is an incorrect configuration that must be repaired.

Multisync requires all senders in the same cluster to be on the same LAN. This rule also applies to VOX mode senders. And it applies to abandoned "Unlinked Senders" which are senders unable to find their assigned scanner (causing RADIO MISSING and MULTISYNC errors.)

This misconfiguration happens when someone moves a scanner to a different location but fails to remove its original sender. The abandoned sender continues trying to find its missing scanner and continues to participate in the cluster, but reporting errors.

THIS CONDITION CAN BE DETECTED BY VIEWING THE SENDERS LIST ON THE STATUS PAGE. An example showing this misconfiguration is illustrated below. Note that the IP column shows two values - the WAN ADDRESS (public internet address) followed by the LAN ADDRESS (address within the local network). What matters here is the WAN address only, which must be the same for all senders within a cluster (but it is normal that the LAN address will vary between PCs.)



For example, in the illustration above, two senders (03-A 03-B) are operating at one WAN IP address, while a third sender (03-D) is operating from a different WAN IP address. Since the PCs are on different local networks, these senders are unable to communicate with each other over LAN, generating a multisync error.

WHEN THIS IS THE CAUSE THE CONFIGURATION MUST BE CHANGED TO LOCATE ALL OF THE MULTISYNCED SENDERS ON THE SAME LAN. Multisync does not support PCs on different LANs being part of the same cluster (hub name and feed site number.) Useful resources may include

[FAQ-1074] How to remove a scanner from Rangecast service

When a Rangecast scanner is removed from Rangecast service (while the PC remains operational), then either the scanner's Rangecast ID must be changed to a special value (if the scanner remains connected) indicating that the scanner should not be used, or (if the scanner is disconnected) the Rangecast Configuration on the PC must be informed that the removed scanner is no longer expected on the PC.



[FAQ-1075] How to move a Rangecast scanner from one PC to another

When a scanner is moved from one PC to another, in addition to moving the scanner itself (and possibly associated hardware), changes in Rangecast Configuration are needed on the PC where the scanner was removed to notify that PC that the scanner is no longer expected there. In addition, if the scanner is a model 536, Rangecast Configuration changes are needed on the PC receiving the scanner, to set the scanner's Rangecast ID.



Proceed if the problem is still seen, after verifying that all senders are operating on the same LAN:

3) Determine whether the sender reporting the error indicates that the local PC is operating in a "master" or "slave" role. You may make this determination from either the sender or the status page:

a) On the sender display, look at the line titled Multisync (see the illustration in the 'symptoms' section of this page). [M] means Master, [S] means Slave.

Note: when a sender on a slave PC is unable to contact the master, this line will look as illustrated, "[S] MASTER?" means that the sender is operating in slave mode and is unable to contact the master.
-or-
b) On the status page, navigate to the list of senders, and then look at the column titled "M" (for Multisync). On the row for a specific sender, this column will be blank for master (the usual condition), and S for Slave.



4) If the sender indicates that it's operating in slave mode, find the PC that is operating as the master for the cluster, and see if it's also reporting the same error.

If yes, ignore the problem on the slave PC, and continue with this process to diagnose the cause on the master PC.

If no, then check for network problems, such as whether multisync.exe (on the master PC) is granted correct network permissions (in Windows or local PC firewall.)

[FAQ-1078] How to check that Rangecast has correct network permissions

Rangecast feed site software only uses outbound connections to the internet (similar to a web browser), with no inbound connections from the internet, so in general there is no need for special network permissions. However, two components of Rangecast software (multisync.exe and rc-awsd.exe) must have permission in Windows to communicate within the LAN; for example, multisync serves as a communication service between PCs on the same LAN to coordinate scanner tuning for maximum efficiency. The Rangecast software, when installed, should have the correct permissions in Windows. However, if these permissions are changed for any reason, it may be necessary to restore the correct Windows settings to allow Rangecast operation.



5) If the sender indicates that it's operating in master mode, check to see if Multisync is running. On the PC, hover over icons in the taskbar (running programs) and see if one of them is multisync: the idea is to hover over each of the items in the taskbar and see how they are labeled in the hover text.




If yes, then check for network problems, such as whether multisync.exe (on the master PC) is granted correct network permissions (in Windows or local PC firewall.)

[FAQ-1078] How to check that Rangecast has correct network permissions

Rangecast feed site software only uses outbound connections to the internet (similar to a web browser), with no inbound connections from the internet, so in general there is no need for special network permissions. However, two components of Rangecast software (multisync.exe and rc-awsd.exe) must have permission in Windows to communicate within the LAN; for example, multisync serves as a communication service between PCs on the same LAN to coordinate scanner tuning for maximum efficiency. The Rangecast software, when installed, should have the correct permissions in Windows. However, if these permissions are changed for any reason, it may be necessary to restore the correct Windows settings to allow Rangecast operation.



If no, then reboot the PC and see if the problem clears (in case multisync crashed and was unable to recover.) If the problem persists, then check for some problem preventing multisync from launching on that PC (missing files in the Rangecast installation, or system permissions blocking execution.)


EXCEPTIONS

It is possible to custom-configure a sender to use Multisync in a mode where the LAN address of the master is a fixed value, not dynamically assigned. In this case, the sender will show some value other than [M] or [S] on the Multisync line. This is a very rare circumstance preserved for backwards compatibility, and is not a recommended configuration.


[FAQ-1094] How to remove the INI file for one sender on a feed site PC

Early versions of the Rangecast software had each sender on a PC operate entirely independently of the others (no configuration page to view settings for all senders in one place) with settings for each sender stored in a separate INI file generated by that sender's "Setup" page. This feature is still used in the rare case of VOX senders, but in all other cases is deprecated. Automatic settings have been developed that eliminate the need for customization in most situations, and when necessary any customization should be done in the "Special Settings" box of the configuration screen, where the settings are more visible (and it's possible to ensure all senders are set as desired.) This process describes how to remove the INI file, and transfer any manual settings that you want to preserve to the "Special Settings" parameter.





REFERENCE

Rangecast dynamically assigns a Master PC for each cluster (group of senders with the same hub and feed site number, e.g. example-10). Which PC operates as the master may change on occasion, usually in the event that a former master experiences an internet outage lasting more than 10 minutes. Therefore, whether a particular PC is operating as a master or slave is a temporary designation, not a permanent condition.


CITATIONS

INDEX


Rangecast FAQ - ID 1076 - last updated 02 August 2017     Images shown - [block]