Introduction: 10GbE Mac Workstation for Phantom Cinestation

About: Artist & Filmmaker

10Gb Ethernet (multimode SC-LC fiber optic) Mac Workstation for use with Phantom CineStation-X2SR and CineStream-X2SR. The Cinestation supports the CineMag I or II for the Phantom Flex and Phantom HD Gold cameras.

In this instructable, I will give step by step instructions on how to set up a Mac computer (Required: 64-bit and Thunderbolt 1 or 2) with a Magma ExpressBox 1T expansion chassis to allow for a 10Gb Ethernet connection from Cinestation to Mac computer.

Step 1: Required & Recommended Components

The recommended (optional) and required components to setup a 10Gb Ethernet Mac Workstation for use with the Phantom Cinestation: (Although their may be other brand components that might work in place of the ones I've listed, for the purpose of this instructable, I am only listing the specific brand components that I have tested and know to work)

1) Mac computer with the following minimum requirements:

-2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo i5 or higher (64-bit)

-4GB RAM or higher

-80GB+ available Hard-drive space

-Thunderbolt 1 or 2

-Mac OS X 10.9, 10.10, or 10.11

2) Windows 7 (64-bit) License (Full version - not upgrade license)

3) Magma ExpressBox 1T expansion chassis and Thunderbolt cable (Thunderbolt cable does not come included with purchase of Magma ExpressBox)

4) Myricom 10G-PCIE2-8B2-2S Two-Port 10-Gigabit Ethernet Network Adapter

5) Finisar FTLX8511D3 10Gbase-SR/SW 10Gbe 850nm XFP Transceiver


LaCie 6TB D2 Desktop Thunderbolt & USB 3.0 Hard-drive (comes with a Thunderbolt cable included), or another Thunderbolt External HD


*Important to Note:

INCOMPATIBLE COMPONENTS: Myricom 10G-PCIE-8A-R (Does not support Thunderbolt)

Step 2: Installing the Myricom Network Card

Installing the Myricom Network card in the Magma ExpressBox and the XFP Transceiver into the Myricom port is a quick and easy step.

To install the Myricom Network card in the Magma ExpressBox, begin by manually unscrewing the back of the Magma Box (the back of the Box has two Thunderbolt ports and a power port). There are two screw nobs on the back (as shown in the picture), one at the top and one at the bottom. Both of these nobs can be unscrewed by hand (do not unscrew the four screws on the front of the Magma box). Once you have unscrewed the two back screws, pull out on the back panel and the inside tray will slide out. You can then insert the Myricom Network card into the PCIe slot (make sure you are inserting the network card correctly). After the card is installed, slide the tray back into the Magma box and tighten the two back screws.

To install the Finisar XFP Transceiver, simply plug the transceiver into one of the two ports on the Myricom Network card, pressing firmly on the transceiver until it clicks into place.

*Note: It's very important that you never touch the ends of the fiber optic cable with your hands (dust and/or oils from your skin, if exposed to the fiber optic connectors, can cause data corruption and/or transfer failures). Always keep the covers on the ends of the fiber optic cable, and keep the fiber optic ports covered on the Myricom Network card and Cinestation to protect from exposure to dust or moisture.

Step 3: Setting Up Your Mac: Installing Windows 7 (64-bit), PCC & Drivers

Setting up your Mac: Installing Windows 7 (64-bit), Phantom Camera Control (PCC) software & Drivers

The first step is installing Windows 7 (64-bit) on your Mac through Bootcamp. It's crucial that you only install Windows 7 (64-bit), not Windows 8 or other versions of Windows. The Apple Bootcamp instructions recommend that you use Windows 8, stating that you have to check if your system will support older versions of windows. However, you can install Windows 7 and it will work. I have successfully installed Windows 7 through Bootcamp and tested it on a new MacBook Pro Retina (2015 model). Windows and the Phantom Camera Control software work as intended. For the purpose of this instructable, I am not going to list step-by-step instructions on how to install Windows through Bootcamp. I have however included a link to Apple's step-by-step instructions on installing Windows via Bootcamp, which can be found here:

Once you have successfully installed Windows 7 (64-bit) on your Mac, boot into the Windows operating system. The next step is installing the Phantom Camera Control (PCC) software, the WinPcap driver and the Myricom 10GbE driver. You can request a download of the PCC software by visiting:

Once the PCC software has been downloaded, begin the PCC installation. During the PCC installation, select the option to install the WinPcap driver. You can also download the driver directly from WinPcap:

Another very important step during the Installation of the PCC software, is to select YES to "install drivers for the 10Gb Ethernet connection" (If this option is not selected, you will not be able to establish a 10Gb connection). To ensure a successful 10Gb connection, you also want to make sure the Phantom Camera and Cinestation that you're using are running on the latest firmware. You can check for firmware updates and download them at:

Important to Note: Users that already have an older version of the PCC software installed on their computer will need to manually install the new 10Gb Ethernet driver from Vision Research. The 10GbE driver will not install automatically during installation of the newest release of PCC on computers running an older version of the PCC software. 1st time/new installations of the most recent release of PCC do not require the 10GbE driver to be manually installed. The driver will install automatically during the PCC software installation. Instructions on how to manually install the 10Gb Ethernet driver can be found here:

Following the installation of PCC and WinPcap, connect the power cord to the Magma ExpressBox 1T and plug into power outlet. After you have connected the Magma Box to power, plug a Thunderbolt cable into one of the two Thunderbolt ports on the back of the Magma Box and then plug the other end of Thunderbolt cable into computer (Myricom Network card needs to be installed inside the Magma Box prior to this step). The second Thunderbolt port on the Magma Box can be used to connect your Thunderbolt External Hard-drive. The Magma Box does not have an on/off switch, as it automatically powers up when connected to power and computer. The Magma Box works with your Mac computer without requiring any additional Magma Box drivers. Magma Driver is not required for Mac OS X or Windows 7, which means no manual installation of the Magma driver. Windows 7 Operating System provides and loads the driver automatically. After you have connected the Magma Box to computer and it's powered up, you will need to install the Myricom 10Gb Ethernet driver (64-bit), which can be downloaded from:

I recommend downloading and installing the driver separately on both the mac and windows side (when in Windows os - you will download the corresponding Myricom (64-bit) driver for Windows 7; when in Mac os - you will download the Myricom (64-bit) driver for the corresponding OS X version running on your mac (10.9, 10.10, or 10.11).

**Once the Myricom driver is installed, the last step is configuring the Network adapter settings in Windows 7:

1. Open the Windows Control Panel

2. Select ‘Network and Sharing Center’

3. From the left menu options, select ‘Change adapter settings’

4. Right-click on the network connection/adapter that corresponds to the Myricom 10GE card

5. Select ‘Properties’

(For step 6: refer to Figure 3 in the image above that's attached to this instructable step)

6. In the ‘Networking’ tab, uncheck all the items for ‘This connection uses the following items:’, except for the following two items that are to remain checked:

a. QoS Packet Scheduler

b. Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)

7. Select/highlight the ‘Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4’ item)

8. Click the ‘Properties’ button

(For steps 9-12: Refer to the image above that's attached to this instructable step)

9. In the 'General' tab of the 'IPv4 Properties' menu, click the following radio buttons: (refer to Figure 4 in the image above that's attached to this instructable step)

a. Use the following IP address

b. Use the following DNS server

10. Manually assign the following settings in the 'Local Area Connection Properties' menu: (refer to Figure 4 in the image above that's attached to this instructable step)

a. IP:

b. Subnet Mask:

c. Leave the 'Default Gateway' blank

d. Leave all DNS server fields blank

11. Click the 'OK' button for the 'IPv4 Properties' menu

12. Click the 'OK' button for the 'Local Area Connection Properties' menu

**Cinestation and fiber optic cable connection:

1. Attach all required cables:

a. Connect the Receive, (RxD), SC Connector to the CineStation transceivers left interface

b. Connect the opposite end, (the LC Connector), of the multi-mode fiber cable to the Myricom 10-Gbps PCIe transceiver's Transmit, (TxD), interface

c. Connect the Transmit, (TxD), SC Connector to the CineStation transceivers right interface

d. Connect the opposite end, (the LC Connector), of the multi-mode fiber cable to the Myricom 10-Gbps PCIe transceiver's Receive, (RxD), interface

e. Connect the Cinestation power supply 3-pin Fischer connecter to the Cinestation

f. Connect the Cinestation power AC cord to a power outlet

2. Power on the Cinestation

3. Wait for the Cinestation to completely boot (approx. 30-40 sec)

4. Open the PCC software