ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Down

Author Topic: CATx connectivity solutions for digital consoles  (Read 17341 times)

Doug Fowler

  • Member since May 1995, 2nd poster on original LAB, moderator on and off since 1997, now running TurboMOD v1.826
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1648
  • Saint Louis, MO USA
CATx connectivity solutions for digital consoles
« on: August 09, 2013, 06:30:43 pm »

We have lots of people asking about CATx solutions for console connectivity applications; let's consolidate them here. 

As this moves forward, I can add "proven solutions" to this post.

*********************

Proven Solutions:

edit: change title, reword content to reflect original intention.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2013, 11:26:42 pm by Doug Fowler »
Logged
"It's got electrolytes.  It's got what plants crave."

Cailen Waddell

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1327
Re: CAT-5 sticky
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2013, 07:35:33 pm »

Do you mean like this?  If not delete please...

Yamaha CL1 to two rio 16 x 8 stageboxes

Using lex products 4 channel ether con snake. http://www.lexproducts.com/cs/entertainment_product?id=461&market=Entertainment&productLineId=9&subCategoryId=103

Over 20 shows, outside, never an issue.
Logged

Samuel Rees

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1848
  • Washington, D.C.
Re: CAT-5 sticky
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2013, 07:58:41 pm »

Love seeing these multi CAT solutions, they seem to be less talked about but seem very useful from loungers to LABers. Digital snakes, amp networks, redundant connections, alternative networks. Link USA has a multi-cat6 and AES cable which looks awesome but expensive.
Logged

Mac Kerr

  • Old enough to know better
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5721
  • Audio Plumber
Re: CAT-5 sticky
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2013, 08:45:25 pm »

Lots of people asking about CAT-5 for audio applications; let's consolidate them here. 

As this moves forward, I can add "proven solutions" to this post.

*********************

Proven Solutions:

I think this thread will be more useful if there is less chat, and more questions that can be answered by people who have experience with the solution they are proposing, or with the technical requirements of the cable.

There are a few varieties of Category cable, CAT5, CAT5e, CAT6, CAT7, and going forward, higher categories. There are also shielded and unshielded versions of each, solid conductor, and stranded conductor, and for video, low skew versions. Most of these variations are available with "tactical" jackets or standard installation type PVC jacket. Low skew versions should only be used for analog video over CAT5 because all the pairs have the same twist rate which increases crosstalk, but reduces time smear in the video.

You should also verify which wiring standard you need, there are two wiring standards for 8P8C (RJ45) connectors, TIA/EIA 568A and 568B.

I don't think there is any plain CAT5 being made anymore, it would all be at least CAT5e now (I think).

The standard spec of 100m (328') for Ethernet based runs is with solid conductors. Stranded conductors are often called "patch cables" because they are intended for shorter runs.

If your system calls for shielded cable you will also need shielded connectors, and make sure that the shield is only connected to the shell of each connector.

Because of the high bandwidth of the signal being carried there is more to testing cables than just continuity. If you are relying on Category cable for big shows you may want to get a cable analyzer. Even a kink in the cable can effect the cable performance, and that may not be easy to see with a tactical jacket.

If you regularly need runs of 300' or more you should consider using an electrical to optical media convertor and going to fiber.

Mac
Logged

Doug Fowler

  • Member since May 1995, 2nd poster on original LAB, moderator on and off since 1997, now running TurboMOD v1.826
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1648
  • Saint Louis, MO USA
Re: CAT-5 sticky
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2013, 10:22:21 pm »

I think this thread will be more useful if there is less chat, and more questions that can be answered by people who have experience with the solution they are proposing, or with the technical requirements of the cable.

There are a few varieties of Category cable, CAT5, CAT5e, CAT6, CAT7, and going forward, higher categories. There are also shielded and unshielded versions of each, solid conductor, and stranded conductor, and for video, low skew versions. Most of these variations are available with "tactical" jackets or standard installation type PVC jacket. Low skew versions should only be used for analog video over CAT5 because all the pairs have the same twist rate which increases crosstalk, but reduces time smear in the video.

You should also verify which wiring standard you need, there are two wiring standards for 8P8C (RJ45) connectors, TIA/EIA 568A and 568B.

I don't think there is any plain CAT5 being made anymore, it would all be at least CAT5e now (I think).

The standard spec of 100m (328') for Ethernet based runs is with solid conductors. Stranded conductors are often called "patch cables" because they are intended for shorter runs.

If your system calls for shielded cable you will also need shielded connectors, and make sure that the shield is only connected to the shell of each connector.

Because of the high bandwidth of the signal being carried there is more to testing cables than just continuity. If you are relying on Category cable for big shows you may want to get a cable analyzer. Even a kink in the cable can effect the cable performance, and that may not be easy to see with a tactical jacket.

If you regularly need runs of 300' or more you should consider using an electrical to optical media convertor and going to fiber.

Mac

Mac -

Mea culpa on the thread title, go ahead and change it something more appropriate. 

I was thinking more along the lines of "what specific cable / connector combination are you currently using that works?", specifically targeting all these new(ish) low priced digital consoles.  That's why I put it in the Lounge. 

We are getting a lot of questions like this, and I think it's useful to consolidate the information.  Maybe another sub forum (yeah, I know...) with specific console stickies, and "proven solutions" added over time.

Cailen's reply is pretty much what I had in mind here.  There's no reason we can't cover anything that needs CATx connectivity. 

I propose calling the forum "Console Networking" or something similar, if we do this.

This would eventually become a quite useful repository for this information.

What does everyone think?
Logged
"It's got electrolytes.  It's got what plants crave."

Scott Helmke

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 968
Re: CATx connectivity solutions for digital consoles
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2013, 08:24:20 am »

Fancy cable is nice, but how do you know it'll actually carry all those channels?

Here's what we use - tests Category cable and verifies Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6 performance. Looks like a toy, but does a solid job. Black Box TS580A.

http://www.blackbox.com/Store/Detail.aspx/CAT5-5e-6-LAN-Performance-Verifier/TS580A%C4%82R4
Logged

Mac Kerr

  • Old enough to know better
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5721
  • Audio Plumber
Re: CATx connectivity solutions for digital consoles
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2013, 09:29:47 am »

Fancy cable is nice, but how do you know it'll actually carry all those channels?

Here's what we use - tests Category cable and verifies Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6 performance. Looks like a toy, but does a solid job. Black Box TS580A.

http://www.blackbox.com/Store/Detail.aspx/CAT5-5e-6-LAN-Performance-Verifier/TS580A%C4%82R4

That is a critical point, and that Blackbox tester isn't really that expensive. Digital audio over category cable is a very high bandwidth compared to analog audio over individual pairs. It is not going to be as fault proof, and it is going to need more sophisticated methods for testing.

A more rugged alternative, although more expensive, is to use media converters and make your runs fiber. While still not unbreakable, tactical fiber is more rugged than category cable, easier to handle, and good for longer runs. The real expense even over the fiber itself is connectors rated for multiple insertions.

Category cable is relatively cheap, keep spares available on site, and use a data tester to verify the cable's performance, and you should be good.
Logged

TJ (Tom) Cornish

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3881
  • St. Paul, MN
Re: CATx connectivity solutions for digital consoles
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2013, 09:40:04 am »

Fancy cable is nice, but how do you know it'll actually carry all those channels?

  I look at the main status and event log screens on my GLD surface, which indicate QoS or other link problems.  Built-in cable tester.
Logged

Mac Kerr

  • Old enough to know better
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5721
  • Audio Plumber
Re: CATx connectivity solutions for digital consoles
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2013, 10:22:49 am »

  I look at the main status and event log screens on my GLD surface, which indicate QoS or other link problems.  Built-in cable tester.

Once you are set up is pretty late in the game to be testing cables. The whole console makes a clumsy tester in the shop. It's much easier to test cables while they are still coiled.

Mac
Logged

TJ (Tom) Cornish

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3881
  • St. Paul, MN
Re: CATx connectivity solutions for digital consoles
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2013, 01:11:10 pm »

Once you are set up is pretty late in the game to be testing cables. The whole console makes a clumsy tester in the shop. It's much easier to test cables while they are still coiled.

Mac
Cable wear happens 50% in the setup and 50% in the teardown (any damage that happens during the show I'm going to notice during the show, and previous cable testing obviously won't help here).   Testing cables in the shop may catch the 50% of failures that happend in the previous teardown, but that's not going to help for the other 50% - the transportation or setup damage.

Ultimately the console is the final arbiter of functionality.  For lounge-level shows small enough to only require one CAT run, I doubt re-running a spare 150' or whatever it is is a big deal.  If the show is larger and/or more important, presumably there are already mechanisms in place - spare runs, redundant links via Ethernet technologies, etc., that will mitigate the failure.  If there aren't, then the show has bigger problems than not testing the cable in the shop.
Logged

Doug Fowler

  • Member since May 1995, 2nd poster on original LAB, moderator on and off since 1997, now running TurboMOD v1.826
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1648
  • Saint Louis, MO USA
Re: CATx connectivity solutions for digital consoles
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2013, 04:07:15 pm »

The forum is operational.  Please contribute here:

http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/board,81.0.html

Logged
"It's got electrolytes.  It's got what plants crave."

Jason Lucas

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 806
  • Hillsboro, OR, USA
Re: CATx connectivity solutions for digital consoles
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2013, 04:07:35 pm »

Is there any reason why one would want stranded wire over solid, other than flexibility?
Logged
There are three things I hate: Harsh highs, hollow mids, and woofy bass.

Mac Kerr

  • Old enough to know better
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5721
  • Audio Plumber
Re: CATx connectivity solutions for digital consoles
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2013, 04:14:33 pm »

Is there any reason why one would want stranded wire over solid, other than flexibility?

Stranded wire holds up better to repeated bending, as well as generally being more flexible. In the world of networks though it cannot be used at the maximum lengths that solid wire can.

Mac
Logged

Dan Mortensen

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 362
Re: CATx connectivity solutions for digital consoles
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2013, 12:43:37 pm »

We have lots of people asking about CATx solutions for console connectivity applications; let's consolidate them here. 


Hi Doug,

Don't know if this is what you had in mind, but I put together a workshop for our local AES Section in June where we did as thorough a job as we could looking at this subject, although in hindsight we left out a few things.

http://www.aes.org/sections/pnw/pnwrecaps/2013/jun_cat5/

There are a lot of downloads, as well as a fairly thorough summary of what we did. You can even listen to a recording of the day, and look at the Powerpoint that Steve Lampen presented, as well as some other pics.

Thanks,
Dan
Logged
Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Up
 


Page created in 0.031 seconds with 19 queries.