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Author Topic: X32 + S16 popping with shielded cat5e cable and ethercon connectors  (Read 1279 times)

Mark van Leeuwen

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Hi,

After getting occasional drop-outs and popping with our X32 Core + S16 with an unshielded cable + ethercons, I recently replaced the cable with shielded heavy duty cat5e cable also with ethercons.

I understand this has solved the ESD issue for others, but it has made no difference for us. If anything, the problem is now worse. Last Sunday, for example, we experienced 2 loud pops.

I have double checked the snake cable. The drain wire is definitely attached to the ethercons and I have put an ampmeter across the connectors to confirm there is no break.

The X32, S16 and speakers are all on the same circuit. There is one output which goes to a simple powered splitter which is possibly on another circuit.
I have tested all the XLR cables and all test OK.
I relaid all XLR cables to increase there distance from power cables just as a precaution.

What other measures can I take to prevent the popping?

It does seem to be caused by ESD. We have had a long dry spell and the problem only seems to happen when there is a lot of movement of people in the room.

Any ideas or suggested solutions would be most welcome!
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 11:51:09 am by Mark van Leeuwen »
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Rob Spence

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Re: X32 + S16 popping with shielded cat5e cable and ethercon connectors
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2017, 10:11:09 am »

Hi,

After getting occasional drop-outs and popping with our X32 Core + S16 with an unshielded cable + ethercon cable, I recently replaced the cable with shielded heavy duty cat5e cable also with ethercons.

I understand this has solved the ESD issue for others, but it has made no difference for us. If anything, the problem is now worse. Last Sunday, for example, we experienced 2 loud pops.

I have double checked the snake cable. The drain wire is definitely attached to the ethercons and I have put an ampmeter across the connectors to confirm there is no break.

The X32, S16 and speakers are all on the same circuit. There is one output which goes to a simple powered splitter which is possibly on another circuit.
I have tested all the XLR cables and all test OK.
I relaid all XLR cables to increase there distance from power cables just as a precaution.

What other measures can I take to prevent the popping?

It does seem to be caused by ESD. We have had a long dry spell and the problem only seems to happen when there is a lot of movement of people in the room.

Any ideas or suggested solutions would be most welcome!

What is this simple powered splitter?
Are you transformer isolated from it?



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rob at lynxaudioservices dot com

Dealer for: AKG, Allen & Heath, Ashley, Astatic, Audix, Blue Microphones, CAD, Chauvet, Community, Countryman, Crown, DBX, Electro-Voice, FBT, Furman, Heil, Horizon, Intellistage, JBL, Lab Gruppen, Mid Atlantic, On Stage Stands, Pelican, Peterson Tuners, Presonus, ProCo, QSC, Radial, RCF, Sennheiser, Shure, SKB, Soundcraft, TC Electronics, Telex, Whirlwind and others

Robert Lofgren

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Re: X32 + S16 popping with shielded cat5e cable and ethercon connectors
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2017, 10:35:10 am »

Is everything properly grounded so the esd has somwhere to go?

You said drain wire. Are the actual wires surrounded by a shield and not just individually shielded?

Mechanical stress (bent cable, people walking on it,...) can cause the same symptoms.
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Mark van Leeuwen

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Re: X32 + S16 popping with shielded cat5e cable and ethercon connectors
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2017, 11:20:50 am »

Thanks for quick replies.

What is this simple powered splitter?
Are you transformer isolated from it?

The splitter takes video and audio components in and splits that for sending to two screens in other rooms. There is a balanced XLR to component audio adapter cable that goes from S16 out cable to this device.
It is not transformer isolated.

Is everything properly grounded so the esd has somwhere to go?

You said drain wire. Are the actual wires surrounded by a shield and not just individually shielded?

Mechanical stress (bent cable, people walking on it,...) can cause the same symptoms.

I wonder whether grounding is the issue. I had an electrical engineer check the grounding a few years ago, but perhaps it has deteriorated.

It is standard CAT5e shielding, i.e. there is a foil shield inside the cable jacket. The individual twisted pairs do not have their own shield but each pair has its own sheath which is what makes the cable heavy duty.

The new STP CAT5e cable is straight off the reel and AFAIK undamaged.
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Bill McKelvey

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Re: X32 + S16 popping with shielded cat5e cable and ethercon connectors
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2017, 03:45:54 pm »

Hi,

After getting occasional drop-outs and popping with our X32 Core + S16 with an unshielded cable + ethercons, I recently replaced the cable with shielded heavy duty cat5e cable also with ethercons.

I understand this has solved the ESD issue for others, but it has made no difference for us. If anything, the problem is now worse. Last Sunday, for example, we experienced 2 loud pops.

I have double checked the snake cable. The drain wire is definitely attached to the ethercons and I have put an ampmeter across the connectors to confirm there is no break.

The X32, S16 and speakers are all on the same circuit. There is one output which goes to a simple powered splitter which is possibly on another circuit.
I have tested all the XLR cables and all test OK.
I relaid all XLR cables to increase there distance from power cables just as a precaution.

What other measures can I take to prevent the popping?

It does seem to be caused by ESD. We have had a long dry spell and the problem only seems to happen when there is a lot of movement of people in the room.

Any ideas or suggested solutions would be most welcome!
Are any channels using phantom power? A poor connection will pop when moved/jiggled.
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Mark van Leeuwen

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Re: X32 + S16 popping with shielded cat5e cable and ethercon connectors
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2017, 09:13:48 pm »

Are any channels using phantom power? A poor connection will pop when moved/jiggled.

Yes, a few channels do use phantom power. I have tried moving/jiggling all connections but could not reproduce it. Also, the popping is much louder than I would expect from a bad connection, it is like a gunshot, so that is why I have been suspecting it must be an ESD.
 
But I will followup on your suggestion and test without those channels.

Edit:
I should also mention that there have been drop-outs as well as very loud pops. From the recording taken at the time, it looks to me like the X32 and S16 lost sync. From what I have read on the forums this also is a symptom of ESD.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 10:23:35 pm by Mark van Leeuwen »
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Erik Jerde

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Re: X32 + S16 popping with shielded cat5e cable and ethercon connectors
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2017, 11:05:14 pm »

Sounds like you made your own cable.  How did you test it?  Did you solder the drain wire to the shielded rj plug?  What kind of ends did you use (be brand and part specific here)?  Yournshield connection shouldn't rely on the ethercon connector.  You should be able to remove that and still have a solid path to ground via the drain wire.
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David Pedd

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Re: X32 + S16 popping with shielded cat5e cable and ethercon connectors
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2017, 11:11:23 pm »

Your shield connection shouldn't rely on the ethercon connector.  You should be able to remove that and still have a solid path to ground via the drain wire.

Can you explain how that would work?
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Rob Spence

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Re: X32 + S16 popping with shielded cat5e cable and ethercon connectors
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2017, 11:23:49 pm »

Can you explain how that would work?

Yes, there are metal clad RJ45 connectors specifically for shielded twisted pair.


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Erik Jerde

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Re: X32 + S16 popping with shielded cat5e cable and ethercon connectors
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2017, 11:24:44 pm »

Can you explain how that would work?

You use shielded connectors.  It's like the plugs you are used to but they are wrapped with metal.  Remember, shielded connections existed in the data world long before ethercon and they still exist without it.  Ethercon exists primarily to protect the data connector.  It may provide some auxiliary grounding path but that isn't its primary purpose.  The shell doesn't make anywhere near a reliably good enough connection to the cable for that.
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