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Author Topic: The mystic qualities of ethernet cable and protecting yourself in the real world  (Read 1411 times)

Steve Oldridge

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No. Analog audio has very low requirements of cable, high speed data does not. While there is always the possibility of more problems with cheap cable, if it is wired correctly it should perform as well as more expensive cable. It just may not be a rugged. The requirements for high speed data are pretty high, and carefully specified.

Mac
Thanks Mac..  I figured as much, but  thought I would pose the question..  for others in the "lounge".
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Jonathan Woytek

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Lastly certification is not just the cable, it is the system.  The attachment of connectors, patching and the physical media all must pass the test.

To double-down on this and similar comments posted by Mac about the needs of data cabling, it is probably especially important to emphasize to folks new to data cabling in the audio world the statement that the cable is part of a system. When it gets damaged, it can't be reliably spliced like audio or speaker cables. A quick splice and fix with electrical tape is not going to cut it (unless you're really, really lucky). Likewise, quality and correct termination practices are necessary to maintain the signal path. For the average audio cable, a poor quality solder joint will likely still work at least a little bit. In a data cable, a poor quality crimp on a termination can render the connection completely unusable.

If you're depending on an ethernet "snake" for your audio, it is wise to have something to use as backup. If you're using a ruggedized ethernet snake with a single line, it's cheap insurance to buy a 100' pre-terminated "patch" cable to keep in a box with your gear. It isn't fancy, but for ~$14 (monoprice.com) and the price of maybe moving your mix position forward a bit, it's an inexpensive way to make sure that the show can go on after someone drives a backhoe over your ruggedized cable and compromises it (DAMHIKT).

Speaking of the above, I'm jonesing to find someone to make cable ramps at a reasonable price. Another topic for another thread, but the theme is similar: That ethernet line is a lot smaller and lighter than a 24x8 copper multicore, but it still needs to be protected and respected!

jonathan
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Jonathan Woytek
Dryrose Productions

Bob Leonard

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Thanks all for adding to the conversation.

Just one question for Jonathan. Good quality made in the USA certified cable sells for about a dollar per foot terminated. Would you trust a 100' $14 cable to get the job done without issues?
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 05:03:44 pm by Bob Leonard »
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BOSTON STRONG........

I did a gig for Otis Elevator once. Like every job, it had it's ups and downs.

Yoel Farkas

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No. Analog audio has very low requirements of cable, high speed data does not. While there is always the possibility of more problems with cheap cable, if it is wired correctly it should perform as well as more expensive cable. It just may not be a rugged. The requirements for high speed data are pretty high, and carefully specified.

Mac
Analog cables will transmitted audio even it's cheaply build. But noise induction is another story.

A quostion I use to ask: when you in a store to choose a cable, how do you know which cable is better. Most people answer, Price. They think the more expensive the cable the better it is.

On a project I worked on cable manufacturing. We bought a lot of popular cables 2 of each model. We cut one and test the other one with intentionly inducing noise. We found that price has noting to do with the quality of the cable. Of course good cables cost more. But some of the expensive cables was barely shielded inducing a lot of noise. And some of the cheap cables ware decent.

Also oher points to look at analog cables is the connectors. Good cables will have top brand connectors (neutrik, switchcraft)
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Yoel Farkas
Expert Sound inc.
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Jonathan Woytek

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Thanks all for adding to the conversation.

Just one question for Jonathan. Good quality made in the USA certified cable sells for about a dollar per foot terminated. Would you trust a 100' $14 cable to get the job done without issues?

Have done and will probably do in the future, especially as a (tested) backup. For primary, I tend to make and terminate my own cables using certified cable with proper technique and tools. If you're in a position that requires purchasing made in US items, that's one thing. Otherwise, $1/ft for umarmored cat6 patch cables is overpaying, regardless of certification. I spend my day job life around high-speed data networks. Well-made properly-executed cabling is widely available at good prices, but one must pay attention when buying.
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Jonathan Woytek
Dryrose Productions

Dave Bednarski

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You can always have one built for you (vs. shelf buy).  The resulting cable + connector combo won't be unique in the cable world but talking with a human and can help make the right purchase for your needs/use case.

I had a backup cable built this spring by Stonewall Cable in NH.  An engineer there spent time w/ me on the phone reviewing the specs for my stage box/console/ferrite core - made an attempt to understand my "system" and how else the cable may be deployed.

Now I have a "tactical" cable that arrived with a birth certificate listing bunch of shit I don't understand but I could probably use it as a spare safety chain for the truck/trailer.  It makes ProCo CAT it replaced as my emergency backup feel like dental floss.
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Rob Spence

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There are lots of strange financial decisions I find amusing/frustrating in our world.

The really talented lead singer who won't spring for a $250 mic when the other band mates have each spent thousands.

Spend thousands on a mixer and stage box but not buy the interconnect cable the manufacturer recommended for the "system".


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
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Rick Powell

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Speaking of the above, I'm jonesing to find someone to make cable ramps at a reasonable price. Another topic for another thread, but the theme is similar: That ethernet line is a lot smaller and lighter than a 24x8 copper multicore, but it still needs to be protected and respected!

jonathan

We got a bunch of these, and they work pretty well. We are running AC to the board and a ProCo Cat 6 cable in the troughs. When they were on sale, we got it for $25 a section.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Channel-Rubber-Electrical-Wire-Cable-Cover-Ramp-Guard-Warehouse-Cord-Protector/391630034101?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

Our previous Cat 5e got mangled by a semi truck driving over a makeshift "cable protector" that the village had provided for a car show event, consisting of warped boards nailed together. I suspect the cable got pinched by one of the boards as the truck went over...probably worse than a direct roll-over. We got lots of snap, crackle, pop in the cable immediately afterward as well as a few seconds of dead air every time something would jiggle the cable.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 12:37:09 pm by Rick Powell »
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