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Author Topic: Floor Box Connectors  (Read 4116 times)

Brad Weber

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Floor Box Connectors
« on: October 27, 2012, 10:22:01 AM »

Looking for feedback on experiences and preferences regarding the orientation of connectors in floor boxes, especially those that involve operating a spring loaded tab or button to insert and/or remove them.
 
I generally prefer to use pockets that have the connectors on a slant and to keep the connectors oriented vertically but find that if I have to 'stack' connectors with one above the other then the lower connector can be difficult to access.  In those situations would you prefer the floor box:
 
  • Kept the connectors vertical and in the standard orientation?
  • Kept the connectors vertical but inverted the lower ones so the tabs would be at the bottom rather than between connectors?
  • Rotated the connectors to be horizontal?  Is there a reason to not do this?  Is there a preferred orientation for any release tabs or buttons?
  • Some other orientation or solution?
Thanks in advance for any input!
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brian maddox

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Re: Floor Box Connectors
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2012, 11:13:45 AM »

Looking for feedback on experiences and preferences regarding the orientation of connectors in floor boxes, especially those that involve operating a spring loaded tab or button to insert and/or remove them.
 
I generally prefer to use pockets that have the connectors on a slant and to keep the connectors oriented vertically but find that if I have to 'stack' connectors with one above the other then the lower connector can be difficult to access.  In those situations would you prefer the floor box:
 
  • Kept the connectors vertical and in the standard orientation?
  • Kept the connectors vertical but inverted the lower ones so the tabs would be at the bottom rather than between connectors?
  • Rotated the connectors to be horizontal?  Is there a reason to not do this?  Is there a preferred orientation for any release tabs or buttons?
  • Some other orientation or solution?
Thanks in advance for any input!

unless the floor pocket is unusually large, i find that any orientation with tabbed connectors [mainly XLRs] is a problem.  All tabs up makes the second row hard to deal with.  Bottom row inverted is confusing when plugging things in in the dark.  And connectors with tabs on the side leads to pushing the wrong tab since it's hard to tell which tab goes to which connector.

My vote is for no tabs at all.  Frankly, i feel that way about nearly all uses of female panel mount XLRs since my experience has been that a high quality non-tabbed connector gives enough resistance to prevent things from being accidentally pulled out except in the most extreme circumstances.  In a floor pocket, this is even more true.  if your floor pocket has a cover, the cables are already exiting at an angle.  This makes it very unlikely that something will come out without some kind of extreme force.

locking connectors are absolutely essential for inline connections.  but panel mount connectors?  not so much.
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Tom Young

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Re: Floor Box Connectors
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2012, 05:32:26 PM »

unless the floor pocket is unusually large, i find that any orientation with tabbed connectors [mainly XLRs] is a problem.  All tabs up makes the second row hard to deal with.  Bottom row inverted is confusing when plugging things in in the dark.  And connectors with tabs on the side leads to pushing the wrong tab since it's hard to tell which tab goes to which connector.

My vote is for no tabs at all.  Frankly, i feel that way about nearly all uses of female panel mount XLRs since my experience has been that a high quality non-tabbed connector gives enough resistance to prevent things from being accidentally pulled out except in the most extreme circumstances.  In a floor pocket, this is even more true.  if your floor pocket has a cover, the cables are already exiting at an angle.  This makes it very unlikely that something will come out without some kind of extreme force.

locking connectors are absolutely essential for inline connections.  but panel mount connectors?  not so much.

I agree that no locking tabs might be the way to go with floor boxes.

I do point out, however, that on some floor boxes the slanted panels are perpendicular to the cable exit slot and therefore some connectors will have little, or no, resistance to being pulled/jerked out without the locking tabs. I just installed 4 FSR floorboxes where this is the case.

Another point to consider is that of Speakons, which you did not comment on nor did Brad specifically inquire about. The locking latch on these both ensures that it won't come unplugged *and* that the contacts are connected via rotation. So even if there is a way to defeat the locking mechanism ... this would not be a good idea under any circumstances.
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Brad Weber

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Re: Floor Box Connectors
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2012, 04:45:06 AM »

Connector options with spring retention seem rather limited (Switchcraft seems to offer several latchless female XLRs in their E series but it looks like there is all of one latchless female XLR model in the entire Neutrik D, DL and DLX lines).  I also often have male receptacles that have a corresponding female cable connector with a button that has to be accessed as well as some connections such as RJ45/8P8C that inherently have a tab on the connector if not also on the receptacle.  So I don't see completely avoiding tabs or buttons that have to be accessed as always being practical.  There are also some situations such as 1/4" connections where I prefer locking connectors as they are not only secure but also tend to encourage people to fully insert the connector.
 
The other factor is that whether using custom inserts or standard gang plates, with stacked, vertically oriented connectors many floor box inserts/plates seem to leave limited clearance and very little labeling space.
 
One of the reasons I asked is that I noticed that RCI, ProCo, Liberty, etc. seem to have all moved to horizontally oriented 'D' format connectors on their 'standard' plates with vertically stacked connectors and I figured there must be a reason.
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Tom Young

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Re: Floor Box Connectors
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2012, 06:06:49 AM »

There are also some situations such as 1/4" connections where I prefer locking connectors as they are not only secure but also tend to encourage people to fully insert the connector.

What do you use 1/4" for, Brad ?

I haven't specified (or seen specified) any, other than in custom interfaces for MI gear adjacent to patchbays, in decades.
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Tom Young
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Brad Weber

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Re: Floor Box Connectors
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2012, 07:13:18 AM »

What do you use 1/4" for, Brad ?

I haven't specified (or seen specified) any, other than in custom interfaces for MI gear adjacent to patchbays, in decades.
I tend to use female XLR for mic level inputs, male XLR for intercom, SpeakOns for speaker level and 1/4"/XLR combos for tie lines.  Thus in order to differentiate it from other signals I often use 1/4" for line level.
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Re: Floor Box Connectors
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2012, 07:13:18 AM »


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