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Author Topic: Extended audio cabling run for stadium  (Read 6437 times)

Jim Richards

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Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« on: August 03, 2015, 06:52:46 am »

I've got an install in an outdoor sports stadium that has 2 distinct 'sides' to it with bleacher seats.  My plan is to put a main rack in the pressbox with the the head-end equipment (west side bleachers) and another remote wall rack in an electrical room on the other side of the field for the amps and remote power controller for the opposite side bleachers (east side).  The previous install had a pair of CE1000's driving 650' of #10THW from the pressbox for the east side speakers...until the field was converted to turf and the excavators 'removed' the conduit and wiring with a backhoe.

My question is the audio feed for the east side.  I'm looking for opinions on the best way to get the audio out there.  The total run will be around 1100-1200' and right now, there's no cabling run or preconceived notions as to how to do it.  I'm just looking for some opinions of what would work the best.  I'm planning on doing a separate control cable run for the remote sequencer and monitoring.

Thanks for any input.
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"When push comes to shove, I want to be at the top of the ramp"

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RME Audio Video Inc.

David Buckley

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2015, 08:28:50 am »

As an audio amateur and an ex-professional network person, I'd suggest Dante over fibre networking.  Its not the cheapest solution, but everything else will be harder work.  You could even dispense with the fibre and use a point-to-point wireless link  which should reduce the installation workload further.

Since you've got a network level connection to the far electrical room, you can use IP rack switches to control the power.  With networking, one size of cabling really does fit all.
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Robert Healey

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2015, 11:06:39 am »

I've got an install in an outdoor sports stadium that has 2 distinct 'sides' to it with bleacher seats.  My plan is to put a main rack in the pressbox with the the head-end equipment (west side bleachers) and another remote wall rack in an electrical room on the other side of the field for the amps and remote power controller for the opposite side bleachers (east side).  The previous install had a pair of CE1000's driving 650' of #10THW from the pressbox for the east side speakers...until the field was converted to turf and the excavators 'removed' the conduit and wiring with a backhoe.

My question is the audio feed for the east side.  I'm looking for opinions on the best way to get the audio out there.  The total run will be around 1100-1200' and right now, there's no cabling run or preconceived notions as to how to do it.  I'm just looking for some opinions of what would work the best.  I'm planning on doing a separate control cable run for the remote sequencer and monitoring.

Thanks for any input.

All the network approaches will require fiber at that distance, but I agree it may be your best option. Is there a building network that goes to that side for point of sale, etc? You may be able to convince the IT guy to let you have a VLAN on his network.

I don't think that is too far for a strong line level run. You will want to be in metallic conduit, though, which may be a tough sell to the electrical contractor.

You could also use a high impedance (70V) system and keep the amps in the press box but again you are running a lot of cable through a lot of conduit. You would need a big, fat, expensive transformer to make sure you keep some low end on the other side if you took that approach.
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Robert Lofgren

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2015, 11:49:36 am »

While optic fiber is nice you only need three or four network switches in between (one each 300ft) if you run dante or similar protocol for audio using normal ethernet cable.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2015, 12:02:19 pm »

While optic fiber is nice you only need three or four network switches in between (one each 300ft) if you run dante or similar protocol for audio using normal ethernet cable.

Probably making the fiber cheaper. If you are using installation fiber instead of portable tactical fiber a 2 strand piece of 50m MM fiber is not that expensive. the cost of installing it will far outweigh the cost of the fiber. I would go with fiber in any network run over 100' if I could (and I do)

Mac
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Jim Richards

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2015, 04:17:35 pm »

Thank you all for your ideas and opinions.  There are no network connections or infrastructure for networking at all in the far side bleachers (think of this side of the stadium as the red-headed stepchild of an evil witch). PTP W/L was thought of at one point as it's around 400' line of sight, but then it would still require control wiring to turn the remote cabinet amps on.

Compounding this whole thing (something I forgot to mention before) was the budget for this.  They're homing in on around $10K, so my pencil needs to be exceedingly sharp.

Regarding the Dante route, any experience with the best analog to Dante conversion strategies?

Thanks again!
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RME Audio Video Inc.

Mac Kerr

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2015, 04:46:33 pm »

Regarding the Dante route, any experience with the best analog to Dante conversion strategies?

How many channels in each direction? Do you need more than 2 interface points?

Mac
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Josh Millward

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2015, 06:20:52 pm »

You are well within the realm of just running analog cable around to the other side of the stadium.

If you are going to have an amp rack over there anyway, and you have a really tight budget, I would forgo networked anything in this case and just use a couple control pairs for switching the amp rack on and off and a few audio pairs for however many channels of audio you actually need.

Keep in mind that you could just run a few Cat5e or Cat6 Ethernet cables around the stadium and run line level audio on it and control signals. That would be a simple solution that would be extremely cost efficient. You can not later use these cables for networking via Ethernet because they are much too long.
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Josh Millward
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Robert Healey

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2015, 06:41:30 pm »


Regarding the Dante route, any experience with the best analog to Dante conversion strategies?


RDL has a new line of Dante products: http://www.rdlnet.com/Dante/
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David Buckley

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2015, 09:43:36 pm »

...around $10K, so my pencil needs to be exceedingly sharp. ... best analog to Dante conversion strategies?
One low-ish cost possibility is (don't laugh!) an X32 Rack with a Dante card at each end, which gives, as a minimum, 8 in 8 out on XLRs.  Plus 8 more on TRS.  Plus the possibility of processing like limiting and crossovers if needed.  Or even a bit of mixing!  All remote controllable.

You are well within the realm of just running analog cable around to the other side of the stadium.
Although one can run audio cables a long way, the chances of the ground potentials being the same over a thousand foot of audio cable in a large premise is zero, so by using fibre one can just make that whole class of problem go away.  One problem with long audio runs is lighting; the induced voltages on signal cables can make bad things happen even when a direct hit isn't involved.
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2015, 10:56:43 pm »

I've got an install in an outdoor sports stadium that has 2 distinct 'sides' to it with bleacher seats.  My plan is to put a main rack in the pressbox with the the head-end equipment (west side bleachers) and another remote wall rack in an electrical room on the other side of the field for the amps and remote power controller for the opposite side bleachers (east side).

What's the climate control situation in the remote location?  I am assuming, and perhaps should not be, that the press box has air conditioning when it is in use.  Be sure to check the listed ambient temperature ratings.  I have run into issues with some devices (not all lines from a manufacturer will be rated to the same temperature) only rated to be operated in 95 degree Fahrenheit maximum ambient.  The highest that I have found are rated for about 120 Fahrenheit. 

Lee
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Jason Lavoie

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2015, 11:22:24 am »

I'll add another vote for just running some analog cable
Your conduit run will probably eat up most of your budget, and after that I'd take analog wiring over a budget digital system any day.
If you already had Dante or something in there then extending it would make more sense.

If you go with the wireless network route (if you find one that will run Dante or Cobranet well) your control signals can be replaced by an IP controlled power bar.

Jason
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Jim Richards

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2015, 08:47:28 pm »

All that's really needing to be sent 'down the wire' is one audio channel.  I've already thought about the ground differential possibility (read: PROBABILITY), so I am including transformer isolation at both ends to minimize any stray issues with that if I go hard line.

Press box will be air-conditioned when all is said and done, and I have done all the calcs for ambient temperature rise and THAT part of it shouldn't be an issue.  The system really isn't used through the summer heat all that much.  The major events in this stadium are football games (both high school and college) and track meets fall & spring.  There are some events that happen other times, but they are usually fairly low-key events in the evenings when the heat isn't so oppressive.  However, being in the Chicago area we've learned that if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes...

I'm also looking toward possibly locating the remote a bit closer to where the wiring would traverse the infield.  It will cut out about 100-120' of cabling which would do nothing but help.

I really appreciate the opinions and ideas that you're all providing.  I've run 300-400' before without issues, but this one kind of caught me off-guard.

Thanks again!!
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2015, 08:54:43 pm »

All that's really needing to be sent 'down the wire' is one audio channel.  I've already thought about the ground differential possibility (read: PROBABILITY), so I am including transformer isolation at both ends to minimize any stray issues with that if I go hard line.

If all you need is 1 channel, going in 1 direction run analog cable. Cat5 cable is cheap and has excellent specs for analog audio. Just use 1 of the pairs as your balanced pair and don't connect any grounds. You should still probably have an iso transformer at the far end, and as Josh pointed out earlier you can use 1 of the other pairs for control of the power system on the far end. In the interest of safety you should probably run 2 runs of Cat5 so you have a spare.

Mac
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Scott Carneval

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2015, 07:50:54 am »

One more vote for analog. Except I would run Cat6 just to make it a little more future resistant. Who knows, maybe network technology will evolve and eventually someone will make an Ethernet switch that can support a 1200' run. In that case you'll probably need the Cat6 (or who knows maybe Cat7). Cat5 is perfectly fine for analog audio but we always try to run Cat6 or better especially if it's a difficult pull that will be hard to replace in the future.


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Robert Lofgren

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2015, 08:30:33 am »

Probably making the fiber cheaper. If you are using installation fiber instead of portable tactical fiber a 2 strand piece of 50m MM fiber is not that expensive. the cost of installing it will far outweigh the cost of the fiber. I would go with fiber in any network run over 100' if I could (and I do)

Mac
Yeah, I used to work for a company that used compressed air to blow installation fiber in pvc-pipes for very long runs.
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Jim Richards

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2015, 10:32:32 am »

Thanks all for your opinions and comments!  After exploring the possibilities under the budget constraints and discussions with the owners, we're thinking of just going with the analog cable.  They have no future dreams of doing anything extensive with "the red-headed stepchild" past the existing lighting improvements and bringing audio to that side.

Thanks again!!
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"When push comes to shove, I want to be at the top of the ramp"

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RME Audio Video Inc.

John Rutirasiri

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2015, 12:18:36 am »

Thanks all for your opinions and comments!  After exploring the possibilities under the budget constraints and discussions with the owners, we're thinking of just going with the analog cable.  They have no future dreams of doing anything extensive with "the red-headed stepchild" past the existing lighting improvements and bringing audio to that side.

Thanks again!!
Jim, we just finished a high school football stadium.  Ripped out the old analog system.  500' from home (main) press box to visitor side (which I think is a LONG run for analog, even though balanced.) There wasn't an empty underground conduit we could hijack for fiber.  Link is AES/EBU over CAT6 (you can get 8ch on 1 CAT6).  Needed a distribution amp at the receiver due to distance.

Believe it or not, the sibilance which was somewhat subdued with the analog link is back with digital.  Previous install used 24AWG cables -- I was surprised at the HF rolloff.  I don't like sibilance when doing live sound, but for stadium it actually helps speech intelligibility.

RDL gear is great, many rated to 60C (140F)  Press boxes are like ovens in the summer.

If you've decided on analog, use a good cable such as Belden 8412.  Not sure if they come in flooded version.

Best,
John R.
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John Rutirasiri

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2015, 12:28:16 am »

One more vote for analog. Except I would run Cat6 just to make it a little more future resistant. Who knows, maybe network technology will evolve and eventually someone will make an Ethernet switch that can support a 1200' run. In that case you'll probably need the Cat6 (or who knows maybe Cat7). Cat5 is perfectly fine for analog audio but we always try to run Cat6 or better especially if it's a difficult pull that will be hard to replace in the future.


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Scott, totally agree with putting CAT6.  However, there will never be a category cabling (CATx) switch that supports 1200' run in a single span.  Nothing to do with the cabling or signal integrity, but rather propagation delay.  Ethernet is CSMA/CD -- it listens to what it sends before sending anymore, and there is a time limit that depends on distance when talking about copper cabling.

So it's fiber or putting midspans in between segments (essentially cascading switches.).

John R.
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Jim Richards

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2015, 09:05:15 am »

Jim, we just finished a high school football stadium.  Ripped out the old analog system.  500' from home (main) press box to visitor side (which I think is a LONG run for analog, even though balanced.) There wasn't an empty underground conduit we could hijack for fiber.  Link is AES/EBU over CAT6 (you can get 8ch on 1 CAT6).  Needed a distribution amp at the receiver due to distance.

Believe it or not, the sibilance which was somewhat subdued with the analog link is back with digital.  Previous install used 24AWG cables -- I was surprised at the HF rolloff.  I don't like sibilance when doing live sound, but for stadium it actually helps speech intelligibility.

RDL gear is great, many rated to 60C (140F)  Press boxes are like ovens in the summer.

If you've decided on analog, use a good cable such as Belden 8412.  Not sure if they come in flooded version.

Best,
John R.

John;
Yup, already spec'd the 8412 for the haul and it's being driven by a very low impedance driver based on a THAT1646 (own design).  It should make the trip very well.
Thanks for the input!
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Craig Hauber

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2015, 11:37:22 pm »

John;
Yup, already spec'd the 8412 for the haul and it's being driven by a very low impedance driver based on a THAT1646 (own design).  It should make the trip very well.
Thanks for the input!
Isn't 8412 a rubber stage microphone cable for portable use?  It doesn't pull through conduit very well and doesn't like sitting in moisture for long times.
I don't remember my Belden numbers but there is equivalent installation cable with proper jacketing and without all the braiding and water-soaking organic fibers -and considerably cheaper.
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2015, 06:36:35 am »

Isn't 8412 a rubber stage microphone cable for portable use?  It doesn't pull through conduit very well and doesn't like sitting in moisture for long times.
I don't remember my Belden numbers but there is equivalent installation cable with proper jacketing and without all the braiding and water-soaking organic fibers -and considerably cheaper.

Here is a Belden reference (linked).  Look at the bottom of the second page for the water blocked cables.
http://www.belden.com/docs/upload/PB502_Analog_Audio_Snake_Cables.pdf

Lee
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Jim Richards

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2015, 09:53:31 am »

Here is a Belden reference (linked).  Look at the bottom of the second page for the water blocked cables.
http://www.belden.com/docs/upload/PB502_Analog_Audio_Snake_Cables.pdf

Lee

Thanks Lee & Craig.  I hadn't even thought about the possible jacketing issue.  I'll have to pull the spool of 8412 and see how quick I can get the 1814WB or 9451WB.
Thanks again for the catch!  It'll save the client (and me) some grief down the line.
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Jeffrey Knorr - CobraSound.com

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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2015, 10:57:25 am »

I've got an install in an outdoor sports stadium that has 2 distinct 'sides' to it with bleacher seats.  My plan is to put a main rack in the pressbox with the the head-end equipment (west side bleachers) and another remote wall rack in an electrical room on the other side of the field for the amps and remote power controller for the opposite side bleachers (east side).  The previous install had a pair of CE1000's driving 650' of #10THW from the pressbox for the east side speakers...until the field was converted to turf and the excavators 'removed' the conduit and wiring with a backhoe.

My question is the audio feed for the east side.  I'm looking for opinions on the best way to get the audio out there.  The total run will be around 1100-1200' and right now, there's no cabling run or preconceived notions as to how to do it.  I'm just looking for some opinions of what would work the best.  I'm planning on doing a separate control cable run for the remote sequencer and monitoring.

Thanks for any input.

It sounds like this has already been taken care of but my route would be fiber to the remote side, media converter/switch, into something like an Ashly NXP amplifier.  That would give you multi-channel Dante audio, full DSP processing, and monitoring/remote power control over one cable and only two rack devices (switch and amp) at the far end.
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Re: Extended audio cabling run for stadium
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2015, 10:57:25 am »


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