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Author Topic: Installing CatV runs for AES50 audio?  (Read 1931 times)

Peter Kowalczyk

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Installing CatV runs for AES50 audio?
« on: January 25, 2016, 08:55:26 pm »

Apologies if this has been already been flogged-to-death elsewhere on the forum; if so, please redirect me...

We're planning a system installation in a small room of about 30' x 50'

We're planning to use an X32 at front-of-house with S16 stage boxes.  A low-voltage installer will be running balanced analog from stage pockets to the the S16 rack.  I'd like to have him install a couple Cat5 runs between stage and front-of-house.  I understand the need for shielded Cat5 to transmit AES50 signals between S16 and X32.  My question is whether introducing a pair of junctions between installed and temporary wiring will cause problems.

Scenario one, a direct connection between Stage Box and Console; known to work: 

   S16 > Jumper Cat5 > S16 > ~60' Shielded Cat5 > X32 Console


Scenario two, validity in question:

   Stage:                   S16 > Jumper Cat5 > S16 > Short Shielded Ethercon Cat5 >
   
   Structural:             Ethercon Wall Plate > ~60' Permanently-installed Shielded Cat5 > Ethercon Wall Plate >

   Front-Of-House:     Short Shielded Ethercon Cat5 > X32 Console

Has anyone done this successfully?  Unsuccessfully?  Pitfalls and Gotchas?  Should I just turn and run immediately? :o

If the junctions implied by these wall plates are going to cause problems, I suppose we can just install a longer continuous run of shielded cat5 and leave a service loop at each end.

We're planning to include a path for temporary snakes, either analog or digital, brought in by visitors.  We'll most likely be installing DMX alongside these Cat5 runs as well.

Thanks in advance for your input!

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Peter Kowalczyk

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Re: Installing CatV runs for AES50 audio?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2016, 07:53:31 pm »

... really, no one's tried to pass AES50 signals through structural Cat5?
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Installing CatV runs for AES50 audio?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2016, 07:00:14 am »

I have used a system very much like scenario 2.
The CAT was 300' and on a reel but the concept is the same.
Jumper from FOH console to patch panel on the reel and then a jumper from the stage rack panel to the "head"
Worked fine.
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Peter Kowalczyk

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Re: Installing CatV runs for AES50 audio?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2016, 06:19:53 pm »

Thanks Keith,

Sounds like interconnecting multiple Cat5 cables through RJ45 junctions isn't a guaranteed dealbreaker for AES50 digital audio.

on down the road we go...

Peter
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Rob Spence

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Re: Installing CatV runs for AES50 audio?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2016, 05:47:25 pm »

You do need to know if you are asking for cat-5 or cat-5e or perhaps even cat-6.
It matters.

Plan for some futures

What if you put in cat-5 for now? How long will you keep the x32? What cable will the next thing need?

There are many stories about bad things happening if the x32 is not using the same power feed as the stage boxes. Why you ask? Well, since the shield is grounded, and if there is a voltage difference between the outlet powering the stage box and the one powering the x32, then lots of current will flow in the shield possibly harming your gear. Lots of older larger buildings will have multiple electric panels and electricians will run to the closest unless you tell them otherwise.

So, I would run the right category cable for the x32, run a pair of the next higher bandwidth cable, a power feed that is from the same place as the stage boxes, and, heck, maybe a couple of runs of coax compatible with Madi.

 


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Peter Kowalczyk

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Re: Installing CatV runs for AES50 audio?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2016, 06:42:15 pm »

You do need to know if you are asking for cat-5 or cat-5e or perhaps even cat-6.
It matters.

Plan for some futures


... Thanks Rob - My IT chops aren't super sharp; I wasn't considering the difference between Cat 5, 5e, and 6.  Looks, from the B* Wiki, like shielded Cat5e is the minimum requirement. 

> Would you say that just spec'ing Cat6 would be a safe way to extend the possible lifetime of the install at reasonable cost?  I'm not very familiar with the breadth of digital audio protocols out there - Are there others that require Cat6?

We're scheming ways to conveniently and securely run temporary cables / snakes as well.

Regarding Power, the plan is to install a new breaker panel for production power, separate from the Bar, house lights, etc.  The panel will be at / near Front-of-House, and will feed numerous circuits onstage for PA / Backline / Lighting. 

> Would ensuring that Stage and FOH power are provided through the same panel be adequate to keep their grounds at the same potential, or is there more to it than that?  Need to be on the same phase, perhaps?  Just want to know what I should request of the electrician.

Thanks!
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Kyle Van Sandt

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Re: Installing CatV runs for AES50 audio?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2016, 12:03:34 am »

For what it is worth....

I just installed an M32 and a DL32 on my stage.  I ran Cat 6 UTP to our booth, hit a patch panel, and then ran Cat 6 UTP to my FOH area.  Patch cable at the patch panel.  Jacks at both ends.  Has worked great. 
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Rob Spence

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Re: Installing CatV runs for AES50 audio?
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2016, 12:16:02 am »

... Thanks Rob - My IT chops aren't super sharp; I wasn't considering the difference between Cat 5, 5e, and 6.  Looks, from the B* Wiki, like shielded Cat5e is the minimum requirement. 

> Would you say that just spec'ing Cat6 would be a safe way to extend the possible lifetime of the install at reasonable cost?  I'm not very familiar with the breadth of digital audio protocols out there - Are there others that require Cat6?

We're scheming ways to conveniently and securely run temporary cables / snakes as well.

Regarding Power, the plan is to install a new breaker panel for production power, separate from the Bar, house lights, etc.  The panel will be at / near Front-of-House, and will feed numerous circuits onstage for PA / Backline / Lighting. 

> Would ensuring that Stage and FOH power are provided through the same panel be adequate to keep their grounds at the same potential, or is there more to it than that?  Need to be on the same phase, perhaps?  Just want to know what I should request of the electrician.

Thanks!

The cat6 would be in addition to what you want now. For unshielded category cable, cat6 can be used instead of the older types. You could use a run for a wired network.
I would run at least 2 of anything. The wire is cheap. Pulling several wires doesn't cost much more than just one.

Running all of the production power from one new panel should ensure good grounds.

The electrician should check the grounds at the other panels while there. Ground is for safety. Safety is important.



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