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Author Topic: Network cable for audio  (Read 2957 times)

John L Nobile

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Re: Network cable for audio
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2018, 12:05:41 pm »


The best thing to do is use the cable specs from Behringer/Midas.

Direct from Behringer/Midas
In order to ensure trouble-free operation when connecting X32 consoles to other X32 mixers or to S16 stage boxes, the following specifications should be met when choosing your cables:

Shielded Cat-5e cables only
Ethercon terminated cable ends
Maximum cable length 100 meters (300 feet)

The one thing that is not noted in this is that the ethercon shells must have continuity through them, to test this take a multimeter put one probe on one ethercon shell and the other probe on the other while the multimeter is set to continuity test. It should either beep or give you an onscreen message saying that there is continuity. This is to show that there is a grounded connection between the shells. If you don't follow these rules then you run the risk of damaging your AES50 ports on your gear, and Music Tribe will NOT offer warranty support on equipment using non spec cables. Many people have found this out the hard way.

You can add ethercon connectors to the cable you found on amazon but it is not a spec cable. The spec calls for Cat5e not Cat6, this is due to the difference in twists of the cable which can lead to sync errors because Cat6 has a higher twist meaning that in 1 foot of Cat6 cable there is more wire length internally vs Cat5e which has less twist to it. The devices were made to work with Cat5e and were not designed for Cat6 variants. The good news is Cat5e is cheaper.

Good info. I thought I was overthinking this. I'm going to order the Ubiquiti ToughCable Carrier and roll my own cables. I've made quite a few network cables and they're all still working. And I have a good crimper and testers.
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Art Nadelman

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Re: Network cable for audio
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2018, 12:28:06 pm »

Here's a great deal on eBay for an 80 meter (250 ft) cable.  I purchased one for myself and sent customers to him as well.  It's the same cable and spool sold by Mackie, Allen & Heath and no doubt, others for $900.  It's $200 here.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tour-Grade-80-Meter-250-Feet-Cat5e-Reel-w-Neutrik-Locking-EtherCON-Connectors/183511318851?epid=22019132754&hash=item2aba208143:g:ns8AAOSwJjZa8eGo:rk:2:pf:0
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Nick Falbo

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Re: Network cable for audio
« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2018, 07:29:23 pm »

Good info. I thought I was overthinking this. I'm going to order the Ubiquiti ToughCable Carrier and roll my own cables. I've made quite a few network cables and they're all still working. And I have a good crimper and testers.

The Ubiquiti ToughCable TC-Pro is good if you are using it for an install, if you are going to lay a cable down on the ground i recommend the Ubiquiti ToughCalbe TC-Carrier due the the fact that it has a braided shield as well as foil shield to toughen the cable and it has the crosstalk divider in it. It is a bit more rigid and harder to roll but it is stronger and will help protect your cable from people stepping on it, etc. Just make sure you terminate them with either metal RJ45 connectors made for shielded cat5e cable..

Here is a link the the ethercon shell that works with pre-assembled cables or homemade cables  https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/836269-REG/neutrik_ne8mc_b_rj_5_cable_connector.html

Make sure you cut the locking tab off the RJ45 connector.

Hope this all helps
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Geert Friedhof

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Re: Network cable for audio
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2018, 09:05:48 pm »

Maybe it's worth mentioning that install cat cables are solid core, and flexible entertainment industry cable is stranded.

Also worth mentining is that the ethercon shells are only compatible with a small amount of Hirose connectors. You need a special tool to terminate those.
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Russell Ault

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Re: Network cable for audio
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2018, 12:53:25 am »

Maybe it's worth mentioning that install cat cables are solid core, and flexible entertainment industry cable is stranded.

Also worth mentining is that the ethercon shells are only compatible with a small amount of Hirose connectors. You need a special tool to terminate those.

Rapco's DuraCAT (for example) is available in both a solid and stranded form factor. Signal attenuation in stranded Ethernet cable is typically higher than solid, and the 100m maximum spec for Ethernet assumes that 90% of that distance will be over solid cable. Running the full 100m of stranded cable (especially at Cat5e spec) is likely to not be as reliable as you'd like it to be.

For whatever reason Neutrik hasn't posted their EtherCON RJ45 compatibility PDF to their redesigned website, but that document is still available here. The good news is that, while many of those connectors require proprietary crimp tools (at something like $600 a pop), Canford in the UK makes two listed connectors that both require only a standard crimper (and there maybe others).

-Russ
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Dan Mortensen

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Re: Network cable for audio
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2018, 03:01:09 pm »

Rapco's DuraCAT (for example) is available in both a solid and stranded form factor. Signal attenuation in stranded Ethernet cable is typically higher than solid, and the 100m maximum spec for Ethernet assumes that 90% of that distance will be over solid cable. Running the full 100m of stranded cable (especially at Cat5e spec) is likely to not be as reliable as you'd like it to be.

Could you please elaborate on this statement?

Patch cables, which are assumed to be used often and twisted and bent, are supposed to be stranded to withstand that usage. As such, they are subjected to a separate testing standard ("Patch" vs. "Solid" on my tester, meaning Stranded -used for Patch Cords-, or Solid Cable -used for networks and inside a wall therefore not twisted/bent).

The testing standards are more rigorous for the Patch/Stranded cables than for Solid/Network and a cable that will pass the Solid test might not pass the Patch test.

In our PA usage, and especially portable PA, we are using Ethernet cables almost exclusively as Network cables, meaning a direct connection from console to stage box. Even though we might be using stranded cable for that purpose, we should be measuring using the Network/Solid standard.

Without knowing where you got that information, my guess is that it was based on those standards.

And remember that the fact that stranded may attenuate signal more than solid is irrelevant if the cable passes the Certification test (or an approximation of that test for those of us not able to afford USD$10,000+ testers). That test is PASS/FAIL, and although nuances are interesting it's a binary test.

So if a stranded cable that is 100m long passes the test and continues to pass the test, the rest is largely irrelevant, as long as the gear we use conforms with the criteria in the test.
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Dave Stevens

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Re: Network cable for audio
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2018, 11:11:01 pm »

We use TMB PolyPro in harsh environments like running through the tray with LX and Auto wire or anything that needs an Ethercon.   The squints use it for data and DMX and Automation uses it for data.  There's easily a few miles of it in the building.  It's what we use for Dante when we have to deploy onto deck or a traffic area.

For traditional install routes, back to the offices, green room, dressing rooms, lobby, etc we've been using https://www.amazon.com/1000ft-Cat5e-Solid-Network-Unshielded/dp/B073HKNP9N/ref=sr_1_19?ie=UTF8&qid=1541906096&sr=8-19&keywords=bulk+cat5e+cable .  It's a bit stiff for portable apps but it's labeled as UL listed and performs as it should.  We've got Fluke cable cert tools but don't really use them unless there is an issue.

For example we used at least 5 boxes last dark to replace our point to point comm with Omega HD, PL comm to Helixnet, BTR packs to Free Speak and 60 plus camera network to all IP cams for our HD change over.  Some of the Helixnet stations are over 300' but we're using Trendnet PoE injectors for them and they perform as expected even over the limit.  For the Dante apps it's rare I get more than 50'-100' on each side before it goes into the building audio fiber system.  We're up to our asses in control ethernet as well.  Nomadlink, LCS, HiQnet and some dinosaur Ilon based RMS.

Here's the PoE box...

http://www.trendnet.com/products/proddetail?prod=175_TPE-115Gi
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Andrew Broughton

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Re: Network cable for audio
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2018, 08:41:40 pm »

Anyone used the Ethernet to 4 XLR breakout boxes? Seems that the cable needs to be shielded for these to work properly, but is it individual pair shields, or overall shield? I assume also that the shields would be tied together on all 4 lines?
How well does this work for (unbalanced) clear-com? Dave Rat seems to think it works fine, but I wouldn't mind hearing other's experience...

I'm in the market for a 4-channel ethernet snake. The ones I've seen before were HUGE! way bigger than 4 individual CAT5/6 cables.
Anyone found one that's reasonably flexible, smaller diameter, shielded?
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Network cable for audio
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2018, 12:24:15 am »



I'm in the market for a 4-channel ethernet snake. The ones I've seen before were HUGE! way bigger than 4 individual CAT5/6 cables.
Anyone found one that's reasonably flexible, smaller diameter, shielded?

Flexible, small diameter - and shielded don't go together.  I found two models but discovered most Cat snakes aren't shielded.  I don't remember right off what we ended up using, PM me and I'll dig it up.  It may have been multiple single cables, as it was multiple power, Cat6, and SDI. 

Sent from my VS980 4G using Tapatalk

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Helge A Bentsen

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Re: Network cable for audio
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2018, 02:31:24 am »

Radial Catapult are shielded if you use a shielded network cable.
You get a common shield for all four lines, but it seems to work ok.
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