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Author Topic: Long distance cable runs and mixing different cat-x cables  (Read 2899 times)

Andrea Litti

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Long distance cable runs and mixing different cat-x cables
« on: December 24, 2018, 04:19:28 am »

Hello,

I was asked to provide a temporary install for a videomapping performance where the speakers have to be placed some 100 meters away from the audio source. I have a Qu16 mixer with Ar 2412 stage box and three separate cat cables of 25 to 40 meters each. Two of them are cat5 and one is cat6. A&H says dsnake works for up to 120 meters of cable run. Would there be issues in mixing different categories (in doing this I would use neutrik joints)? Should I use one single 100m cable? Thanks
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Erik Jerde

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Re: Long distance cable runs and mixing different cat-x cables
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2018, 10:19:41 am »

Hello,

I was asked to provide a temporary install for a videomapping performance where the speakers have to be placed some 100 meters away from the audio source. I have a Qu16 mixer with Ar 2412 stage box and three separate cat cables of 25 to 40 meters each. Two of them are cat5 and one is cat6. A&H says dsnake works for up to 120 meters of cable run. Would there be issues in mixing different categories (in doing this I would use neutrik joints)? Should I use one single 100m cable? Thanks

The cable type won't matter as long as all the cables meet the mfgr specs for digital snake interconnect.  Similarily check the mfgr docs for their word on junctions in the cable.  I know some mfgrs (like DiGiCo) specifically state a single unbroken cable run between console and stage box for catx connections.  Even if that is the case it may still work.  Personally I'd rather have a single unbroken run.  Connections are common failure points and the fewer of those the better, especially in a snake run that can take out your entire show.
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brian maddox

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Re: Long distance cable runs and mixing different cat-x cables
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2018, 11:43:28 am »

Hello,

I was asked to provide a temporary install for a videomapping performance where the speakers have to be placed some 100 meters away from the audio source. I have a Qu16 mixer with Ar 2412 stage box and three separate cat cables of 25 to 40 meters each. Two of them are cat5 and one is cat6. A&H says dsnake works for up to 120 meters of cable run. Would there be issues in mixing different categories (in doing this I would use neutrik joints)? Should I use one single 100m cable? Thanks

This would give me the Willies.  That doesn't mean it categorically won't work.  In fact, i suspect it will do something far worse.  It will probably work, but just barely.  Which then means that it will pick the worst possible time to fail when someone happens to look at the cable funny while they walk by [or step on it or bump it slightly or whatever], right in the middle of the show.

If you can source and deploy a single, unbroken run of cable, i would do so.  Even if just for your own piece of mind.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Long distance cable runs and mixing different cat-x cables
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2018, 12:04:26 pm »

Hello,

I was asked to provide a temporary install for a videomapping performance where the speakers have to be placed some 100 meters away from the audio source. I have a Qu16 mixer with Ar 2412 stage box and three separate cat cables of 25 to 40 meters each. Two of them are cat5 and one is cat6. A&H says dsnake works for up to 120 meters of cable run. Would there be issues in mixing different categories (in doing this I would use neutrik joints)? Should I use one single 100m cable? Thanks
I have actually tried to run this configuration with regular, over the counter,  CAT 5 cable and could not get reliable results over 100'!
CAT 5E has worked for me up to 200'.
From my experience with this exact same setup, I suggest that you use CAT6 for 300' run, and avoid connections on the way, if you want reliable results.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Long distance cable runs and mixing different cat-x cables
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2018, 02:33:07 pm »

Should I use one single 100m cable?

If a single cable is an option, that is by far preferred than a connection with breaks in it.  Couplers have the potential to degrade your signal and cause problems, even if you're well below the maximum cable length.  The reason for a limited maximum cable length is due to timing issues, not signal strength.

Are you sure you have Cat 5 cable, and not cat5e?  Cat 5 is an obsolete spec that is unlikely to be easily found anywhere. Cat5e cable costs pretty much the same.  Nobody that I'm aware of is still producing cat 5 cable.  For short cable runs, you might be able to get away with cat5 when cat5e is the minimum spec, but as the cable gets longer, the more you need to adhere to the specs.

The cost difference to go from cat5e to cat6 is pretty minimal, so I'd recommend going cat6 if possible, without any couplers.
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Scott Mullane

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Re: Long distance cable runs and mixing different cat-x cables
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2018, 04:58:44 pm »

I run A&H digital mixing consoles and the max length does tend to vary depending on the cable. Eurocable vs. Belden vs. Canare etc. They are all within about 10% though.

I definitely would avoid linking cables and the general rule is that each connection adds about 10m to the virtual cable length. Although this is not entirely true, it is a good yard stick. However, connection failure for a critical connection would terrify me. Use one single unbroken cable.
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Karel Noon

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Re: Long distance cable runs and mixing different cat-x cables
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2018, 06:33:56 pm »

Want to be safe?

Take Format converters and optical cables!
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Long distance cable runs and mixing different cat-x cables
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2018, 08:38:47 pm »

What do you have to run the cable through, around and over to get from the mixer to the stage box?

How many channels of audio are we talking about?

Andrea Litti

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Re: Long distance cable runs and mixing different cat-x cables
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2018, 09:44:07 pm »

Thanks for all the replies. I have only a stereo audio channel coming from the video guys. The audience is confined in a listening area on a terrace and will have no physical interaction with the cable, which runs inside cable ramps over a grassy field. My cables are two cat5 with neutrik connectors (25 and 30 meters long both bought in 2014) and a 30 meters cat6 purchased recently. I've already used the two cat5 cables joint together with a neutrik adapter with my Gld for 16 channels with no issues. I've never used all three together so far. I'd rather not buy nor rent a new 100m cable for a single gig, and was thinking about the possibility of doing 60 meters with cat cables and the other 30 with xlr's from the stage box to the speakers (three RCF Art710 for 60 people in attendance at moderate level)
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brian maddox

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Re: Long distance cable runs and mixing different cat-x cables
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2018, 10:12:03 pm »

Thanks for all the replies. I have only a stereo audio channel coming from the video guys. The audience is confined in a listening area on a terrace and will have no physical interaction with the cable, which runs inside cable ramps over a grassy field. My cables are two cat5 with neutrik connectors (25 and 30 meters long both bought in 2014) and a 30 meters cat6 purchased recently. I've already used the two cat5 cables joint together with a neutrik adapter with my Gld for 16 channels with no issues. I've never used all three together so far. I'd rather not buy nor rent a new 100m cable for a single gig, and was thinking about the possibility of doing 60 meters with cat cables and the other 30 with xlr's from the stage box to the speakers (three RCF Art710 for 60 people in attendance at moderate level)

How good are your solder skills?  If it were me i'd run this analog the whole way.  Either 2 300' XLRs [probably 6 100' cables] or i'd whip up a couple cat5 to Two XLR adapters.  Unless i'm misunderstanding what you're doing here.
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brian maddox
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Long distance cable runs and mixing different cat-x cables
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2018, 10:12:03 pm »


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