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Author Topic: Ethernet over XLR  (Read 1311 times)

Bob Faulkner

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2019, 08:06:39 am »

Thanks for all the suggestions and links.  I would rather use a wired connection, but I think that would be more of a hassle than it's worth.  So, I'm going to look at the wireless options. 

The wireless units I'm looking for are more for a peer-to-peer type of network, meaning, no need for switching and routing, or any network configuration.  They just "plug&play". 

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David Sturzenbecher

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2019, 08:24:26 am »

Thanks for all the suggestions and links.  I would rather use a wired connection, but I think that would be more of a hassle than it's worth.  So, I'm going to look at the wireless options. 

The wireless units I'm looking for are more for a peer-to-peer type of network, meaning, no need for switching and routing, or any network configuration.  They just "plug&play".

I guess why can't you just loom a cat6 to your snake? It would be all of $30 and the most correct way to do this.  You wouldn't have to pull two lines, it would just get deployed whenever your snake does.
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Bob Faulkner

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2019, 08:05:58 am »

I guess why can't you just loom a cat6 to your snake? It would be all of $30 and the most correct way to do this.  You wouldn't have to pull two lines, it would just get deployed whenever your snake does.
I considered this, but there were a few negatives.

1.  The CAT cable would need to be able to withstand some minor abuse (mostly abrasions) when being pulled across outdoor areas (parking lots, gravel, sand, dirt, etc...).  I would probably need plenum grade cable, which (in my experience) doesn't coil well and is somewhat rigid, however, they seem to take a bit more abuse.

2.  Would need about a 10' whip on the house side for the computer, and about a 30' whip on the stage side.  The snake head rarely sits directly next to the amplifier rack.  The rack is rarely (if ever) on the stage.  Would need some spare distance to ensure connectivity no matter where the snake head and amp rack sit.

3.  Coiling/managing the whips - this may seem trivial, but it's added time and another "step" in the process of setting up and loading out.

At least with wireless (the peer-to-peer type - no switches, routers, bridges, etc...) laptop and amp-rack can be anywhere.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2019, 09:18:59 am »


I considered this, but there were a few negatives.

1.  The CAT cable would need to be able to withstand some minor abuse (mostly abrasions) when being pulled across outdoor areas (parking lots, gravel, sand, dirt, etc...).  I would probably need plenum grade cable, which (in my experience) doesn't coil well and is somewhat rigid, however, they seem to take a bit more abuse.

2.  Would need about a 10' whip on the house side for the computer, and about a 30' whip on the stage side.  The snake head rarely sits directly next to the amplifier rack.  The rack is rarely (if ever) on the stage.  Would need some spare distance to ensure connectivity no matter where the snake head and amp rack sit.

3.  Coiling/managing the whips - this may seem trivial, but it's added time and another "step" in the process of setting up and loading out.

At least with wireless (the peer-to-peer type - no switches, routers, bridges, etc...) laptop and amp-rack can be anywhere.

You'll spend more $ for the convenience.

CAT5 is throw-away/recycle.  I've had a piece of generic, non-plenum rated on a drive snake that gets deployed 80 times a year, by stage hands (meaning it's not treated kindly) for 5 years.  It's now due for replacement.  I think we paid 11 cents a foot for the cable and I crimped on 2 RJ45 for about 50 cents.  It's a 250ft snake...

If you're running 250 ft or less, an extra 5 ft at the console end isn't a problem.  If you have a genuine problem dealing with the extra run-off on the stage end, cut it off there, terminate it with an RJ45, use a coupler and another CAT5 cord to reach the amp rack.

Maybe it's my age but I don't understand why folks seem to hate the very thing that makes all our stuff work:  copper.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

David Winners

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2019, 02:49:46 pm »

I've never owned a FOH snake without at least a power cable taped to it.

If the free ends bother you, put a dash mount rj45 in the snake box and, like Tim suggested, use a coupler on the board end. I would rather coil up a small loop at the stage end and set it on top of the stage box than find a cat 5 cable, but that's me.

While wireless is cool and convenient, when it works, if you're running a snake anyways, I would recommend using the right tool for the job. Some cat 5 cable is more rugged and coils better than other types, but I haven't personally had any trouble with standard cable.
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2019, 08:48:09 pm »

I've never owned a FOH snake without at least a power cable taped to it.

If the free ends bother you, put a dash mount rj45 in the snake box and, like Tim suggested, use a coupler on the board end. I would rather coil up a small loop at the stage end and set it on top of the stage box than find a cat 5 cable, but that's me.

While wireless is cool and convenient, when it works, if you're running a snake anyways, I would recommend using the right tool for the job. Some cat 5 cable is more rugged and coils better than other types, but I haven't personally had any trouble with standard cable.

I would look closely at the type of Cat5e/6 cable.  Install cable with thin PVC jacket and solid core wires doesn't hold up well.  Cheap 'tactical' cables aren't much better (Elite Core Audio).  True rubberized cables that are made for this, such as from ProCo, Whirlwind (Belden), TMB, and a few others - are roughly on par with standard, great quality microphone cables.
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Bob Faulkner

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2019, 09:23:43 am »

You'll spend more $ for the convenience.

CAT5 is throw-away/recycle.  I've had a piece of generic, non-plenum rated on a drive snake that gets deployed 80 times a year, by stage hands (meaning it's not treated kindly) for 5 years.  It's now due for replacement.  I think we paid 11 cents a foot for the cable and I crimped on 2 RJ45 for about 50 cents.  It's a 250ft snake...

If you're running 250 ft or less, an extra 5 ft at the console end isn't a problem.  If you have a genuine problem dealing with the extra run-off on the stage end, cut it off there, terminate it with an RJ45, use a coupler and another CAT5 cord to reach the amp rack.

Maybe it's my age but I don't understand why folks seem to hate the very thing that makes all our stuff work:  copper.
Sometimes I'm willing to pay for convenience!

I'm a small shop and may have 2 (at least 1) other person working an event.  Anything I can do to increase the efficiency of us setting up (and running) a system is always "in front".  If I had a few more people (that I can count on) that will work shows, I probably would look at looming a CAT cable to the snake... and leave it with them to work on termination of both ends.  The lack of labor is what drives much of my decisions... unfortunately.

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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2019, 09:42:38 am »

Sometimes I'm willing to pay for convenience!

I'm a small shop and may have 2 (at least 1) other person working an event.  Anything I can do to increase the efficiency of us setting up (and running) a system is always "in front".  If I had a few more people (that I can count on) that will work shows, I probably would look at looming a CAT cable to the snake... and leave it with them to work on termination of both ends.  The lack of labor is what drives much of my decisions... unfortunately.

If the CAT is loomed to the snake there is ZERO difference in time.  You'd still have to plug in your wireless system (or at least take it out of what it travels in, etc).  I see neither time nor labor savings.  In fact I think the wired solution is faster and less prone to random failure.

Edit PS - plugging in the CAT cable takes far less time (a few seconds) than setting up my laptop.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 09:44:48 am by Tim McCulloch »
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Rob Spence

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2019, 11:23:55 pm »

If the CAT is loomed to the snake there is ZERO difference in time.  You'd still have to plug in your wireless system (or at least take it out of what it travels in, etc).  I see neither time nor labor savings.  In fact I think the wired solution is faster and less prone to random failure.

Edit PS - plugging in the CAT cable takes far less time (a few seconds) than setting up my laptop.

I agree. I have a 100 TMB Proplex I bought from Mike Pyle. It has EtherCon ends and after a few uses the stiffness worked out of it.
I bought protective covers from Audiopile.net to keep the ends clean. If I ran analog snakes still, I would happily add this to the snake.

Bottom line is that WiFi is simply not reliable. What works at sound check will often not work after doors open (without spending lots of money).

I ALWAYS have a mixer with real faders and use a tablet to tune the mix. If it fails, I can still do the show.
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Bob Faulkner

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Re: Ethernet over XLR
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2019, 10:41:37 am »

If the CAT is loomed to the snake there is ZERO difference in time.  You'd still have to plug in your wireless system (or at least take it out of what it travels in, etc).  I see neither time nor labor savings.  In fact I think the wired solution is faster and less prone to random failure.

Edit PS - plugging in the CAT cable takes far less time (a few seconds) than setting up my laptop.
I'm getting the feeling wired is the way to go.

How are you attaching the CAT cable to the snake?  Wrapping it around the snake (i.e. twisted pair), or keeping it straight using something like velcro straps every 5' to secure?
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