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The definitive answer for X/M32 AES50 cabling

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Taylor Hall:
Now that we're getting steadily back into events, we're finding ourselves getting shows that were previously out of our reach because of the glut of other outfits operating in our area. Well, a lot of them didn't survive the pandemic and now we're seeing a boom in RFQs for larger gigs.

Our connectivity setup had up until now served us perfectly fine as we never needed to have FOH further than 50m away from our stage boxes. Our MG branded ethercon cable has been totally reliable for the several years we've had our M32, but now we need to increase that length for an upcoming event.

Because of that, there are two questions I need definitive answers to: 1) will any STP ethercon cable with bonded ends provide the same reliability we've experienced so far, and 2) do these mixers and stage boxes adhere to the same 100m limit that the AES50 protocol defines?

I've seen contradicting answers to both of those questions elsewhere, so I wanted to bounce these off of other end users before I save a bunch of money and get a longer cable (and potentially bomb the event), or waste a bunch of money and get the extender and another MG cable.

Erik Jerde:

--- Quote from: Taylor Hall on October 11, 2021, 10:40:22 AM ---Now that we're getting steadily back into events, we're finding ourselves getting shows that were previously out of our reach because of the glut of other outfits operating in our area. Well, a lot of them didn't survive the pandemic and now we're seeing a boom in RFQs for larger gigs.

Our connectivity setup had up until now served us perfectly fine as we never needed to have FOH further than 50m away from our stage boxes. Our MG branded ethercon cable has been totally reliable for the several years we've had our M32, but now we need to increase that length for an upcoming event.

Because of that, there are two questions I need definitive answers to: 1) will any STP ethercon cable with bonded ends provide the same reliability we've experienced so far, and 2) do these mixers and stage boxes adhere to the same 100m limit that the AES50 protocol defines?

I've seen contradicting answers to both of those questions elsewhere, so I wanted to bounce these off of other end users before I save a bunch of money and get a longer cable (and potentially bomb the event), or waste a bunch of money and get the extender and another MG cable.

--- End quote ---

So any properly constructed spec compliant shielded cat5e cable with ethercons properly connected to the shield should work.  IIRC the M32 documentation still lists 100m as the max length and the x32 lists 80m.  Cat5e is important because thatís what MG specs and because the twist rate is different for different spec cables which can lead to signal skew related problems.  Using solid vs stranded and pass-throughs will have an impact on your distance as well.

For the most reliable connection over distance fiber conversion is going to be your best bet.

Taylor Hall:



--- Quote from: Erik Jerde on October 11, 2021, 02:32:06 PM ---So any properly constructed spec compliant shielded cat5e cable with ethercons properly connected to the shield should work.  IIRC the M32 documentation still lists 100m as the max length and the x32 lists 80m.  Cat5e is important because thatís what MG specs and because the twist rate is different for different spec cables which can lead to signal skew related problems.  Using solid vs stranded and pass-throughs will have an impact on your distance as well.

For the most reliable connection over distance fiber conversion is going to be your best bet.

--- End quote ---

Trust me, it it were in the budget we'd have been on fiber years ago!

So STP, stranded, bonded cat5e is the way to go, then? No worries about passthroughs, all our runs are point to point to each device.

Luke Geis:
I have both a Cat5E and a Cat6 version, both are over 200' in length. I have never had an issue with either of them and one was not grounded at both ends. I have since made it so that the one that wasn't grounded at both ends is. But for clarification, I never had an issue.

The ONLY time I had a problem was when the cable length was longer than 300'. Don't ask, it wasn't my decision and I told them so...

Erik Jerde:

--- Quote from: Taylor Hall on October 11, 2021, 02:35:55 PM ---
Trust me, it it were in the budget we'd have been on fiber years ago!

So STP, stranded, bonded cat5e is the way to go, then? No worries about passthroughs, all our runs are point to point to each device.

--- End quote ---

Iíd be more cautious about max distance with stranded than with solid.

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