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Extending stage ties/snake

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Matthias McCready:
Alrighty, here are some photos of what I am working with.

The 1st photo is the wall where I have 64 lines coming in from the stage.

The 2nd is of the stage rack where I am wanting everything to land.

I have a cable ladder already installed up the wall, and to the rack For things to run.

--- Quote from: Caleb Dueck on March 14, 2022, 12:46:43 AM ---What about solder the existing install-grade cables into the back of a tech plate, and then just order some fan to fan snakes?  I'm doing something similar currently at another church.  A 16"x16" or so custom plate and NEMA box aren't too pricey, and snakes can be Elite Core on up to nice Whirlwind/Rapco/etc. 

--- End quote ---

On the plus side I do already have a large plate on the wall above the cables that was used for wedges in years past, so I could have a new plate made; however I don't feel like this makes the area any cleaner, I would still have some intense cabling going on for a few feet, and FWIW the bean counters probably don't want to purchase a whole gangle of sub snakes.

--- Quote from: Mike Caldwell on March 14, 2022, 07:17:35 PM ---I was thinking along those same lines, a patch panel of sort.

Unless you truly have a big boy 60 input stage you could use a smaller patch/jumper snake of the number of channels on the stage box and then just patch into the stage inputs as needed on the patch panel, that would also save on wear and tear of your stage box connectors.

--- End quote ---

64 inputs  :P


I am not opposed to an additional patch panel; however I would want it in the same rack as well and it would take up space. While it would be pretty, I don't know if would add enough functionality to justify it.

So I guess I am coming back to what are the better methods for connecting a plethora of XLR cables.

Thanks for the help!


Paul Johnson:
I'd be happy with a number of 8 ways. With decent connectors. I guess I might consider mesh strain relief, but if they were mainly going to be undisturbed I'd probably not bother. My favourite install type cable for this kind of thing was sourced from Canford Audio in the UK to the BBC specs, and they were the BBC's main source of this kind of multi - easily stripable outer and individual screened and sheathed. I'd still use their cables over any speciality cable, but they do sell quite a lot of Belden now, I note - probably cheaper than making their own.

Brian Jojade:
So it appears that the current setup has the cables already terminated to XLR connectors, and you need them to be extended about 15 feet to where you want to move your stage box.

The super easy answer would simply be just XLR connectors to the extension.  Bundle as needed.  If one of the extensions gets damaged from moving around, you can simply replace it.

An XLR connector should be as good as any other solution that would extend your existing cables, although not as tidy as a patch panel at that location.

Alternatively, terminate the cables to a patch panel and then create your jumpers again as needed.

Using multi cable snakes might be a little less unruly, but individual cables bundled in groups wouldn't be too bad, especially if you're not moving the entire thing at once.

The stuff that moves around regularly should definitely have braided shielding.  Stuff with spiral shield or foil shield is fine for an install, but excessive movement can cause the shield to break down over time. 

If you're extending to a new patch panel and will then use jumper patches, the extension can be of regular install type cable.  There's no real advantage to using more expensive cable for that purpose.

If going to a patch panel, you can either use the old school 1/4" panels, or you can just terminate to an XLR panel and use traditional XLR patch cables.

Using the 1/4" panel, you can create a 'normal patch' that would operate without any external patch cables connected. You would then just insert patch cables when you need to move stuff around.  If you use an XLR panel, you'll have 64 patch cables always there plugged in.  Potentially a bit messier.

Tim Weaver:
I would be inclined to terminating your current wiring into some of these terminal blocks:

And then coming out the other side if the blocks with install cable long enough to reach your input rack.

All of this could be installed inside a metal enclosure and either techflex the whip or bundle it in 8 channel groups, or whatever makes you happy. Of course using proper strain relief as you leave the enclosure.

Nothing wrong with making your own whip out of install wire. It's tough and stands up to abuse pretty well. You just have to make it tidy with heat shrink and tech flex, etc.


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