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EtherCon extension.

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Kevin Maxwell:
Yesterday we did a High School graduation. It was held on the football field with only the stage and the students (and the sound system) on the artificial turf field. The parents and family members were in the Bleachers.

I was using one of our Midas M32 consoles and a Midas DL32 stage box. Everything was working great. We have done this setup for the graduation here before. I had a 50meter length of Klark Teknik NCAT5E-50M Cat 5e EtherCon cable and a 100 foot length of EtherCon cable and I used a Neutrik EtherCon coupler between those 2 cables to get the length we needed.

We had some preshow background music playing (not loud) when all of a sudden the music went away and then came back. At the same time I heard someone on the 2way radio that the school had handed me so they could give me the cue when it was time to start the processional music. The radio was sitting right next to the sampler that I was playing the music from. And I said I can understand if I had keyed up that radio with it sitting that close to the sampler that it might cause it to glitch but not just receiving. We were using our own 2way radios but no one keyed up at that time.

I then find out that one of the choir members, that were walking out to some side seats to wait for their time to sing, had tripped on the EtherCon cable right at the coupler and had disconnected it. I was the one that originally plugged that in and it snapped in like it is supposed to. Somehow they managed to hit the release tab while tripping on the cable casing it to disconnect. My boss on this job was right there and saw it happen and he quickly plugged it back together. That surprised me that it could disconnect like that but I thought that it was better than the RJ45 getting ripped apart.

But what really surprised me was how there were no pops or any other noise, it was just that the signal went away and then came back. One of our crew then taped the coupler up so it hopefully wouldn’t happen again and we also stationed people to carefully watch the powerCON couplers and this EtherCon coupler point. When I went to un-tape it at the end of the graduation I was a little bit surprised that it wasn’t taped up a lot more than it was.     

I have wanted a Klark Teknik DN9620 AES50 to fiber converter pair for this type of show. But they just seem to be too expensive, for the few time we would use it. I don’t remember what they originally cost but the price for them seems to have gone up a lot. But if I had a pair of DN9620s I have a feeling I would use it for most of the show I do especially the outdoor ones.   

Riley Casey:
Leaving cables uncovered & unsecured in show environment with an audience of high school kids is definitely living on the edge.  I salute your cajones. That said AES50 and Dante are passing data around not audio. If you break the connection all you've done is stop the ones and zeros. Breaking an analog audio connection is different in the sense that you can often have an electrical differential upon disconnect that is larger than the signal being amplified. Thats the pop or thump.

Kevin Maxwell:

--- Quote from: Riley Casey on June 11, 2024, 02:38:54 PM ---Leaving cables uncovered & unsecured in show environment with an audience of high school kids is definitely living on the edge.  I salute your cajones. That said AES50 and Dante are passing data around not audio. If you break the connection all you've done is stop the ones and zeros. Breaking an analog audio connection is different in the sense that you can often have an electrical differential upon disconnect that is larger than the signal being amplified. Thats the pop or thump.

--- End quote ---

The cable were covered almost everywhere else this was an area that no one was supposed to be walking. But I will stress that from now on anywhere there is a mid run connection it needs to be covered.

Mark Scrivener:
This is a situation where processing in the stage box (not the console) really shines. You would have lost control, but not audio.

Processing in the stage box also opens up the option of a dedicated wireless link in a situation like this.

But we have the equipment we have....so other than covering the cable completely, I'd consider a redundant cable with an automatic fall over.

Kevin Maxwell:

--- Quote from: Mark Scrivener on June 11, 2024, 03:35:41 PM ---This is a situation where processing in the stage box (not the console) really shines. You would have lost control, but not audio.

Processing in the stage box also opens up the option of a dedicated wireless link in a situation like this.

But we have the equipment we have....so other than covering the cable completely, I'd consider a redundant cable with an automatic fall over.

--- End quote ---

Since the audio was playing locally at the M32 I would have lost that with a cable being disconnected even if the processing was in the stage box. I do like the idea of the processing in the stage box and at the moment I am having a hard time remembering which of the MANY digital console I have used was configured like that.

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