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Author Topic: XLR Baluns  (Read 3807 times)

Derek Van Winkle

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XLR Baluns
« on: May 17, 2011, 10:29:04 am »

I need to get audio from a press box (stadium) to an amp rack that's located about 230' away. I have a couple spools of direct burial cat6 laying around. Could I use XLR baluns and connect them with the Cat6 for transmission?
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Geoff Doane

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Re: XLR Baluns
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2011, 03:24:17 pm »

I need to get audio from a press box (stadium) to an amp rack that's located about 230' away. I have a couple spools of direct burial cat6 laying around. Could I use XLR baluns and connect them with the Cat6 for transmission?

If the source and destination are already balanced, the CAT6 will be perfectly fine for running audio.  If it isn't already balanced, then you will need to balance it somehow, and a transformer is the easiest, if not the cheapest, way to do this.  You might call a transformer a "balun", although that term is unually reserved for higher frequency applications.

In some cases, with wildly different grounds at each end of the run, normal electronic balancing may not be enough to ensure quiet operation.  If that happens, a 1:1 isolation transformer at either end will usually solve the problem.  I'd hook it up first without the transformer, and only add one if things aren't quiet.

GTD
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Derek Van Winkle

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Re: XLR Baluns
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2011, 03:43:50 pm »

If the source and destination are already balanced, the CAT6 will be perfectly fine for running audio.  If it isn't already balanced, then you will need to balance it somehow, and a transformer is the easiest, if not the cheapest, way to do this.  You might call a transformer a "balun", although that term is unually reserved for higher frequency applications.

In some cases, with wildly different grounds at each end of the run, normal electronic balancing may not be enough to ensure quiet operation.  If that happens, a 1:1 isolation transformer at either end will usually solve the problem.  I'd hook it up first without the transformer, and only add one if things aren't quiet.

GTD

Is the balun necessary or can I just stick an xlr head on either end?
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Hal Bissinger/COMSYSTEC

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Re: XLR Baluns
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 08:20:00 pm »

If it's already balanced put an XLR on both ends using one pair for the signal (pin 2= white, pin 3= blue). Then strip and twist all the other conductors together on both ends and treat them as you would the shield- pin 1. If you have ground loop problems, which may happen because of different electrical system grounds 230 feet away, try lifting the ground on one side.
 
-Hal
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Derek Van Winkle

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Re: XLR Baluns
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2011, 09:27:23 pm »

If it's already balanced put an XLR on both ends using one pair for the signal (pin 2= white, pin 3= blue). Then strip and twist all the other conductors together on both ends and treat them as you would the shield- pin 1. If you have ground loop problems, which may happen because of different electrical system grounds 230 feet away, try lifting the ground on one side.
 
-Hal

One last thing...could you send two separate signals down the same cable? Using one pair for audio and one pair for ground and another pair for audio and ground? I won't need it for this but just was curious.
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Hal Bissinger/COMSYSTEC

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Re: XLR Baluns
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2011, 01:04:02 pm »

One last thing...could you send two separate signals down the same cable? Using one pair for audio and one pair for ground and another pair for audio and ground? I won't need it for this but just was curious.

Yes, you could use another pair (white/orange) for the second signal. You might have to play with the grounds, do it your way or twist the remaining four wires all together for a single ground to see what works best if there is a difference. If your lines are well balanced you shouldn't have any crosstalk or hum regardless of the ground, it all depends on the balance.
 
-Hal
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