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Old August 22nd, 2007, 08:35 AM   #1
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Sony V1 XLR lead problem

Hi all,

Iíve just taken delivery of a new Sony V1E and am having a problem with audio. I ordered two 0.5m XLR cables with the camera to use external mics, and have tried it with my Rode NTG-2 without success. Iíd appreciate any suggestions you may have.

To try to describe what happens: I remove the Sony mic and plug the NTG-2 in via the XLR cable. No sound Ė other than a hum/interference noise, and yes, phantom power is on.

I turned off phantom power and put a AA battery in the Rode mic. I can get sound, but very faint and again, a lot of interference.

I removed the Rode mic and plugged the stock Sony mic in via the addon cable (with 48v enabled) and again get the hum/interference. Removing the addon cable and plugging the Sony mic straight into the XLR sockets works again, so the sound is fine and phantom power works.

The fact that the stock mic (which uses +48v) works in both XLR sockets suggests to me that it's not a camcorder fault.

So, as far as I can work out, this is the cable. I tried a second cable from the same manufacturer and got the same. So (maybe) the cable is noisy or unshielded or in some way defective, canít transmit phantom power and is useless at audio. It's kind of hard for me to tell, without a vast pool of spare cables and mics to fall back on. The cables were $30 each, so I presume (or hope!) theyíre not cheap rubbish.

I thought XLR was XLR was XLR, and if I got a 3 pin male to female cable it would transfer phantom power and, well, just work. Are there different types of XLR leads? Or am I doing something else wrong?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 09:05 AM   #2
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Do you have any way of checking that (a) all three male pins are connected to the corresponding female pins, and (b) no pins are connected to any other pin or the plug metal cover? (e.g. a multimeter?)

Sounds like your leads are not wired as they should be.

If you don't have a multimeter, can you take the plugs and sockets apart and check?

If your cable is two-core+shield, the shield should be connected to PIN1 at both ends, but NOT connected to the plug or socket metal body.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 12:22 PM   #3
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Martin,

Thanks for the reply. I hadn't thought about the multimeter.

Hmmm... peculiar. Pin 1 on the plug is connected to pin 2 on the socket and vice versa. I managed to find a 20 foot cable and pin 1 goes to pin 1 as expected. So either it's supposed to be like that (and just not designed for video cameras) or I've got a Friday afternoon job lot.

Very strange. Looks like it's time to get the soldering iron out, and try not to burn my fingers.

Thanks very much for the help!
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 12:25 PM   #4
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Definitely sounds like a Friday afternoon job you've got there. Should certainly be 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3.

2 and 3 are the balanced signal pair, 1 is the signal ground.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 01:23 PM   #5
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One quick soldering session later, and all works perfectly now. Pin 3 wasn't even soldered properly and was only touching the terminal by chance. I could probably have achieved a better and cheaper result myself by popping into Maplin's!

Martin - thanks again.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 01:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Beckett View Post
Martin,

Thanks for the reply. I hadn't thought about the multimeter.

Hmmm... peculiar. Pin 1 on the plug is connected to pin 2 on the socket and vice versa. I managed to find a 20 foot cable and pin 1 goes to pin 1 as expected. So either it's supposed to be like that (and just not designed for video cameras) or I've got a Friday afternoon job lot.

Very strange. Looks like it's time to get the soldering iron out, and try not to burn my fingers.

Thanks very much for the help!
Remember though that they are mirror images of each other. If you hold the two connections side by side so you're looking into the end of the cable with the third pin on the bottom, pin 2 on the female is on the left while pin 2 on the male is on the right. When you plug them together pin 1 on the female receives pin 1 on the male. See toward the bottom of this page ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XLR_connector
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 01:45 PM   #7
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Steve, I just missed your advice by a minute there. Luckily the pins were numbered in the plastic on the ends of the socket and plug as well, so I wasn't caught out.
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