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Old February 3rd, 2004, 07:08 PM   #1
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Optimal RCA cable length for field kit?

Any feedback on your preferred RCA cable length for boom work would be greatly appreciated. I've decided to go with the Gitzo Carbon Fibre Sport, which isn't cabled, and whether it's on a stand of held aloft, I was curious about the best length to pick up. Hate to not have enough, yet miles of extra is a pain. Also, do I need two as a safety, or do they rarely go bad?
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Old February 3rd, 2004, 08:44 PM   #2
 
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Never should an RCA (unbalanced) cable be longer than 10-14". Especially if run down a metal boom. Antenna for noise like you wouldn't believe. Then get it near flourescents, it's gonna be a mess.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 08:41 AM   #3
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I think maybe you just got your connector names mixed up since everything we've been talking about for your project on the boom is balanced and would use XLR cables?
DSE is right, if you are using unbalanced RCA cables then you must keep them to the minimum length possible and keep them away from sources of interference.
If you really are asking about XLR cables, then the standard lengths that are readily available are 1,3,6,10,25,35,50 feet and on up. You can also have odd lengths made too but this will cost a little more. While it's best to have the fewest cable connections in any setup, XLR's link together to make longer runs as needed with no significant problems.
You should have a few extra because something can always go wrong with any cable.
When buying, Canare StarQuad cable and Neutrik connectors are a good general rule for getting quality items that will help with reducing interference. And even from a trusted vendor, I test each cable for proper wiring when I receive it.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 08:42 AM   #4
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<Antenna for noise like you wouldn't believe. Then get it near flourescents, it's gonna be a mess.>

Is this less of an issue if it's internally coiled? I like the idea that the carbon fibre is lighter, compared to say the Lightwave boom, but not if it makes what you brought up worse. Hadn't heard this before.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 08:50 AM   #5
 
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If it's coiled at ALL it's an even bigger antenna. Even BALANCED cables become an antenna when coiled too close around a metal object. Straight is the gate and narrow the way. If the cable is UNBALANCED, run it straight down the boom, and it should terminate in a camera or recording device at the other end of the boom, not going longer than 14 feet or so from where it connects to the mic. I've yet to see a mic that connects with an RCA at either end though.
XLR, molded cable, or a few older mics with a variety of strange connections are indeed out there, but never RCA.
XLR can be run any reasonable length without loss, but still it's a bad idea to coil it around the boom shaft, particularly if it's metal.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 05:19 PM   #6
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Yup, Jay. You're right. Sorry about that, guys. I did INDEED mean XLR and not RCA. Geesh. I get up at the crack of dawn to work on this stuff for a bit, go to work to help put a dent in the bills, then come home and work more on this till I drop. Brain fuzz hits on occassion I'm afraid. My kids still tease me about lecturing them at the table about using their "spork and foon" correctly, so unfortunately I can't claim it's the first time I've done something like this.

Thanks for the feedback, despite the confusion.


P.S. Doulgas, the Vegas book arrived and it's awesome, though it's gonna take me some time to absorb it all. Am going to crack open the CD tonight.
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