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Old August 11th, 2010, 12:27 PM   #1
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Poor man's cabling

So I've recently upgraded my mixer (for a ridiculously good price) and have been looking into breakaway cables- OMG! They're twice what I spent on the mixer (told you it was a good price)!!!

My question is, if I'm not immediately concerned with having the 'breakaway' feature but am concerned about accurate monitoring on the return, is there any reason why I can't use 2 equal length xlr cables from the mix to the cam, and a 3.5mm jack from cam to mix with a splitter so the director/camera op can monitor as well?
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Old August 11th, 2010, 02:35 PM   #2
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'Course you can. Make up your own little snake. Cable-tie them together. Cable ties are snaggy, but tape will inevitably leave a residue and pick up dirt. Use velcro straps at both ends to provide some strain relief, remember the mic cables will be a lot sturdier than the headphone extension, so you want them to pick up any strain.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 07:02 PM   #3
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you'll get tired of removing all the cables quick enough and realize why that little multi pin connector is worth the price...
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 11:56 AM   #4
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I'm sure that I will, and as soon as I can budget the $150 for that little connector I'll gladly scoop one up. However I just spent close to a grand on sound gear and convincing my prettier half that it's a worthwhile investment when I'm not making my living as an audio guy is a tough sell =)
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Old August 24th, 2010, 03:33 AM   #5
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From what I can recall a 7pin XLR connector has enough connections for a breakaway cable. While a little more expensive than 3 pin still quite affordable.

1.Ground
2.L+
3.L-
4.R+
5.R-
6.Return L+ (unbalanced)
7.Return R+ (unbalanced)

Breakaway cables should always be operated as a "Line level send" to minimise any crosstalk with the return signal.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 08:44 AM   #6
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Chris, if your going to spend $150 and the hours necessary to construct the snake, A few more dollars will get you one already made. ($159/15') Markertec's makes their ENG snakes with Neutrik multipin and Canare three-pair cable.

TecNec Cables & Connectors TecNec Breakaway Audio Camera To Field Mixer Cables with Headset Monitoring Audio Snake Cables at Markertek.com
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Old August 24th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #7
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I've looked into making my own cable, and from what I can tell the cost of buying a Canare isn't much more than buying a connector and making from scratch. Also have to consider that I've never soldered in my life, and would also have to buy that equipment and then learn how to use it. I'm thinking there's a lot more than three hours invested in that whole process...

For now I have two 25' xlr cables (red/blue) and a 25' 1/8" male-male stereo jack twisted inside a couple lengths of black plastic cable coil from Radioshack and it works (heavy though).
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Old August 27th, 2010, 10:29 AM   #8
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Soldering a multi-pair cable & multi-pin connector is NOT a job for the inexperienced. Soldering in general and even a simple 3-pin XLR is a skill attained through experience. Same with 'strpping' and prepping the small-gauge wires and shield prior to soldering.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 11:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
Chris, if your going to spend $150 and the hours necessary to construct the snake, A few more dollars will get you one already made. ($159/15') Markertec's makes their ENG snakes with Neutrik multipin and Canare three-pair cable.

TecNec Cables & Connectors TecNec Breakaway Audio Camera To Field Mixer Cables with Headset Monitoring Audio Snake Cables at Markertek.com
Wow. Thanks for the link Rick. I did not know that Markertek offered such a set-up at such a great price. We've been using and recommending the Remote Audio ENG snake as well as Peter Engh Peter Engh - Sound Recording Interface Products
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