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Old March 31st, 2013, 09:27 AM   #16
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Re: XLR cable length question?

I've been making for own cables for years, some are over twenty years old and some have been through all kinds of field production hell. I have become partial to Canare, it's relatively cost effective and light-weight, easy to strip/ solder, is flexible (in all but 'extreme' cold), coils and uncoils nicely. I most instances I use the L-4E6S Star Quad for mics and L-2E5 Mini for bag interconnections. The cable sells for around .50 cents per-foot and Neutrik NC3 XLRs are under $3 each. I usually purchase from Markertek.com a large B'cast A/V supply house in the Woodstock NY area.
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Old April 1st, 2013, 09:54 AM   #17
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Re: XLR cable length question?

I do a great deal of sport outside broadcasts and some of the cable runs in stadia such as Manchester United etc can be well over half a mile with no problems, I also know a wildlife sound recordist who can run huge distances of XLR cable buried underground with no problems.

As for XLR cables I personally have a mixture of low cost made up cables and multicores bought from audiospares and custom made up ones using star quad and older belden cable.

It is worth learning to solder so you can make up custom adaptor cables or splitters and do any repairs to faulty kit.
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Old April 1st, 2013, 10:40 AM   #18
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Re: XLR cable length question?

$78.55

TecNec TecNec Premium XLR Cables with Canare Star Quad and Neutrik XLRs XLR to XLR Cables at Markertek.com
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Old April 1st, 2013, 10:42 AM   #19
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Re: XLR cable length question?

Guys.

Thanks so much for all of your input.

Al, I did look at the Markertek prices for cables and yes they are tempting. Even though this thread started off in kind of one direction it sort of took a slight detour to my interest in learning to solder. I also started another thread about a mixer that needed a slight modification using a solder method. Richard and others on this list convinced me that this would be a good thing to learn, and not just for the sake of making XLR cables.

I believe if you cut out the labor of getting pre-built cables there is somewhat of a savings. The thing that I was actually thinking that I didn't mention here is that I would have the ability to make any odd length of cable I want i.e. a 2.5 ft a 7 foot, and so on. No big deal, and I am aware you can specify through Redco and others what length you want.

I also see the value of having a small surplus of cable stock, a few extra connectors on hand just in case. To order these would take at least a few days (or $$$$ Fed Ex) to get if I was in production and needed stuff.

Another deciding factor to solder is that I have a very dear friend who is a total electronics guy (built his own custom boom-box, IPod, and Pre-amp) and for him to show me how to do this, I just have to dial his number. He'd probably offer to make the damn things if I just bought him some nice Belguim beer!

Everyone: All of your points are well taken, and I am so very appreciative for your advice. And I am sure sure that there are others that do to, since this thread has had close to 400 views!

Jonathan
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Old April 1st, 2013, 10:52 AM   #20
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Re: XLR cable length question?

Jonathan,
Good luck with whatever you choose. I use long cables in my work all the time and have soldered a cable or two but mostly have been lucky with cables that have lasted a long time.. I see the benefits in both practices.

Again, good luck,
Al
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Old April 1st, 2013, 11:09 AM   #21
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Re: XLR cable length question?

Jonathan,
I'm not sure where you do most of your work, but i do a lot of work in Convention centers and hotel ballrooms. And when the A/V guys come in to strike a show all cables look the same to them. And you can easily come up short a cable or 2. And i don't think anybody has ever taken my cable on purpose.

You might want to consider ordering colored cable, you can get it in bulk. I do that with my XLR's and my SDI cables.




Al
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Old April 1st, 2013, 02:48 PM   #22
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Re: XLR cable length question?

Al,

Most of my work will probably be one on one or two interview type things, but I agree with you that having different color cables would make things easier to keep track of especially if you have more than one mic working. It would sure make things obvious when plugged into a mixer.

I also put little white tape labels on the ends of my current cables, 6, 10, 15, 25, etc designating the length so that there is no guessing there. I then store each cable in it's own freezer zip-lock bag, keeps things nice and tidy.

Thanks.

Jonathan
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Old April 1st, 2013, 03:19 PM   #23
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Re: XLR cable length question?

Seeing those long cables coiled up makes me wonder how you all store your cables? I climbed up until eight years ago, and now store all my long cables the same way as my climbing ropes. Never a tangle, never any problems at all in fact. No twists which can kink and shape the cables over time. And it is also quick and easy.

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Old April 1st, 2013, 03:54 PM   #24
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Re: XLR cable length question?

Trevor,
That was interesting. But video and audio cable is best wrapped with a industry standard method called "over under"

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Old April 1st, 2013, 04:39 PM   #25
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Re: XLR cable length question?

I use colour coded velcro cable ties to ident and wrap my XLR cords!
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Old April 1st, 2013, 04:46 PM   #26
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Re: XLR cable length question?

Gary, are you talking about the ones with your company name on them?
AL
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Old April 2nd, 2013, 01:29 AM   #27
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Re: XLR cable length question?

Al,

That's an excellent suggestion about colored cables. I completely forgot to mention that. At one time I found a nice medium-dark purple color, which was quite unobtrusive on a podium or stand mic. Yet when the time came to strike, nobody was going to pick up one of those by mistake... clearly purple when you had it in your hands.

And also an excellent suggestion about over/under wrapping. I learned it years ago as a stagehand, where it was frequently called "west coast" wrap. It's quite amazing that you can coil more than 100 feet of heavy mic snake into a road crate, then pull it out again without any kinks or snags. And any wire (not just mic cables) will last much longer when wrapped this way. Definitely a valuable skill to learn, because you're wrapping cables every day, whereas you're soldering just occasionally.

Both are valuable advice to any beginner, or even any old hands who missed them along the way.
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Old April 2nd, 2013, 02:21 AM   #28
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Re: XLR cable length question?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Gardner View Post
Gary, are you talking about the ones with your company name on them?
AL
You can get them like that with a company name on but I just use the cheap ones from e-bay.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/50-VELCRO-...item5d2f3cb533
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