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Old January 14th, 2006, 04:22 AM   #1
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Location: Crestline, California
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Cable with component video, balanced audio and headphone return

For those who have a GY-HD100 (or other unit with similar inputs/outputs) and want to send audio from a mixing panel via two balanced XLRs, return analog component to an HD monitor, and return a stereo headphone feed to the sound man all in one light, thin and flexible cable, I THINK I've found the right custom product from the right place.

My preferred modus operandi is to use a sound cart with a decent mixer and a good field monitor (okay, now I' using an LCD HDTV) and of course to have the headphones connected so I can hear what the camera is getting. Try to find a cable that does all this or even find a custom cable company that will work with you to find the best solution.

Although I've yet to receive my cable, "Chris" of Redco Audio took the time to sort out what was most important to me and is building the cable out of very thin elements -- balanced audio cable that is something like you'd see attached to a lav mic, I guess the same or similar for the headphones, and "micro-ooax" (I think he said) for the three 75 ohm video elements. All this will be in the "Chinese handcuffs" style woven sheathing which flexes better than solid vinyl.

I realize that with these thin elements durability could be an issue, not so much in the encased portion of the cable but where the ends attach, but that's the tradeoff I want. Of course I'll only be able to comment more meaningfully on the durability issue after a fair amount of actual use.

But if my sense of things is correct, from his description this'll provide the ease of movement I want whether the camera is on sticks or handheld. I picked a 25" length which has usually worked for me with my SD rig, even for dolly shots and small jibs. For this length, Chris charged me $150.00 plus shipping, which was in line with my expectations.

I talked to several "custom cable" companies, but no one else really seemed to want to bother with doing it right. Here's the contact information:

Chris
Redco Audio
(800) 572-7280
redco.com

Please tell him I sent you so that he'll know I wasn't jiving about posting this on this forum (no, I didn't ask for anything in return except his care in developing the cable, which would have been forthcoming regardless).

Tip McPartland
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Old January 14th, 2006, 04:59 AM   #2
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Why not run XLR cables from thre mixer into the camera? I am not sure what you are trying to avoid or succeed doing. Are you trying to go wireless from mixer to camera?
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Old January 14th, 2006, 12:33 PM   #3
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Location: Kelowna BC Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tip McPartland
I talked to several "custom cable" companies, but no one else really seemed to want to bother with doing it right.
In Canada:
Audio Services Corp.
Toronto
1 (877) 251-5140
or (416) 251-5409
Ask for Will.
They will also make any other custom cable at the highest quality. Even various power cables, built-in pads, etc. You name it...
(Oh, and BTW, I don't get commissions from them....I am just one very satisfied customer :-)
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www.ascentfilms.com
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Old January 14th, 2006, 03:30 PM   #4
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Cables

Brian,

Thanks for your question. I like to avoid cable clutter by only running one camera from sound cart to camera. For how I work, this ONE cable must:

1) Send two balanced audio feeds from mixer to camera, XLR on both ends. This enables proper control of audio levels by the sound mixer once the panel's LED scale is calibrated to the camera's levels using a test tone;

2) Return stereo headphone for accurate audio monitoring, 1/8" male on the camera end, 1/4" female for the mixer to plug in his cans. Any good sound mixer plugs into the camera rather than the panel since plugging into the phone output there does not provide the security of hearing what the camera is actually getting;

3) Provide an HD analog component video signal to an HD monitor on the soundcart for viewing by director, DP, producers and most of all critical focus by the camera op. This requires three 75 ohm video cables. Given the nature of the viewfinders and LCD displays on these cameras seeing a 17" native 720x1280 display will provide focusing accuracy and confidence.

The issue with using garden variety balanced audio and 75 ohm video cables is that the complete cable will be around 3/4 of an inch thick, very heavy and virtually inflexible. What I like about Chris' solution is that he has taken care to design a cable to be as thin, light and flexible as possible to a decent price point.

It would seem to me that many people might like his light, thin and flexible cabling solution that does 1,2 & 3 above. I'm sure there are many other vendors that would develop other great solutions for someone wanting such a cable, I am only sharing what I found as an option to those on this forum.

Of course sometimes I shoot with an over-the-shoulder mixer and no external video monitor, and those cabling needs ARE garden variety.

Tip
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