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Author Topic: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?  (Read 4046 times)

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Offline TSNéa

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2018, 10:34:15 AM »
I saw a stereo cable made by Kortwich (Berlin) to power a stereo pair from AC with 2 XLR-3 on each side: two F on mic side, two M on power unit side.

The L+R channels go into one of the XLR-3, only one channel is used on this XLR-3, and a short cable carrying the other channel goes into the other XLR-3.
Two XLRs on each side instead of three, but you lose the possibility of adjusting the length of the cable..
Still better with short right angle XLRs.

From the outside diameter, I guess it was a "starquad cable".

http://www.filmtontechnik.de/en/products-from-kortwich/
Expensive. Just buy the idea (which I saw on other sites as well).

Offline illconditioned

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2018, 04:10:42 PM »
I saw a stereo cable made by Kortwich (Berlin) to power a stereo pair from AC with 2 XLR-3 on each side: two F on mic side, two M on power unit side.

The L+R channels go into one of the XLR-3, only one channel is used on this XLR-3, and a short cable carrying the other channel goes into the other XLR-3.
Two XLRs on each side instead of three, but you lose the possibility of adjusting the length of the cable..
Still better with short right angle XLRs.

From the outside diameter, I guess it was a "starquad cable".

http://www.filmtontechnik.de/en/products-from-kortwich/
Expensive. Just buy the idea (which I saw on other sites as well).
Wow.  That site is a hacker's dream.  Plus he makes preamps and microphones.
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at: http://www.soundmann.com.

Offline TSNéa

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2018, 05:46:46 PM »
 :)

Online Walstib62

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2018, 12:45:34 PM »
I've used the 3106 to make XLR5->2x XLR3 breakout cables for a mid-side microphone.  It was easy to work with and I'd certainly use it again, but I'm not sure it would be my first choice for a long run.  Since it is essentially two cables fused together I'd be worried about it being unruly when coiling a long length.  That said, I've only used it for <2ft breakouts so I have no experience with long pieces.

Yes, that's my only hesitation on it as well.  The cables I would be building would all be in the 25-50 ft range.  I have a very similar side-by-side fused cable Jon at Naiant made for me as a TA4 extension which I use between my TA4-terminated DPA 4061s and my PFAs.  It's only about 15 ft and is smaller than 3106, I believe it is a Belden cable stock.  It doesn't coil all that neatly, but I don't really mind with the short length.

Ease of coiling / un-coiling is one of the reasons I want to get away from fully Techflexed snakes.  The two I have from Ted are beautifully made and will last forever, but when I need to set up in a hurry,  the long lengths often tangle.  In contrast, my 50ft mono Canare cables pay out easily and never tangle.

Mogami 2930 looks like it may be the best of both worlds here.  Have you found that you needed to heatshrink or techflex the entire fanout portion?  Or, are the individual channel jackets sturdy enough to stand on their own, with just your typical shrink at the Y for reinforcement and maybe a short length at the connectors for strain relief?

Another approach you could try... If you use 2 small diameter cables, then you spin them around each other as a twisted pair, taping them every few inches or so.  then techflex them together, I think this would make them coil much easier. What makes 2 cables hard to coil is the cables get twisted in opposite directions, and those twists work against each other.

Offline voltronic

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2018, 12:58:58 AM »
I've used the 3106 to make XLR5->2x XLR3 breakout cables for a mid-side microphone.  It was easy to work with and I'd certainly use it again, but I'm not sure it would be my first choice for a long run.  Since it is essentially two cables fused together I'd be worried about it being unruly when coiling a long length.  That said, I've only used it for <2ft breakouts so I have no experience with long pieces.

Yes, that's my only hesitation on it as well.  The cables I would be building would all be in the 25-50 ft range.  I have a very similar side-by-side fused cable Jon at Naiant made for me as a TA4 extension which I use between my TA4-terminated DPA 4061s and my PFAs.  It's only about 15 ft and is smaller than 3106, I believe it is a Belden cable stock.  It doesn't coil all that neatly, but I don't really mind with the short length.

Ease of coiling / un-coiling is one of the reasons I want to get away from fully Techflexed snakes.  The two I have from Ted are beautifully made and will last forever, but when I need to set up in a hurry,  the long lengths often tangle.  In contrast, my 50ft mono Canare cables pay out easily and never tangle.

Mogami 2930 looks like it may be the best of both worlds here.  Have you found that you needed to heatshrink or techflex the entire fanout portion?  Or, are the individual channel jackets sturdy enough to stand on their own, with just your typical shrink at the Y for reinforcement and maybe a short length at the connectors for strain relief?

Another approach you could try... If you use 2 small diameter cables, then you spin them around each other as a twisted pair, taping them every few inches or so.  then techflex them together, I think this would make them coil much easier. What makes 2 cables hard to coil is the cables get twisted in opposite directions, and those twists work against each other.

That's an interesting idea, but I have long cables that are fully techflexed already and I want to go in a different direction.

I think the Mogami 2930 is the winner here, especially as I now have a short sample of it in hand from a generous member here who I will keep anonymous lest the entire form hit him up for cable samples.  :D

I have also just placed an order with EFKSOUND for four of these 3D-printed XLR caps that allow you to adjust exit angle for low-profile connectors, and don't require any drilling of the XLR shell at all.  (Be advised, he is not printing any new stock until sometime in December, but I emailed and he had two each of red and black that he was able to sell me.)

Thanks to everyone for sharing your experience and advice.
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Online Walstib62

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2018, 08:00:20 PM »
Volt,

I have those XLR caps and they are good, but they merely press into the connector shell, and I have had them pull out when disconnecting from the deck socket. I ended up having to tape them in place. Just be aware!

Offline voltronic

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2018, 06:11:27 PM »
Volt,

I have those XLR caps and they are good, but they merely press into the connector shell, and I have had them pull out when disconnecting from the deck socket. I ended up having to tape them in place. Just be aware!

Thanks for the heads up.  I'm hoping he improved the design.  The last thing I want to do is put tape over top of these custom 3D printed things I am having shipped from Spain.  I just emailed Eric the other day asking how the exit angle is locked in, and he said they just fit tightly.  I went with these because I liked the way they looked, and wanted the ability to change exit angles in the future without drilling through the shells.  If mine fall out, I'll ask for a refund, or failing that, hot glue them in.

Cable Techniques makes these similar-looking caps, but are designed to be held in place with the set screws on their own connectors which are very expensive.
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Online Walstib62

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2018, 05:03:26 PM »
Silicone would likely be better. I think it would hold them well and be removable later. 

Offline heathen

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2018, 05:09:42 PM »
I think the Mogami 2930 is the winner here, especially as I now have a short sample of it in hand from a generous member here who I will keep anonymous lest the entire form hit him up for cable samples.  :D

I have also just placed an order with EFKSOUND for four of these 3D-printed XLR caps that allow you to adjust exit angle for low-profile connectors, and don't require any drilling of the XLR shell at all.  (Be advised, he is not printing any new stock until sometime in December, but I emailed and he had two each of red and black that he was able to sell me.)

Thanks to everyone for sharing your experience and advice.

I'm looking forward to your thoughts on both the cable and the caps, once you've got them in hand.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2018, 06:38:03 AM »
Silicone would likely be better. I think it would hold them well and be removable later.

That's a good idea; thanks.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2018, 11:00:48 AM »
Cable is built and functional!  I miscalculated a bit on the techflex length for the mic ends, but it feels pretty sturdy with just the heatshrink as strain relief.  For the recorder end, I copied the offset from one of my GAKables.

The EFK end caps fit VERY tightly.  The inside threads of the Neutrik shells grab right into the somewhat rough textured surface of the plastic caps.  They are actually a bitch to remove if you put them in wrong.  Because they are 3D printed plastic, you wouldn't want to use a metal tool.  I have found carefully working them with rubber gloves works.

Thanks to all for the helpful advice!
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Offline heathen

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2018, 11:03:20 AM »
How is the feel of that cable?  Consistent with what you were aiming for?
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
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Offline voltronic

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2018, 11:39:39 AM »
How is the feel of that cable?  Consistent with what you were aiming for?

Yes, I'm very happy with how it came out.  It is EXTREMELY flexible, even the main run covered by the outer jacket.  I've never encountered a cable assembly of any type that is anywhere near this flexible.  Covering the fanouts with techflex was an absolute must, as they are really thin.

The fact that the inner jackets have channel numbers printed on them and the individual conductors have color-coded hot wires made it easy to keep track of what was what.

I have 30ft of this stuff left, and will definitely be making more in the future.

2 sets of cables just went up in the YS, BTW.
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Online Walstib62

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #28 on: December 26, 2018, 10:51:10 PM »
Having used the same plastic pieces, I will say this:
1. The plastic can pull out from the metal housing. I found it to feel very tight at first, but over time the plastic grip to the internal threads of the housing is reduced.
2. The plastic/metal junction creates a pinch point on the cable. I had a cable fail recently with these. The shield had worn down and separated, causing a loss of signal. The inner 2 conductors were fine.

I have decided to go to stubby RA  1/4 in. TRS plugs at the recorder end of the cable.

Offline voltronic

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2018, 09:58:43 AM »
Having used the same plastic pieces, I will say this:
1. The plastic can pull out from the metal housing. I found it to feel very tight at first, but over time the plastic grip to the internal threads of the housing is reduced.
2. The plastic/metal junction creates a pinch point on the cable. I had a cable fail recently with these. The shield had worn down and separated, causing a loss of signal. The inner 2 conductors were fine.

I have decided to go to stubby RA  1/4 in. TRS plugs at the recorder end of the cable.

Regarding #2, I think it depends on which version of the EFK caps you have (he makes them with two different sizes of "channels" for the cable) and also the thickness of the cable itself.  In my case, the Mogami W3040 individual channel wires have an OD of 2.8 mm, and the EFK caps I have are made for 4 mm wire.  Even with the wire wrapped in techflex and heatshrink, there is still some play.  If I ever redo the ends, I would likely double-up the shrink.

Would you please link to the RA TRS plugs you like?  I have never used TRS where phantom power is involved - do you find it as reliable as XLR?
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q
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Team Line Audio
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I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.    ///    If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.
- Gustav Mahler

 

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