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Author Topic: UA5 issue, optical out/optical cable  (Read 3132 times)

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Offline Rockinman59

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UA5 issue, optical out/optical cable
« on: October 07, 2007, 04:00:40 PM »
My taper friend posted on Ask the tapers about static on recordings when using SPC4's>UA5>JB3.  I taped a show last night and the entire wav file is static and sparks when listening to it on my pc and even cuts out at times.  I notice the optical cable doesn't fit snug in the optical out jack on the UA5 (Edirol UA5 Audio Capture model) but it does snap in more secure on the optical IN side (which I wouldn't use).  Could this be the problem or is it simply a bad optical cable?  I was told the caps on the C4's could have had moisture but I have taped last month on a hot humid day and the tape was pristine.  I haven't taped since then until last night (indoors).  At this point I don't know what is going on, it's so random.  I had the optical line out in the open (not jammed up against the inside of the gear bag) like I did a month ago and the tape came out perfect.  I think the connection to the optical OUT is so weak that maybe if I moved my bag, that maybe it came loose a little bit but didn't come out, does this sound like a possibility?  Should the connection to the optical OUT and IN jacks be just a snug?

At this point I'm going to try another optical cable.  Just wondering also if using the coax side to a mini plug would eliminate the problem?  Would I get hiss or less of a recording using the coax side instead of optical?  I've heard mixed reviews of this so I'm not sure.

Thanks for any help


Tom
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Re: UA5 issue, optical out/optical cable
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2007, 05:18:17 PM »
I notice the optical cable doesn't fit snug in the optical out jack on the UA5.  Could this be the problem or is it simply a bad optical cable?

Get a new cable, that could solve the problem if it is bad connection, or bad cable...

Just wondering also if using the coax side to a mini plug would eliminate the problem? 

You won't hear reviews of this because it is not possible to go UA5 > Coax SPDIF > JB3.  The Coax output is digital, the 1/8" Line-In on the JB3 is either analog or Optical.

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Re: UA5 issue, optical out/optical cable
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2007, 09:02:14 AM »
My taper friend posted on Ask the tapers about static on recordings when using SPC4's>UA5>JB3.  I taped a show last night and the entire wav file is static and sparks when listening to it on my pc and even cuts out at times.  I notice the optical cable doesn't fit snug in the optical out jack on the UA5 (Edirol UA5 Audio Capture model) but it does snap in more secure on the optical IN side

Tom

I wonder if someone forced the square end of the optical cable into the UA5 upside down...might have stretched out the plug - so it wont fit as snug as it should...

Offline Rockinman59

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Re: UA5 issue, optical out/optical cable
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2007, 11:24:58 AM »
My taper friend posted on Ask the tapers about static on recordings when using SPC4's>UA5>JB3.  I taped a show last night and the entire wav file is static and sparks when listening to it on my pc and even cuts out at times.  I notice the optical cable doesn't fit snug in the optical out jack on the UA5 (Edirol UA5 Audio Capture model) but it does snap in more secure on the optical IN side

Tom

I wonder if someone forced the square end of the optical cable into the UA5 upside down...might have stretched out the plug - so it wont fit as snug as it should...


Thanks for the info guys.   I tried the other end of the optical cable (flipped it from mini-plug to square end) and it fit the same way in the UA5 (not snug).  But I did a test recording twice, changed the UA5 settings, Rec source (had it on Analog and corrected it to Digital), ADV I corrected to off (it was on) and Lo Hz/Hi Hz to Lo, connected the optical cable and kept straight instead of bunched up, kept the walmart battery separated from the UA5 (instead of sitting on top of it), and BOTH test recordings had no spikes/static, in fact the wav file looked just like it should.  I'm thinking due to having the rec source setting on Analog instead of Digital (when I'm using optical) was wrong and could be the cause.  I may have accidentally pushed in the button and it popped out to the analog setting.  This static issue only happened once before and I could have had the UA5 set to analog then as well.  I'll have to try it out with these settings when I record this Thursday, then I'll know.  I'll post to let you all know so it may help others if this ever happens to anyone else.   

Thanks again guys!

Tom
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Offline willndmb

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Re: UA5 issue, optical out/optical cable
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2007, 11:53:45 AM »
worse comes to worse and for whatever reason you had to use coax, you can get a hosa box to convert from coax to optical
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Offline Rockinman59

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Re: UA5 issue, optical out/optical cable
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2007, 01:18:42 PM »
worse comes to worse and for whatever reason you had to use coax, you can get a hosa box to convert from coax to optical
Thanks Will for the info.  Hopefully a new cable and keeping the settings where they are will solve the problem.
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Offline SmokinJoe

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Re: UA5 issue, optical out/optical cable
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2007, 06:44:09 PM »
My experience is that optical works, or it doesn't.  If it doesn't work you don't get anything.  I've had that happen before, and I've had dropouts because of it, but I've never had static from a bad optical cable, just "skips" where some music is missing.  I'm not saying it's impossible, but that's my opinion.

I have definitely had problems with a humid mic... and the problem WILL come and go when you least expect it.  That is what I think your problem is.
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Offline Rockinman59

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Re: UA5 issue, optical out/optical cable
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2007, 08:21:04 PM »
My experience is that optical works, or it doesn't.  If it doesn't work you don't get anything.  I've had that happen before, and I've had dropouts because of it, but I've never had static from a bad optical cable, just "skips" where some music is missing.  I'm not saying it's impossible, but that's my opinion.

I have definitely had problems with a humid mic... and the problem WILL come and go when you least expect it.  That is what I think your problem is.

You're the 3rd person that brought that possibility up.  I just tested my equipment at home and tried to duplicate the spike problem.  I wiggled the optical cable, the monster cable where it connects to the UA5 (L & R channel), I put the walmart battery on top of the UA5 like I usually do and tried it without being on top, turned switches on and off while recording and yet ALL 6 tests came out with no spikes, the wav files look totally normal.  I store the mics in a cigar box (sold to me that way) and had it in my gear bag.  If I had the bag in air conditioning, then took it outside and had it in my car (it was hot outside the other day), that can cause humidity in the caps within an hour's drive?  How else can you store the mics or caps to keep it from being exposed to a temp change (a/c to humid conditions and back to a/c inside the club I recorded at).  Like you said it happened when I least expected it.  This is only the 2nd time in 16 recordings and I've had many shows with humid conditions.  It's really a mystery at this point.  I've ordered another optical cable to try in a few days.

Thanks for your input.
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Offline drewloo

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Re: UA5 issue, optical out/optical cable
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2007, 12:51:20 PM »
My experience is that optical works, or it doesn't.  If it doesn't work you don't get anything.  I've had that happen before, and I've had dropouts because of it, but I've never had static from a bad optical cable, just "skips" where some music is missing.  I'm not saying it's impossible, but that's my opinion.

I have definitely had problems with a humid mic... and the problem WILL come and go when you least expect it.  That is what I think your problem is.

You're the 3rd person that brought that possibility up.  I just tested my equipment at home and tried to duplicate the spike problem.  I wiggled the optical cable, the monster cable where it connects to the UA5 (L & R channel), I put the walmart battery on top of the UA5 like I usually do and tried it without being on top, turned switches on and off while recording and yet ALL 6 tests came out with no spikes, the wav files look totally normal.  I store the mics in a cigar box (sold to me that way) and had it in my gear bag.  If I had the bag in air conditioning, then took it outside and had it in my car (it was hot outside the other day), that can cause humidity in the caps within an hour's drive?  How else can you store the mics or caps to keep it from being exposed to a temp change (a/c to humid conditions and back to a/c inside the club I recorded at).  Like you said it happened when I least expected it.  This is only the 2nd time in 16 recordings and I've had many shows with humid conditions.  It's really a mystery at this point.  I've ordered another optical cable to try in a few days.

Thanks for your input.

Maybe try a Pelican case w/ some silca gel packs.

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Re: UA5 issue, optical out/optical cable
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2007, 02:50:46 PM »
Not much new to add other than this...  Is this your UA5 or your friend's?  The reason I ask is that if it's someone elses unit, and they normally plug and unplug cables every time they set up then I think it could be possible that normal wear, however slight, in the Toslink socket on the UA5 could result in some anoying micro sized interuptions of the signal.  The first time I experienced this I was sure it was the optical cable.  When I resorted to securing the cable in a right angle adapter (using duct tape) the imobilization of that connection seemed to do the trick... or, I was hit with the humidity problem as well.  (I was running SPC4's as well.)  In either case, both possible sources of your noise are explainable and somewhat controlable.

Not sure it this has helped but it is worth 2c.  Good luck
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Offline Rockinman59

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Re: UA5 issue, optical out/optical cable
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2007, 01:32:14 PM »

Maybe try a Pelican case w/ some silca gel packs.
[/quote]


Bingo!  I called Studio Projects and they told me that the caps can very easily get moisture in them from temperature change, the space inside the caps are microscopic in size and if any moisture gets in there it will result in static when recording.  He told me the EXACT thing you just did, silica gel packs.   I called everywhere looking for them and no one has them, then it hit me- my wife works in a laboratory,so I call her and lo and behold she has lots of them.  This may very well solve the problem.  I did also get an extra optical cable just in case.

   Thanks to everyone who posted here and helped me. 


Tom G
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Re: UA5 issue, optical out/optical cable
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2007, 03:24:42 PM »
If your JB3 HD is near full, You'll sometimes get clicks & slight dropouts just like you described.
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Offline Rockinman59

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Re: UA5 issue, optical out/optical cable
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2007, 12:10:20 PM »
If your JB3 HD is near full, You'll sometimes get clicks & slight dropouts just like you described.


Thanks for the input.  I have (2) JB3's and they only have 9 gb's out of the 20 gb max on the hard drive.  I had static the entire 90 minutes when looking at and listening to the wav file.  Got silica gels now and storing them with the mics.  Tomorrow I'll know if I still have the issue after taping a show tonight.

thanks

Tom
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Offline jkbyram

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Re: UA5 issue, optical out/optical cable
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2007, 11:23:38 AM »
If your JB3 HD is near full, You'll sometimes get clicks & slight dropouts just like you described.


Thanks for the input.  I have (2) JB3's and they only have 9 gb's out of the 20 gb max on the hard drive.  I had static the entire 90 minutes when looking at and listening to the wav file.  Got silica gels now and storing them with the mics.  Tomorrow I'll know if I still have the issue after taping a show tonight.

thanks

Tom

i suspect something like this. it may not be full, but if you have deleted lots off of it recently it will leave it fragmented and will cause the same problems. that is my experience.

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Re: UA5 issue, optical out/optical cable
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2007, 05:23:30 PM »
This thread has sort of stalled out.  How did the problem resoulution process end up?  Was it humidity?

I have had static like problems off and on for months with my UA5 and took a morning to open up my box and see what I could see.  If you run a great deal with a UA5 that means multiple applications of XLR plugs into the sockets.  In my case it's been likely hundreds of cycles and I discovered some broken solder points including some on my optical jacks.  My discussion of the process can be found here, Reply #70

Good luck!

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