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Author Topic: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake  (Read 13083 times)

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Offline voltronic

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Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« on: September 18, 2022, 03:36:06 PM »
I had wanted to make a long stereo cable that was much thinner than the Mogami or Redco 2-channel snake cable I normally use. Something like the Schoeps KS 10 U cable but reasonably priced.

Thanks to some very helpful advice I received here on TS and also on GS Remote, I completed the build this weekend and it came out pretty well.

I used Sommer Cicada 4 mini star-quad for the cable, along with Rean 5-pin mini XLRs (TA5) and Neutrik XX 3-pin XLRs.

Unlike some other very thin cables, Sommer Cicada 4 is perfectly round, coils very easily, and lays dead flat even after extended storage in a small coil. It looks like shoestring licorice with a matte finish. All around, it handles beautifully and was just as easy to work with during construction as the Mogami or Redco 2-channel snake cable.

I used the "opposite pair" wiring setup. For this particular cable, that was:

Pin 1 Ground Drain
Pin 2 Left + Red
Pin 3 Left - Blue
Pin 4 Right + Yellow
Pin 5 Right - White

For the fanouts, I wired according to normal star-quad procedure:

Pin 1 Ground Drain (combined)
Pin 2 Left + Red/Blue
Pin 3 Left - Yellow/White
Pin 4 Right + Red/Blue
Pin 5 Right - Yellow/White

As you can see, I had to use heatshrink inside and outside the shell on the fanouts. One of these cables fits snugly through the included boot; it is far too narrow for two.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2022, 03:39:08 PM by voltronic »
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Offline jbell

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2022, 04:25:21 PM »
I use a Schoeps KS I 5 cable between my Nbob actives and a Naiant PFA.  Similar idea.  I really like having one stereo cable makes setup and breakdown easy.  Nice work, the cable looks great.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2022, 06:13:21 AM by jbell »
Mics: DPA ST4011ER & 4018ER | Neumann kk 184 (matched)> Nbob/PFA
Preamps: DPA MMA 6000 | Audioroot Femto
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre-10 II | Sony PCM A10

-20        -12         -6        TDS   (32/48)     
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|Record|  Runtime: 4:19.99  {|||] 75%

Offline voltronic

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2022, 05:05:05 PM »
I use a Schoeps KS L 5 cable between my Nbob actives and a Naiant PFA.  Similar idea.  I really like having one stereo cable makes setup and breakdown easy.  Nice work, the cable looks great.

Thanks. This project was actually meant to be a lower-cost alternative to the Schoeps KS cables, which I am sure are great, but are painfully expensive. A 10-meter KS 10 U with the two AK SU breakouts costs $420! I thought about saving money going DIY, buying the raw KS cable from Posthorn at $12/m. A 10 meter DIY set would run around $150 if I used the mini Rean connectors. Much better, but still more than I wanted to pay. If I was flying/suspending mics from the cable, I might feel differently.

My 10-meter cable cost about $70 all-in including shipping.
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Offline jbell

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2022, 05:29:59 PM »
The Schoeps KS 5 I is a 711 binder cable and cheaper, but they are still expensive and I believe discontinued!  For sure, you save building your own cables. 
« Last Edit: September 20, 2022, 06:13:01 AM by jbell »
Mics: DPA ST4011ER & 4018ER | Neumann kk 184 (matched)> Nbob/PFA
Preamps: DPA MMA 6000 | Audioroot Femto
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre-10 II | Sony PCM A10

-20        -12         -6        TDS   (32/48)     
]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]][}   
]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]][} 
__________________________
|Record|  Runtime: 4:19.99  {|||] 75%

Offline voltronic

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2022, 06:27:19 AM »
The Schoeps KS 5L is a 711 binder cable and cheaper, but they are still expensive and I believe discontinued!  For sure, you save building your own cables.

Yes, I noticed that the L-type cables with Binder connectors is cheaper, but Schoeps doesn't make a Binder-XLR fanout so DIY is your only option there. I have never used those connectors, and I wonder if they are more robust than the Rean TA5s I'm using.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2022, 11:36:52 AM »
Nice work!
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2022, 07:49:33 PM »
Nice work!

Thanks. What finally made this go much quicker was buying a nice new Klein wire stripper that could do the 26 awg conductors in this cable. I didn't have a wire stripper that could handle that small I size when I started, so I was trying to carefully use my flush cutters as a stripping tool (and often failing). Lesson learned: get the right tools for the job first.
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Offline H₂O

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2022, 09:35:42 PM »
The Schoeps KS 5L is a 711 binder cable and cheaper, but they are still expensive and I believe discontinued!  For sure, you save building your own cables.


To be clear that is a Schoeps KS 5 i not L


i = binder
L = Lemo


Don't know if they made a 5 pin Lemo cable but I guess it's possible as Lemo makes miniture 5 pin (used frequently with Timecode I/O)



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Offline pohaku

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2022, 12:07:42 AM »
Nice!  My next cable project as well.  Picked up a pair of the teeny Audix M1290 mics in the Yard Sale and want to make appropriately sized cables for them.  Using your approach, but with the Canare L4E5C cable.  Now I need a rainy day as an excuse to stay inside and build them.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2022, 06:17:27 AM »
Nice!  My next cable project as well.  Picked up a pair of the teeny Audix M1290 mics in the Yard Sale and want to make appropriately sized cables for them.  Using your approach, but with the Canare L4E5C cable.  Now I need a rainy day as an excuse to stay inside and build them.

Good luck! A few people here and on GS have recommended that cable for this purpose. You'll just need a multimeter on hand because that cable has two pairs of the same color.

M50k on GS also recommended the cable Audio-Technica uses in the popular 853 mics as being a good choice. You can find used / non-working 853s for cheap on eBay if all you want is the cable.
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Offline checht

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2022, 11:00:34 PM »
Nice work!

Thanks. What finally made this go much quicker was buying a nice new Klein wire stripper that could do the 26 awg conductors in this cable. I didn't have a wire stripper that could handle that small I size when I started, so I was trying to carefully use my flush cutters as a stripping tool (and often failing). Lesson learned: get the right tools for the job first.

I really like using a variable bite stripper that allows me to tackle most any wire, but I think I'm old school on that. Once you get the feel for it, you can sense when you're through various parts of the cable assembly, which is super helpful if you want to preserve the shield for example.

Got mine a few decades ago from digikey, kinda like these:
https://www.digikey.com/en/products/detail/eclipse-tools/200-007/16627150?utm_adgroup=TANE%20ALARM%20PRODUCTS&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Shopping_DK%2BSupplier_Tier%202%20-%20Block%202&utm_term=&utm_content=TANE%20ALARM%20PRODUCTS&gclid=Cj0KCQjw7KqZBhCBARIsAI-fTKJXHj4CHcp83KviAQxHFaT7RuQwLePgKAVY_Fk9Mg_EHz_AvZICc0IaAmrGEALw_wcB

But the handles are red, which I'm sure is important.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2022, 09:07:57 PM »
Nice work!

Thanks. What finally made this go much quicker was buying a nice new Klein wire stripper that could do the 26 awg conductors in this cable. I didn't have a wire stripper that could handle that small I size when I started, so I was trying to carefully use my flush cutters as a stripping tool (and often failing). Lesson learned: get the right tools for the job first.

I really like using a variable bite stripper that allows me to tackle most any wire, but I think I'm old school on that. Once you get the feel for it, you can sense when you're through various parts of the cable assembly, which is super helpful if you want to preserve the shield for example.

Got mine a few decades ago from digikey, kinda like these:
https://www.digikey.com/en/products/detail/eclipse-tools/200-007/16627150?utm_adgroup=TANE%20ALARM%20PRODUCTS&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Shopping_DK%2BSupplier_Tier%202%20-%20Block%202&utm_term=&utm_content=TANE%20ALARM%20PRODUCTS&gclid=Cj0KCQjw7KqZBhCBARIsAI-fTKJXHj4CHcp83KviAQxHFaT7RuQwLePgKAVY_Fk9Mg_EHz_AvZICc0IaAmrGEALw_wcB

But the handles are red, which I'm sure is important.

Never seen that one before. I'm sure it's great, but the cables I have been using are 24 ga, or in the case of this Sommer cable, 26 ga.
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Offline checht

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2022, 10:08:45 PM »
Oh, I see the description has a gauge range.

I just close it as much as is needed for whatever wire/cable;jacket I'm working on.
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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2022, 04:01:50 AM »
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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2022, 05:50:10 AM »
I have never used those connectors, and I wonder if they are more robust than the Rean TA5s I'm using.

I actually prefer the Binder to the TA5 (or any other miniXLR) connectors. Two connectors screw together very nicely while I am always having a bit of a hard time separating those miniXLR connectors.

The Sommer cable is really good! However, I found it just a bit too wobbly and it once broke on me. But that could have been from years of abuse in stealth situations. Now I am back to original Schoeps 3-conductor wire for my actives. The new ones are also in the 3-4mm range and I think I paid 5 EUR per meter when ordering directly from Schoeps.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2022, 05:53:39 AM by Sebastian »

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2023, 07:03:41 PM »
I'm pondering a 4 channel 100' snake, and have a few questions:

1. Any rf/interference/other reason not to put 2 runs of the Sommer in a piece of tecflex for 100'?
2. Any reason to use fan outs rather than 4 xlrs on each end?
3. My Weller station is failing, anyone have a soldering iron recc?
4. Solder supply is 20-30 years old, any improvements since?
5. Looking at the Switchcraft plastic stubbies for low weight, any good?

TIA, Chris
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2023, 07:24:00 PM »
1. Any rf/interference/other reason not to put 2 runs of the Sommer in a piece of tecflex for 100'?
Absolutely no reason you'd have a problem. But if you're making a 4-channel snake, this is a better solution:
https://www.redco.com/Redco-TGS-04.html

FYI, it's the same stuff as the Mogami snake cable but with a different outer jacket that I prefer. Also cheaper!

Quote
2. Any reason to use fan outs rather than 4 xlrs on each end?
If you were using the Sommer Cicada, the conductors are only 26ga and even if you shrink each pair going to each XLR, it wouldn't be that durable. Famous like I did are the only way for this cable, IMO.

But like I said, use the Redco / Mogami snake cable for this instead of the Sommer cable. It will be simpler, cheaper, and more rugged.

Quote
3. My Weller station is failing, anyone have a soldering iron recc?
Pinecil all the way. It's a TS100 style, but with the better firmware already installed.
https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=198135.msg2366169

Quote
4. Solder supply is 20-30 years old, any improvements since?
I haven't been soldering that long, but I always buy Kester.

Quote
5. Looking at the Switchcraft plastic stubbies for low weight, any good?
No, they are definitely lower quality as reported here and on JWSound.

You use stubbies for space and/or angle exit reasons. The weight difference is negligible. The plastic Neutrik chuck and boot assembly are very light.
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Offline BlueSky71

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2023, 12:26:01 PM »
I just  used a set of these (male) for a cable build with mogami 3031. I opted to use mogami as opposed to  the redco stuff for a couple reasons, mostly because I wanted to try these connectors and was ordering from here at that point, and also because I was already familiar with it. I also needed to fit 2 single pair runs into a single 5 pin XLR, and didn't want to deal with breaking it out on the other end to 3 pin. I found the connectors to be very good. as the review says on the page now, there are 3 compression sleeves that come with the connector for various wire gauges. I my circumstance, I was using a very small cable and had to use some heatshrink to build up the OD to use the strain relief collar correctly. I meant to post some pictures, I will get to it. Meanwhile, a strong recommendation on them from me.

https://www.performanceaudio.com/squareplug-spxf-low-profile-true-heavy-duty-3-pin-female-xlr-connector-black.html

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Offline voltronic

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2023, 08:01:51 AM »
Thanks for all the great info!

If I go with the Redco, any need for techflex?

The Pinecil you linked to is out of stock, how about this option: https://campaign.aliexpress.com/wow/gcp/tesla-pc-new/index?UTABTest=aliabtest377151_530968&_randl_currency=USD&_randl_shipto=US&src=google&src=google&albch=shopping&acnt=708-803-3821&slnk=&plac=&mtctp=&albbt=Google_7_shopping&albagn=888888&isSmbAutoCall=false&needSmbHouyi=false&albcp=19108282527&albag=&trgt=&crea=en3256804217353995&netw=x&device=c&albpg=&albpd=en3256804217353995&gclid=Cj0KCQiAgOefBhDgARIsAMhqXA6dTRbiVAN4y5bWTFjnBD7_B-M3bofPn2D90f79vg_gMnx_90vRO8waAveAEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds&aff_fcid=44975c2519fe47fda19b61ab2d9572e4-1677346857533-06164-UneMJZVf&aff_fsk=UneMJZVf&aff_platform=aaf&sk=UneMJZVf&aff_trace_key=44975c2519fe47fda19b61ab2d9572e4-1677346857533-06164-UneMJZVf&terminal_id=b3d098162dfe4e8da108ccc88c8420d4&wh_weex=true&wx_navbar_hidden=true&wx_navbar_transparent=true&ignoreNavigationBar=true&wx_statusbar_hidden=true&bt_src=ppc_direct_lp&scenario=pcBridgePPC&productId=3256804217353995&OLP=1085100208_f_group2&o_s_id=1085100208

Appreciate the heads-up on the plastic connectors.

I wouldn't trust any of those - the prices are suspiciously low. I would get a TS100 from a reputable dealer and then install IronOS on it.

Pine64 says restocking should be soon. If you're willing to wait a bit you can save some money over the TS100.

Don't forget that you'll need a USB-C PD power supply that can output at least 30W, along with a cable that can supply it. I got the red silicone cable sold on the Pine website, but from this store:

https://ameridroid.com/products/usb-type-c-to-usb-type-c-silicone-power-charging-cable
« Last Edit: February 26, 2023, 08:04:17 AM by voltronic »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2023, 08:05:02 AM »
I just  used a set of these (male) for a cable build with mogami 3031. I opted to use mogami as opposed to  the redco stuff for a couple reasons, mostly because I wanted to try these connectors and was ordering from here at that point, and also because I was already familiar with it. I also needed to fit 2 single pair runs into a single 5 pin XLR, and didn't want to deal with breaking it out on the other end to 3 pin. I found the connectors to be very good. as the review says on the page now, there are 3 compression sleeves that come with the connector for various wire gauges. I my circumstance, I was using a very small cable and had to use some heatshrink to build up the OD to use the strain relief collar correctly. I meant to post some pictures, I will get to it. Meanwhile, a strong recommendation on them from me.

https://www.performanceaudio.com/squareplug-spxf-low-profile-true-heavy-duty-3-pin-female-xlr-connector-black.html

I had been considering these for my next cable build. Very interested in pictures when you get a chance.
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Offline BlueSky71

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2023, 11:21:33 AM »
Here we go. So the strain relief collars are for 5,6, and 7 mm cables. I measured what I have done with calipers today, mine is 4.2 with the heatsrink. it seems like it will do the job, but I am not sure long term. I usually run 2 sources, so if I do have a failure I will be ok. Sure I will add another layer of heat shrink before long.

Offline voltronic

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2023, 01:31:18 PM »
Thanks for the pics and build details.

Do you feel the overall quality of the connectors are on par with Neutrik?
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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2023, 01:37:54 PM »
Thanks for the pics and build details.

Do you feel the overall quality of the connectors are on par with Neutrik?

I meant to mention that.They are very heavy duty. I would say they weigh more than a standard XLR as well, as the screw on cap is solid. It also helps to compress the strain relief piece. They fit my F6 and F3 perfectly. I have one set of male XLR's that are actually slightly to big to fit them correctly if you are in a hurry...so I figured it was worth mentioning.

Also, I did not order the color coded screws, but i would hve if I figured it out before placing my order.

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2023, 08:41:07 PM »
Thanks for the pics and build details.

Do you feel the overall quality of the connectors are on par with Neutrik?

I meant to mention that.They are very heavy duty. I would say they weigh more than a standard XLR as well, as the screw on cap is solid. It also helps to compress the strain relief piece. They fit my F6 and F3 perfectly. I have one set of male XLR's that are actually slightly to big to fit them correctly if you are in a hurry...so I figured it was worth mentioning.

Also, I did not order the color coded screws, but i would hve if I figured it out before placing my order.

I think you sold me - I'll try them the best time I have cables to build. Thanks again.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2023, 03:51:47 PM »
Anyone try an audio over CAT5 snake solution?

Referring to analog over shielded CAT5/e/6/7 Ethernet cable, with a detachable fan-out or conn box at each end.  Gets especially attractive for longer snakes, and the modular detachable breakouts at each end are attractive.  As I understand it a single CAT5 cable can support 4 balanced lines with phantom power.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2023, 07:34:12 PM »
Anyone try an audio over CAT5 snake solution?

Referring to analog over shielded CAT5/e/6/7 Ethernet cable, with a detachable fan-out or conn box at each end.  Gets especially attractive for longer snakes, and the modular detachable breakouts at each end are attractive.  As I understand it a single CAT5 cable can support 4 balanced lines with phantom power.

There are few people on GS Remote who use these. Maybe @tourtelot?
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.
- Gustav Mahler

Acoustic Recording Techniques
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Team Line Audio
Team DPA

 

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