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Author Topic: 1/4" TRS connectors  (Read 2257 times)

John Ivan

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1/4" TRS connectors
« on: March 29, 2006, 06:14:17 PM »

Hi all,

I did a search and didn't find much on the subject so, here goes....


I am finally getting around to finding inexpensive solder back patch bays this summer.{used} I'm hoping to do EVERY connector on the back of my console. I'm still deciding on which permanent install wire to buy and I might be switching multi track rigs so, I'm going to try and think ahead.I'm leaving room for outboard ad ons too.

The question I have is this. Considering that this is quite permanent, are there any options less expensive than Switch craft or neutrik? I've seen the all metal "tech-Nek" {sp?} stuff and it looked ,, well,, OK if they are not going to be inserted over and over.

I'm talking about at least a few hundred of these plus some XLR stuff. Is any of the cheaper stuff worth a look?

Thanks,

JI..........................
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CHANCE

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Re: 1/4" TRS connectors
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2006, 09:03:12 PM »

Man I really don't envy you. I wired 4 single space 96 point balanced TT patch bays and it just takes too long. No instant gratification there. I used a very thin wire. Being 96 point there was no room. Tomorrow I'll go into the store room and see what the spool says on it.
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John Ivan

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Re: 1/4" TRS connectors
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2006, 09:40:43 PM »

Yeah, it's going to be a PITA but, I'll be very very glad when I'm done and there will be no more climbing behind the damn rig anymore. It's getting so I'll have others coming in to mix here and there so, I want it to look and sound great and I don't want to slow down the sessions anymore. When it's JUST me? so what but when I've got others hanging out, crawling back there looks stupid and is a waist of time.

You know the drill.

I'm going to do this right too. This should last for years to come. I hear ya though, it's a lot of work.

I need connectors and I might go cheapish on that end if I think the down side isn't bad news. I sure wont be unplugging them but I don't want problems either.

Thanks for the reply Chance.

JI.......................................................... .
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gtrmac

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Re: 1/4" TRS connectors
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2006, 01:14:45 AM »

It seems to me that used patchbays are a mistake unless you can find someone to clean them ultrasonically or something. Wiring patchbays is a lot of work and if they start fizzing and crackling intermittantly soon down the line you will be very sorry you didn't spend the money for good bays.

Just my opinion of course.
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John Ivan

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Re: 1/4" TRS connectors
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2006, 01:19:26 AM »

Well, the last rig I wired was 1/4" long frame unbalanced for my old 16 track. They were old ADC bays and they will out live me I'm sure. Maybe I've just been lucky.

Thanks for the heads up but I CAN'T spend what they want for new ones.

JI......................................................
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John Klett

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Re: 1/4" TRS connectors
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2006, 07:17:39 AM »

almost without exception I use Audio Accessories... I have wired or installed hundreds of 1/4" and bantam AA bays...  I have rebuilt API consoles with AudioLine jacks (from Audio Accesories) that are over thirty years old and the bays are still good (while bays in Neve consoles as old are pretty much done by now, with few exceptions

http://www.patchbays.com/1_4LFMAXI.htm

don't use used bays...  the time and effort required to properly clean them up for re-use can be put to better use

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Fig

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Re: 1/4" TRS connectors
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2006, 12:36:07 PM »

Although new is best,

I have cleaned and installed used patchbays without a problem.

If you have the time to clean 'em, it beats the heck out of paying for new.  YMMV.

Here's a resource that I was unaware of at the time I wired my place:

http://home.flash.net/~motodata/patchbays/quarterinch.html

FWIW, I used Gepco Gepflex multicores - very easy handling, highly recommended.

Regarding connectors, for the bays themselves (the Bay of Figs they call it - see attached) I use ADC military cables - nickle, not brass.

For the component ends of things, I found the Neutriks (1/4" TS, TRS and/or XLR) to be the quickest to solder.  I got a few Switchcrafts throughout as well, given the choice - I would never go back.  Knowing they are literally your lifeline - don't skimp.

Also, consider EDAC/ELCO breakaways at the patchbay and the console ends of your snakes.  That way if you have un-install the console, of if you get a new console, or who knows what... you can disconnect the bay from the gear without cutting or desoldering.  Allows for lengthening cable runs, too.

Hope this helps,

Fig

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John Ivan

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Re: 1/4" TRS connectors
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2006, 01:09:26 PM »

Thanks guys. All very helpful and food for thought.

I like the Neutriks also for the soldering is easier. OTOH., I have some switch craft connectors on some very very old cables here that are still like new. I just hate soldering them although I got pretty good at it.

This will be my third large {sorta} install and I've gotten better and neater. It seems like used 1/4 Long Frame used is a better Idea than Used TT. When I look at these ADC jack fields here, I can't imagine one failing but, I bet they do with lot's and lot's of use. I would like to avoid a burnishing tool if I can and clean with chem's? Also, No brass? use Nickle as it wont tarnish?

I'm a pest sorry, here's some more Q's Rolling Eyes

I've learned a bit about strain relief in the back of these racks just by doing it some and this will be the neatest install I've done. I'm going to use paper stick-on # labels with clear shrink wrap covering them on BOTH ends.Sooo,,,Do you guys ever put shrink wrap over the solder joint?{terminal?} It seems so unlikely that this would fail and if it did, having wrap on there would be a pain so I'm up in the air on this.

Here's a jpeg of what I mean

index.php/fa/2604/0/



Thanks so much for your time.

JI....................................................
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crm0922

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Re: 1/4" TRS connectors
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2006, 04:24:51 AM »

The thing about wiring patchbays that I find so irritating (and with wiring everything else, actually) is preparing the wire ends for soldering.  The wire insulation bits make a huge mess, the outer insulation is sometimes hard to remove (96 times anyway), etc.  I just hate it.

The actualy soldering is a breeze if the ends are prepared well, however.

For the last project I did in my studio, I had Redco deliver the cable with the ends already prepared for wiring to a patchbay.  It was well worth the extra few dollars and saved a significant amount of time as well.

I shrink-tubed every wire at the break out point and each terminal at the connection point as well.  And for strain relief, I actually left a little more slack between the connection point and the tie-down point than is in your picture, but it basically looks like that.  And the AA bay had a big metal loop to tie down too which is very convenient.

The new Audio Acessories bays are very nice, and aren't all that expensive.  Soldering onto a new bay with nice sockets and clean tabs is nice and easy as well.

If you are only going a few feet, it might be helpful to order the cable with the ends prepared to save some time.

Fun fun fun!

Chris
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John Ivan

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Re: 1/4" TRS connectors
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2006, 05:06:32 AM »

Thanks all for your replies.. If I'm going with new stuff, I'll have to wait about a year. This might be worth waiting for. Like I said before, the used bays I used last time worked great and they were old but perhaps I got lucky. They came out of a radio station..

I need to look at this from the standpoint of quality and I admit I'm so sick of getting up and walking back there that the smoke coming out of my ears could be messing with my ability to think clearly Rolling Eyes .

This is for my home rig where I will be doing a LOT of mixing. The fact that it's in my house and I'm itchin' to move forward is no reason to do it wrong so, thanks for the gentle push.

I'm also replacing,{finally} every electrolytic in this console and plan on doing that right as well so why half ass anything? Right?

Thanks again. New it is.

JI.......................................................
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amorris

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Re: 1/4" TRS connectors
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2006, 08:11:57 AM »

I like the neutrik for ease but the switchcraft makes a better connection. Im not sure if it has to do with the metal case being seperate from the TRS plug and this can move and the switchcraft is tighter and holds the connector to the frame better, but they do seem to stay much more reliably. also ive heard that the metal used by neutrik isnt as robust as in switchcraft. Ive resigned to using the switchcraft and I am happy.
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Gold

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Re: 1/4" TRS connectors
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2006, 11:39:55 AM »

A good trick for soldering the Switchcraft TRS connectors is to clip off the longer bent portion of the ring tab so it's flush with the tip tab. That way you can strip the conductors to the same length. I use  tin snips.
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John Ivan

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Re: 1/4" TRS connectors
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2006, 12:03:39 PM »

Gold wrote on Wed, 05 April 2006 10:39

A good trick for soldering the Switchcraft TRS connectors is to clip off the longer bent portion of the ring tab so it's flush with the tip tab. That way you can strip the conductors to the same length. I use  tin snips.



You cut off the strain relief? Then what?

JI.........................................
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Gold

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Re: 1/4" TRS connectors
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2006, 05:16:44 PM »

No, not the strain relief. The tab that is the connection to the ring.  It's longer than the tab that connects to the tip and is bent. I cut off the bent part so it's the same length as the tab that connects to the tip.

Since you brought up the strain relief. I save clamping those down until I'm done soldering all the connectors. It's best to have the connector cool down so you don't melt the insulation and get a short.
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John Ivan

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Re: 1/4" TRS connectors
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2006, 07:16:20 PM »

Duh,, yeah, sorry. I was picturing a TS connector for say,, a guitar cable. My Bad.

Yeah, that's a great idea. I'll try that next time I have a SC TRS in front of me. I also hate the plastic tabs in the way of the sleeve colder point. I've cut those before.

Yes. always let stuff cool be for button up. I do that too.

JI............................................
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