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Structured Home Wiring (Permanent Snake?)

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair Modifications DIY' started by Suntower, May 25, 2011.

  1. Suntower

    Suntower Active Member


    I dunno if this is the right forum, but basically, I'm looking to make some 'snakes' that I want to use in my home. Like most middle-aged musicians and serial killers, I live alone. I pretty much record in every room. So what I end up doing is dragging long XLR cables all over the place.

    I've already wired most of the rooms in a 'structured' way for Cat-5 (under the house in a crawl space), so I have wall plates in each room. I'd like to expand on this and do what they have in 'real studios'... ie. have XLR wall connectors and run balanced cable in the same channels with the twisted pair. One room will need 4 channels, most will need 2.

    I'd like to start with 3 rooms. The runs would be, respectively:
    -60' (2 channels)
    -75' (2 channels)
    -20' (4 channels)

    And IF POSSIBLE, though this is NOT a deal-breaker, I'd like to have a stereo headphone connector in each room so I can have a monitor mix.

    And IF I WERE ASKING FOR THE MOON, I'd also want one unbalanced (1/4") jack for plugging in a geetar, rather than having to drag around a DI box... But I have no idea how that would be possible without $$$$$.

    Now, I can go on-line and get 3 Hosa snakes for these respective rooms for prox. $260 and do it ugly... ie. simply run them under the house, then have the breakout end sticking out of the wall.

    Then there is the 2nd problem: 'multing' them all together to a single A/D converter box. Are there 'patch bays'? Can I simply 'y' channels together? (with the 100% assumption that I would -never- have two of the same channel connected in different rooms at the same time---I live alone, remember.)

    So... I'm sure a zillion people have already done this for fancy 'home theatre' stuff, but I need to do this on a starving artist budget. I can solder. So...
    1. I need a design.
    2. I need sources for parts.



  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    First off, you WILL need to "drag around" the DI because you definitely do NOT want to run a Hi-Z instrument's output thru more than 10-20 feet of cable.
    I wouldn't route any Hosa cable under a house, especially if it can or will be exposed to the elements. Hosa stuff is certainly not meant to be "heavy duty". Besides, rodents are fond of gnawing on the vynl cable jackets.
    No, don't succumb to the temptation to "Y" connections together.
    I had a company called RAPCO make me a 50-ft snake with (12) XLR mic sockets and (4) 1/4" TRS jacks (headphones) on a stagebox many years ago. I just take it to whatever room I want to track in and I'm good to go...but that's me (and a drummer, a bassist, keys, etc).
    Parts Xpress offers a l ot of what you're looking for, and I'm sure that others will chime in with their favorites, too.
  3. Suntower

    Suntower Active Member

    I get the max length issues for unbalanced. I just wondered if there wasn't some 'active' solution of which I was unaware.

    I'm looking more for convenience. Some days I'll have a guitar in one room, the drums in another and so on and I definitely do -not- want to drag a snake around when I get the urge to try out an idea. No, I don't have a Life Styles Of The Rich And Self-Indulgent but I see all kinds of low-budget home wiring schemes involving 'home theatre' and 'multiple zones' so clearly lots of people have given this thought. I just haven't seen it used with XLRs.

    I actually ran into this with the Cat-5. An exterminator told me that, for some reason, rats seem to be drawn to the 'EMF'. Dunno if that's BS or what, but I put in some conduit so I'm good there. I'm drawn to the Hosa simply because it seems like it's cheaper to get a pre-assembled unit than the cost of separate parts. Not sure.

    I know in pro studios they use separate runs for all lines. I was hoping there was a cheaper way to do this---hence the 'y'---that would not lose signal/induce noise---so long as I'm not going to be having two signals on the same line at one time.

    Good company. I had a snake from them that's 25 years old and still works fine.


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