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Punchdown vs Solder

Member for

20 years 8 months
What are your opinions on Punchdown vs Solder in patchbays? Do you feel or hear a difference? Is it worth the time to solder?

I'm considering an Audio Accesories TT bay. I can choose between unwired, adc style punchdown, and wrapped terminal. The people there were very patient and friendly and their prices were fair.

Comments

Member for

20 years 11 months

hollywood_steve Mon, 08/06/2001 - 20:07
The Audio Accessories folks are very helpful, good choice. I don't think that anyone will claim to be able to hear a difference between solder and punchdown terminals. The solder advantage (assuming the soldering was done well) is reliability - a good solder connection could last the life of your studio. And, unlike the punchdown, wiggling the cable won't cause any intermittant signal crackles and pops. On the other hand, if you forsee a need to reorganize your patchbay, punchdown bays allow for cleaner dis-connects and re-connects. For what its worth, I looked hard at various punchdown type bays and finally decided on a solder terminal longframe bay as the best choice for my needs.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 08/08/2001 - 03:57
Just FYI. The ADC QCP style punch blocks are extremely reliable. I work at a large radio facility , I probably have 1000+ punch connections, no problems in the last 5 years and some of these have been reused 5 -10 times. It's a lot faster if you need to move things around. ADC even advertises it as better then solder.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 08/08/2001 - 05:28
Whether you go with punch block or solder the main thing to remember is that this is not a good place to save money on parts/materials.

Nickel plated parts are not good enough. Solid nickel is the way to go.

I had a patchbay with punchblocks that was an absolute nightmare. Between worn plating in the bay (no it wasn't just dirty) and punch blocks I had a noisy, hissing, spitting, phantom blocking mess.

Can't say who made the punch blocks, I got rid of the mess several years ago. I assume that they were nickel plated at best.

Don't forget, solid nickel contacts only, a cheap bay will hurt everything that goes through it, and usually, everything goes through it.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 08/09/2001 - 04:48
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson:
A telephone company technician told me a few years ago that the telcos had given up on punchblocks because of long term reliability problems.


Yeah, I bet. 66 blocks aren't exactly the tightest connections I've seen. 110 blocks (network punch blocks) are a bit better.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Tue, 08/14/2001 - 15:29
(I may have responded to this at MP, if so, please disregard.)

You need both a chemical and mechanical connection to gain maximum signal flow and durability. Solder gives you the chemical, so if you don't think you'll be rewiring the back too much, go with solder. With signal flow you already have the weakness with the mechanical-only front, so IMO there's no sense in adding one at the back.
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