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patchbay cable length?

Member for

20 years 11 months
I am gathering supplies for a new patch bay, and its unlike any that I have built before. It is the patchbay for a portable recording rig and it needs to be very flexible. It will have the usual 1/4" longframe jacks on the front panel, but there will also be a rear panel with XLR connectors to allow me to connect new gear into the system by simply plugging it into the XLR jacks. Overall, the design has really come together and I'm about ready to start soldering, but I've got one question. The front panel (1/4" longframe) and the rear panel (XLR) will sit about 16" apart in the rack (front to back), but I'm wondering how long to make the wiring between these two panels? Obviously, I need to allow for some extra length so that the panels can be mounted or removed from a rack without cutting cables. But how do you determine how much slack you will need in the cable run? An extra foot? 2'? 3'? Can anyone recommend any good source of info on basic wiring practices? Not so much from an electrical standpoint, but more from a cable management or "housekeeping" perspective?

Thanks.

Steve
sjp@pacbell.net

Comments

Member for

20 years 11 months

hollywood_steve Thu, 08/23/2001 - 01:54
uhhhh..... I don't think you understood my question. (I don't think so, anyway) I'm not talking about the cables you use to patch up connections. I'm asking about how long the cable loom needs to be internally; from the rear connectors on the longframe bay to the rear connectors on the XLR panel that sits on the rear rack rails. I have measured THAT distance, its 16 inches; but if you soldered a 16 inch cable between every pair of points, you would never be able to remove the panels from the rack, there wouldn't be any slack. I just read my original post and I explained the situation as best that I can. Does anybody get what I am trying to ask?

steve

Member for

20 years 8 months

miroslav Thu, 08/23/2001 - 07:48
I'm doing some snakes/cables and patch bays too...

...I recommend first making the cables long enough so that the top most FRONT PBs right corner can reach to the bottom most BACK PBs left corner (opposite). This way, if you ever need to replace or change the layout, you can connect any FRONT PB to any BACK PB.

Then...add some more inches 12"-24" to each PB-to-PB cable so that if you pull a PB out of the rack you can at least tilt/angle it enough to work on...OK get out your tape measure and figure out how much all this is going to be.

(Sometimes..."too neat" will bite you in the ass.) :D

Member for

20 years 11 months

hollywood_steve Thu, 08/23/2001 - 20:29
What exactly will the rig be used for? There may be some alternatives that could make life simpler down the road
This will be the patchbay for any outboard gear to be used with my "live to 2 track" recording rig. Having XLR connectors on the rear panel means that I can grab any combo of outboard gear that might be suitable for the specific situation. I've been thinking about this application for a LONG time, and I'm pretty happy with this as a solution. My only concern involves how much slack to build into the cable loom connecting the front and rear panels. I spent a couple of hours tonight laying out a full scale drawing following the guidelines in the Audio Cyclopedia and I've got a much better handle on all of this. But that brought up another question - do people actually build wooden "forming boards" to mock up the entire cable form? If anyone has actually done this, can you recommend any books or other reference sources on how this is done?

thanks
steve
sjp@pacbell.net
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