Audio punch blocks

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jyoung1978
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Audio punch blocks

Post by jyoung1978 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:40 pm

I would like to start a discussion about punch block wiring for radio stations. I am rebuilding a market clusters engineering room as well as on air studios. After looking at punch blocks I have yet to find punch blocks that are just for audio wiring but just about everything is for telephone ect. Are there any punch blocks that are just for radio audio wiring applications?

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Deep Thought
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Re: Audio punch blocks

Post by Deep Thought » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:32 am

I've never seen the need for anything other than your standard 110 or 66 blocks. Do you have some specialized application those don't work with? An IDC block is an IDC block.
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RGORJANCE
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Re: Audio punch blocks

Post by RGORJANCE » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:24 am

The 66B350 Siemens split block is a good choice. It's advantage is that that each row of 6 connections is split open in the middle to allow for convenient grounding, or not carrying thru the shields in order prevent ground loops. Use bridging clips to make the thru connection for your +/ and shield connections.

We mount the columns of punch blocks on 3/4" plywood. I always run a 2 inch copper strap in between columns of the punch blocks in RF environments. ( I pre-punch a vertical series of holes in the copper strap). This is connected to the station ground and, and allows very convenient method to shunt unwanted RF to ground. Merely use a clip lead on the shields to see if the RF goes away. If it works, punch down a permanent lead and screw it to the strap.

I have some good pictures somewhere of a very clean installation. As soon as I find them, I will post a few for examples.

Fossil

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Muadeeb
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Re: Audio punch blocks

Post by Muadeeb » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:28 am

My preference is Krone Blocks. They are a 110 style block, with two columns of 50 contacts that fits in the space of a condensed 66 block (89-D). There are only one 'set' of punches for each contact (trunk in the middle, local on the edge) but I've double punched with 22AWG wire with no problems, and even triple punched with Cat 5. In the middle of each contact is a 'look' port where you can plug in a special cable to either bridge the contacts to a test device, or break the contacts and look at either the trunk or local end only.
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Re: Audio punch blocks

Post by BroadcastDoc » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:00 am

Krones are great, though a tad spendy. I'm still a fan of the good ol' 66 block - super cheap and the punch tools are easy to get. They don't have some of the nicer features of the Krone blocks though.
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KPJL FM
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Re: Audio punch blocks

Post by KPJL FM » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:48 am

ADC ICON QC style punch blocks for cable-cable crossover connections:

http://www.adc.com/Americas/en_US/Produ ... 0708872042
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Re: Audio punch blocks

Post by eadler » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:05 pm

I'm a fan of the Krones.
Also, through some simple wiring trickery, you can use those 'break' clips to create readily available bypass routing when your router goes down (although it doesn't do much if your router system also controls your consoles).
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Muadeeb
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Re: Audio punch blocks

Post by Muadeeb » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:36 am

Ah, but you could configure an automation machine to output everything out of one channel, and patch that straight into your STL
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TheSigma
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Re: Audio punch blocks

Post by TheSigma » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:08 pm

I've wired 5 studio's now on 66 blocks, no problems except one. It was a contract job and the guy had already ordered wire. He had some single pair stuff with really thick insulation on the pairs that made unreliable punches, had to go back and strip then punch those.....no problems with belden 8452, or west penn 291 (i think that's the right number) or that gepco 61801ez. none of these in high rf environments of course...

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Re: Audio punch blocks

Post by Bengineer » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:32 am

I am in the process of building new studios for a sports stations that was recently purchased from a cluster and are moving out of the old owners building. One of the many choices I have to make on studio architecture, is punch block vs patch panel.

All of my previous work has been with 66 blocks, but with this new build, I have an abundance of ADC Digital audio Patch Panels in inventory. It is a very tempting option to build these into the TOC rather than wall of punch blocks. The quick versatility of a patch panel for every studio (7 rooms in all), seems like a good option. However, these can also be very limiting as well.

Have you had any experience with these? Would you suggest sticking with the 66 block? Or is there even another option that I am not considering?

Thanks

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Re: Audio punch blocks

Post by NECRAT » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:15 pm

I hate to be "that guy", but go ahead and call me it. I don't like Krone blocks. They're tough to troubleshoot (i.e. look at how well seated the connector is) and you can't easily just alligator clip onto it for testing like you can an ol' trusty 66 block.

I'd take a 66 block any day of the week, any week of the year.
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Dale H. Cook
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Re: Audio punch blocks

Post by Dale H. Cook » Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:38 am

NECRAT wrote:I'd take a 66 block any day of the week, any week of the year.
Me too. I use the Siemens split blocks with bridging clips so I can open circuits at various points and sniff the signal from upstream or inject a signal downstream.
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Re: Audio punch blocks

Post by BroadcastDoc » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:36 am

NECRAT wrote:I hate to be "that guy", but go ahead and call me it. I don't like Krone blocks. They're tough to troubleshoot (i.e. look at how well seated the connector is) and you can't easily just alligator clip onto it for testing like you can an ol' trusty 66 block.

I'd take a 66 block any day of the week, any week of the year.
I'm with you. I do see the benefits of Krone blocks, and can see using them in certain situations. However for me, there's nothing easier to use and work with than the tried-and-true 66 block. I just wish ST connectors were easier to come by. They're worth their weight in gold when working on 66 blocks.
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Dale H. Cook
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Re: Audio punch blocks

Post by Dale H. Cook » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:23 am

BroadcastDoc wrote:I just wish ST connectors were easier to come by.
I still have some attached to wires, which I keep against the need to make a cable for a new item of test gear. They were used by a third-rate tech who did not own a punch-down tool, and made a number of modifications in a studio by putting ST connectors on cables and attaching them to the blocks that way. It was easy to tell what connections he had made before using the STs - he pushed wires into the terminals with needle nose and then diked them off. Fortunately the station moved to new digs several years ago and I was able to dismantle all that he had done.
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Re: Audio punch blocks

Post by grich » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:19 am

Dale H. Cook wrote:...I still have some attached to wires, which I keep against the need to make a cable for a new item of test gear...
I also have a stash of temporary jumpers I zealously protect...some made up with XLR's at one end.
I have a precious few unused ones left...some of the very last stock that Sandman sold. Back in the day, making temporary connections for caucus and election coverage would burn off half a box per election. With embedded audio in play now, there's not much left on the punch block wall that's active.

I knew someone who bought a boatload of ST's from Newark when you could only buy them special order in case lots (I suppose 3M had to make 'em fresh). I should see if he has any and would sell a box or two...

+1 on 66 blocks. Krone is OK, but 66 still wins on versatility.

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