Newbie In A Studio

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RGORJANCE
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Re: SOLID WIRE ON 66 BLOCKS

Post by RGORJANCE » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:54 pm

The comment stating that you need to use solid wire on the 66 blocks is a surprise to me. Many of my associates, current clients, etc have used stranded wire on the 66B3-50 blocks ever since I first ran into them over 20 years ago. My personal recollection on all the places where I have installed them with stranded is that I might have had a total of three of four connection problems. We even punched a large amount of stranded multi-pair digital audio cable. The only trouble we ever encountered was that we found a defective couple of pairs in one 16 pair snake, and it was a factory defect. We tend to use GEPCO wire products pretty much 100%. I have also used Belden single and two pair, again never any problems.

I will admit, the digital multi-pair is trickier to punch down than the analog stuff, but once you mess up a couple punches, you get the hang of things.

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Baylink
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Re: Newbie In A Studio

Post by Baylink » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:22 pm

No kidding. My understanding was that 66 blocks were designed for 24AWG solid, and that anything bigger than that spread the clips unduly, such that you couldn't repunch them if you needed to.

Wikipedia agrees; our lede reads "22-26AWG solid wire". WP isn't perfect, but this is not a real contentious issue, usually... :-)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/66_block

Paul Thurst has blogged about this too, as I find from the Google, and he makes a sharper point about stranded:

http://www.engineeringradio.us/blog/201 ... minations/

There are several Related Posts on that one that the OP might find useful; Paul's pretty well thought of around here, I gather.

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RGORJANCE
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Re: Newbie In A Studio

Post by RGORJANCE » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:49 pm

Read the article, and I tend to agree about the spreading of the stranded wire. This next is going to freak out a bunch of people. I have double punch two stranded wires in a single slotted connection in fairly numerous instances, however, I definitely prefer to do one wire per pin. Realistically speaking, I should be experiencing significant failures-which hasn't been the case.

The stranded wire could be a problem in some parts of the country, specifically near the oceans.

As an observation, if you have a very, very sharp punch tool, when it cuts the strand, you will see a tiny bit of insulation at the cut end. Perhaps this tends to reduce, or stop the reported unraveling.

That article showing Christmas tree terminations was a blast from my past. Wired many of them, at a radio station I worked at, and in fact we used those in very large numbers in the crypto center I helped construct back in 62 (that's 1962. not 1862).

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Baylink
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Re: Newbie In A Studio

Post by Baylink » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:12 am

Well, you're slightly more likely to get away with 2 wires if they're stranded; if you did it with solid, the later one wouldn't make proper contact.

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Qs23
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Re: Newbie In A Studio

Post by Qs23 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:35 pm

Well, I finally had a chance to look under the consoles and desks, and I'm slightly confused.

Normally when I was looking up 66 punch blocks online to read up on them, they all had 4 connectors on a row. But ours has 6 on a row. I wish I had brought my multimeter in to check, but I think that they are split down the middle, because of all of the bridge clips that I saw.

Has anybody seen that before?

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Re: Newbie In A Studio

Post by Baylink » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:37 pm

Yeah, that's a 66B as opposed to a 66M.

All the ones I've ever personally run into were solid -- all 6 clips in a row connected together -- but I gather they come 3/3 split as well:

http://www.phonegeeks.com/66bblocac.html

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Re: Newbie In A Studio

Post by Qs23 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:16 pm

Baylink wrote:Yeah, that's a 66B as opposed to a 66M.

All the ones I've ever personally run into were solid -- all 6 clips in a row connected together -- but I gather they come 3/3 split as well:

http://www.phonegeeks.com/66bblocac.html
Well I finally got in there with my multimeter and my guess was correct - 3/3 split.

I've also been trying out draw.io for diagramming the studio rooms. It's not bad, I'm supplementing it with an excel spreadsheet, but I was hoping for something transmission chain specific.

I wonder if I can convince my programming friend to come up with something...

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Re: Newbie In A Studio

Post by KPJL FM » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:57 am

66 blocks are handy if the console can't be opened while on-air to change an in-out wire, or it's a really old board that used soldered in-out connections. Otherwise, it's just another PITA part when used in the studio just for the board. They really are for telephone circuits in a MDF/IDF frame closet. Meant for solid wire not stranded. You need stranded going in/out of console so when it's opened, the wires will flex and not break inside the outer jacket.

use a spreadsheet to list the cross connects on the blocks and the studio-studio connections. update after evey change/addition.

Good luck.
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Qs23
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Re: Newbie In A Studio

Post by Qs23 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:50 am

KPJL FM wrote:66 blocks are handy if the console can't be opened while on-air to change an in-out wire, or it's a really old board that used soldered in-out connections. Otherwise, it's just another PITA part when used in the studio just for the board. They really are for telephone circuits in a MDF/IDF frame closet. Meant for solid wire not stranded. You need stranded going in/out of console so when it's opened, the wires will flex and not break inside the outer jacket.

use a spreadsheet to list the cross connects on the blocks and the studio-studio connections. update after evey change/addition.

Good luck.
Oh, we've got stranded wire in the punch blocks.

Three questions about that:

#1. When I was tracing the studio mics, It seems that they were double punched into the punch block (i.e. Pin 2 of XLR cable was punched into rows 1 & 3, while Pin 3 was punched into rows 2 & 4). Is there a reason for that?

#2. Removing wire from a 66 block. Do I need to use the punch down tool or do I just pull hard with a pair of needle nose pliers?

#3. I've got some wires that I'm trying to trace that are bundled together, going over ceilings and through holes drilled in walls. So I'm thinking of making my life easier and getting one of those telephone like tracers. Will that work or is there a better suggestion?

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Re: Newbie In A Studio

Post by Baylink » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:21 pm

Qs23 wrote:Oh, we've got stranded wire in the punch blocks.

Three questions about that:

#1. When I was tracing the studio mics, It seems that they were double punched into the punch block (i.e. Pin 2 of XLR cable was punched into rows 1 & 3, while Pin 3 was punched into rows 2 & 4). Is there a reason for that?
In the telco biz, that's called a 'multiple'; it generally suggests that you're feeding to two different destinations. The usual caveats apply.
#2. Removing wire from a 66 block. Do I need to use the punch down tool or do I just pull hard with a pair of needle nose pliers?
There's a combination tool called a "hook and spudger" that's usually used for that; you can use a needlenose if you can do it without bending the clips. Worth nothing that heavy gauge stranded is probably going to have spread the clips enough that you really shouldn't be reusing them, either.
#3. I've got some wires that I'm trying to trace that are bundled together, going over ceilings and through holes drilled in walls. So I'm thinking of making my life easier and getting one of those telephone like tracers. Will that work or is there a better suggestion?
That's what they're for, yes; as long as the wire's dry.

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Qs23
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Re: Newbie In A Studio

Post by Qs23 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:46 pm

Baylink wrote: In the telco biz, that's called a 'multiple'; it generally suggests that you're feeding to two different destinations. The usual caveats apply.
From what I can gather from what was scribbled in the board's manual (Audioarts R6 - in case anybody was wondering) It was actually for the fact that the board is looking for a stereo input on the channel, so we're doing dual mono.
There's a combination tool called a "hook and spudger" that's usually used for that; you can use a needlenose if you can do it without bending the clips. Worth nothing that heavy gauge stranded is probably going to have spread the clips enough that you really shouldn't be reusing them, either.
Needle-nose pliers seem to have worked fine in a pinch. I've hopefully got the production director (since he was the "in-studio engineer" before me) to order me an actual punch down tool with a "hook and spudger" attachment.
That's what they're for, yes; as long as the wire's dry.
So something like this should work?
http://www.harborfreight.com/cable-tracker-94181.html

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Re: Newbie In A Studio

Post by Baylink » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:51 pm

If you're tracing wires open at the other end, yes. if they're into 600 ohms, that might not have enough balls, depending on the run length.

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Re: Newbie In A Studio

Post by Deep Thought » Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:43 pm

http://manuals.harborfreight.com/manual ... /94181.pdf

Looks like this is designed to feed loaded circuits but you'll have to be careful how you do it.
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Re: Newbie In A Studio

Post by Qs23 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:07 pm

Would you guys know of anything better to trace lines? I've got them running up through the ceiling and down the hall and I'm at a loss for how to follow them.

Also, I'm on my first fix-it project. It's a Harris PX-91 phono preamp (yes, the station still plays vinyl) and I can't find the schematic anywhere. The issue was a hum that everybody (including myself) thought was a grounding wire issue between the TT and the preamp. My systematic troubleshooting turned out something in only one of the channels in the actual preamp itself is causing the hum. My thought is a bad capacitor, but none of them look bad, so I'm thinking that since I would need to pull them out one by one to test them, I should just replace them all.

So my following questions:

#1. Does my idea of a cap being a issue sound reasonable? And does replacing all of them sound like an ok idea?
#2. Where should I look for components (right now I use Digikey - but I've got some bi-polar alum axial caps that digikey doesn't seem to carry that I need to hunt down somewhere else)
#3. Some of these caps are film caps that say "160V .1F" on the side, but they don't look big enough to be that high Farad. I'm thinking that they are .1uF. Does that seem crazy, or do preamps actually need that much?

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Re: Newbie In A Studio

Post by radiowave911 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:04 pm

Qs23 wrote:#2. Where should I look for components (right now I use Digikey - but I've got some bi-polar alum axial caps that digikey doesn't seem to carry that I need to hunt down somewhere else)
I have a couple of sources for components. My go-to is usually Mouser Electronics. Digi-Key is in my list, as are Jameco and Allied Electronics. Those are the ones for discrete components.
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