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I am sorry if this is the wrong forum - I just bought an entire storage unit that contained a bunch of cables.


The one posted says Rapco 28 channel, I also have one that says 32 channel.


What kind of cables are these? When would they be used?


 

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They are "Audio Snake Cables". They're used on-stage by professional musicians to get the sound from multiple musical instruments or microphones through a single cable-run to a patch-panel at another location. One end of the cable has terminations which are individual professional audio connectors. The other end usually is a single large multi-pin connector.
 

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As stated above, its called a snake, which is basically many audio cords inside of one jacket. This particular snake has 1/4" trs connectors (the same connector as a stereo headphone). TRS stands for "tip ring sleeve". Each wire is made to carry a balanced audio signal. Unlike home audio which has a tip (center pin on rca connector) and a sleeve (combines - return audio path to complete audio circuit and ground/shield to protect the "hot" pin from emi / rfi noise from getting into the wire) this is a "balanced" cable which provides a separate +, -, and shield.

It could be used for unbalanced signals by combining the shield and ring (middle conductor of the wire) but usually this thin wire relies on the balancing of the signal for its high quality transfer, not having great shielding, so for short runs should be ok but if long (longer than ~15 feet?) there could be cross talk between channels or noise picked up If near an AC cord.

Used they are not worth too much money but brand new the cable could easily sell for 3 - 5 dollars per foot or more (and sometimes cables as long as a few hundred feet are used, particularly to connect a bunch of mics on a stage to a console at front of house, but these usually have XLR mic connectors on them and a box with panel mount connectors at one end; they also usually have a multi-pin connector (expensive!!) that disconnects the whole cable from the box or a rack), plus the cost of the connectors on the ends. Anybody with a studio into live music production could probably find some sort of use for this cable, as they will have the need to connect all the gear in a rack to a mixer. For 28-32 channels if it is 10-15 feet you should be able to easily get $30-$40 per cable for it, used, maybe more (I don't deal in the buying and selling very much and usually look for deals when I do; at that price you can move it quickly...) look up AUDIO SNAKE CABLE for more examples, and remember you have TRS (not TS or XLR) connectors.
 

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Hi Commsysman,
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman  /t/1470575/cable#post_23262405


The plugs are 1/4-inch "phone" plugs, and have 3 contacts, which means each cable is for two channels.
Possibly. But I suspect Audioguy's assessment that they are single-channel balanced cables is more likely, as they are long and obviously professional.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkHotchkiss  /t/1470575/cable#post_23263288


Hi Commsysman,

Possibly. But I suspect Audioguy's assessment that they are single-channel balanced cables is more likely, as they are long and obviously professional.

+1.


You can use TRS cables for unbalanced operation without any problem. If you plug them in to single ended mixer channesls, etc, they don't make contact with the "ring" part and use the tip and sleeve like any other single ended quarter inch cable.


TRS connectors are also used for stereo (like with headphones) and in some equipment for effects send and return channels. Unlikely here, as usually the send/return cable is TRS on one end and two separate single ended quarter inch connectors on the other (to plug into and out of a compressor, or an outboard reverb unit, for example.) And Ive never seen a multichannel snake that was set up for effects sends and retuns. Usually the effects are close to the mixing board and you don't neeed a snake to get from here to there . . ..


FWIW
 
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