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Diagnosing/fixing snake

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by mnfreelancer, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. mnfreelancer

    mnfreelancer Active Member

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    Hey guys - I have always been comfortable fixing or trying to fix just about anything and today I decided to tackle the task of fixing the busted-***** audio snake we have sitting around the shop. It was actually kind of funny/sad how all but about 5 of the channels were taped over on the stage box and at least 6 connectors were missing on the fan-out. One of my co-workers reports that there were possible breaks within the multi-cable snake somewhere in the middle. It's about a 300' long snake. It is currently randomly coiled and sitting on the ground. I checked continuity of each and every conductor from either pin to pin or bare-wire to pin and found no opens OR shorts. Does anyone have a tried and true method for simulating stress on a snake multi-cable during a gig or am I going to end up having to drag it out into the parking lot, "snake" it around and test each channel while jiggling random areas of the cable? I plan on replacing all of the ends before doing this, of course. Ideas?
     
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    If there's no visible damage to the jacket, it's unlikely there is internal damage. I'd replace/repair all the ends, stretch it out, and run some multi-channel audio through it. How many pair is it?
     
  3. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    Rarely is it a problem in the cable itself UNLESS you can see cut area or damaged areas. Look for these areas. If there are damaged parts when you remove the connectors on the fanout, get your self some high quality water proof shrink tube and use this to cover over any other repairs you might make
    Most times it is on the connectors, or there was another problem on interfaced gear and the connectors were taped over as a precaution until someone could look at it carefully
    So this has the box and fanout directly wired with NO multiconnector?
    Sharyn
     
  4. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I agree, as long as there is no damage to the outer jacket, there should not be any interior damage. If you have fixed all of the connectors on the fan out end, inspected all of the connections in teh stage box end, and checked for continuity on all of the lines, you should be good to go.

    ~Dave
     
  5. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Another test that may be worth trying if you suspect a midline problem, is to check for continuity between lines. While it is a tedious and time consuming operation, if you actually have continuity between two lines, then you have a midline problem. However, I would only do this if repairing the ends of the snake does not fix your snake issues.
     
  6. mnfreelancer

    mnfreelancer Active Member

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    Thanks guys, I am brining my soldering gear to work tomorrow and will get started on the ends. The snake does indeed go directly to a fan-out with no multi-pin breakout. I figured that if there is no problem with any channel with the cable randomly coiled on the floor, it is unlikely there will be a problem when it is stretched out ... I will keep y'all posted.
     
  7. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    I've seen a problem only once where there was no visible damage: On a 100'x 9 pair, one wire was open. I chopped the cable into four 25' sections for another application, and the duff wire was open on three of the sections! Some sort of strange manufacturing defect I'm sure.
     
  8. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I know way too much about core...
    Internal breakages DO happen, though rarely. prolonged stretching can for instance cause this. I presume you don't have any evidence of pigtailing?
    A decent kink may not show up externally but may have made inside unhappy.

    Continuity isn't everything. Check for shorts as well.;)

    For a permanently tethered stage box, crack open the box, check all the terminations while you are there, and make sure that there is some slack held in there by the strain relief. For a sturdy multipinned box, so long as you can't see obvious damage like a smashed XLR or issues with the multipin, they are normally pretty reliable.

    For a permanent fanout: Do you have spaghetti over all of your individual cores? Is this effectively anchored where the outer ends - 2 sizeable cable ties around all of the spaghetti and then covering this with say 100 - 150mm of glue impregnated heatshrink has worked well in the past, just be careful when you shrink the glue impregnated stuff that you don't melt the spaghetti too much in the process. The spaghetti does two things; it is another layer of protection for the fragile cores and it thickens them up so the strain relief on your XLRs has a little more to grip on to...

    It is also possible to fluke a continuity test... I'm sure we've all seen a cable go funny when you flex it at various times in various situations...

    Hope there are some useful insights in that...
     
  9. mnfreelancer

    mnfreelancer Active Member

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    Well I got new ends up on 5 of the cord sets and others with opens repaired and all channels are good. To test the snake we stretched it out and tested each input while jiggling it around like planned and they all worked - no midline damage! So the snake that has apparently been out of commission for years is now usable again!
     
  10. Pip

    Pip Active Member

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    Yay! A success story! :)
     
  11. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    Isn't that a great feeling, bringing dead equipment back to life when someone else might have just thrown it out?
     

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