DIY Rack Patch Panel Q

Combining subs, tops and all the rest of your kit.
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jimbo7
Posts: 613
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:45 am
Location: St. Louis

DIY Rack Patch Panel Q

#1 Post by jimbo7 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:40 pm

I just got all the parts in to make my 8 connector patch panel for my main rack. I'll be using speakons and xlr's first then add power connectors later. My question is, should I wire the speakon patch cables with 14ga dual-conductor shielded cable or use 12ga single-conductor wire (and then twist the 2 wires and cover with sheathing)? The patch cables will be no longer than 2 feet.
BFM builds:
XF212
T24 BP102 24"
2x SLA's 6-5" mids, 9- gt-302's
2x AT 14" MCM 55-2421
TrT 5" MCM 55-2421
AT 18" JBL GTO804
2x OT12 flat array
2x SLA Pro 2-Alpha 6's 2-Goldwoods
2x T39 24" 3012lf

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J_Dunavin
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Re: DIY Rack Patch Panel Q

#2 Post by J_Dunavin » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:04 pm

I’d use the twisted shielded stuff
8 - DR200
2 - DR250
9 - T24
6 - T45
1 - Auto Tuba

Bruce Weldy
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Location: New Braunfels, TX

Re: DIY Rack Patch Panel Q

#3 Post by Bruce Weldy » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:37 pm

jimbo7 wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:40 pm
I just got all the parts in to make my 8 connector patch panel for my main rack. I'll be using speakons and xlr's first then add power connectors later. My question is, should I wire the speakon patch cables with 14ga dual-conductor shielded cable or use 12ga single-conductor wire (and then twist the 2 wires and cover with sheathing)? The patch cables will be no longer than 2 feet.
Speaker wire is not shielded. For inside the rack you can use 14ga install wire for short distances like that. Install cable has a thin vinyl cover as opposed to the thick rubber on regular speaker cable. That's what's in all the racks I've built.

Same with your xlr connections. Use 22 or 24ga. shielded two conductor with a drain (ground) install cable. It's usually gray or white.

The reason to use install cable is that it's easier to work with inside a rack and doesn't take nearly as much space with you bundle the cables.

Here's an example....
IMG_2237.JPG
Retro FX rack 001.jpg
Attachments
Flashback  Rack2.jpg

6 - T39 4-25" 2-22" 3012LF
4 - OT12 2512 Melded/NSD2005
1 - T24
2 - XF210


"A system with a few knobs set up by someone who knows what they are doing is always better than one with a lot of knobs set up by someone who doesn't."

CoronaOperator
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Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada

Re: DIY Rack Patch Panel Q

#4 Post by CoronaOperator » Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:08 am

jimbo7 wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:40 pm
12ga single-conductor wire (and then twist the 2 wires and cover with sheathing)? The patch cables will be no longer than 2 feet.
That's what I do although 14 ga would also be fine. Techflex if my favorite sheathing, not really necessary in a rack but looks really nice. Easiest way to twist cables is to chuck one end of your cable pair in a drill, hold the two cables about a foot away from the drill, then squeeze the trigger while holding the pair from the other end. Slide your hand down to the other end as they get tight. Nice and even and tight.

thumbnail_20181025_220841.jpg
I like using the cast silver metal panel mounts, I find them easier to see in the dark to find the holes.
Attachments
thumbnail_20181025_220856.jpg
Built:
17" width 10" driver Autotuba
2 x 29" width dual Lab12 Tuba60
6 x DR250 2510/asd1001
In progress:
2 x DR250 2510/asd1001
For best results, point the loud end of the array towards the audience

jimbo7
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Location: St. Louis

Re: DIY Rack Patch Panel Q

#5 Post by jimbo7 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:50 pm

I know I like to ask questions and never respond back after I get my answer or give an update, so I'm breaking character and showing you what I came up with. This one is for my smaller setup that can be 2 tops, 1 top + 1 sub, or 2 subs. I think there's more XLR's than need, but I can change it up. I have another 8 hole panel that'll have 4 speak-ons and 4 XLR's. (FYI a local music shop's dirty dusty storage room of used gear is a great place for random parts to build custom stuff)
Image


BTW I'm currently building a 2nd SLA Pro and wanna show off my 3d printed crossover board. Used Fusion 360 to design it. Resistors snap in but I still glued everything
Image


Here's the 1st SLA's crossover from last year
Image
Image
BFM builds:
XF212
T24 BP102 24"
2x SLA's 6-5" mids, 9- gt-302's
2x AT 14" MCM 55-2421
TrT 5" MCM 55-2421
AT 18" JBL GTO804
2x OT12 flat array
2x SLA Pro 2-Alpha 6's 2-Goldwoods
2x T39 24" 3012lf

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Tom Smit
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Location: Sarnia, Ont. Canada

Re: DIY Rack Patch Panel Q

#6 Post by Tom Smit » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:04 pm

Nice looking x-over board!
TomS

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Radian
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Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: DIY Rack Patch Panel Q

#7 Post by Radian » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:39 pm

Agreed. Cool board.

In regards to breakout panels without integrated cable tie racks, I personally had reservations as to the longterm durability of my solder joints, so I incorporated cable strain relief. A few extra bucks and some assembly required, but the end product was something that I wasn't afraid of getting bumped while the rack was opened for servicing.

See here: https://www.redco.com/Markerbar-Panel-M ... acket.html
IMG_0893.jpg
Good food, good people, good times.

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J_Dunavin
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Re: DIY Rack Patch Panel Q

#8 Post by J_Dunavin » Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:19 am

Nice Crossover board man!!
8 - DR200
2 - DR250
9 - T24
6 - T45
1 - Auto Tuba

jimbo7
Posts: 613
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:45 am
Location: St. Louis

Re: DIY Rack Patch Panel Q

#9 Post by jimbo7 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:02 pm

Glad you guys like my crossover. That was always the sloppiest looking part of my builds. Good thing you never see it :wink:

Radian, those strain reliefs look pretty cool. Similar to what I've seen in network servers.
I'm really confident in my solder abilities, but I've had some of those tiny screws on speakon cconnectors come loose and cause problems. Anyone got a fix for that? Loctite or hot glue?
BFM builds:
XF212
T24 BP102 24"
2x SLA's 6-5" mids, 9- gt-302's
2x AT 14" MCM 55-2421
TrT 5" MCM 55-2421
AT 18" JBL GTO804
2x OT12 flat array
2x SLA Pro 2-Alpha 6's 2-Goldwoods
2x T39 24" 3012lf

Bruce Weldy
Posts: 6807
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:37 am
Location: New Braunfels, TX

Re: DIY Rack Patch Panel Q

#10 Post by Bruce Weldy » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:52 am

jimbo7 wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:02 pm
I've had some of those tiny screws on speakon cconnectors come loose and cause problems. Anyone got a fix for that? Loctite or hot glue?
Gotta' say that I've only had one cable pull loose from a speakon and that was from some numbskull trying to help me tear down by pulling on the cable....really hard. I just crank 'em down pretty danged hard and haven't had a problem. You can go pretty hard at 'em - I've never stripped one out. And crank the connector cap really tight also to create a good strain relief.

You are using the strain relief inside the connector cap, aren't you? And you are leaving ample jacket so that the strain relief can grab it really well? I've seen some who strip back the jacket too far and either they only catch a little bit of the rubber jacket in the strain relief or none at all.

Those wires really shouldn't be pulling out.

6 - T39 4-25" 2-22" 3012LF
4 - OT12 2512 Melded/NSD2005
1 - T24
2 - XF210


"A system with a few knobs set up by someone who knows what they are doing is always better than one with a lot of knobs set up by someone who doesn't."

jimbo7
Posts: 613
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:45 am
Location: St. Louis

Re: DIY Rack Patch Panel Q

#11 Post by jimbo7 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:03 pm

Bruce, they're not pulling out. I've had the screws come loose and cause a bad connection that cut in and out if you wiggled it. I've also cranked down on the screws of a premade cable and had the wire strands break off. Probably because of the strain relief not holding properly. I've soldered all the bare wires then tightened down the screws without further issues, but I only use my gear a couple times a year nowadays.
BFM builds:
XF212
T24 BP102 24"
2x SLA's 6-5" mids, 9- gt-302's
2x AT 14" MCM 55-2421
TrT 5" MCM 55-2421
AT 18" JBL GTO804
2x OT12 flat array
2x SLA Pro 2-Alpha 6's 2-Goldwoods
2x T39 24" 3012lf

Bruce Weldy
Posts: 6807
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:37 am
Location: New Braunfels, TX

Re: DIY Rack Patch Panel Q

#12 Post by Bruce Weldy » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:30 pm

jimbo7 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:03 pm
Bruce, they're not pulling out. I've had the screws come loose and cause a bad connection that cut in and out if you wiggled it. I've also cranked down on the screws of a premade cable and had the wire strands break off. Probably because of the strain relief not holding properly. I've soldered all the bare wires then tightened down the screws without further issues, but I only use my gear a couple times a year nowadays.
That's odd.....so, of course I have to ask......are these genuine Neutrik Speakon connectors? Or knock-offs?

However, you mentioned soldering the wires....do you mean you are soldering the ends of the wire and then putting it in the connector and tightening it? If so, that may your problem. The solder is smooth and the crimp plate in the connector is smooth. Always just put the wire in twisted and bare.

6 - T39 4-25" 2-22" 3012LF
4 - OT12 2512 Melded/NSD2005
1 - T24
2 - XF210


"A system with a few knobs set up by someone who knows what they are doing is always better than one with a lot of knobs set up by someone who doesn't."

SethRocksYou
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Re: DIY Rack Patch Panel Q

#13 Post by SethRocksYou » Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:10 pm

Bruce Weldy wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:30 pm
are these genuine Neutrik Speakon connectors? Or knock-offs?
My personal experience; I've used genuine Neutrik SpeakON and "knock-off" GLS Audio Twist Lock connectors. I prefer the GLS.

I've had one wire connection on a Neutrik lose it's clamping ability. Not the end of the world. However, the Neutriks are designed to stay assembled, once assembled. Disassembly, say to rewire the connections for a bridged amp, will break the tabs on the strain relief clamp basket thingie. Where the GLS can be disassembled and reconfigured without damaging any components. They fit all my gear well and I haven't had any break. That said, I don't use them as much as someone who's setting up and breaking down every weekend either. Perhaps a shortcoming to the GLS product would show up under those circumstances. And, perhaps not.

Just my experience.

Bruce Weldy
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Re: DIY Rack Patch Panel Q

#14 Post by Bruce Weldy » Wed Sep 18, 2019 3:50 pm

SethRocksYou wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:10 pm
Bruce Weldy wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:30 pm
are these genuine Neutrik Speakon connectors? Or knock-offs?
My personal experience; I've used genuine Neutrik SpeakON and "knock-off" GLS Audio Twist Lock connectors. I prefer the GLS.

I've had one wire connection on a Neutrik lose it's clamping ability. Not the end of the world. However, the Neutriks are designed to stay assembled, once assembled. Disassembly, say to rewire the connections for a bridged amp, will break the tabs on the strain relief clamp basket thingie. Where the GLS can be disassembled and reconfigured without damaging any components. They fit all my gear well and I haven't had any break. That said, I don't use them as much as someone who's setting up and breaking down every weekend either. Perhaps a shortcoming to the GLS product would show up under those circumstances. And, perhaps not.

Just my experience.
My cables don't ever get taken apart unless something stops working. And thus far, that's the case.

I haven't used the GLS connectors that I know of. I've just ended up fixing a whole lot of other people's cheap cables over the years, so I don't even take a chance......just not worth it to me.

I did try some amphenol xlrs and they were ok, but I still prefer the Neutrik.

6 - T39 4-25" 2-22" 3012LF
4 - OT12 2512 Melded/NSD2005
1 - T24
2 - XF210


"A system with a few knobs set up by someone who knows what they are doing is always better than one with a lot of knobs set up by someone who doesn't."

jimbo7
Posts: 613
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:45 am
Location: St. Louis

Re: DIY Rack Patch Panel Q

#15 Post by jimbo7 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:30 pm

Bruce Weldy wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:30 pm
are these genuine Neutrik Speakon connectors? Or knock-offs?

are soldering the ends of the wire and then putting it in the connector and tightening it? If so, that may your problem.
The cable connectors are a cheap brand from skywalker av supply which is not far from me. Pretty cheap cables, but you get what you pay for. Panel connectors are Amphenol btw

Yes I am soldering the ends and sticking them in. I wouldn't think that'd be the main cause because it digs into the solder where as tightening down on the wires could break them. It's more than likely from when friend's "helped" with tear down and tugged on the cables. I haven't had an issue in quite a while (or since I do my own setup and teardown). Just another little thing I like to worry about
BFM builds:
XF212
T24 BP102 24"
2x SLA's 6-5" mids, 9- gt-302's
2x AT 14" MCM 55-2421
TrT 5" MCM 55-2421
AT 18" JBL GTO804
2x OT12 flat array
2x SLA Pro 2-Alpha 6's 2-Goldwoods
2x T39 24" 3012lf

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