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Running Ravenna over fiber vs Cat52/6/7?

Posted: Mon May 16, 2016 12:51
by ljudatervinning
I am mainly recording on location in concert halls, churches etc. Both live concerts and recording sessions.
Until now, I have been running long analog multi cables for mics, talk back, monitoring etc.
I hope to get rid of bulky multi cables (50m) and put my mic-pres on stage (16-32 channels)
As of now, I am torn between long Ethernet cable and optical fiber.

As I far as I understand it regarding optical fiber vs Cat5e/6/7

Pros, optical fiber:
No electrical connection -> no risk of hum, electrical interference etc.
Single mode can run really long distances >2000km
Uses "standard" networking optics and switches.

Cons, optical fiber:
More expensive switches/extra step of conversion to and from optical
Less robust cable?
Harder to trouble shoot?
Harder to find replacement parts "on the road"

Keeping the setup simple, light weight and robust are key elements for me.
Any one have experience with both and can advice?

Re: Running Ravenna over fiber vs Cat52/6/7?

Posted: Tue May 17, 2016 12:03
by mpdonahue
There is no reason to choose optical fiber unless your runs are greater than 100m.
For location work choose a good stranded (Not solid core) Cat6 cable and be done with it.
As always, YMMV.
All the best,
-mark

Re: Running Ravenna over fiber vs Cat5e/6/7?

Posted: Tue May 17, 2016 15:39
by ljudatervinning
Thank you for your input Mark!
No risk of ground loops?
I will probably use Belden 74002PU Cat5e cable.

Re: Running Ravenna over fiber vs Cat5e/6/7?

Posted: Tue May 17, 2016 21:02
by mpdonahue
ljudatervinning wrote:Thank you for your input Mark!
No risk of ground loops?
I will probably use Belden 74002PU Cat5e cable.

That cable is fine, but for longer lengths (30m+) I would go to a CAT6 or 6A cable. The cost difference between 5e and 6/6A is very small.
The Shielded cable (STP) is actually of dubious value. If the shielding is not terminated correctly on both ends and in both devices, it ends up being an antenna rather than a shield and it reduces the maximum length of the cable. We use UTP for all our cable unless it is a permanent install in a particularly hostile environment environment. (Then I use CAT6 SSTP solid core)
All the best,
-mark

Re: Running Ravenna over fiber vs Cat52/6/7?

Posted: Wed May 18, 2016 18:38
by ljudatervinning
Thanks Mark!
Good advice.
I have had my share of problems with low quality ethernet cable and hope to find something rough enough for stage use.
I will look into options with stranded Cat6, UTP in a rough material.