Cables and Connectors

From our old established friends such as XLR and 3.5mm stereo cables to a maturing HDMI and DisplayPort world, we all depend on these components to get the full functionality out of the devices to which they are connected. In this showcase, we will take a look at some of the best of those aforementioned components along with bulk cabling and connectors.
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Cables and Connectors

Dec 27, 2013 11:39 AM, By Mike McIntyre, CTS-D, EST-L2+

If you have ever wondered what the most important part of any integrated AV system is, I have that answer for you: All of it! However, you can’t have a high-performance system with anything less than high-quality cabling and connectors. From our old established friends such as XLR and 3.5mm stereo cables to a maturing HDMI and DisplayPort world, we all depend on these components to get the full functionality out of the devices to which they are connected. In this showcase, we will take a look at some of the best of those aforementioned components along with bulk cabling and connectors.

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Archtech Electronics NXGEN 2.0

New from Archtech Electronics Corp. are NXGEN 2.0 twist-lock, quick-connect AV cables. Capable of self-securing to prevent accidental disconnects with the addition of a twist lock, NXGEN uses a small-form MD9 connector profile that can fit into spaces as small as a 0.6in. conduit, and supports up to UXGA quality audio and video all within one jacket. It remains just as flexible as its predecessor by covering a wide range of AV connectors, and is available in CMR and CMP jackets for all installation requirements.

All of Atlas Sound’s HDMI cables, including the AS2HDMI-15M, feature Accu-Grain, oxygen-free copper conductors to ensure a high level of signal transfer without interference. Accu-Grain refers to the gauge of the wire and is how the full-diameter AWG copper inside can be guaranteed. The Polyflex outer jacket design is such to create flexibility no matter the thickness of the cable. It is shielded to protect against outside electrical field interference from power sources and other electronics. All Atlas RCA cables feature custom-molded, sure-grip mini connectors, Polyflex outer jackets and Accu-Grain, and multi-strand OFC copper conductors.

If you are looking for HDMI cables for plenum spaces, consider Atlona’s LinkConnect These second-generation cables use 24 AWG copper for high bandwidth and are in 50ft. and 75ft. versions that use chip technology to eliminate speckles and dropouts. Other features include 4.95Gbps, video resolutions up to 1080p @ 60Hz, 3D, all audio formats, VESA resolutions up to 1900x1200 @ 60Hz, 16-bit deep color (48-bit RGB), uncompressed audio, 24 AWG stranded, tinned copper conductor, triple-shielded to block out external interference for better performance, 24k gold-plated tight fit connectors, and Black Kynar jacket. They all carry a lifetime warranty.

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Audio-Technica AT8314

Audio-Technica’s AT8314 series premium microphone cables feature heavy-duty, 24-gauge stranded copper conductors and professional Neutrik connectors. Each conductor uses an individual spiral shield inside the molded insulating sheath and a conductive PVC layer inside each shield dissipates static buildup during flexing. They are available in lengths ranging from 1.5ft. to 100ft. Dual copper outer shields and twin conductive PVC inner shields protect cable signal quality with 100-percent coverage. These cables have extra flexibility and low memory for ease of use and storage.

Belden’s THOR-HE-HDMI HDMI extender is capable of transmitting fully uncompressed HDMI 1080p and 3D video signals. Features include HDBaseT technology and its 5Play feature set that is a convergence of uncompressed full HD digital video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, power-over-cable, and various control signals. It supports Infrared (IR) remote passthrough function to control HDMI source devices (set-top box, DVD player and Blu-ray DVD player) in receiver by its IR remote controller.

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Cables and Connectors

Dec 27, 2013 11:39 AM, By Mike McIntyre, CTS-D, EST-L2+

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Black Box lockable cables

Secure network ports with new lockable GigaTrue and GigaBase Cat-6A/6/5e patch cables from Black Box. These cables give you the ability to lock down critical network ports — when you need to — without buying new patch cords. Use these high-performance cables for everyday network connections. Then when you need to secure network ports, you can quickly by slipping an optional Locking Pin into the patented LockPORT boot. Once locked, the cable can only be released with the Removal Key (sold separately). Use these cables to protect mission-critical network ports and to prevent accidental disconnects, particularly in industrial applications.

BTX Technologies’ Mogami Puroflex I series provides Neglex oxygen-free copper conductors, super-flexible rubber-like jacketing, and precision molding with heavy-duty strain relief. These 3.5mm-type cables come in 2ft., 4ft., 6ft., 10ft., and 20ft. lengths. BTX also produces HellermannTyton Cat-6A shielded patch cords that feature foil shielding to ensure signal integrity and a strain-relief boot that helps prevent tangling and excessive bending. They incorporate a low-profile shielded plug suitable for high-density applications with an integral strain relief boot to minimize force on the terminations and to manage the bend radius of the cable.

C2G’s High Speed HDMI to HDMI Micro Cable with Ethernet is designed to connect a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device to an HD display for home theater or desktop applications. The Ethernet capabilities of the cable allow a user to connect multiple Ethernet-enabled HDMI devices through a single Ethernet connection. It’s latest HDMI features include 4K@50/60, (2160p), 3D video, deep color, Dolby True HD, DTS-HD Master Audio, and up to 32 audio channels. It also offers up to 1536kHz audio sample frequency, simultaneous delivery of dual video streams to multiple users on the same screen, simultaneous delivery of multi-stream audio to multiple users (up to four), support for the wide-angle theatrical 21:9 video aspect ratio, dynamic synchronization of video and audio streams, and CEC extensions for control of consumer electronics devices through a single control point. This high-bandwidth cable is tested to perform at industry standards and is backed by a lifetime warranty.

Canare’s Star Quad is designed for use with microphones but is also appropriate for all line-level signals. The four-conductor arrangement cancels electromagnetically induced noise from fluorescent lighting ballasts and AC power transformers. Also, handling noise is prevented by use of cotton filler material. Canare Star Quad cable is very flexible because of a special compound PVC outer jacket that remains pliant at extremely low temperatures.

Clark Wire & Cable’s quad microphone cable features a double-balanced, four-conductor design for RF/EMI noise rejection. MINK4 features finely stranded 24AWG (41 strands of 40AWG) copper conductors and a drain wire, in addition to the 95-percent corrosion-resistant braid. It uses Clark’s proprietary MINK matte PVC jacket compound that is ultra-flexible and abrasion resistant. Clark also features Cat-5e and Cat-6 cables in various ratings (riser, plenum, direct burial, and tactical).

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DVIGear Super High Resolution series cable

DVIGear’s High Resolution Series of DVI and HDMI cables are capable of supporting all DVI and HDMI resolutions with bit rates up to 2.25Gbps and cable lengths of up to 10 meters (33ft.). The Super High Resolution (SHR) series cables are intended for long-range transport of high-resolution DVI and HDMI digital signals, and are engineered for superior performance and durability. They support all DVI and HDMI resolutions with bit rates up to 2.25Gbps at cable length of up to 60 meters (200ft.). DVIGear’s Super High Resolution (SHRD) and High Resolution (HRD) DVI cables provide signal fidelity over a wide range of cable lengths up to 60 meters (200ft.). These cables support both single-link and dual-link DVI signal formats, and are rated for in-wall applications.

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Cables and Connectors

Dec 27, 2013 11:39 AM, By Mike McIntyre, CTS-D, EST-L2+

FSR’s DR-PCB-H Digital Ribbon cables use a proprietary technology to allow high-speed, high-definition HDMI signal transmission over distances of up to 325ft. The cables hybrid fiber/copper structure delivers a speed of 10.2Gbps video bandwidth and can easily handle 1080p full HD, 4Kx2K, 3D, deep color, HDMI-CEC, HDCP, and most newer high-res formats. Features include no external power or special tooling required and cable and connectors that easily fit within a 1in. conduit.

Gefen’s Super Booster cable for high-speed HDMI is a copper cable-based solution available in lengths of 50ft., 75ft., 100ft., 125ft., and 150ft. Super Booster cable for HDMI in lengths of up to 100ft. support these HDMI 1.3 features: lip-sync passthrough, 225MHz (up to 12 bit YUV 444 @ 1080p), deep color, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS Master Audio, and CEC source switching. Also from Gefen are the CL3 copper-based, high-speed HDMI cables. The CL3-rated cable is suitable for in-wall installations and supports HD resolutions up to 1080p with up to eight channels of embedded digital audio. It uses high-quality 24AWG copper conductors to deliver a pristine signal over long distances, and the multi-layer shielding protects signal from electromagnetic interference (EMI).

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Gepco CT104/SDM multimedia cables

General Cable’s Gepco Multimedia Category Cables for Use with Crestron Systems are designed to deliver reliability in leading-edge networking, data, and video applications. The Gepco Brand CT104/SDM Multimedia Cat-6A cable for use with Crestron systems is a shielded or foiled-twisted pair (F/UTP) cable for 10-Gigabit Ethernet applications, requiring grounding and industry-leading protection from external cable noise sources, also known as alien crosstalk (PSANEXT and PSAACRF). Both this cable series and the > CT504/SDM Multimedia Cat-5e cable

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Hosa Technologies Elite Series microphone cables

The Elite Series microphone cables from Hosa Technology are available with Neutrik XX-Series connectors in both Lo-Z (XLR3F to XLR3M) and Hi-Z (XLR3F to 1/4in. TS) configurations. The cables use 20 AWG oxygen-free copper (OFC) conductors and polyethylene dielectrics. A 95-percent OFC braided shield is employed for noise-free signal transmission. Nylon webbing over the cable’s PVC jacket provides cut and abrasion resistance and are available in lengths of 3ft. to 100ft.

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Kramer C−DGK6/DGK6 shielded twisted pair (U/FTP) data cable

Kramer’s new HDMI cables provide an uncompressed digital link between prosumer electronics equipment and audio/video monitors. They feature gold-plated, K-Lock pull-resistant connectors, which provide 15lbs. of restraining force for a non-slip connection and are available in lengths of 0.9 meters to 15.2 meters (3ft., 6ft., 10ft., 15ft., 25ft., 35ft., and 50ft.). Also from Kramer are the C−DGK6/DGK6 shielded twisted pair (U/FTP) data cable assemblies. Four shielded twisted pairs (U/FTP) of 23AWG solid copper conductors are cabled together in an unshielded outer jacket. They offer a varied selection of lengths from 3 meters to 60 meters (10ft., 25ft., 35ft., 50ft., 75ft., 100ft., 125ft., 150ft., 200ft.).

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Metz Connect RJ45 Field Plug

Metz Connect’s RJ45 Field Plug is a robust, 10-gigabit, shielded Cat-6 connector that requires no special tools for installation. The two-piece housing features color-coded terminals for easy wiring. This product meets IEEE 802.3an and can be reterminated for multiple usage. The RJ-45 field plug is suitable for PoE, PoE plus, and UPoE. This field plug is perfect for creating custom length patch cords or for direct-attach applications, including AV, secured data, and government and military markets.

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Cables and Connectors

Dec 27, 2013 11:39 AM, By Mike McIntyre, CTS-D, EST-L2+

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Neutrik XLR cable mount connectors

Neutrik manufactures 14 different series of XLR connectors cable-mount connectors, including the XX Series, the crystalCON series made with Swarovski crystals, and the convertCON, a three-pole unisex XLR cable connector. Neutrik also manufactures the etherCON connector for Cat-5 and Cat-6 cables, as well as premade Cat-6 patch cables in lengths ranging from 1 meter to 30 meters.

Pro Co Sound’s Ameriquad cables are designed for studio-reference sound quality or where high RFI fields need to be silenced. The cable is a 24AWG quad cable with a braided shield and custom double outer jacket with Kevlar core for added strength and to prevent stretching. This cable features high-quality, black Neutrik XLRs with gold contacts on both ends. Ameriquad cables boast two tight-twist, inner-quad conductors for maximum conductivity, a highly flexible cable construction, and terrific RFI rejection.

RapcoHorizon’s limited-edition Dominator Diamond Crystal cables come with Neutrik’s pink NC3FXX/NC3MXX CrystalCON connector that contains original Swarovski crystals and is one of 200 of its kind. According to the company, when used in concert with 22-gauge, silver-plated stranded, twisted-pair conductors, as well as silver-plated, 95-percent braided shield, the Diamond Crystal cable “maximizes frequency response and true-to-life imaging of this professional microphone cable.” Each cable also features a rugged TechFlex outer jacket.

SnapAV’s Binary B6 Series-series GripTek high-speed licensed HDMI cables with Ethernet are designed with connectors that are up to 50 percent shorter than most, and are housed in a flexible outer jacket. The exclusive GripTek design requires more force to remove, making it good for articulating mounts, rack installs, or anywhere equipment is being moved around.

Switchcraft manufactures five different series of XLR connectors, including the original A series and AAA series, with a two-piece design featuring integral strain relief. The pin insert is preloaded into the front shell and a flat area on the handle is designed to accommodate custom labeling options. The R series connectors are right-angle versions of the AAA connector, and the T series connectors are versions of the A connectors with a two-position slide switch.

West Penn Wire provides Cat-6 and 6A bulk cables, connectors, and assemblies. The company’s Cat-6 UTP is comprised of 23 AWG solid conductors with versions rated for riser, plenum outdoor, and indoor/outdoor applications. Cat-6 assemblies come in 3ft., 7ft., 10ft., 15ft., 20ft., and 25ft.

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Whirlwind USA Quad series cable

Whirlwind USA’s Quad Series cable uses four conductors arranged as two pairs in an “X” configuration. The result is a microphone cable that resists induced noise in the most severe environments. They are available in black, red, blue, yellow, green, and gray, and in 6ft., 10ft., 15ft., 20ft., 25ft., 30ft., 50ft., and 100ft. lengths. Also available from Whirlwind is the ENC1 heavy-duty Cat-5e cable that features Kellems strain relief and a metal W1-style connector shell with a dust cap.

Wireworks’ TacCat multi-channel assemblies feature four individual Cat-5e cables jacketed in a single outer jacket. The individual Cat-5e cables are color-coded and terminated with etherCON connectors or standard RJ-45s. Additionally, Wireworks BG Unisex XLR cords feature Wireworks MusiLUX microphone cable or AES/EBU digital cable using Neutrik’s convertCON and a 3-pin XLR connector. BG Unisex XLR cords are available with convertCON on both ends or with a convertCON on one and a standard male XLR, female XLR, or TRS plug on the other.

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