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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on July 06, 2012

Professional video connectors are crimped. But there's one professional connector that is still soldered, the venerable XLR. It has become the universal standard for audio wiring. It is made by many manufacturers including Neutrik, Switchcraft, Amphenol and many others. You can even find some made by ITT Canon, who invented the connector in the early 1950s. And now Belden is working on a video to show you how to solder a mic cable (or a line-level cable) into this connector and will post it as soon as it's available.

However, I wanted to add some comments which are not addressed in the video. Foremost is the tendency of some plastics to melt when heat is applied. And the problem is, the higher the performance of the cable, the more likely that plastic is to melt. The converse is equally true. The lower the quality (not the price, mind you, but the performance of the cable), the less likely it is to melt. If you have rubber insulated singles, such as Belden 8412 or our new super-strong 1776, you could hold a soldering iron on these wires for a long time. You might eventually burn through them, but it would take a while. Rubber, after all, is not a thermoplastic, it is a "thermoset" material.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on June 28, 2012

If you've ever done anything on the professional side of audio, you've probably run into a condenser microphone. These require power to work. Sometimes, that's a battery you put into the mic. Sometimes it's a separate dedicated power supply with a special multi-pin cable.

But most often these microphones use phantom power. This is power delivered by a mixer or console, which uses the same cable that the audio comes back on. Hence, the idea phantom because the cable is doing two things and the power seems to be delivered by magic.

Phantom power is set up to run on shielded balanced lines, because it uses both the twisted pair and the shield as the DC power delivery. Unbalanced microphones, therefore, cannot use this system - at least not as it is described below.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on April 26, 2012

You know what they say: When the curtain goes up and all the actors are in place and know their lines, whatever happened before that is of no consequence. It sure went that way for our test at NAB of our new super-strong Belden 1776, a revolutionary new microphone cable. In fact, we bought all the parts for the test before any cable was produced!

When we ran some cable in our factory in Richmond, Indiana we immediately air freighted the first 250 ft. to Kiesub Electronics in Las Vegas. They cut it into 50 ft. lengths and put XLRs on each end. They also put two Kellems grips on each cable to allow it to be hung with weight on it. Upon arriving in Las Vegas, we picked up the cables, a metal hanging chair and 900 lbs. of bricks. We brought with us a hanging scale that was good to 5,000 lbs. from Dynamic Scales and a hoisting chain that was also good for 5,000 lbs. from Sliver State in Las Vegas.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on April 18, 2012

Wow. This is turning out to be the best NAB show we've had in a long time. We received more leads in the first two days than we have had from an entire show in recent memory. And it's not just us. Every other booth seemed equally busy. It's so busy, I would not be surprised if the total attendance exceeded the magic 100,000. Of course, our popularity has been based on many things, including the three live demos we have going for new products. First is our demo of Belden 1776, a revolutionary cable. This is the strongest microphone cable we've ever made, and quite possibly the strongest ever manufactured by anyone.

At the show, we suspended a hanging chair from the cable and attached a working microphone. We've had Renee Staul, from our marketing department, and Jessie Carmona from our Mexico sales office, each sit in the chair and entice the crowd to see them suspended by a microphone cable.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on April 12, 2012

There is a certain rocker, you know his name and the name of his group, but I can't say it here. (We're in negotiations!) But he's famous for going through mic cable as if it were string. At one point, he even went through Belden 8412, a cable we thought was nearly indestructible. Now the rocker is going through a competitor's mic cable at a rate of one per show. One mic cable PER SHOW! When you're touring the globe, that adds up to a lot of cable.

This caused us to think. So we sat down and figured out how to make the strongest microphone cable ever. You can see it for the first time at NAB on April 16 through 19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. We're in booth C8925, right in the center of the central hall.

This new cable innovation is called Belden 1776, a revolutionary microphone cable. And how strong is it? Well, that's a great question. We don't really know and that will make for an interesting experiment. We're going to have a contest at our booth. At noon each day, we will load weights on the cable - while it is working! There's a tension scale with a memory attached. You get to guess what the weight will be that will cause our cable to stop working. When the sound stops, there will be a winner! We're still discussing prizes, but, it will be something cool. And we'll do it every day at noon for all four days. That means four prizes. You can guess every day if you want, and you don't have to be present to win. (But who would miss something as weird as this at NAB?)

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