jBam

Old audio snake cable... worth using?!
« on: April 29, 2020, 02:28:29 AM »
Hi all... not sure where to post this, sorry!?... figure I may end up testing though, so this seems good :)

I've bought a heap of old audio snakes, primarily to strip their neutrik connectors for my studio rewire and new cable explosion!

I was wondering about reusing some of the many balanced multicores I  now have too, for fixed wiring (16 i/o interface; patchbays; etc.), but it does look rather old. Not poor quality or condition (rubber isn't cracked or anything like that); just old. I believe it is Eurocable LK SSA or something similar (not familiar with eurocable) - each pair has hot; cold; and a foild shield with separate drain wire.

Any opinions on using this old cable for studio wiring?  I have no idea of it's age; it's just a visual assessment. Say "30 years old", though I have no idea if eurocable was even around then!!

I can't find anything online to suggest "never use old audio cable in New jobs, it does this or that". Having never heard of eurocable, I'd also welcome opinions on it's quality in general, particularly in context of canare l2t2s which the rest of my studio is wired with.

Is there any key testing I should do? I'm think of just testing each wire with my amateur qual multimeter for impedance and capacitance, and if it seems in spec, and is comparable to other leads in the same multi... if it is then I'd  be calling it "good"... but I'd rather ask opinions before I solder 200x3 connections and THEN find out it's a bad idea ;)

Actually, while I'm here, should I be cleaning the old connectors with something too? Not visibly oxidized, but hey, I don't know... never recycled connectors like this before!

Many thanks in advance. Hope everyone is ok and staying safe with COVID mayhem...
« Last Edit: April 29, 2020, 02:50:29 AM by jBam »


JohnRoberts

Re: Old audio snake cable... worth using?!
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2020, 10:51:32 AM »
I have seen old snakes with wire breaks in the middle of the cable from hard use and abuse. If lightly used and well handled the wire should be fine to reuse, ASSuming it was quality wire when new.  Cable testers can detect wire breaks.

Connectors may be tarnished which you can determine from inspection... A more likely fault in an old snake is questionable solder connections to the connectors. Again the cable tester can identify them.

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

jBam

Re: Old audio snake cable... worth using?!
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2020, 09:54:15 PM »
I have seen old snakes with wire breaks in the middle of the cable from hard use and abuse. If lightly used and well handled the wire should be fine to reuse, ASSuming it was quality wire when new.  Cable testers can detect wire breaks.

Connectors may be tarnished which you can determine from inspection... A more likely fault in an old snake is questionable solder connections to the connectors. Again the cable tester can identify them.

JR

Great - thanks John. You're always very helpful; most appreciated.

The multi is from an old hall / play theatre installation, and as I understand it was all set-and-forget (e.g. under floor); so not rolled up and unrolled for gigs. The fact there's connectors at one end only; with the other end looking ex-crimped gives me some confidence to this too (I don't see cables that are crimped onto e.g. a patch bay being your typical roll-out stage cables... but hey; who knows what it was really used for).

When I strip back leads, the foil is in really nice condition too - strong, not flaky or anything (I've only read about dodgy foil on the net; but this doesn't seem to be it).

I'm feeling confident already that I may have a good selection of good quality multicore...

[EDIT: oh yeah, and although I'll strip a lot of the connectors, the soldering is seriously first class work - incredibly tidy work!... again giving me confidence on the treatment of the whole lot]

A few quick questions if you dont mind:

- In terms of testing - do you have any opinions on just using a multimeter vs a cable tester? With blank ends on one end of all cables, I kind of figure it would be comparable work-effort in testing; but if a cable tester is the best quality assurance solution, then I'll definitely grab one.

- If i decide to clean connectors, would using isopropyl be a good idea; or would you recommend something more specific?

- Have you ever heard of Eurocable or have any opinions vs. e.g. Canare... upon my research, they seem to have good specs and a good range, but there's very little on them on the net...

Cheers,

Jonny................

iampoor1

Re: Old audio snake cable... worth using?!
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2020, 05:43:10 AM »
The biggest problem I have had with older audio cable is some of it is just a pain to work with (I'm looking at you gepco)  ;D

fazer

Re: Old audio snake cable... worth using?!
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2020, 07:58:56 PM »
The pain part with older cable as mentioned is true with very old cable. Some  old cable has  foil wraps per pair but had no individual wire rubber coating per pair.   This stuff works ok with multi conductor connectors like EDAC and DL types but needed rubber sleeves slipped over each pair and is quite a pain when creating a pig tail breakout with xlr’s .   I would never build another multi pin out of that stuff. I normally just buy Mogomi these days for any db25 connectors .   It works ok with XLR’s as well.  I have never heard of or used EUROcable.

cyrano

Re: Old audio snake cable... worth using?!
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2020, 10:21:55 AM »
I have never heard of or used EUROcable.

It's Croatian, I believe. Pretty much built like a Russian tank :D
Why is it people love to believe and hate to know?

Whoops

Re: Old audio snake cable... worth using?!
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2020, 02:06:38 AM »
I have seen old snakes with wire breaks in the middle of the cable from hard use and abuse. Cable testers can detect wire breaks.

I had that problem in some old snakes a friend gave me, some channels were not working.
In the beginning I thought the problem might be in the end connectors, so I cut half a meter each side and re-soldered everything.
It continued to exhibit problems, I discovered a lot of wires were broke in the middle.

Testing it with a cable tester was hard because they were making intermittent connections, sometimes the tester would measure a good connection.

But like John said
"If lightly used and well handled the wire should be fine to reuse, ASSuming it was quality wire when new."

Newmarket

Re: Old audio snake cable... worth using?!
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2020, 10:27:43 AM »

- If i decide to clean connectors, would using isopropyl be a good idea; or would you recommend something more specific?


I'd suggest Isopropyl first to degrease. Then (if you choose) Caig DeOxit cleaner. Think about which of their products to use - you'll probably have lots left and it will be useful for your studio maintenance in general.

Michael Tibes

Re: Old audio snake cable... worth using?!
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2020, 07:22:31 AM »
I've used a lot of recycled multicores over the years and I have never experienced any problems with them. BUT they came from studio installations and they were all Mogami or brands of similiar construction - all with braided screens and never with a foil screen. So I have no experience with foil screens.

There is a big difference between a good cable tester and a multimeter: the cable tester will react to short interruptions or shorts and it will check several leads and directions at the same time. I use a Behringer cable tester, one of the best tools I own in terms of money vs real-life value. I've never had a problem with a cable that tested ok with it, but I've mostly used it for single leads, rarely for multicores. Plugging the cable into it and shaking it 'wildly' while testing has been a succesful routine for me. This could become difficult with a long Multicore  ;)

Also important and probably obvious is to visually and manually inspect the cable - if you don't see or feel anything strange, it is worth further investigation. I'd discard anything questionable.

I only use connectors with non-oxidizing contacts. I have also cleaned oxidized connectors, but I'd never use them for audio in the studio. Maybe for a footswitch or something alike though.

Michael

peterc

Re: Old audio snake cable... worth using?!
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2020, 04:53:50 AM »
Back in the analogue days, I used a lot of Eurocable, Canare and Gotham cable and I was always very happy with all of them. The Eurocable we used to get had a beautifully soft screen conductor that soldered very well.

IMO, check the continuity and if all is good, go for it.

Peter
If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.


totoxraymond

Re: Old audio snake cable... worth using?!
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2020, 03:26:53 AM »
Hi,

I've used lots of used cables in the past and never had a problem with  it.

Even if your multicore doesn't check good, i think it's worth keeping for internal connections of you diy stuff.

I use a lot of old multicore cables stripped appart, it gives you nice small shielded wires for free.


Thomas


 

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