What's your favorite cable connector?

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KK

Lifer
Jan 2, 2001
15,903
4
81
Speaking of cables, did you know phono quitar cables actually originate from the telecom industry? That's why they're called PHONE-o cables. Operators used those cables to connect calls. In phone terminology we still talk of "tip" and "ring". Tip is ground (sorta) and ring is -48v (-54v float). When doing a line test to determine if there is an issue with a phone line it will show resistance and capacitence between tip to ground, ring to ground and tip to ring. People who really know their stuff can tell what type of trouble may exist on the line based on different conditions. Very low capacitance and no short can mean open at the CO, for example.

Those actual cables arn't use that much for regular phone circuits but are used for data circuits at panels called a DSX panel (not to be confused with door security access panels which are also called that). Typically they're just used during testing phase though, 4-wire connections will be run, similar to what is done at the MDF with 2 wire connections.

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This is your TIL for today. :p

Alot of our 4 wire ds0 circuits still have loopback cards that have the 310 test jacks. It's getting harder and harder finding any techs that can work them.
 

herm0016

Diamond Member
Feb 26, 2005
8,410
1,034
126
1/4 in "phono" cables probably originated with phonographs, in the world of audio.

trs is very common audio terminoligy as well. and the same cables and style of patch panels is used for patching microphone jacks from one place to another in a theatre.

anyway... i like http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=amphenol+connectors+military&qs=ds&form=QBIR

we use them for most things. military connectors. hella expensive though.
 
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Rinaun

Golden Member
Dec 30, 2005
1,195
1
81
Alot of our 4 wire ds0 circuits still have loopback cards that have the 310 test jacks. It's getting harder and harder finding any techs that can work them.

I just realized I've seen a setup similar to this at an older facility in Fremont or Milpitas. I also heard some amazing stories about how old engineers sent various analog signals down a single wire; that to me is still magicwtf.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
67,617
12,229
126
www.anyf.ca
Alot of our 4 wire ds0 circuits still have loopback cards that have the 310 test jacks. It's getting harder and harder finding any techs that can work them.

Oh like DE-4 channel banks and stuff? We have some of those too, though, not that much. Been in a CO at another telco and they had rows and rows of DE4's. you could plug right into them. Never played with that stuff much myself though.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
67,617
12,229
126
www.anyf.ca
I just realized I've seen a setup similar to this at an older facility in Fremont or Milpitas. I also heard some amazing stories about how old engineers sent various analog signals down a single wire; that to me is still magicwtf.

Yeah loopback testing. I think they send 1004hz or so and a tech at the other end will put a loop back, if the tone comes back, then it means everything is good up to that point. Good to prove out troubles and what not.

Lot of the newer stuff can do it automatically though, so you can actually remote in and setup loop back tests and what not. I logged into a system like that, think it was a Pairgain.
 

Rinaun

Golden Member
Dec 30, 2005
1,195
1
81
Yeah loopback testing. I think they send 1004hz or so and a tech at the other end will put a loop back, if the tone comes back, then it means everything is good up to that point. Good to prove out troubles and what not.

Lot of the newer stuff can do it automatically though, so you can actually remote in and setup loop back tests and what not. I logged into a system like that, think it was a Pairgain.

From what I've heard, certain high tech companies are paying extremely high salaries for experienced analog engineers. Something about being highly technical but it can do amazing things utilized right (like the loopback testing you speak of except on a much grander scale). This is just what I've been told by colleagues, though.
 

KK

Lifer
Jan 2, 2001
15,903
4
81
Oh like DE-4 channel banks and stuff? We have some of those too, though, not that much. Been in a CO at another telco and they had rows and rows of DE4's. you could plug right into them. Never played with that stuff much myself though.

Yeah, pretty much most of our circuits come out of d4's. Some circuits we have to hand off to a lec, those are the fun ones to troubleshoot. You'd think in this day and age, they'd be pushing to get rid of them fast, but that cost $$$, money that's better spent on optical equipment I guess.
 

KK

Lifer
Jan 2, 2001
15,903
4
81
Yeah loopback testing. I think they send 1004hz or so and a tech at the other end will put a loop back, if the tone comes back, then it means everything is good up to that point. Good to prove out troubles and what not.

Lot of the newer stuff can do it automatically though, so you can actually remote in and setup loop back tests and what not. I logged into a system like that, think it was a Pairgain.

Some of the older loopbacks, loop up with a 2713 tone. The newer ones we have have multiple frequency settings(1313,1413,1513...) that way on the multiple leg bridges you don't loop up every single leg which then is a pain to get all the loops down. I know some of the lecs loopbacks operate on a different frequency also, 2873 or something like that.
 

KillerBee

Golden Member
Jul 2, 2010
1,753
82
91
I'm waiting on someone to create a "Worst Cable connection you ever successfully repaired" thread.

Haven't been able to find a close enough pic to explain - yet.
 

KK

Lifer
Jan 2, 2001
15,903
4
81
1/4 in "phono" cables probably originated with phonographs, in the world of audio.

trs is very common audio terminoligy as well. and the same cables and style of patch panels is used for patching microphone jacks from one place to another in a theatre.

anyway... i like http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=amphenol+connectors+military&qs=ds&form=QBIR

we use them for most things. military connectors. hella expensive though.

I remember those military connectors. They were great until you had a pushed or bent pin on a 50+ pin connector then that was a pita to fix.
 

KillerBee

Golden Member
Jul 2, 2010
1,753
82
91
I remember those military connectors. They were great until you had a pushed or bent pin on a 50+ pin connector then that was a pita to fix.


lol - that's exactly what I was looking for KK
an old Lockheed P3C wiring harness from the 80's
 

Colt45

Lifer
Apr 18, 2001
19,721
1
0
I have a bunch of favourites depending on the application of course...

Easier to list ones I hate, maybe.

'Molex' HDD connector (new and old; old because the pins always go out of alignment, new because they are bad for blind mating).

USB A, and micro. Also shit for blind mating.

NEMA-15 (normal power plug. I hate all of the non-locking NEMA mains plugs).

F connector. (cable TV connector). HATE. I hope whoever invented this shit is hit with a poker in hell every time I use one.

some likes...
I like the IEC mains connector on computers.
I like mini-fit Jr. (ATX connector), and microfit (same, but shrunk a third. not used in computers).

JST XA. it's a 0.1" spaced one like a PC fan connector, but shrouded and latching.
(actually 2.5mm, hard metric. Doesn't matter on connectors with only a few pins, though).

I like junior timer (most connections on euro cars older than... 10 or 15 years. It's also the connector used on almost all fuel injectors, regardless of marque).

"AMPSEAL" is a pretty bitchin' one for automotive.

centronics ("micro-D ribbon"

fastons are pretty handy too (1/4" spade connectors. Not the shitty insulated crush type, but open barrel ones.)
 

Possessed Freak

Diamond Member
Nov 4, 1999
6,045
1
0
TRS of any kind. No lining up, just find the hole and push it in. For some sort of locking, XLR.

Ones I hate: F-type. RJ anything. USB. DB anything.

Terminal block is okay for me, just give me the bare wires and I will do it myself damn it.
 
Mar 10, 2005
14,647
2
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i have a lot of respect for bnc, but the very high price compared to f means they're used only in critical places. there's also a considerable PITA factor for connectorizing.

F - cheap, easy to connectorize, reliable (when installed properly with proper tools), water-resistant flooding no longer needed with compression fittings. biggest problem is dummies over-tightening or not tightening at all.

RCA - when it's good, it's perfect. when it's too snug or too loose, terribad.

toslink - i like it, but why does it need to be keyed?

xlr, or any balanced interconnect - boss

rj and db anything - you go to hell! you go to hell and you die!

for .500 - 1.000 hardline, ppc 2-piece is the way to go. stay away from 3-piece connectors and anything from gilbert. thomas and betts is also good stuff.

connector-500-pin-type-x-series-2-piece-p3-thomas-betts.jpg


1/4 inch phono jacks were originally telephone switch equipment, and now come as trrrs, maybe even more rings are possible. home theatre phono inputs have almost always been RCA feeding a pre-amp and riaa-curve equalizer.

I also heard some amazing stories about how old engineers sent various analog signals down a single wire; that to me is still magicwtf.

you could always send multiple frequencies through a cable (or air). similar troubleshooting is easily done with a time-domain reflectometer or optical tdr.
 

John Connor

Lifer
Nov 30, 2012
22,840
617
121
I wonder if BNC could replace the F connector. The F means fuck it after all! LMAO! But BNC might not be too good for high frequencies that are in use now in cable TV.
 

brandonb

Diamond Member
Oct 17, 2006
3,731
2
0
I can tell you which one I dislike the most.

That would be Mini DisplayPort. I always plug it in upside down. Even though there are notches in the connector, but its so small, and the metal so weak, you can connect it improperly with no pressure at all and not even notice. I do all the time.
 
Mar 10, 2005
14,647
2
0
I wonder if BNC could replace the F connector. The F means fuck it after all! LMAO! But BNC might not be too good for high frequencies that are in use now in cable TV.

bnc frequency response and noise rejection is excellent, plus it has a locking positive stop! it's just way too expensive to see consumer use, and even the cable industry uses it sparingly.