7 Hooking up
Different kinds of signals (and power) require different types of connectors and different kinds of cable in between them. Small signals require shielding, and because it's very low power, can use very small diameter conductors. This is an overview of types of cable
- Mono, unbalanced signal: a small diameter core, shielded by braided copper mesh, often with additional metal foil or carbon screen. Shielding prevents interference, and small diameter conductors reduce cost.
- Mono, balanced signal: a conductor pair, shielded by braided copper mesh, often with additional metal foil or carbon screen. Shielding, as well as balancing by the use of a signal conductor pair, prevents interference, and small diameter conductors reduce cost.
- Stereo signal: In professional audio, stereo connections are routed as two separate monaural cables, be it unbalanced or balanced. Except stereo headphones, they use 1/4" TRS plugs for a stereo connection over one cable.
- Balanced multi signal: many pairs of conductors, each with their own shielding provide fast and flexible connection of a mixing console to multiple signal sources on stage. Usually these signals are balanced. And unbalanced source is hooked up though a DI-box on stage, which converts the signal to balanced.
- speaker: large copper diameter conductor pair, unshielded.
- Digital: 75 ohms coaxial cable of low capacitance. One cable for stereo connection.
- Digital optical: plastic light conductor. One cable for stereo connection.
© Joris van den Heuvel 2001-2009