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Reply to "Cable Question"

As Jingles said, if it is a data rated cable, you're fine for DMX.

But, let me say this, I bought some Accucable, which is ADJ's DMX cable, and I'm very pleassed with it. I also reocmmend you use some tape or something to let people know more easily that it is DMX cable, not XLR even though they look identical. I am using white electrical PVC tape on BOTH ends to easily mark mine. I also ordered ends and made my cables to my specs(300-foot reel came out to: 1 200-foot main run, 6 3-foot cables and 3 25-foot cables).

Bottom line is that while "better" quality cables SHOULD last longer, a properly maintained cheap cable can last just as long. Take care of your cables and they'll take care of you.

My recommendation: Accucable.

I've had expensive cables fail as easily as cheap cables. Given the choice, I go with the expensive cables because of the better ends and usually the inner wiring. But if you don't take care of them, it doesn't matter what you spend. Honestly in most cases, it's the ends where the money is spent.

Let me put it this way: I have cables 20+ years old working JUST fine and in current production. However, put a brand new out of the package and fresh from the factory top dollar cable in the hands of my in-laws, and I can guarantee it will NOT last the end of the night going through their hands. Don't think I'm joking. I've seen them wreck the cable trying to remove it from the cardboard with a staple in it, or from the oh so hazardous removal of the twist tie....(Not zip tie, I mean like those thin wire twist ties). Of course, these are the same people who let lights drop off a truss 12-feet in the air(because they wouldn't bring the truss down first via the crank stands), drop off the truss onto the ground, shatter and break, put it in the Arriba case and then not tell me about it. And then when I get angry, they say it's my fault. Gee, I didn't realize that the laws of gravity were given to me for my exclusive enforcement! I can't know a light is broken if nobody tells me and I wasn't around when it smashed into the CONCRETE and didn't hear it go "crinkle, crinkle, crinkle".

Needless to say, crew needs to be properly trained. After 50 shows with those bozos, they have shown that they couldn't get a job as an elevator operator, because if they took a 15 minute break, they'd forget the route.

So, take care of your gear, take care of your cables. I'm pleased with the Accucable. It doesn't seem to have much "memory" issues, seems to take to coiling nicely and feels relatively rugged. I'll be buying more. Not sure WHEN, but I WILL be. I have to figure out what I need to make. I'll probably get one of those DMX signal distros too so I can have a run to front truss, run to back truss, run to floor lights and run to spots.

While you're at it, make a few DMX terminators. I keep losing mine! Well, not this time. I found it stuck in a fixture after a show. I built 2 more to be safe. Never a bad idea.

I was running just fine using standard XLR, but I'm much happier running actual DMX cabling.