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ADAT/TOSLINK Port door problem
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author ADAT/TOSLINK Port door problem
acidbob
Hi, I have an RME UFX From 2014, yesterday 3 of the port doors broke when I wanted to re-connect my setup after moving, anyone experienced the same issue, they seem quite fragile to me
acidbob
Anyone willing to recommend adat cables, what are you using with your RME equipment? Funny enough my two octamics are fine with this cable
https://www.thomann.de/dk/pro_snake_tpo_2_tt.htm
meatcliff
Yes the little doors on the ports are fragile. Not much you can do about it besides using a little pokey tool to unstick them. If there's any concerns about dust just blast the port with compressed air.

Any fiber optic cable should be fine to use. I've used Amazon's branded ones for stuff that's exposed. They have a nice thick rubber jacket. I've also used ones within a rack that have no rubber jacket and are super thin. If whatever you have fits snugly, you aren't getting any drop outs, and is appropriate for the environment, I wouldn't worry about it.
acidbob
My concern is that the ones I have used might be too big or doesnt fit correctly? The small springs seems to have short circuited something inside the UFX and it's now on its way to Thomann and they will pass it on to RME for repair, but I have no idea what to expect pricewise, maybe they can just change whatever boards have shortcircuited, I can buy a 2 year old UFX for 1073 euro, but I am afraid the same thing will happen again. So I have left a note to RME to please see if they can put in this type of TOSLINK connector

But not sure if that is even possible, they seem to be much better than the ones with doors. Such a shame that TOSLINK is so fragile, it is the only negative thing I have to say about UFX.

http://www.lipfix.com/toslink_dust_shutter_breakage.html
andybizarre
I used to break the ADAT ports of an ADA8000. Unlike electrical interconnects, optical ports don`t need to sit that tight or fully connected to the housing. As long as the cable is aligned to the optical transmitter in a way that you can establish sync, you`re golden. You could hot-glue the cable in the damaged housing, if that`s an option. Mine were looking like this and I could easily get a stable signal:

andybizarre
acidbob wrote:
Anyone willing to recommend adat cables, what are you using with your RME equipment? Funny enough my two octamics are fine with this cable
https://www.thomann.de/dk/pro_snake_tpo_2_tt.htm


Those will sit extremely tight in their ports and won`t fit on cramped, multiple ADAT ports as found on RME`s RayDat.

These are the smallest, sitting relatively tight: (used on my RayDat)
https://www.thomann.de/de/mutec_optisches_kabel_05m.htm?ref=cg_cg_10_1 0_n_0

This connector type has (in my case, don`t know the exact type) a nice loose fit, use them on my Expert Sleepers modules:
https://www.amazon.com/CableCreation-Digital-Optical-TosLink-Theater/d p/B015SQDJW6/ref=sr_1_53_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1548441506&sr=8-53-spons&key words=optical+audio+cable&psc=1

Finally, these are the ones which broke my ADA8000. Stay away from those!
https://www.thomann.de/dk/optical_kabel_1m.htm
acidbob
Thank you so much andybizarre, very helpful, seems like I need to throw away these newly purchased ADAT cables, or maybe I can ask Thomann for a replacement. Seems a bit stupid as Toshiba has made the specs. Available to everyone. Think I will go for these ones https://www.thomann.de/de/mutec_optisches_kabel_05m.htm?ref=cg_cg_10_1 0_n_0

It says Toshiba compatible, and that is what is installed in the RME soundcards. My idea was that I wanted good quality ADAT cables, and I just picked the ones I linked to on top of the page, seems price doesnt always equal quality/compatability
acidbob
Ok, small update, Thomann has helped me out with a cheap repair through RME, so all is good, just waiting to get my UFX back hyper
Panason
I would avoid any optical cable with metal on the connector. All the metal does is add weight and the worse are the ones where the square barrel around the end of the cable is made of metal -- they can damage the plastic ports on your interface.

ADAT cables are definitely a weak point in an otherwise great technology. The thick braided ones are too stiff, the thin ones are too flimsy. .
mmp
I have broken some of these and have gone to hot glueing the cables in the ports that have the issue. Behringer gear seems to have the most fragile ADAT ports in my experience.
Rex Coil 7
I just bought an RME HDSPe AIO card and a Behringer ADA8200 this afternoon, I expect both pieces to arrive in about week. So I'll be hunting down ADAT cables.

From what I gather by what has been said in this thread so far, it seems like the best choice are cables that are very flexible/lightweight and that do not put a lot of pressure/tension on the ADAT port as the cables hang. It seems like fabricating some sort of strain relief is in order to prevent the weight of the cables from putting too much force/pressure on the port. Using hot glue doesn't appeal to me, since it really doesn't fix the actual problem ... the cable is still putting angular pressure on the port. All the hot glue does is spread the force out in a less focused area. It wouldn't take a lot of effort or ingenuity to work up a strain relief of some type to support the cables and take the pressure off of the plastic port itself.

I'm going to put some time and effort into this once the new items arrive and I can get my hands on the gear, my eyes on the situation, and my head around the problem. Meanwhile I'll take the advice of members in this thread regarding the better cables to obtain. So far I've been unable to locate actual "Mutec" brand cables here in the USA, but I'll continue to look. There are MANY ADAT cables on Amazon and eBay, I need to sort through the flotsam and pick a few that look/spec decently.

While this thread is short, it's deeply informative! Thanks to Member *andybizarre for the suggestions (and for pointing me to this thread), as well as everyone else that has contributed. It's these little things that make all the difference between studio setups that are enjoyable and ones that are a pain in the ass to use. Thanks folks!!

thumbs up

EDIT: One other thing, how long is "too long" when it comes to these cables? Thanks.

cool
Phitar
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
From what I gather by what has been said in this thread so far, it seems like the best choice are cables that are very flexible/lightweight and that do not put a lot of pressure/tension on the ADAT port as the cables hang.


I've used fiber optic cables in both work situations (both military and private company) and for my home audio/electronics project applications for years. I prefer a cable that is flexible but has a thick enough jacket to protect the optical fiber (in case a piece of gear get set down on it for example.) Usually the jack will have enough of a grip on the plug to hold the cable in place without the need for strain relief. Caveat there is to try not to subject the cable to strain. Mr. Green I also prefer cables to not have a metal collar around the square part of the tip since if it gets deformed just a little bit it will be gouging the jack opening wider when inserted. Have had equal luck with plastic fiber and glass fiber. As far as length goes these cables have VERY low loss. I've used up to 25 ft for in home use with no noticeable latency. I'm using 10ft Tripplite brand cables now to connect my ES-3 and 6 to my audio interface mainly because it is what I had on hand that wasn't stuffed in a box in the garage somewhere. The most common problem I've seen with TOSlink style jacks if usually due to the plug not being inserted squarely.... The shape of the plug and jack are such that if you don't visually check both you can get them misaligned and start rounding off the corners.
Phitar
Oh, I forgot to mention a couple of things about ADAT cables that might or might not be obvious.

Don't kink or pinch them. Use loose coils only if storing or organizing excess cable. Avoid using zip ties as wire ties cos it can get over-tightened. Velcro type recommended.

Make sure you take off the little rubber nipple off both ends of the cable before use.

Store unused cables with the little nipples put back on. If you've lost them wrap the ends in soft fabric or tissue.
acidbob
Thanks for all the good information here, yes, it's important that when inserting the cable to do it very gently and not to kink it, but with these cables I bought they just didn't fit in the socket.
andybizarre
Phitar wrote:
Store unused cables with the little nipples put back on. If you've lost them wrap the ends in soft fabric or tissue.


Why would that be, can you elaborate?

In my experience, optical cables don`t suffer from signal loss, but they can introduce jitter to the audio, especially on long runs, when the digital audio is clocking the slave device. If that`s the case, a separate Wordclock connection is recommended to avoid issues.

The Toslink connectors are the weakest point in the ADAT topology being very fragile for a professional use interconnection. The most common point of failure are the bulges on the sides of the cable`s plug housing. If they don`t fit, the the "doors" will break very quickly.



The "Toshiba compatible" Mutec cables are IMO the safest bet to avoid cramped or broken Toslink sockets.
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