Stupid/genius ES-3 improvement suggestion: more ES-5 headers

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Stupid/genius ES-3 improvement suggestion: more ES-5 headers

Post by DJMaytag » Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:36 pm

I’m pretty sure this is either absolutely genius or complete shite of an idea, but I don’t really use the 1-6 outputs of my ES-3 for much of anything, and have been wishing for the ability to add another header (or headers) to connect more ES-5’s to my ES-3. It’d be pretty cool to have the option of using channels 5/6 and 7/8 to “piggyback” some ES-5’s and other expanders onto for more expansion connections.

I’ve been (unsuccessfully) looking for a Z-Systems Z8.8A, which could split an ADAT stream into 4x SPDIF streams, which could allow connecting up to 4x ES-40’s, and thus up to 20x ESX modules. I don’t think I’d get that crazy, but if I could find a Z8.8A, I’d hook up two ES-40’s, one dedicated to MIDI synths/MIDI clock/DIN Sync (likely 3x ESX-8MD’s), and another to CV/gate/triggers (3x ESX-8GT’s & 2x ESX-8CV’s).

An updated ES-3 with 2 or more headers for ES-5’s would be soooooo much simpler though.
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Post by DJMaytag » Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:13 pm

Heh... or how about this... a device with NO audio outputs, just an ADAT in and ADAT out, with 4 headers for ES-5’s and 4 headers for ES-7’s.

Probably a super crazy idea, right?
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Post by DJMaytag » Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:28 pm

So I found a workaround for what I want to achieve, as I scored a RME ADI-4 DD for $200, which can do bi-directional ADAT to 4x AES conversion (with internal option to level convert, making it easy to adapt from AES/EBU to SPDIF).

In theory, I should be able to connect up to 4x ES-40's, connect a crap ton of expanders (including 4x ES-7's, converted back to ADAT), while utilizing all 8 channels of my ADAT out, rather than just the two (outputs 7/8 to the ES-5).

Wish me luck with this experiment!
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Post by os » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:22 am

You can connect four ES-5s to an ES-3, though you'd have to make the cable to do so.

This is why the ES-5 has the jumper to choose which audio pair to ride on.

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Post by DJMaytag » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:19 am

os wrote:You can connect four ES-5s to an ES-3, though you'd have to make the cable to do so.

This is why the ES-5 has the jumper to choose which audio pair to ride on.
Damn it. I just spent :75: on a box I didn’t need then?!?! :bang:

What’s the scoop on making up such a cable(s) to do this?
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Post by os » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:24 am

It's the usual IDC cable that connects the ES-3 to the ES-5, but with extra headers on it. You'll want to keep it as short as possible.

It's slightly untested territory to be honest, but in theory it works.

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Post by DJMaytag » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:27 am

os wrote:It's the usual IDC cable that connects the ES-3 to the ES-5, but with extra headers on it. You'll want to keep it as short as possible.

It's slightly untested territory to be honest, but in theory it works.
What is connected to what though? There's only one header on the ES-3 to a single ES-5. Where would a second header be connected on the ES-3?
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Post by os » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:33 am

I mean multiple sockets on the cable, like on a flying busboard.

Image

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Post by DJMaytag » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:53 am

So are all 8 channels of audio present at each ES-5, but the jumper determines which of the 4 stereo pairs is being used by the ES-5?

On the cable to the ES-5, are the 10 pins a pair of grounds and 8 discrete analog audio channels, or is it a digital signal like SPDIF?
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Post by os » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:59 am

Yes.

It's digital signals. One wire carries two audio channels.

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Post by DJMaytag » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:25 am

So which pins are which on the respective devices? I'm assuming one pin carried the two audio signals, but there still needs to be a ground like on a SDPIF cable?

Such a cable like a flying busboard would be a nightmare. I'm envisioning making a custom breakout cable with heavy gauge wire (Graham Hinton style cabling) to alleviate some of the distance concerns.
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Post by os » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:26 am

How would it be a nightmare? It's exactly the sort of thing that IDC connectors make super easy.

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Post by DJMaytag » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:30 am

Fitting such a cable inside my case, plus all the short wires coming out of it. If I have to keep it all short, I'd have to keep the extra ES-5's fairly close together.

I guess finding a 10-pin version of a flying bus board isn't easy either?
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Post by os » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:34 am

plus all the short wires coming out of it
What short wires? You'd have a single 10-way cable, with multiple sockets on it inline.

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Post by DJMaytag » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:37 am

os wrote:
plus all the short wires coming out of it
What short wires? You'd have a single 10-way cable, with multiple sockets on it inline.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding this:
os wrote:It's the usual IDC cable that connects the ES-3 to the ES-5, but with extra headers on it. You'll want to keep it as short as possible.
What needs to be kept short, the cable coming from a flying bus board, or the bus board itself? Or would it be both?
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Post by DJMaytag » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:02 am

Does this look correct?
Image

It looks like there's only the 4 pins for audio signal (red = 7/8, orange = 5/6, yellow = 3/4, green = 1/2) and one for ground (purple).
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Post by os » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:47 pm

What needs to be kept short, the cable coming from a flying bus board, or the bus board itself? Or would it be both?
You don't need cables from a busboard. You need a single cable from the ES-3 that links in turn to the ES-5s.

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Post by DJMaytag » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:28 pm

os wrote:
What needs to be kept short, the cable coming from a flying bus board, or the bus board itself? Or would it be both?
You don't need cables from a busboard. You need a single cable from the ES-3 that links in turn to the ES-5s.
Ah, so it would be a flying bus cable with all the same connectors, not like the male/female headers in the picture you posted. That’s back to a nightmare scenario, trying to keep that bus cable short, yet connecting multiple ES-5’s to it. I have enough of a mess routing cables from ONE ES-5 to all the expanders I have. :(

I think I might go back to the idea of converting ADAT to 4x SPDIF and using multiple ES-40’s. At least that way, I can stick an ES-40 and a few ESX-8MD’s in a skiff that stays in the studio for all my MIDI gear, another ES-40 & a few expanders for vintage analog gear that I’m not likely to bring out, and then dedicate a third ES-40 to the CV/gate connections to my modular (using the 3x 8GT’s and 2x 8CV’s I own now.
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