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Any way to open a Patchbay and tell if its balanced/unbalanced? Signal Flex PB-32
Old 14th September 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Any way to open a Patchbay and tell if its balanced/unbalanced? Signal Flex PB-32

Hey guys,

So, i picked up a used rack case and threw in an old Signal Flex PB-32 Patch Box Patchbay for $10, figuring it could be useful. The problem is, the little information I'm finding about it has conflicting information regarding whether the connections are TS or TRS.

One Reverb listing I'm seeing says TS, while another old post on another forum claims TRS.

So my question is, is there anyway if I open this I'd be able to tell from the jacks if they're TS or TRS? I could post pictures if that would be helpful.

Thanks!
Old 14th September 2019
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashargento View Post
Hey guys,

So, i picked up a used rack case and threw in an old Signal Flex PB-32 Patch Box Patchbay for $10, figuring it could be useful. The problem is, the little information I'm finding about it has conflicting information regarding whether the connections are TS or TRS.

One Reverb listing I'm seeing says TS, while another old post on another forum claims TRS.

So my question is, is there anyway if I open this I'd be able to tell from the jacks if they're TS or TRS? I could post pictures if that would be helpful.

Thanks!
It would be just as easy to plug in a couple of TRS plug ends (you *do* have a box of them laying around, don't you?) and use an ohmmeter to see if the ring and tip are shorted. Then you know it's "TS".
Old 14th September 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpl. Punishment View Post
It would be just as easy to plug in a couple of TRS plug ends (you *do* have a box of them laying around, don't you?) and use an ohmmeter to see if the ring and tip are shorted. Then you know it's "TS".
Ahh, thats a great idea! And yes, no shortage of cable here. My audio skills are as rusty as a lot of them.

So, I think you mean making a simple patch, plugging in one end of the cable and testing the ring and tip for a short on the other end? For some reason I thought I would always get a short on the other end if it was plugged in and I was testing ring to tip, or, maybe I was just taught that to avoid mis-readings. I'll throw the meter on 2k and see what happens!
Old 14th September 2019
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashargento View Post
Ahh, thats a great idea! And yes, no shortage of cable here. My audio skills are as rusty as a lot of them.

So, I think you mean making a simple patch, plugging in one end of the cable and testing the ring and tip for a short on the other end? For some reason I thought I would always get a short on the other end if it was plugged in and I was testing ring to tip, or, maybe I was just taught that to avoid mis-readings. I'll throw the meter on 2k and see what happens!
Yeah - my bad on that. Now that it's a new day and I've had some caffeine in me...

One of two things will happen to a TRS plug in a TS jack -- the ring will be shorted to the sleeve, or the ring will have no connection at all. The tip and sleeve should always be passing voltage separately, but the "ring" would be the odd man out in a TRS jack.

So plug two TRS cables into the top and bottom of one patch point and test for continuity between each of the tip, ring and sleeve. If you get no signal from ring to ring, or you get signal from ring to sleeve, it's TS. If you get signal from tip-to-tip, ring-to-ring, sleeve-to-sleeve, it's TRS.
Old 14th September 2019
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpl. Punishment View Post
Yeah - my bad on that. Now that it's a new day and I've had some caffeine in me...

One of two things will happen to a TRS plug in a TS jack -- the ring will be shorted to the sleeve, or the ring will have no connection at all. The tip and sleeve should always be passing voltage separately, but the "ring" would be the odd man out in a TRS jack.

So plug two TRS cables into the top and bottom of one patch point and test for continuity between each of the tip, ring and sleeve. If you get no signal from ring to ring, or you get signal from ring to sleeve, it's TS. If you get signal from tip-to-tip, ring-to-ring, sleeve-to-sleeve, it's TRS.

That makes perfect sense!

Caffeine or none, thanks for taking the time to further explain. Especially when its such a trivial piece of gear. Regardless of the outcome, testing like this could come in handy down the line, as I seem to have an affinity for old, broken down, unloved equipment. My racks are turning into the Island of Misfit Toys.

Sure, I could spare 10 minutes of my life and spend another $15-20 on a Patchbay that has had more than 8 sentences typed about it on the internet, but what fun would that be?

Thanks again, Cpl.
Old 14th September 2019
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Ok, so I'm not getting continuity when going from ring to sleeve.
I am getting signal from ring to ring
I am getting signal tip to tip
Also sleeve sleeve...

So, everything checks out thus far. The only thing I'm not getting signal from is ring to ring. Before I declare victory that this is balanced, I just want to make sure thats not a problem.
Old 14th September 2019
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashargento View Post
Ok, so I'm not getting continuity when going from ring to sleeve.
I am getting signal from ring to ring
I am getting signal tip to tip
Also sleeve sleeve...

So, everything checks out thus far. The only thing I'm not getting signal from is ring to ring. Before I declare victory that this is balanced, I just want to make sure thats not a problem.
No problem -- it's a TS (unbalanced) patch bay. I think I found that same old Reverb listing you mentioned earlier, so based on that plus your own empirical evidence, we should safely be able to declare this a "TS" patch bay.

Although ... you mention you are getting signal from ring to ring first, then you said you're not getting signal from ring to ring, which is a bit of a contradiction.
Old 14th September 2019
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Ahh, I meant sleeve to sleeve on the second one there. I was afraid so! The only thing that gave me hope was an old listing on a used gear forum. Fun while it lasted.

But really, thanks for the time.
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