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Bittree Patch Bays on Ebay - prices too good to be true?
Old 27th July 2017
  #1
Here for the gear
Bittree Patch Bays on Ebay - prices too good to be true?

All,

I'm finally building out my studio (lots of synths, drum machines, Rhodes etc...). Purchased 32-channel mixer, Orion 32 for I/O, and am now researching patch bays. The price ranges seem to be all over the map, but the best bang/buck as far as i can tell seems to be the Bittree units on Ebay (96, bantam, various terminations - under $50 each). This compares to $1000 plus for other brands. What gives? Is this too good to be true? Am I missing something important?

Thanks,
A
Old 27th July 2017
  #2
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At that price I'd just take the gamble and buy them. Bittree PBs are really good....at 50 bucks it's a steal. As long as it's not literally a steal (i.e. not stolen goods) and as long as you're confident that they're in good working order, that would be a great catch.
Old 27th July 2017
  #3
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Once in a while you can luck out with bargains as it's all about condition and how the units were used / maintained in their previous life. If it has tarnishing / corrosion or loose / intermitent / non-functioning patch points you lose. It's also very rare for a seller to take the time or even disclose if they have taken a meter and tested all the patch points. Many times the seller picked up the bays at an auction themselves and are just flipping them so they know little about the real condition of the unit nor are they going to take the time / money to test the unit. How comfortable are you with higher risk, higher reward (getting a dirt cheap unit that is actually good)?

There is a reason why you don't see many commercial places buying the new $100 1/4" Neutriks / Samsons as those connectors and unit implimentation simply don't hold up to usage (you really do get what you pay for with connectors). When you figure in your labor involved with wiring, most will spend more for quality and better connector types so they don't have to chase down and reconfigure around problems.

I have a definate bias on this subject though and need to disclose I've got some used Audio Accessory bays up for sale here in the classifieds (not a dealer though).
Old 28th July 2017
  #4
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Thanks everyone! I snagged 6 of them! A couple were only $20!
Old 28th July 2017
  #5
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gorka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
At that price I'd just take the gamble and buy them. Bittree PBs are really good....at 50 bucks it's a steal. As long as it's not literally a steal (i.e. not stolen goods) and as long as you're confident that they're in good working order, that would be a great catch.
Do you know if their crimp connections are plugs or sockets?

I´ve never seen those before.
Old 28th July 2017
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gorka View Post
Do you know if their crimp connections are plugs or sockets?

I´ve never seen those before.
Bittree makes a few different types of terminations on the back panel. Not sure which one you're referring to, but one crimp connection they use is called Edac (or maybe E3), where you crimp little pins onto your wires and then plant them into a plug that goes into sockets on the back of the PB.

They don't seem to get much use in music studio installations, usually people go for the 25 pin thing for that. Edac probably gets more use in broadcast or post installations. I like them, it makes it much easier to reconfigure the PB layout later on. But they are a lot of work up front (still way easier than soldering though).
Attached Thumbnails
Bittree Patch Bays on Ebay - prices too good to be true?-newtools.jpg  
Old 28th July 2017
  #7
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gorka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
Bittree makes a few different types of terminations on the back panel. Not sure which one you're referring to, but one crimp connection they use is called Edac (or maybe E3), where you crimp little pins onto your wires and then plant them into a plug that goes into sockets on the back of the PB.

They don't seem to get much use in music studio installations, usually people go for the 25 pin thing for that. Edac probably gets more use in broadcast or post installations. I like them, it makes it much easier to reconfigure the PB layout later on. But they are a lot of work up front (still way easier than soldering though).
Thanks for your reply!

I own a PR&E Radiomixer, that´s why I did a fair amount of crimping in my life .

I didn´t know the type Bittree uses, though.
That´s why I wondered if those on some ebay auctions are plugs or sockets but I found another foto which shows both now.
Attached Thumbnails
Bittree Patch Bays on Ebay - prices too good to be true?-bittree-.jpg  
Old 28th July 2017
  #8
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Bit tree stuff is great. I just bought three from an eBay seller a couple of days ago. They are new at about 525/ea. I wouldn't buy used patchbays personally. Too many little things to check.
Knowing what sort of connectors are on the back of the bay is REALLY IMPORTANT!!!
The bays themselves are only a small part of an installation planning and cost.
The connectors in that photo are Elco/EDAC E3 connectors. Same as I just got also.
They require your wires to have pins crimped or soldered on them and inserted into little housings. That can be several hundred dollars in connectors alone. The crimp tool to assemble is $150. The other pin tools can add up quickly also, if you choose to get them.
It is a good idea to have all the rear connections of the same type - not necessary but makes a lot of sense with planning cost and layout.
Bit Tree seems to have the lowest price available for connectors. Check their online shop for pricing.
Have fun!!

Last edited by balanceman; 28th July 2017 at 03:15 PM..
Old 28th July 2017
  #9
Here for the gear
Thanks for the great info here. The six Bittree 96/bantam 2RU patchbays I purchased from ebay all have the E3 connectors on the back, so I'll be doing a LOT of crimping to get things set up.

I'm now hunting for a crimping tool. I see that a Greenlee 1670 can be purchased from Amazon/ebay for around $170 (see pic below). Does anyone know if this old used ELCO tool (see other picture below) would work for the E3/E90 pins discussed in this thread?

Thanks
Attached Thumbnails
Bittree Patch Bays on Ebay - prices too good to be true?-screen-shot-2017-07-28-11.42.37-am.png   Bittree Patch Bays on Ebay - prices too good to be true?-screen-shot-2017-07-28-11.49.35-am.jpg  
Old 28th July 2017
  #10
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gorka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mediocrates View Post
Thanks for the great info here. The six Bittree 96/bantam 2RU patchbays I purchased from ebay all have the E3 connectors on the back, so I'll be doing a LOT of crimping to get things set up.

I'm now hunting for a crimping tool. I see that a Greenlee 1670 can be purchased from Amazon/ebay for around $170 (see pic below). Does anyone know if this old used ELCO tool (see other picture below) would work for the E3/E90 pins discussed in this thread?

Thanks
As our helpful colleagues already mentioned, I´d go for the Bittree crimping-tool.
It´s the most effective if you only want to crimp your patchbays.

Here´s a video how to do it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lEuvyNCjqA

If you want it to be more universal and cheaper, you can also look for used crimping tools from Molex, etc. or check what I use:
Bittree Patch Bays on Ebay - prices too good to be true?Ratcheting Terminal Crimping Plier Set T&E tools new LY03C-5D Multi Head Tool | eBay

It´s important to get the right diameter and the right form, though!

The old Elco won´t do the job, I guess...
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