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Terminators for BNC wordclock cables? Monitor Controllers
Old 11th October 2018
  #1
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Terminators for BNC wordclock cables?

Hi! I have a Steinberg MR816X interface, a Mytek Stereo 192 ADC and a Cranesong Avocet DAC. I want to hook them up with a BNC wordclock cable, so I can have the Mytek as the master clock.

But then I read that you need a BNC terminator? What kind do I need, the T-connector or the first one. See link down below. And do I need 1 or 2 of them? I don't understand.

Does that mean that my BNC wordclock cable has never been working before?

Damar & Hagen 1-8566-13120-1 – Thomann UK

pro snake BNC Angle T Connection 75 Ohm – Thomann UK
Old 11th October 2018
  #2
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PerGunnar View Post
Hi! I have a Steinberg MR816X interface, a Mytek Stereo 192 ADC and a Cranesong Avocet DAC. I want to hook them up with a BNC wordclock cable, so I can have the Mytek as the master clock.

But then I read that you need a BNC terminator? What kind do I need, the T-connector or the first one. See link down below. And do I need 1 or 2 of them? I don't understand.

Does that mean that my BNC wordclock cable has never been working before?

Damar & Hagen 1-8566-13120-1 – Thomann UK

pro snake BNC Angle T Connection 75 Ohm – Thomann UK
The T is NOT a terminator, no resistor.
The first one does..
Old 11th October 2018
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
The T is NOT a terminator, no resistor.
The first one does..
Ok thanks. But how do I know if I need it or not?

Does my Steinberg, my Cranesong or my Mytek have a terminator? When I Select "wordclock" on the Steinberg, and "wordclock in" in the software, it seems to be working. I don't know if it's working, but the indicator light isn't flashing or anything, so there is a signal at least.
Old 11th October 2018
  #4
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And just to make things even more confusing, some of the terminators use 50 ohms and others 75 ohms.
Old 11th October 2018
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Wordclock has an impedance of 75Ω although it will work over short distances over almost any type of cable (this is NOT a recommendation, just an FYI).

Similarly, termination is often not necessary over short cables, but again it's generally good form to terminate.

Cables longer than just a few metres should always be terminated. The longer the cable, the greater the attenuation and the potential for reflections.

Not sure whether your kit has built in termination. Sometimes there's a switch next to the connector, sometimes wordclock passes through and you would fit a 75Ω BNC/resistor to the output.

Using Y splits will often be fine again for short runs but you should not try to drive 2 long cables via a Y split and terminate both. But then you have a long run unterminated which is not advisable.
Old 11th October 2018
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Thornton View Post
Wordclock has an impedance of 75Ω although it will work over short distances over almost any type of cable (this is NOT a recommendation, just an FYI).

Similarly, termination is often not necessary over short cables, but again it's generally good form to terminate.

Cables longer than just a few metres should always be terminated. The longer the cable, the greater the attenuation and the potential for reflections.

Not sure whether your kit has built in termination. Sometimes there's a switch next to the connector, sometimes wordclock passes through and you would fit a 75Ω BNC/resistor to the output.

Using Y splits will often be fine again for short runs but you should not try to drive 2 long cables via a Y split and terminate both. But then you have a long run unterminated which is not advisable.
Thank you so much! Your comment was very helpful!

My BNC cable is 1 meter long I think. I'm going to order one of those terminators just to be safe.

Ok, so I only need 1 of them, and I only need to connect it to the wordclock OUTPUT on my Mytek ADC. I was thinking about ordering 2, but if I only need 1, then I'll just do that instead. And according to a video I watched today, I think I only need 1 wordclock cable, as it's a one way system. I appreciate your help a lot!
Old 12th October 2018
  #7
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If the Mytek is the master, the BNC cable goes from the output of the Mytek wordclock to the Steinberg wordclock input which needs a T connector hooked to the wordclock input of the Steinberg.
The other side of the T connector (the one not connected to the Mytek and the one not connected to the Steinberg) has the 75ohm terminator put on it.

The Avocet doesn't have a wordclock input as it syncs to whatever digital input signal it is receiving.
Old 12th October 2018
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
If the Mytek is the master, the BNC cable goes from the output of the Mytek wordclock to the Steinberg wordclock input which needs a T connector hooked to the wordclock input of the Steinberg.
The other side of the T connector (the one not connected to the Mytek and the one not connected to the Steinberg) has the 75ohm terminator put on it.

The Avocet doesn't have a wordclock input as it syncs to whatever digital input signal it is receiving.
Ok thanks! But just to clarify things, only the wordclock input on the interface would need to be terminated according to another forum. It's pointless to terminate the WC output. So what I said earlier was wrong.

Second of all, termination is for big systems. I only have my Steinberg interface, My Mytek ADC and my Cranesong DAC. So in other words, I'm only using one BNC cable. So that one cable would terminate itself, or something like that (don't remember exactly.) I'm just saying what I learned from that other thread. According to Mytek, if the cable is short, and it's just one cable and two devices, then I shouldn't terminate it.

And surely I would only need this type of terminator. I don't need the T connector when I'm only using one cable.
Damar & Hagen 1-8566-13120-1 – Thomann UK

So, I don't know if I need to buy a terminator at all. Maybe the Steinberg has a jumper inside, I don't know.
Old 12th October 2018
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
If the Mytek is the master, the BNC cable goes from the output of the Mytek wordclock to the Steinberg wordclock input which needs a T connector hooked to the wordclock input of the Steinberg.
The other side of the T connector (the one not connected to the Mytek and the one not connected to the Steinberg) has the 75ohm terminator put on it.

The Avocet doesn't have a wordclock input as it syncs to whatever digital input signal it is receiving.
Ok. So I don't need to worry about the Avocet. I have it connected to the interface and the Mytek ADC via SPDIF, but I've selected the "wordclock" setting on the Steinberg interface.
Old 12th October 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PerGunnar View Post
Ok thanks! But just to clarify things, only the wordclock input on the interface would need to be terminated according to another forum. It's pointless to terminate the WC output. So what I said earlier was wrong.
You aren't terminating outputs or inputs. You are terminating the pulse signal coming from the wordclock generator that is flowing down the BNC cable.

Many audio interfaces have wordclock termination but nowhere on the Steinberg info does it state the MR816X has it. If a device has both a wordclock input and wordclock output and there isn't an option to terminate via a physical button on the back or from the control panel software, and there's no mention of termination in the manual, it is most likely not terminated internally. If you have a multimeter, you could actually measure if there's a 75 ohm resistor on the MR816X's wordclock input.

The point of termination is you terminate the endpoint away from the clock generator (the master clock.) So if your Mytek is the clock master and you are sending to the wordclock input of the MR816X and that's the end of the signal chain, you terminate the signal at the MR816X.

If the MR816X does not self-terminate or is not internally terminate, then you put a T connector on the wordclock input of the MR816X so that you can attach both the cable coming from the Mytek (where the signal is generated) and then also terminate it at that point at the other end of the T since the signal stops there.

You have two devices and very short distances. You most likely don't need terminators. But this is how it is done to be correct.
Old 12th October 2018
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PerGunnar View Post
Ok, so I only need 1 of them, and I only need to connect it to the wordclock OUTPUT on my Mytek ADC. I was thinking about ordering 2, but if I only need 1, then I'll just do that instead. And according to a video I watched today, I think I only need 1 wordclock cable, as it's a one way system. I appreciate your help a lot!
Yes. Only terminate a single wordclock driver once, and at the end of its chain. If there's no Wordclock Out on the last device then a BNC-T is used to create the necessary connector to add your terminator.

As I said before, termination is not generally necessary for systems with only short cables.

It's useful to have a 75Ω BNC terminator in your kit so get one or two, but there's nothing special about them that you need spend very much. It's a cheap connector with a 1pence resistor in it. As long as it connects correctly it will do its job. The thomann link you posted is fine but something like this:
NEW BNC TERMINATOR 75 OHM CCTV TERMINATION FOR AUDIO VIDEO END CAP CONNECTOR | eBay
will do exactly the same job.
Old 15th October 2018
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Thornton View Post
Yes. Only terminate a single wordclock driver once, and at the end of its chain. If there's no Wordclock Out on the last device then a BNC-T is used to create the necessary connector to add your terminator.

As I said before, termination is not generally necessary for systems with only short cables.

It's useful to have a 75Ω BNC terminator in your kit so get one or two, but there's nothing special about them that you need spend very much. It's a cheap connector with a 1pence resistor in it. As long as it connects correctly it will do its job. The thomann link you posted is fine but something like this:
NEW BNC TERMINATOR 75 OHM CCTV TERMINATION FOR AUDIO VIDEO END CAP CONNECTOR | eBay
will do exactly the same job.
Ok. I'm going to order a T connector and a resistor from Thomann now. I'm going to order a bunch of stuff from Thomann anyway, so I might as well order the resistor and the T connector as well.

pro snake BNC Angle T Connection 75 Ohm – Thomann UK
pro snake Resistor 75 Ohms BNC – Thomann UK

I have no idea how to determine whether it will be an improvement or not. I mean, if I don't hear any clicks and pops and drop outs, could it still be beneficial in any way? It's temping to just connect the thing and forget about it. It can't do any harm, right?
Old 16th October 2018
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

No, you won't do any harm terminating. In a setup with short cable runs, you won't hear a difference between terminating and not. It's just generally good policy to terminate and you then have the parts required for any future potential to rearrange things in such a way as to require long cable runs.
Old 16th October 2018
  #14
Lives for gear
 

I’m pretty sure the mr816x is internally terminated on the word clock input. I used to use a few of those together for a live recording rig
Old 16th October 2018
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duncansound View Post
I’m pretty sure the mr816x is internally terminated on the word clock input. I used to use a few of those together for a live recording rig
Hmm. I've just placed my order at Thomann. So now I'm really confused. So... if the MR816X is already terminated, then what would happen if I were to terminate it twice?

I don't think I will be able to cancel my order in time. But the parts literally costs nothing, so it's nice to have them available in my studio I guess.

I have a multimeter I think. I guess I could measure if there is a resistor or not inside the MR816X. Don't really know how to do that, but I guess I can figure it out. I can also send an e-mail to Steinberg and ask whether the WC input on the MR816X is terminated or not.
Old 4th November 2018
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Just had a glance at the manual. It doesn't mention termination, which is a bit poor, but my guess would be that the input is internally terminated and the output is buffered - thereby isolating it from WCL IN. If so, that means terminating the WCL OUT when connected to the next device would be fine and not affect the WCL IN impedance. Again, IF that is the case. Would be nice of Steinberg to mention it in their documentation?!
A simple multimeter check on the WCL IN might reveal something. If it reads 75Ω across the pin/shell then that would suggest what I said above.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Thornton View Post
Just had a glance at the manual. It doesn't mention termination, which is a bit poor, but my guess would be that the input is internally terminated and the output is buffered - thereby isolating it from WCL IN. If so, that means terminating the WCL OUT when connected to the next device would be fine and not affect the WCL IN impedance. Again, IF that is the case. Would be nice of Steinberg to mention it in their documentation?!
A simple multimeter check on the WCL IN might reveal something. If it reads 75Ω across the pin/shell then that would suggest what I said above.
I tried to measure the resistance using a multimeter, but I was unable to get a reading. The reason is because there is too little space behind my desk, so I couldn't see what I was doing, so I didn't hit the target so to speak. The actual input and output are very small, and when you can't see the input/output directly, it wasn't easy. That's what happens when you have a small home studio, you never have enough space. And when you have to crawl behind the desk every time, you have to connect everything at an angle without seeing properly. Oh well, guess I'll just forget about the resistor and the T-connector and keep them as a souvenir in my drawer.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
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Attach cable to BNC. Measure from cable end.
That’s how you get around issues like this since then you can be in a more comfortable place.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PerGunnar View Post
I tried to measure the resistance using a multimeter, but I was unable to get a reading. The reason is because there is too little space behind my desk, so I couldn't see what I was doing, so I didn't hit the target so to speak. The actual input and output are very small, and when you can't see the input/output directly, it wasn't easy. That's what happens when you have a small home studio, you never have enough space. And when you have to crawl behind the desk every time, you have to connect everything at an angle without seeing properly. Oh well, guess I'll just forget about the resistor and the T-connector and keep them as a souvenir in my drawer.
The easier option would be to connect a BNC cable and measure from the other end. The cable itself would make no measurable difference to the reading. As I said previously though, it's not worth stressing over for small systems with short cable lengths.
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