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Pro Cable Tester: can it tell you how a Microphone is wired/pin placement?

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Rob Rippe
Pro Cable Tester: can it tell you how a Microphone is wired/pin placement?
on May 16, 2012 at 5:24:41 pm

I have an assortment of Lav microphones I would like to use with different recorders (gopro, Zoom H2's iPhone/Pad).

I would like to solve the issue without cutting the Lav cords. (I wanted to buy or build adapters)

Mics I want to adapt:
four with mini-XLR female ends (from samon micro 32)
two with 1/8" locking 3 section jack ends (from Sony UWP-1)

I have ordered a mini-XLR male to stereo 1/8" for the Samson Lav's but not sure the wiring will be compatible.
I also understand the Sony UWP 1/8" locking Lav mic is wired differently then most stereo 1/8" jack ends.

After looking for days, I can find little information on manufactures wiring schemes or wiring compatibility.

I was hoping an advanced cable tester could solve the hidden riddle of how the Mic is wired/pined and test for bad cables at the same time. (killing 2 birds with 1 stone sort of thing)

I've looked at:
PYLE PRO PCT40 and 60, Ebtech swizz-ct, Behringer ct-100.

Anyone have experience or suggestions on what might be the best path?
and if appropriate, what would be the most user friendly tester?

Thanks,
Rob


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Richard Crowley
Re: Pro Cable Tester: can it tell you how a Microphone is wired/pin placement?
on May 17, 2012 at 1:21:14 am

No, there is no reliable and readily available method of discerning the wiring/pinout of random lav mics.

In order to make adapters for XLR, as you say, you must know the pinout of the various connectors. The easiest and most reliable method of doing this is to identify what transmitter make/model the microphone was wired for, and then emulate that connection.

If you don't know the make/model transmitter the mic was wired for, the next best is to open the connector shell and note the wire colors and which pins they are connected to. Then refer to the documentation for the microphone itself to discern which wire is signal, power, etc.

If you don't know the make/model of the microphone itself you could resort to experimental tests to work backwards and figure out the wire color coding. But it is extremely easy to destroy the microphone by that method and I wouldn't recommend it to the inexperienced.


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Brian Reynolds
Re: Pro Cable Tester: can it tell you how a Microphone is wired/pin placement?
on May 17, 2012 at 6:51:00 am

This might help..... or it might not.

http://countryman.com/display.asp?catid=4&pid=75

The difference between Knowledge and Wisdom is... Knowledge is the knowing of facts.... Wisdom is the sensible application of good quality knowledge...


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Rob Rippe
Re: Pro Cable Tester: can it tell you how a Microphone is wired/pin placement?
on May 17, 2012 at 12:19:52 pm

Thanks Brian I'll check it out!


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Rob Rippe
Re: Pro Cable Tester: can it tell you how a Microphone is wired/pin placement?
on May 17, 2012 at 1:33:33 pm

Richard,
Thanks for your response, it's of great help!

Your quote
"The easiest and most reliable method of doing this is to identify what transmitter make/model the microphone was wired for, and then emulate that connection."

Any suggestion on a resource or area to search for specific transmitter make/models?
As I'm only finding small tidbits in groups like this about wiring problems for non-sony Lavs for the Sony UWP Series.

one is a Samson T32 (micro 32)
one is a Sony UWP Series

I've tried esi (http://www.eserviceinfo.com/) a great resource for schematic and service manuals.

I have seen that Sony sells a UWP specific connector for $30.00 with a wire diagram.
I'm confident the diagram info is out there, it's just so hard to find. (Google results feel narrower every year)

Again, thanks for your time and knowledge

Rob


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Richard Crowley
Re: Pro Cable Tester: can it tell you how a Microphone is wired/pin placement?
on May 17, 2012 at 7:32:50 pm

If you look at the Countryman page that Mr. Reynolds cited, the Samson T32 appears to use some sort of 3-pin connector. Pin 1 is clearly the ground/shield, and in all cases pins 2 and 3 are connected together. I suspect that one of those pins is the audio input and the other is the DC bias voltage output. If you have the transmitter, it should be nearly trivial to work out which is which, and what the DC voltage is.

And, refering to the same Countryman page, the Sony UWP appears to use a 3.5mm mini TRS phone connector. The sleeve is ground/shield, and I suspect that the tip is the audio signal and the ring is the DC bias power. (Or possibly vice-versa, but I don't think so).


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Rob Rippe
Re: Pro Cable Tester: can it tell you how a Microphone is wired/pin placement?
on May 17, 2012 at 8:48:07 pm

Thanks for your help Richard


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