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Re: Split cable

Subject: Re: Split cable
From: Walter Knapp <>
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 20:01:00 -0400
Jeremy Minns wrote:

> When I recorded with a DAT, which was useless for playback, I carried a 
> TCM5000 cassette recorder as well and had a neat split cable from the 
> Sennheiser ME62 microphone to two XLRs for the DAT and a mini-plug for the 
> cassette recorder. I could record on both recorders simultaneously. Now I 
> am using an MKH20 mic running on phantom power connected to a Portadisc. As 
> the Portadisc gets through so many batteries when used for playback I am 
> thinking of getting a consumer MD for this pupose. I had hoped to use the 
> same split cable from the MKH20 to the Portadisc and the consumer MD but 
> to-day I tried this, using a cassette recorder instead of the consumer MD, 
> and failed to record on either.
> Is there any way to make this setup work or is it doomed because of the 
> MKH20's requirement of phantom power? It's bad enough going back to 
> carrying two recorders in the field without carrying two microphones as 
> well. Or leaving my expensive new MKH20 at home.

Without putting a meter to the cable I can only guess. My guess is that 
the cable ties signal -  to the shield. This would act a a dead short of 
one leg of the phantom power, so would kill it working. The test would 
be to check if pins 1 & 3 of the XLR connectors are tied together 
electrically using a ohm meter.

The two ways I can think of making it work is to simply not connect the 
shield of the mic or portadisc to the shield of your unbalanced 
recorder. Just connect signal - to that connection.

The other way is to isolate the DC phantom power with capacitors so it 
won't get shorted.

> I feel quite embarrassed at the number of questions I put to this group! 
> But so far I've always found you very helpful and responsive.

Everyone learns sometime. It's a good part of what this group is about, 
helping each other.



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