Jump to content

HELP! Waterproofing XLRs


Ryan
 Share

Recommended Posts

After doing a show in Canada in the freezing cold and snow, I wanted to find out what the best and easiest way to waterproof an XLR connection is, between two cables.

 

I had 4 PA towers, and that's a lot of XLR breakouts of snakes, as well as 200 foot runs with 2 100' XLR cables that are connected where there was snow and melted snow.

 

Also, it was about -10C when I was setting up, so using e-tape and plastic bags was a time-wasting activity, not to mention annoying because I was wearing snowboard gloves and I had to take them off to peel the e-tape with my fingernail every time I had a new one to do...

 

So, is there a simple way to waterproof 2 XLR connectors?

I've been searching and searching, and there isn't really a commercially available product specifically made for XLR connectors, so I've been searching deeper into things I can repurpose for this job - such as bicycle handlebar grips... garden hose couplers... etc. etc. etc.

 

What have you guys done that waterproofs your connections quickly and something you can hopefully do with heavy warm gloves on? Some of the shows I'll be doing in Russia, Canada, Europe... all outdoors and VERY cold...

 

I've looked at Saran wrap, but I'm a little weary of it because of the pollution aspect of it...

 

Thanks in advance!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you tried Nexcare waterproof medical tape? It's what I use on boom and cables to waterproof connections and I have had great success so far. It's available at most drugstores, not too expensive, highly waterproof, stretchy to cover oddly shaped connections and adheres to itself very well. 

 

As a side note, I don't know how that tape will fare in the cold conditions you are discussing. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You pull on this stuff, stretch it, and wrap both XLR's from cable to cable.

http://uteck.com/magic_wrap.html

Turns to solid rubber so to get the XLR's apart you will need a box cutter, it seals very well, and doesn't bleed like electrical tape.

I've found it at Lowes and Hime Depot in Canada, and I believe it is a Canadian product. Only issue I have had is they sometimes cut the roll incorrectly and it won't stretch properly as the grain is the wrong way around. If it snaps when you stretch it they have screwed up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Markertek sells Tomy tape: http://m.markertek.com/product/list/self-fusing-silicone-tape/http:%7C%7Cwww.markertek.com%7Cmobile%7CExpendables%7CGaffers-Tape-Adhesive%7CSelf-Fusing-Silicone-Tape.xhtml

I have used this alot and it works well. It may not be the cheapest solution but it does work.

 

 

You pull on this stuff, stretch it, and wrap both XLR's from cable to cable.

http://uteck.com/magic_wrap.html

Turns to solid rubber so to get the XLR's apart you will need a box cutter, it seals very well, and doesn't bleed like electrical tape.

I've found it at Lowes and Hime Depot in Canada, and I believe it is a Canadian product. Only issue I have had is they sometimes cut the roll incorrectly and it won't stretch properly as the grain is the wrong way around. If it snaps when you stretch it they have screwed up.

 

I think these two are great suggestions.  The "tommy tape" is also the same as "rescue tape".  All of these work by sticking to itself without the use of an adhesive.  Many adhesives fail in the extreme cold so that rules out gaffers tape and probably electrical tape but these suggested tapes will work as they stretch tightly around things and then sticks to itself and forms a permanent bond when pressure is applied.  They leave zero residue also which is great.

 

As mentioned you do have to cut it off but that's easy.

 

I also like the tupperware idea!

 

Don't get frostbite!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have not used these particular connector covers, I could not find the ones I bought 12 years ago, that are still working fine btw. I have two carts so storing them is not a problem. If the OP is wearing a backpack while carrying over 1000 feet of xlr plus multiple breakout boxes and P.A.'s then, well he has other troubles. I understand if your working out of a bag these may not be for you but I don't and they work very well for keeping moisture out of connectors. Having waterproof connectors on every cable is an expensive and maybe not practical solution. Although I do see the merits, personally I have never used them. I work in Vancouver BC one of the rainiest cities in the PNW. I have lots of experience in the rain and this is my recommendation.

Best,

Graham

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think when the goal is waterproofing a connection sticky side out might be impractical.

Best,

Graham

Only the first layer or two. Then tape normally.

 

Example

 

2 layers of Scotch 88 sticky side up

2 layers of Scotch 130 linerless rubber, this stuff pretty much melts together.

2 layers of Scotch 88 sticky side down for a finish layer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the ideal of the self fusing tape and the 3M sleeves.  No adhesive to worry about then.  I would fold over and secure the sleeve above the connector with a small cable tie.  Then start the tape around the sleeve and work your way up the cable away from the connector.  The idea is like applying shingles on a roof.  You start at the lowest point and work your way up so the water runs over the tape layers not into them.  This really helps if the cables are hanging.  Also, if they're hanging the male shell should be on top so if moisture does get in, the water will run over and not into the connector.  If the cables have to lay on the ground then seal both ends the way I described.  Do try to keep them elevated if you can.  To make it easier to remove the tape, leave a tear off tab to help get it started.  If you use electrical tape it can work in cold temps if you keep it in a pocket near your body.  You'd use the same technique and maybe wouldn't need the cable tie.  If you stretch and break the e tape you can make a tear tab there too so you don't have such a hard time starting it again.   I've seen whole sideline assemblies and hardware in plastic tubs with holes cut in the sides, off the ground, for cables to go into and out of.  The whole multi ends/breakouts can live in there and be out of the weather for the most part.  You would just need some foam or something stuffed in the holes to keep blowing snow out.   Put a cable tester on all your long cables before you go out so you won't have to tear things apart and trouble shoot out in the field.  Sorry this got so long, but hope its useful.

BB 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...