What are Patch Panels and what are they used for?
Patch Panels are central switching gears between audio equipment. Patch panels are used to switch and route analog and digital audio signals from and to equipment in recording studios, broadcast studios or trucks, churches, stadiums, etc.
How do patch panels work and what types does Neutrik offer?
Patch panels usually consist of two rows of standard ¼” (A-Gauge, EIA RS-453 standard), longframe ¼” (B-Gauge, BPO316 standard) or bantam jacks in the front and various wiring or connecting possibilities on the back and can be mounted into 19” racks. All Neutrik patch panels offer various normalling possibilities between top and bottom row. It’s common to wire (or connect) the equipment to the back of the panels and use patch cables to switch and route the signals from the front.
Basically Neutrik offers two different patch systems:
Professional patch panels with permanent wiring
Semi-professional feed through patch panel with ¼” jacks at the front and back (NYS-SPP-L1)
Which type of patch cables should I use?
All professional Longframe (¼” TB) patch panels require the use of Longframe (B-Gauge, BPO316 standard) plugs. Neutrik offers various patch cables with these types of plugs (NKTB*).
The semi-professional ¼” patch panels, like our NYS-SPP-L1 (feed through patch panel), require standard ¼” plugs (EIA RS-453 standard).
Bantam TT patch panels work together with the smaller (4.4 mm) Bantam Plugs. Neutrik offers patch cables with these connectors (NKTT*).
Is it possible to use digital (AES/EBU) audio signals with Neutrik patch panels?
Yes, all Neutrik patch panels are able to handle digital audio signals.
Can digital audio signals and analog signals be routed through a Neutrik patch panel at the same time?
Yes it can. We suggest grouping the digital and analog signals together. There should be at least four unused jacks between the analog and the digital circuits, this will avoid “bleeding over” of digital signals to audio signals (cross talk of low level clicking noises).
Can I run phantom powered microphone signals through patch panels? Which one should I use?
First of all it is not recommended to run phantom power through a patch panel. We do not suggest using phantom power with any patch panel. If you have to run phantom powered signals through a patch panel we suggest using our NPP-TB Series. This type of patch panel has normalling contacts for TIP, RING and SLEEVE contacts and with a few adjustments it provides the best possible conditions for the usage of phantom powered microphone signals.
What is the best way to pass a phantom powered microphone signal through a patch panel?
To provide phantom powered microphone patching, all of the shields (SLEEVE contacts) from this device must be tied together. This can be accomplished by grouping the grounds of these channels via the PCB bus (using solder bridges). This group is then connected to the general technical ground.
To provide phantom powered microphone patching, all of the shields (SLEEVE contacts) from this device must be tied together. This can be accomplished by grouping the grounds of these channels via the PCB bus (using solder bridges). This group is then connected onto the general technical ground. Because of the missing SLEEVE normalling contact it is necessary to wire internally the ground (sleeve) contact of the top and bottom row of each channel. If this is critical with respect to possible ground loops make the connections via patch cable instead of using the normalling feature.
Neutrik does not recommend putting any type of phantom power or simplex power through a patch panel. However, if you must run phantom power through the NYS-SPP-L1 Patch Panel, make sure to install the included grounding clips to Chassis Common, on every module that will have phantom power running through it. And always make sure to turn off the phantom power before patching and unpatching! You will also need to tie or bond the NYS Panel to the technical ground of your system.