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What type of cable should I use with the Catapult?
If you are going to be transmitting AES digital audio or using microphones which require phantom power, then you must use shielded Cat 5 or Cat 6 cable. Otherwise, you may use shielded or unshielded Cat 5 or Cat 6 cable to transmit audio between your Catapults.
Which Catapult models can be used with AES digital audio?
All of the Catapult models will transmit AES signals over shielded Cat 5 or Cat 6 cable, but any of the transformer-equipped models (TX4M, RX4M, TX4L, RX4L) will not pass AES through their ‘ISO’ outputs. This is because the isolation transformers in those units will block the AES signal. You can still transmit AES over Cat 5 between two transformer-equipped Catapult units, just ensure that you are using the direct inputs and outputs on each box.
Can I use the Catapult for speaker level signals?
No. Not unless you are running very low level signals. The wire inside a Cat 5 cable is not thick enough to transmit speaker levels. For speakers, you really need 18-gauge wire or larger.
Can I use the Catapult to transmit unbalanced signals?
Unbalanced signals require a coaxial cable design with an integral shield. Sending unbalanced signals over a balanced cable does not provide any benefit. It may work, but you will likely encounter noise, particularly if you extend the cable beyond 8 meters (25′).
I notice a ground lift. If depressed, does this shut off phantom power?
It depends on where the phantom power is being derived. The ground lift switch disconnects the shield at the RJ45 connector. So if you are feeding phantom to the mics on the transmit side (TX module), then this has no effect on the phantom power. If power is coming from a distant console via the RX module, then phantom will be cut off.
How is it that the Catapult can be used for AES signals?
The characteristic cable impedance for AES signals is 110 Ohms. As luck will have it, Cat 5 cable has a similar characteristic impedance at 100 Ohms. This makes them compatible for use.
How far can I transmit analog audio signals using Cat 5 cable?
We have tested the transmission to 100 meters (300′) without problem. As with any audio snake, when you extend beyond a certain length of cable, you may begin to experience more noise and high frequency signal loss due to capacitance.
Can I daisy-chain a couple of Catapults together to create a 3-way isolated mic splitter?
Yes, although each time you pass signal through a transformer, you will experience a degree of signal loss. So ganging several together should be tested, particularly with low level mics.
Can I use the Catapult as a 2 x 2 or 3 x 1 bidirectional audio snake?
Yes, you can use the Catapult system to send signals in both directions simultaneously. However, due to the differences in signal strength between mic and line-level signals, you may have crosstalk from the line-level signals onto the mic channels.