FAQs

TMB Questions

Are you a rental company?

No, absolutely not. Throughout our history, TMB's number one market has been the professional rental companies. TMB takes great care not to compete in its customers' markets.

Do you sell Christmas lights?

Yes. TMB provides everything a Lighting Company might need, including standard or custom light festoons! How many miles would you like?

Are you open on Saturday?

Yes: Our Sales office is not open over the weekend, but you can always reach us on one of our 24-hour emergency lines to arrange an emergency shipment or to get an answer for an urgent question.

Los Angeles: +1 818.829.6116
New York: +1 201.219.0159
London: +44 (0)76.6920.6952

What does “EXW” mean?

TMB routinely uses the following shipping terms (also known as incoterms): EXW, DAP and DDP.
We use EXW for any international shipment that is collected by a customer or their agent from a TMB location.
We use DAP for any international shipment for which TMB is arranging delivery to the customer.​
We use DDP for international shipments for which we bear the cost of import charges (usually for samples or memo loans).

ProPlex Data Distribution Devices Questions

What is PoE?

PoE or Power Over Ethernet, is a system designed to carry both power and data signal over and ethernet cable.

What sort of devices can utilize PoE (Power over Ethernet)?

VoIP phones, IP cameras including pan–tilt–zoom camera, Wireless access points and Network routers, Network Intercom / Paging / Public address systems and hallway speaker amplifiers, Wall clocks in rooms and hallways, with time set using Network Time Protocol, Lighting controllers and LED Lighting fixtures, Stage and Theatrical devices, such as networked audio breakout and routing boxes, Remote Point of Sale (POS) kiosks, And many more!

How do I recalibrate the touch screen on a MasterFade?

The MasterFade touch screen can be re-calibrated to get rid of any odd interactive issues. To do this, hold the ‘Page Up’ and ‘Page Down’ buttons below the screen simultaneously while powering on the unit. Once the process begins you can release the buttons and follow the instructions on screen.

How can I be sure my IQ is running the latest firmware and how do I update it if it is not?

The IQ displays the installed firmware version on the boot screen when the unit is first powered. You can also view the installed version in the IQ Manager Software or the onboard webpage interface. The latest firmware version can be checked by visiting the product page. Additionally, IQ One and IQ Mini with Firmware below 3.0 can be sent to TMB for updating. All IQs with FWV 3.0 and above can be updated anywhere through the IQ Manager Software with access to the internet.

DVI Parrot Questions

What is the DVI Parrot?

The DVI Parrot is a device that reads and emulates EDID information for analog and digital video signals.

What is EDID?

Extended Display Identification Data is information about a display’s supported resolutions, timings, formats, chromacity, and other media parameters that a display sends back to the connected graphics card. Without this information, the graphics card doesn’t know what video signals it can output, or even that a display is connected.

Why is the Parrot useful?

Three reasons:

  1. It allows technicians to view EDID from display devices, as well as to create or tweak custom EDID profiles.
  2. It gives the graphics card the proper parameters to output video, even if the connected display device cannot.
  3. It keeps video software from crashing by preventing graphics ports from shutting down in the event that a display is disconnected.

How is the Parrot programmed?

Over USB with editing software called the Parrot Trainer, for PC/Mac

a. What do the toolbar buttons do?

i. Teach Parrot: Uploads the EDID profile in the editor to a Parrot
ii. Read Monitor: Downloads the EDID from a monitor connected to a Parrot
iii. Read Parrot: Downloads the EDID stored on a Parrot
iv. Spoof EDID: Tells a Parrot to emulate the EDID stored in its memory; toggles between spoof and pass-thru
v. Parrot menu: Shows all DVI Parrots locally connected via USB
vi. Squawk!: Makes the LED flash on the Parrot selected in the menu for easy identification
vii. Save: Saves the EDID profile currently in the editor to a computer drive
viii. Open: Loads an existing profile from a computer drive into the editor
ix. New: Creates a new EDID profile

b. What are the tabs?
One summary tab, plus tabs representing the 4 blocks of data in the current EDID specification. The data blocks are separated because each block supports newer, more complex settings for display devices. Provisions exist to support even more blocks of data in later revisions of EDID. Because these blocks are modular, two devices with different EDID revisions can communicate using only the blocks that both devices understand.

i. Summary: Overviews the parameters specified in the four data blocks of the EDID profile currently in the editor.
ii. Display: Identification, EDID version, video input definition, feature support, chromacity, image size, gamma value.
iii. Simple Timing: Established resolutions/refresh rates, standard timings with custom refresh rates.
iv. Detailed Timing:

1. Block 1: Timing sync/offsets, sync signal, stereo display.
2. Blocks 2-4: Additional display data.

v. Extension block: Underscan, audio, video compression, and additional timing support.

What are .edid files?

The EDID profiles saved from the editor to a computer drive.

  1. Why is the Parrot system unique? EDID profiles can be edited, archived, duplicated and distributed without the physical presence of any emulators or display devices.
  2. How are the files shared? EDID profiles can be shared in any manner available to other computer files—flash drives, network drives, email, IM, FTP, and more!

How is the Parrot used without the software?

  1. To enable/disable spoofing, momentarily press the Mode button to turn spoofing on or off. The indicator light will be green for “on” and blue for “off”.
  2. To read a display’s EDID directly into the Parrot, press and hold the Mode button for 5 seconds until the light stops flashing. If the flashing is green, the display is being read. If the flashing is red, the display cannot be read.

How does the Parrot get power?

The DVI Parrot can operate using power from either a USB or a DVI port.

How does the Parrot program other emulators?

Other emulators may be limited to only emulating the EDID they can read from actual displays. Using the Parrot Trainer, the DVI Parrot can program any EDID information into these other emulators, without requiring any EDID profiles from potentially buggy displays.

Electrical "Legality" Questions

Can a cable rated at 100A support a full continous 12K load?

Yes (unless your voltage is below 120 Volts):
At 120 Volts a "12K" (12,000 Watt) load draws 100 Amps.
At 240 Volts a "12K" (12,000 Watt) load draws 50 Amps.

What is the maximum length of cable for 1000 watt loads in 16 gauge, 14 gauge, 12 gauge and 10 gauge?

Wire Gauge
Voltage Drop
Maximum Length
#16
1V/100'
470'
#14
0.6V/100'
1600'
#12
0.4V/100'
4200'
#10
0.25V/100'
9000'

What's the difference between ETL Listing & UL Listing?

None. UL is more widely known, which may have some marketing benefits, but ETL is also certified as a "Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory" and products that are ETL approved have been tested to the same standards as UL.

The Sister-Lug is a type of bussbar clamp used for feeder connections in the West Coast Studio Industry. Approved and "legal" versions are available from TMB and Mole-Richardson.

No. The NEC requires connectors used on feeders to be "Listed and of the locking type" - the traditional "Studio-Pin" is neither.

Listed "Type W" and "Type SC" (Entertainment Grade) feeder cables are both specifically mentioned in the NEC as "legal" for entertainment applications. TMB supplies both types: The "Type W" feeder cables are more durable, but also heavier and more expensive. The "Type SC" feeder cables are less durable but also less expensive and lighter in weight. The "Type W" is also approved for a wider range of applications than the "type SC". TMB would recommend "Type W" for general use and "Type SC" for certain applications such as on studio lots.

Regular single-pole cam type connectors are only legal when used by "qualified persons". If your feeder connections are not being made and unmade by qualified, trained professionals, you must use some kind of Interlocked system.

No. Type W is available in versions that are not UL Listed, these versions are not allowable for Entertainment Industry applications.

Fibre Questions

Does TMB stock dual-core fibre cable?

TMB has made the decision to standardize on quad fibre assemblies for several reasons:

  • Four fibres under the one jacket gives the cable a lot more flexibility.
  • It is possible to combine various signals in one cable through the use of a combiner/splitter device. TMB has products in the pipeline which will utilize all four fibres.
  • Four fibres configure themselves into a square symmetrical grouping, giving extra strength and protection to the individual fibres more so than the side-by-side configuration of dual fibre.
  • Almost the same price – quad fibre cable and OpticalCons are almost the same cost, only slightly more than the duo alternatives.
  • TMB stocks quad OM3 MM ProPlex Fibre assemblies with OpticalCon Quad connectors in standard lengths ready for immediate shipment.

What does OM3 mean?

OM3 is an ISO classification based on the bandwidth that the fibre is capable of carrying. OM3 cable is capable of carrying 1GB ethernet up to 550m and 10GB ethernet up to 300m.

What is the difference between Single Mode & Multi-Mode?

In a nut shell: you can transmit more data over multimode fibre, but you max out at a shorter distance.  With singlemode fibre, you can transmit a smaller amount of information a greater distance.

Why do you use quad cable in your OpticalCon Duo assemblies?

We make our OpticalCon Duo assemblies with quad cable.  Here is our thinking:  The symmetrical, square, quad configuration actually protects the fibres from damage by crushing , much better than two fibres, where one often ends up on top of the other. Also, the actual extra fibres are not very expensive, the least costly part of the cable, so represent a small additional cost over dual fibre.

Why is the case option for your ProPlex Fibre reels such a lightweight case?

A lightweight, fibre case option is included in the price, ideal for light protection, or to protect the fibre reel inside a larger heavy-duty flight case or trunk.

Cable Questions

Who actually is the manufacturer of your Dataplex and ProPlex cables?

That is proprietory information but all ProPlex and Dataplex cables are built to TMB exclusive designs to ensure that they are the best data cables available anywhere in the world!

What is the pin out on DMX cables?

1=screen, 2= pair 1 data-, 3=pair1 data+, 4= pair2 data-, 5=pair 2 data+

What is the voltage rating on your install cables?

ProPlex installation data cables are rated at 300v

Do you have direct burial cable?

Some cables in our ProAqua range are rated for direct burial

What can you use your wet location cable for and how deep can it go? Salt water, fresh water, burial.

ProAqua range is tailored and designed to meet the specific chemical requirements of our customers' intended application. TMB marketing can provide more details on request.

Are your cables / connectors UL Listed?

In many cases yes. And almost all TMB cable assemblies are cCSAus certified for USA and Canada. CSA certification is equivalent in all ways to UL listings

What is your warranty on Cable Assemblies?

All TMB cables are built to the highest standards and they are expected to last a very long time.  Our warranty is 1 year for any manufacturing defects.

What are the advantages of using ProPlex data cables with FEP insulation?

  • SUPERIOR ELECTRICAL PROPERTIES. Due to the stability of the low dielectric constant, FEP insulation has the excellent electrical properties required for cables that carry high-speed data.
  • CONSISTENT PERFORMANCE. Using additives in an insulating material may lead to inconsistent performance due to variability in manufacturing. FEP requires NO additives to meet signal performance for low capacity and low loss.
  • UNEXCELLED FIRE SAFETY PROPERTIES. Remarkable resistance to high temperature and flames because of very high melting points and auto–ignition temperatures, as well as exceptional thermal degradation thresholds. Flame propagation characteristics, such as the rate of heat release and smoke generation, are all very low.
  • LONG SERVICE LIFE. Outstanding retention of properties after aging, even at high temperatures and in the presence of solvents, oils, oxidizing agents, ultraviolet light, and other environmental agents. Since there is no use of degradable stabilizing additives, FEP offers an important safety advantage when designing products for long service life.
  • WORKING TEMPERATURE. The working temperature for permanent operation of FEP is Minus 100 Degree Celsius to plus 200 Degree Celsius. The melting point of FEP is plus 290 Degree Celsius.

What is the correct wiring for 4-pin XLR cables?

It depends on what they're being used for. While some color changers and fixtures use the same cable and connectors, there are wiring differences that should be followed to avoid adverse effects or damage to units.

Go to the 4-pin XLR wiring tables in the TMB Technical Information area.

What is the standard wiring for an ACL bar?

ACL's are usually 28V. Therefore, an ACL bar is wired in "series" (4x28V=112V).

What's the difference between a Fan-out & a Break-out?

Nothing, they're the same thing. These terms apply to a cable assembly which distributes control or load circuits "out" of a Multicable carrying multiple circuits. It typically comprises a multipin connector wired with several individual cables, one for each circuit.

Can I terminate my multicable directly to stage pin connectors or do I have to always use a breakout?

No: The conductors of Multicables used in stage lighting load distribution are not designed to be "splayed out" to multiple connectors, doing this could be dangerous. A breakout assembly or some kind of transition device should always be used

Is your DMX cable shielded/UL Listed?

Yes and No: All ProPlex Data cables are shielded. The ProPlex "T" series is "UL Recognized" and as such is suitable for permanent installations, however it is not "UL Listed". Typically, Listed status is only a necessity for cables which carry Mains Voltage.

Will your cables make my P.A. systems Buzz?

Yes, unless they are used correctly. Cables do not cause PA noise problems. Incorrect use of cables can cause such problems.

Can you use mic cable for DMX?

No: DMX is a digital control signal (RS485) that needs a true, low-capacitance, control cable. Although mic cable wired to 5-pin XLR connectors may seem to work OK, there is a great danger that there will be problems, when you expect them least. We would say you should use the best possible cable, so that when problems do arise with your DMX equipment, you can eliminate the cable as the cause of trouble.

Can I use 2/0 cable for dimmer pack feeders?

Yes, as long as the type of cable used is approved for such use and the dimmers are not drawing more than the rated current carrying capacity. The feeder cables typically used in the US' Entertainment industry, Types SC and W, have a 290 Amp rating for size 2/0.

Do you sell 2/0 Type W/Entertainment cable

Yes and No: "Type W" and "Entertainment" (actually "Type SC") are 2 different types of feeder cables. TMB sells 2/0 cables of both types.

Can I get 5-wire feeder all in one cable?

No. Multicables are not designed to have the individual conductors "splayed out" to individual connectors. A high power "fan-out" is not practical.

How long should my feeder tails be?

That is up to you. Most customers order 10 foot feeder tails.

What is SC Cable? Is it the same as EISL Cable?

Yes: "Type SC" is the designation in the NEC for cables previously known as "Entertainment Industries Stage Lighting"

What's with the knots in the sash cord on feeder cables in the film industry?

Feeder cables are designated with colored tape and often have knots tied in #8 sash cord at the ends of the cables. The code is as follows:

Hot 1 Black Two knots on one side of sash cord
Hot 2 Red One knot on one side of sash cord
Hot 3 Blue No knots on sash cord
Neutral White One knot on each side of sash cord
Ground Green Two knots on each side of sash cord
Connector Questions

Are there two versions of a 6-pin XLR?

TMB uses the term “Switchcraft compatible” because there are two completely different 6-pin XLR configurations. One is the IEC International Standard – the original used by Neutrik, Canon, etc… This is the 6-pin used by DHA “Light Talk” and Strand remotes. The other is originally unique to Switchcraft, although Neutrik and others make this configuration now (Neutrik calls it “Switchcraft compatible”). This is the 6-pin used for ETC RFU and LINK cables and Rosco fogger remotes.

What is the pin out on a 7-pin Socapex?

There is no standard wiring on a 7-pin connector for motor control. Normally the center pin, (#5), is used for the ground. However, the pins used for control and the pins used for power vary from rental company to rental company. Usually they are in groups - [1,2,3, control], [4,6,7 power], or [1,2,3, power], [4,6,7 control]. There is no industry standard, so you should always double check the wiring of any equipment that is sub rented and used with your gear. The reason to double check your gear is that 7-pin connectors carry power and control together and there is a potential for harming the equipment or the operator if the wiring configuration is not confirmed.

What does the 19th pin of a Socapex do?

Socapex has become a generic term applying to the types of connectors commonly used for "6-circuit" lighting load distribution. In the normal 6-circuit configuration, the 19th pin is not used.

Do VSC & Socapex mate?

VSC stands for "Veam Socapex Compatible". The Litton-Veam VSC series of connectors are fully compatible with Socapex "419" series connectors.

What is the standard wiring of 6-circuit cables using Socapex compatible connectors?

pinout

The standard wiring of 6-circuit cables using Socapex compatible connectors is:

CIRCUIT NUMBER HOT NEUTRAL GROUND
Circuit 1 pin 1 pin 2 pin 13
Circuit 2 pin 3 pin 4 pin 14
Circuit 3 pin 5 pin 6 pin 15
Circuit 4 pin 7 pin 8 pin 16
Circuit 5 pin 9 pin 10 pin 17
Circuit 6 pin 11 pin 12 pin 18

Pin 19 is a blank in this configuration.

Print / Download the PDF version of this chart.  US | UK

What is the standard wiring of 12 circuit cables?

The standard wiring of 12-circuit cables using "Pyle" type 37-pin, 20 Amp connectors is:

CIRCUIT NUMBER HOT NEUTRAL GROUND 
Circuit 1 pin 1 pin 2 pin 3
Circuit 2 pin 4 pin 5 pin 6
Circuit 3 pin 7 pin 8 pin 9
Circuit 4 pin 10 pin 11 pin 12
Circuit 5 pin 13 pin 14 pin 15
Circuit 6 pin 16 pin 17 pin 18
Circuit 7 pin 19 pin 20 pin 21
Circuit 8 pin 22 pin 23 pin 24
Circuit 9 pin 25 pin 26 pin 27
Circuit 10 pin 28 pin 29 pin 30
Circuit 11 pin 31 pin 32 pin 33
Circuit 12 pin 34 pin 35 pin 36

Pin 37 is blank in this configuration.

Can you use Socapex for 8 or 9 circuit load distribution?

Yes, although we would not recommend it. The predominant standard is for 6-circuits and there are many benefits in having "industry-standard" wiring. However, we do have a few customers who use "Socapex" type connectors for 8 or 9 circuits and our assembly shop does fabricate 8 or 9 circuit cable-assemblies to order.

Do you sell a Rosco Bates manufactured by Advance Devices?

Yes and No: "Bates" is a generic term used mostly in West-Coast Studios to describe the "Stage-Pin" or "2P&G" connectors which are commonly used, in 20, 60 and 100 Amp sizes, in Stage and Studio Lighting. Rosco and Advanced Devices are 2 brand names of connectors of this type. Both are available from TMB.

Do you carry Cam-Lok helox devices?

No. "Cam-Lok" and "Helox" are the trademarks of 2 different manufacturers. In the entertainment industry, the term "Cam-Lok" is used to describe the most widely used locking single-pole feeder connectors.

Are my single-pole cam connectors water proof?

No. single-pole cam type connectors common in the entertainment industry are UL-Listed for dry locations only. Equipment using these connectors must be protected from moisture.

How do you assemble a single-pole cam connector?

You could make your life easy and have TMB install the connector for you. If you need to do it yourself, remember the following tips:
1. Lots of WD40 or silicon spray.
2. Do not cut the boot back too far. You want a tight seal!!
3. Make sure to carefully line up the insert stud with the boot receiver before pulling the boot over the insert.
4. Always pull, never push.
5. Use a rag to pull the boot.

Is a single-pole cam connector a locking device?

Yes: Cam connectors are UL Listed as "Locking connectors"

Is it standard to have the sex of neutral & ground cam connectors reversed?

No. There is no standard. It's always a good idea to have a couple of male-to-male and female-to-female adapters in your work trunk. We have them in stock.

Ethernet Questions

What is Ethernet?

Ethernet is a type of Network cabling and signaling specification, originally developed by Xerox in the late 1970’s for commercial building telecommunication and computer cabling systems. Up until the late 1980’s thick or thin Coaxial cable was used for 10 Mbps Ethernet networks, around this time twisted pair cabling became more commonly used since it was easier to install and less expensive.

ProPlex PCCAT5P and PCCAT5EP were designed specifically for the harsh environment found within the entertainment industry, constant coiling, resistant to abuse, environmental conditions, and abrasion etc.

What official standard organizations cover Ethernet cabling products?

IEEE; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Committee 802.

TIA; Telecommunication Industry Association.

EIA; Electronic Industries Alliance.

IEC; International Electrotechnical Committee.

ISO; International Organization for Standardization. (ISO is taken from the Greek word ‘ISOS’ meaning ‘equal’ maintaining international equilibrium.)

ANSI; American National Standards Institute. ANSI do not itself develop American National standards, rather it facilitates development, establishing consensus amongst qualified groups. ANSI promotes the use of the standards internationally and encourages the adoption of the standards internationally.

ANSI was a founder member of ISO and a member of the IEC Governing Committee of Action.

ProPlex PCCAT5P and PCCAT5EP are ETL Verified.

What is the difference between the types UTP, FTP AND SFTP?

UTP, FTP AND SFTP are terms used when discussing the typical specification style of Ethernet cables. All these references offer is whether the Ethernet cable in discussion is shielded or not, and if shielding exists, what type of shielding is applied in the basic structure of the cable.

UTP; Unshielded.

FTP; Aluminum-Mylar Foil Shield.

SFTP; inner Aluminum-Mylar Foil Shield, covered by an outer tinned copper braid shield.
ProPlex PCCAT5P and PCCAT5EP have maximum shielding; 100{4449202df3e2d3c93c4fb8bb3298e7fe24d3e4caf8cacd2ad3fbaacd1d8534b1} Aluminum-Mylar foil shield with an outer 80{4449202df3e2d3c93c4fb8bb3298e7fe24d3e4caf8cacd2ad3fbaacd1d8534b1} tinned copper braid shield-SFTP.

What is Patch cable?

Ethernet cable systems use two types of conductor wire types. The main ‘trunk’ cable uses a solid piece of wire as the conductor (solid conductor), this conductor is not flexible and will break after repeated flexing. It is suitable for installation purposes only in long cable run lengths. This ‘trunk’ cable is often referred to as the ‘Backbone cable’.

A ‘Patch’ cable uses stranded conductors (numerous thinner gauges of wire helixed to form the electrical conductor), the insulated wire is flexible and is used to interconnect (or Patch) the Backbone cable to the ‘Desktop’ equipment in short cable run lengths.

Stranded conductors offer lower electrical performance than solid conductors.

ProPlex PCCAT5P and PCCAT5EP have stranded conductors and hence are classed as ‘Patch’ cables, however their electrical performance is consistent with the ‘backbone’ cables.

What is the difference between 10Base 5, 10Base T, 100BaseT and 1000BaseT?

Ethernet cable terminology refers to the rate of signaling in bits and its baseband (vs. broadband) electrical format. The post-fixed character varies in meaning.

10Base5 is the original IEEE 802.3 'ThickNet" RG-8/U coaxial Ethernet Cable. Ethernet had a 10Mbit/s rate, used baseband signaling and could propagate a maximum of 500m as a segment (if not repeated) and required termination at the farthest end of a daisy-chain of client connections.

10BaseT differs from 10Base5 in employing differential baseband signaling across two twisted pairs in a 4 pair Category 3 (CAT3) cable. The signaling retains the 10Mbit/s rate of its 10Base5 precursor. Significantly, 10BaseT networks deploys as a star configuration from a central hub or switch, reducing the strategic planning and 'stub' lengths typical of 10Base5 lineal daisy chain implementation.

100BaseT employs a 100MB/s signal rate retaining the baseband electrical and the star configurational formats of its 10BaseT precursor. A version of this format defines Category 5 (CAT5) cable for interconnection, employs 3 voltage levels to encode a symbol, and is referred to as 100BaseTX.

1000BaseT increases the signaling rate to 1000Mb/s (1 gigabit/second) while retaining the baseband electrical format and star configuration. Commonly referred to as Gigabit Ethernet, the twisted pair cable implementation requires Category 5e (CAT5e) cabling and employs all 4 pairs within its connecting cable in a bi-directional half-duplex fashion where all pairs transmit simultaneously and then reverse their sense to receive simultaneously.

What does the abbreviation ‘Base’ mean?

`Baseband'. A Baseband network is one that provides a single channel for communications across the physical medium e.g. cable, so only one device can transmit at a time. Devices on a Baseband network are permitted to use all available bandwidth for transmission.

The opposite of `Baseband' is `Broadband'. Broadband implements multiple channels typically using Frequency or Time Division Multiplexing techniques. A typical example of a `Broadband' network is Cable or Satellite TV.

ProPlex PCCAT5P and PCCAT5EP are both Baseband cables.

What is the maximum length of Ethernet cable runs?

This is a little understood characteristic.

Ethernet cables are evaluated either as "channel" or "link" entities. All XBaseT networks assume (by IEEE specification) 100m as the maximum physical length of a full `channel'. This channel is expected to be configured with 90m of the horizontal premise (backbone "home run") cabling and 10m distributed in two 5m lengths at each end of the of the "home run" to connect to the client and switch/hub interconnection.

When testing a XBaseT connection from a Patch Bay to a client end, a Link Test is performed using test connections which are calibrated to conform parametrically as the 5m "patch" ends of a 100m channel.

When testing a XBaseT Channel connection, test equipment assumes the full 100m is to be tested to conform parametrically with the appropriate IEEE specification.

What is the difference between a ‘Straight through’ cable and a ‘Cross-over’ Cable?

Twisted pair Ethernet cables are constructed using 4-color coded twisted pairs (8-conductors), and terminated with RJ45 plug connectors. The standards state that Ethernet cables should be terminated with specific colors on specific pins of the RJ45 plug.

There are 2 standard pin layouts. If a cable has the same layout on both ends it is a `straight through' cable; if the cable has one layout on one end, and the other layout on the other end it is a `cross-over' cable.

Standard EIA/TIA-568 defines the two pin-layouts for `straight-through' RJ45 terminated assemblies. They are called, 1] EIA/TIA-568A and 2] EIA/TIA-568B, the latter now being globally accepted as the default wiring standard for `straight-through' cables.

A `cross-over' cable comprises of one end terminated in accordance to EIA/TIA568-A and the opposite end being terminated in accordance to EIA/TIA568-B. ProPlex `straight through' assemblies are terminated in accordance to EIA/TIA568-B both ends.

What do the CATegories define?

Categories define a cable by type, application and in the higher numeric cables by electrical performance.

Category 1 (CAT1) cable never really existed by that name but is understood as standard voice only, telephone cable.

Category 2 (CAT2) cable was the preferred cable for IBM token ring and Datapoint's ArcNet both early network implementations super-ceded in popularity by Ethernet.

Category 3 (CAT3) cable is standardized by EIA/TIA-568-B specification. This was the common cabling of 10BaseT.

Category 4 (CAT4) cable is a seldom specified cable type used in `Token Ring' or 10Base-T4 baseband networks.

Category 5 (CAT5) was defined by TIA/EIA-568-A and comprises the majority share of historical network cabling for 100BaseT networks.

Category 5e (CAT5e) is an evolved CAT5 type cabling with enhanced specification as defined by TIA/EIA-568B.2-2001. 1000BaseT is designed for operability with CAT5e cable.

Category 6 (CAT6) is intended to be a parametrically enhanced, backward compatible, cable standard for Gigabit and 10Gigabit Ethernet.

What is the difference between CAT5 and CAT5E?

CAT5e is an enhanced (hence the `e') CAT5 cable. Most notably, far end and near end crosstalk (FEXT/NEXT) are more stringently specified.

Both cable types share bandwidth requirement of 100MHz, impedance of 100Ω and maximum channel length of 100m.

CAT5E is the preferred choice for Gigabit Ethernet. While CAT5 is the historical cable for 100BaseT.

The enhanced electrical performance of CAT5E ensures that the cable will support applications that require additional bandwidth such as gigabit Ethernet or analogue video.

PCCAT5P is a CAT5 cable. PCCAT5EP is a CAT5E cable and supports Gigabit Ethernet.

What is the typical construction and number of wires used in Ethernet cables?

Whether the conductor is solid or stranded, twisted pair Ethernet cables are constructed with 8-wires, assembled into 4-twisted pairs.

Minimum Conductor sizes differ across Category cables with CAT5 having a minimum of 26 AWG; CAT5E 24 AWG; CAT6 23 AWG.

The pairs are laid-up, in the case of a UTP cable directly under the outer jacket. In the case of FTP and SFTP the pairs are laid-up, the applicable shields are applied over the assembled pairs and an overall jacket applied.

ProPlex PCCAT5P is a 4-twisted pair, 26 awg stranded, foil and braid shield cable.
ProPlex PCCAT5EP is a 4-twisted pair, 24 awg stranded, foil and braid shield cable.

Why is ProPlex Ethernet classified as a ‘Patch’ cable?

A stranded conductor Ethernet cable is classified by IEEE as a Patch cable ONLY, suitable with a maximum run length of 10 meter maximum. There are NO standards or tests to-date allowing for stranded conductors performing as Horizonal (backbone) cables.

ProPlex Ethernet cable was developed over a 2-year period, and resulted in a stranded conductor (flexible) cable capable of `solid conductor' Ethernet cable performance. Since the conductor is stranded, it must be classified as a Patch cable to comply with IEEE regulations.

What makes ProPlex Ethernet superior to all other Ethernet cables on the Market?

The standard ‘market’ Ethernet cables are designed for commercial building applications, telecommunication and computer networks. The backbone cables have solid conductors and are neither flexible, durable or designed for portable applications. Constant coiling and pulling on these cables would easily break the conductors.
The jacket is typically a gray PVC jacketed cable rated for indoor installation purposes only.

ProPlex PCCAT5P and ProPlex PCCAT5EP advantages.

ProPlex Ethernet is unique; it is designed for strength, durability and electrical performance to equal the harsh environmental conditions it is likely to be subjected to in portable touring situations.

1] Stranded conductors for maximum flexibility, having electrical performance equal to that of solid conductor Ethernet cables. The stranded conductor prevents any potential breakage during coiling purposes and hence enables the signal to continue un-disturbed.

2] Maximum shielding; foil and braid shielding giving maximum EMI protection. The braid also offers mechanical protection, strength, and aids in its flexibility.

3] Strength members are laid up under the shields, amongst the twisted pairs to maintain the pairs twist, and hence electrical performance. They strengthen the cable core and avoid elongation of the conductors during coiling functions.

4] A tough Black Polyurethane jacket is applied over the outer shield, the jacket is very durable, and resistant to cut, abrasion, UV, most organic and inorganic compounds, and a wide range of chemicals.

5] Suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments.

Is ProPlex Ethernet suitable for constant coiling and ‘reeling’ applications?

Yes.

There are installation guidelines to follow for reeling purpose.
1] The minimum reel core diameter is 10cm.
2] Minimum tension is used during reeling and the unreeling process.
3] Terminate the cable with RJ45 plugs before reeling is initiated.
4] Cable length per reel is less than 90 meters.
5] Recommended to use ruggedized RJ45 connectors such as RJLnxx, RJ Field or Neutrik Ethercon for maximum support.

In the core level, under the shields, are 4–twisted pairs and 6 strength members. Two strength members are positioned centrally to perform ‘Tension Relief’ function; the other 4 strength members are twisted around the pairs, each pair being wrapped individually by one of the strength members to perform a ‘Pair Structure Holding’ function.

The length of the strength members remains constant and equal to the length of the insulated wires.

What do the electrical parameters actually mean?

Attenuation
The degree of signal amplitude decrease (or loss), measured in Decibels.

BPS (Bits per second)
The basic unit of measurement for serial data transmission capacity. Certain modulation schemes allow a single communicated bit to represent more than 1 bit of final information data. In this case it represents a symbol which is issued to a decoder/demodulator which recovers the intended communicated data.

MBPS
1,000,000 Bits per second.

Crosstalk
The unwanted induction of signal from one circuit to another.

NEXT (Near End Cross Talk)
A figure of merit for the degree of cross talk occurring at the cable end nearest the test device, often the result of the connector or its method of termination.

Impedance
A figure of merit Measured in Ohms. A uniform transmission line (cable) of an arbitrary length of cable will have no standing waves or reflections from the end and a constant frequency at every point on the cable. Impedance is made up of Resistance, Inductance, Capacitance and Conductance inherent in a cable.

Capacitance
The property of an electrical charge between positive and negative conductors. This is measured by the amount of separated electrical charge that can be stored. Measured in Pico-Farad. In our case it relates the measurement between the conductor and the shield. A low capacitance is what we require.

What is the standard thickness of gold plating on an RJ45 plug contact?

50 microns, to maintain true IEEE electrical performance.
Be careful, there are RJ45 plugs available on the market with only 5-10 micron thickness of Gold plating.
All RJ45 plugs used on ProPlex assemblies have a 50-micron Gold plating on the contacts.

Can ProPlex perform in Sub-Zero temperatures?

Although the compounds used in the manufacture of the cables are rated for constant operation at minus 25 degree C, the actual electrical performance at these temperatures has not been tested.

Do Male to Female Ethernet assemblies exist?

No, ALL cable mount connectors are Male RJ45 plugs. ALL chassis’ are the female receptacle (Jack). To extend an Ethernet run a Female-Female adaptor is required, Neutrik NE8FF.

Fixture Questions

What is the color temperature/CRI of the Solaris LED Flare?

Since the Flare is an RGBW fixture, CRI in a pure white sense is difficult to calculate because the RGBW emitters can effectively vary the white output in so many different ways.

The white LED in the Flare alone has a CRI of roughly 77, but add blue, red, and green into the mix and the CRI can rise above 90+.

The Flare has been real-world tested with a white balance/color chart on camera, and a vectorscope was used to measure and analyze the light output.  By adjusting RGBW values, and creating a lighting console preset, the Flare was able to exactly match and balance to camera-white, and all of the RGB colors of the Flare directly aligned perfectly with the primary and secondary color points of the vectorscope.  In the real world, this also made skin tones look very natural.

The CRI number of any RGBW fixture is very complicated because there are four different colors involved, and each color can be manipulated to 65,535 unique levels to achieve a desired color balance – be it warm or cool, or whatever the shot requires.  Importantly, if the colors used match up to the vectorscope – and in this case it achieved a dead-on match – it means that the right LED engine colors have been used to aide this process!

The Flare has been extensively used in Live for TV applications including The Academy Awards, The Grammy Awards, CMT Awards, The Voice, and more.

We are confident that the Flare will meet and exceed the needs of the most demanding and color-accuracy dependent applications.

Is your PAR can silver or chrome?

Neither. The Polished Aluminum TMB ProCan has a very lustrous, shiny finish which is often referred to as "Silver" or "Chrome".

What is the difference between a snoot & a top hat?

Nothing. These terms are used for the same piece of equipment: a tube mounted to the front of a fixture, normally an ellipsoidal, to make the source of light less obvious to the audience.

What's the standard lamp for an 8-lite unit?

There is no standard. Any PAR 36 lamp will fit. However, the 2 screw terminal 120V DWE or FBO are most common.

What's a Lobsterscope?

A LobsterScope is a classic piece of stage lighting equipment preceeding, but used like, a strobe light. It was simply a rotating disk with holes in it that was spun in front of a spotlight. It was often used in Vaudeville choreography as a stop-time effect to indicate the passage of time,,,or to imitate the flickering motion pictures of the silent era.

Lamp Questions

What does "PAR" stand for?

"Parabolic Aluminized Reflector"

What is the difference between a PAR 20 and a PAR 16?

All Par numbers are a measure of the lamp diameter in 1/8" increments . PAR 16=2.0", PAR 20=2.5", PAR30=3.75", PAR46=5.75", PAR56=7.0", PAR64=8.0"

What is the difference between an HMI and an MSR?

HMI and MSR are manufacturerer names that have become industry standard. Both lamps are metal halide discharge lamps, MSR just means "medium source rare earth".

What is the difference between the 800hr & 2000 hr par 64's?

The difference between the 800hr and a S/B 2000 PAR 64 is:
cost, color temperature, candle power, beam angle, lumens, and there is no VNSP, very narrow spot, available in the S/B 2000.

What is the difference between the 300hr & 2000hr HPL575 lamp for ETC fixtures?

The 300hr lamp is 575W @ 115V, burning at 3,250 degrees Kelvin with 16,520 initial lumens. The 2,000hr lamp is 575W @ 115V and burns at 3,050 degrees Kelvin with 12,360 initial lumens.

Why do my HPL lamps seem to go ka-pow after about the third time I switch them on on a hot circuit, or after I leave them on for 3 or 4 days?

Because you are probably using the 115v HPL in a constant / full voltage situation, and you need to use the 120v HPL for that. Save your 115v HPL lamps for the stage.

Does a PAR 20 use the same lamp as a PAR 16?

No. The PAR 20 takes an E26 or E27 medium screw base. TMB PAR 16's use an E17 intermediate screw base.

Is there a difference between an E26 and an E27 type lamp base?

Although you would think there would be, the answer is no.

Lighting Effects Questions

Is the DF-50 a fogger or a hazer?

REEL FX DF-50 is a "hazer" and is not designed to make "clouds", but to provide a transparent sustained mist to reflect light.

Do I have to use the manufacturer's fog juice in my fog machine?

No: However, for peace of mind and avoidance of any possible hassles, we would recommend using fog juice from the manufacturer of the machine you are using. There are some good after-market fluids available, but it is definitely a situation of buyer beware.

Can you use fog juice in DF-50's?

No: The DF-50 uses special juice. Regular fog juice will not work and may damage the DF-50

Rigging Questions

No. Permanently installed rigging equipment must be fire-resistant, which spansets are not.

Is my Tomcat/Thomas Lighting truss compatible with those of other manufacturers?

Yes and No. While there are several brands of truss that will intermate - the holes match up - the mixing of truss from different manufacturers is never recommended because of liability issues.

For joining truss together, which is stronger? Bolts or Cam-Locks?

Bolts. As long as you are using rated "Grade 8" nuts and bolts with substantial washers on both sides of the joint. TMB recommends bolts for most applications.

What length of chain do I use for a 30' G/S motor?

The length of chain you want to use for a 30" G/S motor is 72 1/2'.

Do TomCat, TFL & Thomas trusses inter-mate?

Yes, but not advisable. While several brands of truss do intermate, the mixing of truss from different manufacturers is never recommended because of liability.

What are the standard twist-locks for chain motors?

There is not a standard.

Can I use 12x12 Light Duty Truss for Ground Support uprights?

No: 12X12 Light Duty and 12X12 Tower trusses look quite similar. However the construction is different. Light Duty must not be used as an upright, but Tower will function regular truss or as an upright.

What are the standard sizes of rigging steel?

3/8" wire rope is used for 1-ton rigging. 1/2" wire rope is used for 2-ton rigging.

Frequently Asked Silly Questions

Can this console make coffee too?

Yes, but you have to unplug the toaster.

How much does a 50# base weigh?

50.00016 lbs.

How long is a 6x9 and how far will it throw?

It depends on the manufacturer of the fixture and the type of lamp being used.

How many batteries are in a gross?

144

What is the standard wiring?

Hot, Neutral, Ground

What does TMB stand for?

Thomas Marshall Bissett

Can I put a 500 watt lamp in my 1K fixture?

Yes! It is always possible to use a lamp.

How many circuits are there in a 4 light CYC?

4

Is a 200 amp "cam" interchangeable with a 400 amp?

Single-pole cam connectors, yes.

Interlocked connector systems, no.

How bright is a 6K?

5K brighter than a 1K.

Is it worth buying GE long life (Quartz) PAR lamps?

It depends on your use.

Is one truss manufacturer stronger than another?

Yes. It is usually dependent on the type of truss and not so much the manufacturer. You should always check the structural reports and manufacturers load capacities.

Is there a standard distro for lighting systems?

No. It would be nice, but there are many different distro configurations used in our industry.

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