3

Hi everyone,

I just got home from a wild show up in Canada which was outdoors.

The day before the show, they had their worst blizzard in the past 5 years, all while I was setting up my PA and FOH rig.

I searched the previously asked questions, and there are existing questions about waterproofing, but mainly for the recorders and microphones themselves.

What I specifically wanted to know that hasn't been asked yet is if there is a simple way of weatherproofing an XLR connection between two XLR connections, for example, a break-out of a snake to a single XLR, or two XLR cables connected together as an extension.

The problem I was running into was that in the snowy weather, the temperature was so cold that the usual plastic bag with electrical tape was not working. The tape was too cold to stick to itself, not to mention the melted snow that got on it while I was trying to tape it up in the blizzard. On top of that, my snowboard gloves I was wearing were too thick to be able to pick off the e-tape to peel it, so I had to brave the -10C degree weather in bare hands to use the tape at all. So, in the end, I had to bring the tape I was trying to use inside for about 30 minutes in front of a heating vent for it to heat up enough to then bring it back outside and quickly tape it up before it froze again. But, this isn't very viable when you only have about a day to set up 4 PA hangs of 16-piece line-arrays, a baker's dozen point-source delays, a handful of floor monitors on the stage, the wireless mic receivers and cable runs, and 10 audience reaction mics throughout a snowy outdoor venue...

Ideally I would have something like a piece of rubber that fit around the connections and secured itself water-tight to the cables. Kind of like a handlebar grip in size, but forming to the connectors themselves and extremely quick to slap onto the connectors.

After Googling for a while, I have not been able to come up with any commercially available product for this type of thing, and I immediately thought those of you who record outdoors a lot have probably already come up with a re-purposing of some type of rubber tube or something that can achieve waterproofing of XLR connectors.

Thanks in advance.

EDIT: Perhaps Saran wrap would work...

3

A really good way of waterproofing XLR connectors outdoor are these casings made by Stanley for outdoor power socket connectors:

http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-39387-Protect-Protection-Connector/dp/B0036DEC0W/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1360791701&sr=8-2&keywords=cable+connector+protector+outdoor+garden

They fit XLR connectors well, and have used them in wind/rain/rain machines/snow to great affect. Just connect them up and you don't have to worry about them getting wet until the de-rig!

2

Two decent options are 1) using waterproof Neutrik connectors (pricey and requires custom cable making) and 2) use of silicone tape. Called 100mph tape in the military, it adheres only to itself. You make a single, narrow, very tight wrap around the mating point of the cables, and a wider secondary wrap over that. Stuff's neither cheap nor re-usable but is great for rain...not great for full immersion. No adhesive mess, but you do need to cut it off. Amazing in high heat...never used in in cold like you describe, though.

1

Usually when its raining i roll an insane amount of cellophane around the conection,wich works pretty well, but thats for rain, never had to do it in the snow... The only gripe i have with it its that its not reusable and its a pretty nasty kind of pollution... so i'm curious to read about other solutions as well!

  • Hi Filipe! Thanks for the reply! I didn't even think about the pollution part of it.. That's a very good point. With something like 300 connections on a show, I think that would be pretty bad during breakdowns (i.e., it's cold and wet, and you're not going to necessarily want to stick every last piece of cellophane in your pocket to throw in the trash). – Utopia Feb 12 '13 at 0:07
1

I think you could wrap gaffa tape round the connection, enough of it will waterproof anything. But it'd be a bitch to replace quickly, nasty to clean afterwards etc. I know lighting would use a plastic food box, cut hole in side, and make the connection there, pop a lid on and done. Might work if you break out your cables all in one place.

1

-10C! Dude in a Canadian winter, we consider that a "nice" day! LOL. Seriously... I've shot films out here in -40C! But to answer your question... The most common thing used on set is, as Fred said, gaffer tape. Bit of a b@#$! to take off, but does the job. Mind you, that's usually production sound, so a whole FOH rig could be more difficult. Another idea would be Heat Shrink Tubing of an appropriate size, slid over the connectors (not actually shrunk, just to cover it).

0

Bicycle tube. Use thin road tyres.

0

In the past, I've done the garbage/plastic bag method but used zipties when my tape wouldn't stick due to water. Good times.

0

I have used plastic sandwich wrap ( I think you call it seran wrap outside of Australia where I am), a very cheap yet reliable way to waterproof your XLR connectors. I have used it here for many outdoor gigs that stretched well into the night where rain and dew were present and it always kept my connections dry. I have even stretched it over my mixing console to protect it from condensation and it allows for the meters to easily be seen and faders / dials can still easily be turned / slided without fuss. Helps protect the XLRs' where they connect to the board this way too. Can also be used to keep the dust out. It doesnt leave gooey adhesive like some adhesive tapes can and clings to itself. To further insulate where the wrap ends you could simply use and electrical or gaffer-tape to further seal the seran wrap ends without actually taping your leads. - And a 10 metre roll goes a long way and stores easily until needed. Hope this helps.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.