Old 09-16-2021, 07:18 AM   #1
davideq
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Default Phantom Power and a Patch Bay

Hi All, I have a concern here regarding phantom power and patch bays.

I have a Samson S-Patch Plus 48pt Patch Bay and an A.R.T. P48 Patch Bay. Both are 1/4" TRS Balanced.

I have all of my inputs and outputs from my Scarlett 18i20 and the related ADA8200 (adat expansion) fed into these patch bays. All of my ins and outs are on the Samson and the outboard gear is on the A.R.T. P48 (such as compressors, EQ's, FX).

I also have other outboard gear consisting of mic preamps (dbx 286, Behringer mic2200, A.R.T. Pro Channel) which I do NOT feed into the patch bays.

So now that is all laid out, my scenario and questions are the following:
If I use dedicated cables coming from the IN's of my mic preamps via their XLR ports and need to use +48v phantom power on the mics, can I safely use TRS 1/4" cables coming from the preamp outs to patch into my inputs on the Samson patch bay?
I don't want to fry any electronics connected to either patch bay and I realize normally 1/4" is not going to carry electricity properly to power a mic which needs it. But is this a safe way to do so without worrying about transferring power from the outputs of my preamps to the I/O's?

My apologies in advance if this is a simple or dumb question. I just don't want to lose gear over trying it out first!

Thanks in advance for ANY and all comments on this
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:35 AM   #2
poetnprophet
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Hi there, you should be good, as long as you're not going from one preamp into another or anything weird like that. The patchbay will actually carry the phantom power (I can switch mics and preamps on the fly with just the patch bay, for example) but should be ok going from say a preamp to a compressor to eq....that's how it's all intended to work. Just make sure you're going out>in, out>in for everything just like you normally would without a patchbay.
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poetnprophet View Post
Hi there, you should be good, as long as you're not going from one preamp into another or anything weird like that. The patchbay will actually carry the phantom power (I can switch mics and preamps on the fly with just the patch bay, for example) but should be ok going from say a preamp to a compressor to eq....that's how it's all intended to work. Just make sure you're going out>in, out>in for everything just like you normally would without a patchbay.
Thank you! I appreciate the reply.

If I was to hook up all of my preamps into an XLR patch bay and use XLR to TRS cables/adapters on the backside of the XLR patch bay, would there be any concern with the phantom power coming out of the XLR patch bay to the TRS going into the Samson patch bay?

I also understand that any time you unplug a cable (TRS or XLR) the phantom power should be off, which is what I'll make sure to do always.
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Old 09-16-2021, 11:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davideq View Post
Thank you! I appreciate the reply.

If I was to hook up all of my preamps into an XLR patch bay and use XLR to TRS cables/adapters on the backside of the XLR patch bay, would there be any concern with the phantom power coming out of the XLR patch bay to the TRS going into the Samson patch bay?

I also understand that any time you unplug a cable (TRS or XLR) the phantom power should be off, which is what I'll make sure to do always.
I'm basically doing the same (but all TRS patchbay), all my preamps are connected to the patchbay (XLR/TRS from preamp to PB) and phantom power is on. The power is on the input, so you can plug a mic into your pb (out) and it will go to the preamp (in) with power. From the preamp out, there is no power. I'm not sure what you're asking.
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Old 09-16-2021, 11:49 AM   #5
davideq
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poetnprophet View Post
I'm basically doing the same (but all TRS patchbay), all my preamps are connected to the patchbay (XLR/TRS from preamp to PB) and phantom power is on. The power is on the input, so you can plug a mic into your pb (out) and it will go to the preamp (in) with power. From the preamp out, there is no power. I'm not sure what you're asking.
Thanks again! You answered my question within your reply. I knew I wasn't very clear, but didn't know how to pose the correctly worded question lol My biggest worry was if the output going to the patch bay from the preamp would be sending any type of current, but I see that it would not, especially switching to TRS to the patch bay.

I really appreciate the response
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Old 09-17-2021, 09:32 AM   #6
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I'd strongly recommend to not send phantom power across patchbays! Depending on the type of patchbay and the connected devices it can cause damage. One way to avoid the issue is putting dedicated phantom power devices right behind the mics that need the power so that only "powered" signals arrive at the patchbay(s) and you can safely connect your preamps to the patchbays but never have to engage their phantom power. You can safely patch any signal without having to worry about possible risks. On some patchbays the phantom power provided by one device may reach other preamp inputs if the patchbay is set to half-normalled.

I've been using Samson patchbays for more than a decade but finally decided to ditch all "in-line" style connection system like tiny telephone or TRS jacks because they all have one major design flaw: The sequential layout of contacts on one shaft unavoidably creates short circuits during patching. This is notably an issue when dealing with phantom power being patched but also during normal patching. I finally replaced the four Samson patchbays with two Ghielmetti ASF 1x32 AV 3-1 SAG. Those have a multi-pin design like miniature XLR with dedicated pins for each lead which eliminates the possibility of creating short circuits while patching. I'm also using multiple Audiotec PS-FOUR rack-mount 4x phantom powering devices to power my condenser mics in the live rooms before the signals even reach the patchbays.



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