New in Rental: Custom Intercom-over-Ethernet Adaptors

Intercom-over-Ethernet_700The great thing about audio industry standards is that every manufacturer has their own!

After waiting to see which digital network protocol emerged as the standard, we adopted Dante when Yamaha implemented it in their CL series consoles.  The flexibility and convenience of using ethernet cabling instead of heavy multi-channel microphone snakes, along with Yamaha reliability, was an easy decision.

Now, a couple years later, our CL Series consoles are routinely doing the heavy lifting on big shows.

For our digital “snake” we use entertainment-spec rugged Cat5e with four cables in a durable rubber jacket. That gives us two cables for Dante primary and secondary, one cable for remote control (wireless, speaker management, etc), and one spare.

Then there’s the question of intercom.

We don’t like to put intercom on audio snakes or a separate drive snake, since it can sometimes leak (crosstalk) onto the other channels.  We could run a couple more XLR cables—instead we decided to put that spare Cat5e cable to some good use.

To that end, we developed custom intercom over Ethernet adaptor boxes.  We’re using two of the twisted pairs for power and audio and the other two pairs as grounds. It would have been possible to use one of the “ground” pairs for a third channel, but 95% of all shows use just one channel and it’s rare to go beyond two. So instead we put both genders of XLR on the two channels, to help with the inevitable gender problems encountered when running intercom.

We use these with our Clear-Com Partyline systems, and they work just fine even over three hundred feet of cable.

If you have any questions about our intercom systems, or would like a rental quote, please contact our rental team at 847.367.9588 or