Using high voltage on XLR cables?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by coinmaster, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. coinmaster

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 24, 2015
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    I need a multitude of high voltage cables for both high voltage AC and DC (0-300v range) and the simplest, cheapest, and cleanest way to do that is by using xlr cables since they have many pin options.

    The problem is when I look up XLR datasheets they say the voltage rating is 50v

    Screenshot_39.png

    I assume this is the voltage between pins.

    I have a hard time believing that the pins will arc at a mere 50 volts at XLR pin distance.

    Is there something I'm missing?
     
  2. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    Cable is cable, you should be able to find the specs for the cable. I could not find the specs for the XLR connectors. I have never used them at 300 volts. I suspect that the insulator material is well up to the task. Get one and try it.
     
  3. coinmaster

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 24, 2015
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    Those specs aren't for cable, they are for XLR connectors. Seeing how an XLR connector is a short circuit I can only assume the 50v rating is for arcing between pins.
     
  4. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    ???? Let me restate what I said in different words.

    I could not find any specs about XLR connector break down voltage. To me, the insulator material should be good for >300 volts. The distance between the pins is more than enough to prevent arcing.

    You should be able to look up the specs for the cable (Part number, manufacturer), which will tell you what the wire is rated for.

    I say try them out.
     
  5. coinmaster

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 24, 2015
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    What is the 50v rating for then? Nearly all of the XLR datasheets I see have a 50v limit and some specifically say not to use them for AC mains or power supplies.
     
  6. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    I suspect that it is a liability issue. The store bought microphone XLR cables should not be used for high voltage because of the microphone cable used. If you buy good quality XLR connectors and use cable that is rated for >300 volts you should be fine.

    Oh, Were you thinking about taking store bought mic cables and putting 300 volts on them?? Don't do that. Make your own cables.
     
  7. coinmaster

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 24, 2015
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    I was going to make them using canare cable. The current will only be 100ma-ish max so it should be fine.
     
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  8. ScottWang

    Moderator

    Aug 23, 2012
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  9. coinmaster

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 24, 2015
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    I think the max will be 500ma on occasion.
     
  10. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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  11. Marley

    Member

    Apr 4, 2016
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    Think it's more about safety. XLR male connectors have exposed pins. More than 50V would be dangerous to touch.
     
  12. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    The datasheet I linked to showed 500Vrms, but it was an XLR designed for mains power.
     
  13. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    Most all appliance AC connectors have exposed pins (male). You just make the female carry the voltage when not connected.

    @KeepItSImpleStupid Good job finding that SwitchCraft XLR data sheet. I was looking for something like that but couldn't find it.
     
  14. hp1729

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2015
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    300 V might be tolerated by the insulation, but not safely. 300 V at how much current?
     
  15. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    The datasheet linked to said 500 VRMS

    Of course, the insulation of the cables have to match. Silicon and Teflon (PTFE) come to mind. Not sure what the rating of Fire Alarm Cable is.

    A manufacturer actually used a XLR connector for the filament of an X-ray tube. I forget the details. It was some 30 years ago when installed it.
    You could select the filament voltage with the XLR connector. The operating voltage was around 90 kV, but the connector didn't see it.
     
  16. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    Or PVC or polyethylene

    Quite a bit of wire now goes to 600VDC.. Quite a bit is still 300V though too but really no need for Silicone/Teflon..
     
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