A new standard, AES63-2012 AES standard for interconnections - Data connector in an XLR connector shell, has been published 2012-08-03.

A growing number of audio applications use data cabling and hardware similar to that being used in IT infrastructures - for example in Ethernet networks. As a result the use of ubiquitous “Category 5” data cables and the related modular connectors is becoming more and more significant.

Common modular connectors are widely used, but are fragile in demanding installations, where a broken connection can affect the application critically. This is not important in many applications, such as structured data cabling for use with computer networks, or simple interconnect cabling and patching using Category 5 (or better) data cable.  However, in professional audio applications, a broken connection can affect the application critically. A standard ruggedized fitting will promote system security in these applications. This document specifies a ruggedized data connector that is compatible with 8-position 8-contact (8P8C) modular connectors, commonly (though inaccurately) called RJ-45 connectors, with regard to mechanical aspects for proper mating and locking.

This standard will help system integrators, designers, installers and users of data for professional audio and associated media in choosing a connector system which is already approved for its ruggedness and reliability in just these application areas. Based on the dimensions of the convenient XLR connectors the space requirements are comparable and the required panel cutouts in equipment are even compatible. The identical locking mechanism facilitates handling.

Posted: Friday, August 3, 2012

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