Comments on DRAFT AES63-xxxx

last updated 2012-07-18

Comments to date on DRAFT AES63-xxxx, AES standard for interconnections - Data connector in an XLR connector shell,
published 2012-06-04 for comment.

The comment period has closed. There are no unresolved comments.


Comment received from Richard Hess, 2012-06-05

General comment: It is a great idea to standardize this connector assembly as it certainly can affect any use of UTP data cable, audio or not. I would suggest that the AES also contact related data standards bodies and inform them of this effort and make it available for their use as well. It would be unfortunate if a different ruggedized connector were established by another standards body. In a large broadcast plant it is easy to envision that ruggedized data cables would be used for more applications than audio, such as wiring a network feed to a computer installed in a news set (why add WiFi as yet another point of failure to that chain?).

Section Suggested modification Comments

Abstract Change: Commonly used modular connectors ... can affect the application critically.

To: Commonly used modular connectors are widely used, but are fragile in demanding installations, where a broken connection can affect the application critically.

Comment: I do not think that the integrity of audio connections is any more or less important than the myriad of other systems that might use this connector, such as teleprompters, intercoms, and video displays.
Abstract Change: This document specifies a ruggedized data connector ... with regard to ... mating and locking.

To: This document specifies a ruggedized data connector that is compatible with 8P8C modular connectors defined in ISO 8877 and IEC 60603-7-1 Ed.3 and recommended in TIA/EIA-568-B.1 with regard to mechanical aspects for proper mating and locking. This is physically the same connector as used in the USOC designation RJ-45.

Comment: This appears to be a more standards-based description of the connector. I do not have ready access to the latest versions of these two standards, so I would suggest that someone in the committee who does should confirm this.
Introduction Change: The AES has a particular interest ... secure data connections for high signal integrity.

To: The AES has a particular interest in professional audio installations which need physically secure data connections for high signal integrity, especially in stage, studio, and remote (outside) broadcast applications where the cables are subject to extreme stresses and strains as well as moisture.

Comment: [none]
1. Delete: connectors, also called RJ-45 Comment: [none]

3.1 Change: XLR type To: XLR-type Comment: Isn?t the hyphen needed when this is an adjective, describing ?connector?? May occur in other places and will not be called out here.

Annex A Comment: I would suggest considering changing this spec suggestion to Category 6, as gigabit Ethernet is very common and I think it prefers Category 6.

Reply from Ray A. Rayburn, 2012-06-22

Mr. Hess,

Thanks for your comments.

You wrote:
"Change: Commonly used modular connectors ... can affect the application critically.
To: Commonly used modular connectors are widely used, but are fragile in demanding installations, where a broken connection can affect the application critically."


This seems to be a valid suggestion that clarifies the intent without changing the meaning, and therefore should be able to be made on an Editorial basis by the Secretariat.

You wrote:
"Change: This document specifies a ruggedized data connector ... with regard to ... mating and locking.
To: This document specifies a ruggedized data connector that is compatible with 8P8C modular connectors defined in ISO 8877 and IEC 60603-7-1 Ed.3 and recommended in TIA/EIA-568-B.1 with regard to mechanical aspects for proper mating and locking. This is physically the same connector as used in the USOC designation RJ-45."


Better clarity is needed, without adding a tutorial to the Standard. I therefore propose this wording:

"This document specifies a ruggedized data connector that is compatible with 8 position 8 contact (8P8C) modular connectors, also called RJ-45 connectors, with regard to mechanical aspects for proper mating and locking."

You wrote:
"Change: The AES has a particular interest ... secure data connections for high signal integrity.
To: The AES has a particular interest in professional audio installations which need physically secure data connections for high signal integrity, especially in stage, studio, and remote (outside) broadcast applications where the cables are subject to extreme stresses and strains as well as moisture."


Following this Standard will add physical protection to the connector, but does nothing to change or improve the cable. It also does not reject moisture. Therefore I reject this suggestion.

You wrote:
"Delete: connectors, also called RJ-45"

I know that Ethernet connectors are not wired per RJ-45, but none the less that is the most common name used for these connectors in industry. In the interest of clarity we will keep this wording as is.

You wrote:
"Change: XLR type To: XLR-type"

Editorial. It will be corrected by the Secretariat before publication.

You wrote:
"Comment: I would suggest considering changing this spec suggestion to Category 6, as gigabit Ethernet is very common and I think it prefers Category 6."

I propose to add:

"Transmission performance will depend on using cable and connectors with an appropriate specification, with Category 5e representing a practical minimum in most cases. At high data rates, Category 6 or better may be advisable."

Please reply by the end of the comment period if this reply is not acceptable to you. You may also ask us to consider your comments again for the next revision of the document. You may also appeal our decision to the Standards Secretariat.

Thanks,
Ray A. Rayburn
Chair SC-05 and SC-05-02

Reply from Richard L. Hess 2012-06-22

Hello, Mr. Rayburn,

I concur with your response and it meets my needs with the exception of this:
"This document specifies a ruggedized data connector that is compatible with 8 position 8 contact (8P8C) modular connectors, also called RJ-45 connectors, with regard to mechanical aspects for proper mating and locking."
As it gives too much traction to the incorrect usage of "RJ-45"

Could we replace "also called RJ-45 connectors," with "also called RJ-45 connectors (due to their use in that telephone configuration)" ?

Thank you for your attention to this!

Cheers,
Richard

Reply from Ray A. Rayburn, 2012-06-2

Mr. Hess,

You wrote:
"Could we replace, "also called RJ-45 connectors," with, "also called RJ-45 connectors (due to their use in that telephone configuration),"

The abstract is not an appropriate place for definitions, nor a tutorial. The modular connector is adequately defined for our purposes in clause 2, Normative references; and 3.2. This proposed change is rejected.

Please reply by the end of the comment period if this reply is not acceptable to you. You may also ask us to consider your comments again for the next revision of the document. You may also appeal our decision to the Standards Secretariat.

Thanks,
Ray A. Rayburn
Chair SC-05 and SC-05-02

Reply from Richard L. Hess 2012-06-22

Mr. Rayburn,

Thank you for your reply. My goal is not to be annoying bur rather to try to avoid the perpetuation of the incorrect use of the term "RJ-45" to refer to 8P8C connectors used in networking applications.

In my opinion, including "also called RJ-45 connectors," without any qualifications will allow this AES standard to be used to justify the incorrect terminology.

This will not be the first nor the last document to perpetuate this incorrect usage.

Cheers,
Richard

Comment from AESSC secretary, 2012-07-02

Hi Ray,

We can, if you choose, change the Abstract editorially - it isn't technically part of the standard in any normative sense.

In place of: "This document specifies a ruggedized data connector that is compatible with 8-pole modular connectors, also called RJ-45 connectors, with regard to mechanical aspects for proper mating and locking."

How about: "This document specifies a ruggedized data connector that is compatible with 8-pole modular connectors, commonly (though inaccurately) called RJ-45 connectors, with regard to mechanical aspects for proper mating and locking."

I think that would convey the idea that "RJ45" isn't quite what it seems without getting into major tutorial. Your observation that the connector is correctly defined in the body of the document is well made.

What d'you think?

regards,
Mark

Reply from Richard L. Hess 2012-07-02

Thank you for the comment. Originally, I attempted to avoid the "(although inaccurately)" modifier because it might make people feel bad about themselves if they were inaccurately using the term. It is a way to solve the issue if the self-image challenges are acceptable.

Reply from Ray A. Rayburn, 2012-07-03

Mark,

I can live with your wording.

Ray

Comment received from Jim Meyer, 2012-06-20

I don't have ready access to IEC 60603-7-1 or 61076-2-103, so forgive me if those would explain my confusion. I'm also not an expert in mechanical drawings, but the things I question seem like they shouldn't be too complicated for a lay person to understand. My comments regarding the AES63 draft concern the two figures:

• Regarding the dimensions CM and DM listed in Table 1 as diameters, in the left part of Figure 1 (the X-X slice) CM and DM share a dimension line that appears to make them neither a diameter nor a radius. The numbers in the table are consistent with an XLR shell's diameter, so it's just the dimensioning of the drawing that's confusing.

• In the right side of Figure 1, the polarizing bump is specified using dimensions EM and FM to be to the left of the vertical line X-X when viewed from the connector's mating side, but there is also a bump in the drawing in a mirrored position to the right of line X-X. Similarly, in the right half of Figure 2 there are two polarizing slots shown mirrored about the vertical line Y-Y. On every XLR connector I've ever used, and even on the Neutrik Ethercon connectors in my inventory, the polarizing bump on the female is always only on the left and the polarizing slot on the male is always only on the right when viewed from the mating side. It seems to me those extra bumps and slots should be removed from the figures to avoid confusion.

• In the right side of Figure 2, the bottom Y used to indicate the Y-Y slice shown in the left of the drawing is offset to the right of the vertical centerline whereas the upper Y appears to be correctly shown on the centerline. Shouldn't the bottom Y also be on the centerline.

• In the note below Figure 2 it says, "Line A...". Should that include line B too?

All of these appear like they could just be simple drafting oversights.

Thank you for your consideration of these comments,
Jim Meyer

Reply from Ray A. Rayburn, 2012-06-22

Mr. Meyer,

Thanks for your comments. You caught errors in the drawings which are as a result getting corrected and clarified. One issue you raised requires a comment.

You wrote:
" In the right side of Figure 1, the polarizing bump is specified using dimensions EM and FM to be to the left of the vertical line X-X when viewed from the connector's mating side, but there is also a bump in the drawing in a mirrored position to the right of line X-X. Similarly, in the right half of Figure 2 there are two polarizing slots shown mirrored about the vertical line Y-Y."

Markus Natter of Neutrik writes:
" It is true that there a two polarizing means shown in the drawings which are located symmetrically ref. to the vertical plane. And obviously the corresponding details - especially in Figure 2 - are missing. But please note that even the left-side key on the fixed connector - which appears to be the standard XLR key - has a different position relative to the XLR standard (54 degrees vs. 45 degrees). This was introduced intentionally in order to avoid potential insertion of a male 3-pole XLR connector into the fixed RJ-45 connector. From first experiments it was found that just a single polarizing means did not result in the desired efficiency and therefore a second "mirrored" means was introduced. "

The drawings are being revised to correct these issues and make them agree with each other.

Please reply by the end of the comment period if this reply is not acceptable to you. You may also ask us to consider your comments again for the next revision of the document. You may also appeal our decision to the Standards Secretariat.

Thanks,
Ray A. Rayburn
Chair SC-05 and SC-05-02

Reply received from Jim Meyer, 2012-06-22

Thank you for the reply, and I'm glad my comments were useful. And thanks very much for the explanation on the polarization. It turns out that my confusion stems from having what must be very early Ethercon samples in my collection of connector samples! As you can see in the attached photo, my fixed and cable connector samples only have one polarization key each. On further inspection, the fixed connector's bump is at 54 degrees and the cable connector's slot is at the 3-pin XLR's angle of 45 degrees. I suppose our Neutrik rep must have let us keep pre-production samples or something from early in the design's life. I checked our inventory of equipment and cables, and they all have the dual key polarization, which is great to know for compatibility between existing equipment and future AES63-conforming connectors. I looked through the draft's text again and don't see anything describing the polarization. If the two 54-degree keys are unique to the data connector in an XLR shell, then I suggest a few sentences be put in the AES63 document mentioning that as a difference over other XLR shells.

Best regards,
Jim

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