Do More With Fewer Cables

Paul K. Plays Around With Neutrik's Gender-Bending convertCon
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Neutrik convertCon in 'Female' Mode Remote engineers will like Neutrik's recent addition to its line of XLR connectors, the "Cool Stuff" Award-winning convertCon (NC3FM-C) XLR connector.

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Neutrik convertCon in 'Male' Mode The concept behind the convertCon is simple: It provides a male and female XLR connector in the same shell. A latch on the connector allows it to slide back and forth, exposing pins for the XLR male connection, and sliding back to pockets for the XLR female connection. This means the convertCon does double duty; the female connection will work with microphones, and XLR chassis and cable male outputs. The male connection will work with XLR chassis and cable female input jacks.

Although the convertCon may not lock fully with chassis mounts, the electrical connection is solid. With this connector, an engineer won't need to bring gender changers for those unusual connections that seem to arise on remotes.

For example, if a cable is constructed with a male 3.5 mm (1.8-inch) TRS plug on one end, and the convertCon on the other, it can provide a line output (with the XLR male connection) from a 3.5 mm source (like the earphone output of a handheld audio device). Slide the connector back and it provides an input (mic or line) in the same cable which can be plugged into the appropriate jack in a handheld audio device. Remote kits with these connectors won't need as many cables to provide the ability to connect to different sources.

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A convertCon in the VersaVice and NC3MX (right) NC3FX (far right) in a SolderBuddy for Comparison This flexibility will cost a bit extra, when compared to the price of other Neutrik XLR products. If cables must perform more than one function, the extra cost of convertCon connectors on each end of a cable may be economical when considered over time.

The construction process is much the same as with Neutrik's XX series, although the convertCon connector won't fit in a construction jig like the SolderBuddy.

But SolderBuddy's creator Lee Tingler has come to the rescue with the VersaVice, a handy little device that held the connector steady while an included alligator clip atop a gooseneck post held the cable to the connector and made for easier soldering. The VersaVice also makes other construction projects around the shop or office easier. Both devices have a small footprint and will easily fit on a workbench or shelf.

For information on the convertCon, contact Neutrik at (732) 901-9488 or visit www.neutrik.com. For the SolderBuddy and VersaVice, contact SolderBuddy at (770) 476-5337 or visitwww.solderbuddy.com.

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