I needed a high quality patch bay with specific ins and outs that wasn’t available (at least not for under $1000). I thought that price was insane until I built one. As stupid simple as these are, it’s a time consuming process. It’s still ridiculous, but hey, if you can get it…
I started with some high quality audio 8 channel audio snake cable, and Neutrik Jacks including: NJ3FP6C-BAG (TRS Female), NCJ6FI-S (Combo Jack), and NC3MD-L-1-BAG (XLR Male). All of this would be going into a custom rackmount chassis.
The next, and most tedious step in the patch bay build, was wire prep. That took a lot of hours. I won’t say how many. It was silly time-consuming. Just cutting and stripping the wires to length was hours of work. I was surprised how long it took, even with the proper tools. Granted, there’s a 8 channels times 2, 3 wires each channel, so it’s a lot, but still.. It was ridiculous.
After that I prepared the wire by pre-tinning it.
And then we have a nice stack of wire ready to be installed.
Next I prepare the input jacks. These are installed from the inside of the panel, so they’re the easiest to work with.
After wiring the input, I connected the first channel to its outputs and tested it to make sure everything was working as it should be.
Everything was good, so I completed all the inputs.
And then finished the connections.
Now we have 8 Combo Jack Inputs:
Connecting to 16 Isolated XLR and TRS Outputs (1 Pair Per Channel):
Some people might think I’m crazy for sharing this much detail about this patch bay build. But I say, if you can build your own, go ahead. I’d love to make a few bucks building these for people (in any configuration), but it’s so time consuming I don’t know that it would be worthwhile at any reasonable pricing. Even knowing how much work that goes into these boxes, it’s still a lot of money at the end of the day.