Custom Audio Patch Bay

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…

JMPGuitars Custom Patch Bay

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.

Parts for Custom Patch Bay

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.

Pre Tinned Wire for Custom Patch Bay

And then we have a nice stack of wire ready to be installed.

Pre Tinned Wire for Custom Patch Bay

Next I prepare the input jacks. These are installed from the inside of the panel, so they’re the easiest to work with.

Combo Jack Wiring for Custom Patch Bay

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.

Testing First Channel on Custom Patch Bay

Everything was good, so I completed all the inputs.

Wired Input Jacks for Custom Patch Bay

And then finished the connections.

Internal Wiring for Custom Patch Bay

Now we have 8 Combo Jack Inputs:

Custom Patch Bay Front Panel

Connecting to 16 Isolated XLR and TRS Outputs (1 Pair Per Channel):

Custom Patch Bay Rear Panel

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.




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