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CobraNet
Rev. 1.17

Cabling Advantage

How do infrastructure costs for CobraNet systems compare to costs for traditional analog audio systems? CobraNet has ability to carry large numbers of professional grade audio channels over CAT-5 UTP cable drastically reduces cable costs and conduit requirements in fixed installations. For example, using CobraNet, a single CAT-5 cable carrying signals from 64 microphones can be run in a single 3/4" conduit. In some installations conduit may not even be necessary. In a traditional analog system, it would take 64 balanced lines and a 3" conduit to accomplish the same task!!

Convention Center Example
The convention center in this example contains 40 meeting rooms. A Central Equipment Room (CER) is located between the north and south meeting room corridors. There are 8 meeting rooms 300’ (conduit length) from the CER, 8 rooms 500’ from the CER, 12 meeting rooms 750’ from the CER and 12 rooms 1000’ from the CER. Each meeting room contains a single I/O panel with 6 microphone inputs, 2 line inputs and 2 line outputs each.

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The Analog Approach
An 8 pair cable and a 4 pair cable are run to a remote equipment closet from each of 4 meeting rooms in a 100 ft. long 1-1/2" conduit. A 3" conduit is home run from each remote equipment closet to the equipment room. These conduits carry four 8-pair and four 4-pair cables each. Conduit: Remote equipment closets to CER: 2 rooms at 400’, 2 rooms at 500’, 2 rooms at 750’, rooms at 900’, 2 rooms at 1000' = 7100' of 3" conduit at $12.90/ft. = $91,590 plus 40 rooms at 100’ (from room to remote equipment closets) = 4000’ of 1-1/2" conduit at $4.77/ft. = $19,080. Conduit cost = $110,670 Cable Pulling: 7100' with 8 cables each at 2 man hours per 100’ at $45/ man hour = $6,390. 4000’ with 2 cables per conduit at 2 man hours per 100’ at $45 per man hour = $3,600. Total Cable Pulling Cost= $8,775 Cable: 32,400 ft. of 8 pair at $0.85 per foot = $ 27,540, plus 32,400 ft. of 4 pair at $0.50 per foot = $16,200. Total Cable Cost= $43,740 Total Cost: $163,185.00

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The CobraNet Approach
With a CobraNet system, one 1000 ft. 3/4" conduit connects the North remote equipment closets together and another connects the South equipment closets. This is a total of 2000’ of 3/4" conduit plus 4000 ft. of 1-1/2" conduit to connect the I/O panels to the remote equipment closets. Conduit: 2000 ft. of 3/4" conduit at $3.24/ft. = $6,480 plus 40 x 100 ft. = 4000 ft. of 1-1/2" conduit at 4.77/ft. = $19,080. Total conduit cost = $25,560. Cable Pulling: 2000 ft. at 100 ft. /man hour at $45 per man hour = $900 plus 4000 ft. (fan outs to panels) at 2 man hours per 100’ = $3600 (same as analog) Total meeting room cable pulling = $4,500 Cable: 2000 ft. of 4 strand multimode fibre at $0.50/ft. = $1000. 4000 ft. of 8 pair UTP at $0.15 = $600. 4000 ft. of 4 pair at $0.10 = $400. Total meeting room cable cost = $2,000. Total Cost: $33,000.00

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Stadium Example
The stadium used in this example has a central control room (CER), two remote equipment rooms located 1,000 feet from the control room and one equipment room located 300 feet from the control room. The distances mentioned in this example are the actual cable run distances.

The Analog Approach
The analog design includes two 32 pair cables going between the CER and each equipment room in 3" steel EMT conduit. There is a total of 4600’ of cable used .Labor was calculated at 100 feet per man hour at $45.00 per man hour. Conduit: 2300’ of 3" conduit at $12.90/ft. = $29,670 Cable Pulling: 4600’ pulled at 100’/ hour at $45/hour x .75 multiple cable in bundle factor = $1,552 Cable: 4600’ of 32 pair audio cable at $3.25 = $14,950 Total Cost: $46,172

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The CobraNet Approach
The CobraNet design is shown two ways. The first method (A) uses an existing cable tray system. Since fiber optic cable is impervious to crosstalk and RF interference, the existing cable tray may be used if available The second method (B) uses new dedicated "&quo" conduit. Four strand multimode (62.5/125) fiber optic cable is used throughout. Conduit: using existing cable tray = 300’ of 3/4 " conduit from cable tray to equipment rooms at $3.24/ft. = $972. 2300’ of 3/4 " conduit at $3.24/ft. = $7,452 Cable Pulling: A. B. 2000’ of cable placed in cable tray at 200’ per man hour at $45 per hour plus 300‘ in 3/4" conduit at 100’ per man hour = $585 2300’ of cable pulled into 3/4 " conduit at 100’ per man hour = $1,035

Cable: 2300’ of 4 strand multimode fiber optic cable at $0.50 = $1,150 Total Cost: A. B. $2,707 $9,637

It is difficult to maintain up to date cost estimates, but the above relationships should remain valid and continue to improve in favor of CobraNet as digital infrastructure costs continue to fall and labor costs continue to increase.

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posted:12/17/2009
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