Q: I need to run an ADAT optical cable for a long distance. My understanding is that there is a limit to how far you can go with one? Is there another solution?
A: The ADAT spec puts the limit on optical cable length at five meters (around 16 feet). However, the length you can achieve depends greatly on the cables you are using. Inexpensive optical cables lose signal quite rapidly. But good-quality glass cables can be used for much longer runs. We’ve heard reports of up to 50 feet or even more.
All that being said, for long distance optical cable runs, we recommend the Hearback Extreme Extender, which converts ADAT optical to Cat 5e and back. The company says this allows for runs up to 500 feet long.