Cable Building

Discussion in 'DIY' started by Skyline, Sep 30, 2015.

Tags:
  1. johnjen

    johnjen Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
    Likes Received:
    360
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Well Grounded
    Say there.
    I've been fussing with cables for decades in all manner of ways.
    Thru it all there remain a few details of note to pay attention to before you begin and then during the re-assembly process.

    1. Make sure you have 'suitable' connectors.
    And by suitable I mean they are large (or small) enough to handle the OD of the cable, not to mention the gauge of the wires themselves.

    2. Assuming you have 'enough' experience with soldering and have the tools and materials necessary for the job (heat shrink, proper solder gear, etc.).
    Then figure out the sequence so that you don't have to undo any steps because you forgot to do something before something else (like, put the heat shrink on the cable BEFORE the connector etc.)

    3. IF you really botch (as in over cook the wires add to much solder etc.) the 1st attempt, cut it all off and completely start over again.
    Sometimes you can 'repair' or fix a problem but when it snowballs (as can happen all to easily at times), cut off the 1st attempt and start over.
    It's better that way, all the way around.

    4. Use as little an amount of heat as possible, but enough to fully saturate the solder connection.
    Cold solder joints are the bane of cable making.
    Use a proper solder iron/gun etc for the amount of metal that needs to be heated.

    5. Make sure the wires and solder connections are shiny and not corroded and perhaps use solder flux depending upon circumstances.

    6. Strain relief is important and can, at times, get 'complicated'.
    Figure out a plan to provide for this.

    7. Test the cable for shorts, opens, being mis-wired, etc., BEFORE you button up the connector (ie heat the heat shrink etc.).
    And then do so again AFTER the cable is finished but before you use the cable.

    Just a few bits of advice, take what works and disregard the rest.

    JJ
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
    Dino, msommers, Mshenay and 1 other person like this.

  2. dropadred

    dropadred Rando

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Slovakia
    I would add a few more lines to this.

    I shuddered when I had read the 4-core RCA - I am not going to poke the bees nest with words like "star quad cable for RCA IC is the very worst cable choice", but that goes on that company's shirt, but checking their website that is exactly one of the "our cables sound better than a shot of a whiskey"...of course they do...

    Back to the topic then. As it is star quad cable, butcher (when cutting the cable) the RCA connector as well, unless it is some disassemble one, then just open it and check how it is soldered - I have not seen how it is done, but it is vital check how it is done, there are multiple possibilities :
    - only 1 conductor is connected to the "hot", the center, rest is tied together with a shield to the ground pin
    - all 4 conductors as hot, only shield is soldered to the ground pin
    - anything between this.

    Then check the side you cut off if it is not a side with connected shield (they probably use a heatshrink to indicate the source side, which is to be connected - or it should have at leas an arrow pointing away from the side, which has a shield connected).

    Then...are you patient? Go ahead, it is not a rocket science, you can go with cheap (under 20$) soldering iron, good (I recommend 60/40, so 60% tin, 40% lead - not to mismatch with 60% lead, 40% tin) solder and time...oh, and patience...and an alcohol if it will takes too much.
     
    Luckbad likes this.
  3. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2015
    Likes Received:
    381
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Philly - Yo
    Greetings all! So as I posted in the "Pics of your pet" thread, one of my kitties decided to go to town on my Mr. Speakers DUM cable. Ugh.

    I've reached out to Dan Clark at Mr. Speakers about sending it back to him for repair, but realized I might have better options with my Friends here at SBAF. So anyone have ideas for getting this fixed, or any cable-wizards out there willing to take on a little repair job? (duly compensated of course) I'm handy with a soldiering iron myself, but would prefer to find someone who is more experienced with cables and would know how to patch this in a more elegant way.

    Any and all thoughts/ideas/leads/etc. greatly appreciated! Cheers

    [​IMG]
     
  4. fraggler

    fraggler The Cable Guy - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Likes Received:
    854
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    To be honest, it would probably be less time consuming to build a new cable than to do a neat, mid-cable repair. You certainly could solder the ends together with some trimming, but would need some heatshrink around the individual strands so they don't short out. This will create some significant bulk and stiffness at the break point. The hardest part will be dealing with the sleeving, as that can't easily be smoothed out. You can trim strands that stick out and then carefully use an open flame (lighter) to burn off/seal the fuzz and strands left. Some heatshrink or other kind of tape/wrap (fabric tape?) can be used to cover up the tears/gaps that you will have. It would be ideal if Dan can send you a replacement for a reasonable fee.
     
    Dino, Xen and mscott58 like this.
  5. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    Likes Received:
    798
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Los Alamos, NM
    I sort of agree with @fraggler that a repair would add a bulge, but I think it's doable. If you don't have the heakshrink and experience, this might be a good time to experiment. Also a good time to build your own cable :)

    I'd be happy to take a shot at a repair, if you want. PM me if interested.
     
  6. marflao

    marflao Rando

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    near Duesseldorf, Germany
    Ouch...kittie still alive? ;-)
     
  7. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2015
    Likes Received:
    381
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Philly - Yo
    Yep! Lived to chew another day...

    Luckily the headphones were off, although they're so low powered anyway.

    Cheers
     
  8. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,115
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    You'd be amazed what a single volt across a shorted wire can do...
     
  9. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2015
    Likes Received:
    381
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Philly - Yo
    So true! At a chemical plant I used to work at we had a separator operation that had a fairly low potential (voltage) but very high current (amperage). Was one of the more dangerous places in the plant, and they checked your safety gear to ensure you were properly insulated every time you entered. Ah, the days of working in a plant that could kill you in so many interesting ways...
     
  10. Melvillian

    Melvillian Acquaintance

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2017
    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I've read most of the thread and decided to build a cable for my HD650 with Norne's DIY cable. I may use paracord.
    I have two questions:

    1. What brand/kind of heat shrink is recommended? I know 3:1 is ideal. I've always had tons of 3M 2:1 heatshrink that my dad gave me so I've never had to actually buy any.

    2. If I were to use paracord for each individual wire, what size is good for a single 22awg wire?
     
  11. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    702
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    I had a cat that would bite off the end of a live wall-wart and nibble the entire cable into pieces about 5mm long. That's gotta be like 200+ shocks. And it happened repeatedly. Eventually smearing Tabasco on the cable worked to deter her.
     
    Dino likes this.
  12. Torq

    Torq Prob should liquidate and live on a sailboat

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Likes Received:
    5,481
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I like the TechFlex stuff ("ShrinkFlex").

    You care about the outside diameter of the complete wire (including insulation), not the gauge of the conductor. Well, unless you're going to strip that off, but that'd be a bad idea in this case. Norne's standard OCC DIY wire has an OD of 1.3mm I believe, which will make it a VERY tight fit in #95 paracord, and a total pain in the arse to sleeve. #275 will be much easier to work with, and should be fine for up to 8 wires total without being obnoxiously bulky/inflexible.
     
    Joshvar and Melvillian like this.
  13. Melvillian

    Melvillian Acquaintance

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2017
    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Thank you and good point since wire insulation comes in different sizes. I'll buy some of #275 paracord and run it over the braided cable if necessary. Good to have some around even if I don't use it this time.

    if I don't use paracord, do you recommend using a y-split or just use heatshrink? I found this Eidolic y-splitter that looks nice, but I'm not sure if it's necessary.

    https://doublehelixcables.com/product/eidolic-e-sx125-aluminumcarbon-fiber-y-splitter-3-colors/
     
  14. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    Likes Received:
    798
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Los Alamos, NM
    To me, the Y splitter is purely cosmetic. I have some fancy ones, some beads, some with just heat shrink, and some braided cables with nothing.
     
    Melvillian likes this.
  15. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,115
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    You know how sometimes kids would lick 9-volt batteries for the shock because it was "fun"? Your cat might be special... o_O

    On a serious note though, sometimes the chewing behaviour is caused by dental issues and constantly chewing helps relieve the pain. In such a case, the electrical shocks might not be noticed. In any event, it might be worth checking out if the problem persists.
     
    Dino likes this.
  16. fraggler

    fraggler The Cable Guy - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Likes Received:
    854
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I agree with Torq's recommendations and will add 3M 3:1 heatshrink as well. No branding and has a nice feel. I have also had some good luck with the pre cut heatshrink sold at Parts-Express.
     
    Joshvar and Melvillian like this.
  17. Torq

    Torq Prob should liquidate and live on a sailboat

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Likes Received:
    5,481
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    To be clear, if you're braiding the cable, you'll sheath each individual wire (combined conductor/core/filler/insulation) in #275, and then braid the sheathed wires together, like this:

    [​IMG]

    ... rather than braiding/winding/interleaving the wires and then putting one sheath over the top of all of them, like this:

    [​IMG]

    You'd struggle (I'd say it'd be impossible) to get two runs of the Norne OCC cable into #275, let alone more.

    --

    Braiding, at first, and by hand, is more cosmetic than anything else as you're unlikely to do it evenly/consistently enough to yield good rejection. It takes some practice, and some specific patterns, to get a proper electrical benefit from braiding (and different braiding patterns yield different results/serve different purposes).
     
    Melvillian likes this.
  18. Melvillian

    Melvillian Acquaintance

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2017
    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Thanks for clarifying. I misunderstood what you meant earlier.

    Wanted to share a site I came across while searching for Heat Shrink

    https://www.wirecare.com/
     
  19. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    Likes Received:
    798
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Los Alamos, NM
    that is a good site. I have found a number of good sites for DIY cable building. So many, I put together a web page (liked in my signature).
     
    mscott58 and Melvillian like this.
  20. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2015
    Likes Received:
    381
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Philly - Yo
    PM sent. Thanks!
     

Share This Page