Cable Building

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

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  1. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    Hey all...

    I'd like to look into making some cables. Does anyone have a good pictorial tutorial that they can point me towards?
     
  2. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    In the past I've ordered parts from Trevor at Norne and put the cables together myself. He offers all the necessary connectors and such. Building itself isn't too hard. Certain connectors are a PITA to deal with.
     
  3. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

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    There are so many options, it really depends on what it is you are trying to build.

    I use Redco as a general supplier for most cable needs

    I made this cable set for a special snowflake

    [​IMG]

    The idea was to have a cable that would allow traditional speaker out from amp to speakers, option to drive speakers from the balanced outputs of some higher power headphone amplifiers and a cable to allow balanced headphone cables direct hook up to speaker taps.

    ..dB
     
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  4. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    Nice work, dBel.

    I'm just wanting to make a nice and simple braided cable for my HE-500. The cable I have is fine, but I'd like something a little longer that's also purty to look at.

    I've been looking at this place...certainly can't beat the price: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ImpactAudioCables

    But, there's something special about having something you made yourself.
     
  5. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

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    Those are well priced, but the cost of cables "should be" in the quality of the wire used. The challenge is finishing it off to give it a clean look. The sleeve should be chosen to be non microphonic. The nylon monofilament braiding tends to be soft and quiet. The actual wire used - if you buy mogami quadcore and remove the wire from it's jacket you can braid these bare wires. Redco has some single strand too which is thin enough for braiding. The rubber cable jackets I used for the speaker cables can be cut down to make good Y dividers for headphone cables - these were from parts express.

    ..dB
     
  6. Xen

    Xen Friend

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    For the price on 1 of those cables, I bought enough stuff to make 1 Balanced XLR4 headphone cable with SMC Connectors for my HE-560, 1 set of XLR3 interconnects, XLR4 to TRS adapter, more paracord than I know what to do with, y-splitters from DoubleHelix, and more heat shrink than I know what do with.

    Redco and MarkerTek are both great companies to order parts from. The first post from HF is a pretty good start http://www.head-fi.org/t/676402/diy-cable-questions-and-comments-thread . You can get an idea of the equipment that you need. Does the HE-500 use the same connector as the HE-560?

    Basics: Solder Iron (preferably a solder station), Helping Hands with Magnifier, Heat Shrink, 63/37 Solder, wire strippers, side-flush wire cutters, digital multimeter to test

    I suggest getting Mogami 2799 cable to start. It's cheap and many people use it. You can also learn to use it with paracord. http://paracordplanet.com/ . If you split the Mogami cable into it's 4 component cables, #95 paracord (holds 95 lbs) is supposed to be a tight fit, while #275 is looser. If you plan on sheathing the whole cable, then #550 is a good size for sheathing.

    Braiding: Basic 4 strand - http://www.seekyee.com/Slings/howtos/4strand.htm . Someone posted a simple video to properly "braid" 2-strands, but I can't seem to find it.
     
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  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I use painters or packing tape to tape down the wires and connectors so they don't move while soldering. Sometimes you need three hands.
     
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  8. Steve Eddy

    Steve Eddy Acquaintance

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    You left out solder flux. Yes, I know there's flux in the core of the solder, but that's just to keep flux flowing as you're soldering. You should already have flux on the solderable surfaces before you start soldering. Yes, you can get workable results without it, but it's just good practice if you wish to do quality work and not just "passable" work.

    se
     
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  9. Steve Eddy

    Steve Eddy Acquaintance

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    That's what you get one of these for. :D

    [​IMG]

    se
     
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  10. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    A mini drill press vice is also very handy for holding components. I slapped on some scraps of acoustic foam tape so I wouldn't scratch things.

    Helping-Hands are nice, but don't cheap out on them. The crappy ones will cause more issues than not.
     
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  11. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'm too cheap.
     
  12. Steve Eddy

    Steve Eddy Acquaintance

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    I confess that I use my helping hands in combination with a small cast steel vice.

    se
     
  13. Steve Eddy

    Steve Eddy Acquaintance

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    A trait common among DIYers.:p

    se
     
  14. Steve Eddy

    Steve Eddy Acquaintance

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    Man, this forum software doesn't seem to get along well at all with iOS. Huge delays, page errors, etc. Haven't tried it on my PC because I'm on my iPad 99.9% of the time these days.

    se
     
  15. aufmerksam

    aufmerksam Friend

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    This was my first cable making project as well, it helped that hifiman used to send a spare set of tiny coax connectors with the HE-500... The only item that I would add to the helpful list above, is a pair of offset forceps (or offset tweezers). They really improved my ability to negotiate confidently while working with the soldering iron in hard to reach places (like the tiny fucking coax connectors that hifiman uses...).

    Note: cable braiding can get REALLY tedious over longer runs. If you don't want to deal with it, I recommend mogami 2893: essentially the same conductors as 2799, also sheathed in black/red/blue/clear, but with much thicker, more durable, flexible pvc cable jacket. You can slip some paracord or techflex over it pretty easily.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  16. Steve Eddy

    Steve Eddy Acquaintance

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    Oh don't get me started on those wretched SMC connectors. They're fine if you're using RG-174 coax, but who uses RG-174 for making headphone cables? Guess it would work if it's going into a Y split and you're splicing it into a different cable or something.

    se
     
  17. Altrunox

    Altrunox Friend

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    How can I make cables without paracord? I'd like to do one that is really lightweight, for my IEM.

    My Vsonic VSD3S removable connector just craped, I'll try to open it and solder a new cable directly in the driver, I'll probably kill it, but whatever, need to try.
     
  18. Xen

    Xen Friend

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    Yes, very true.

    A bit a rosin flux at the end of wire and connector makes the solder flow so much easier by cleaning the wire and connector. Apply the flux, then heat with soldering tip. Just make sure to have good ventilation as the flux smoke is not very healthy (the lead is safer than the smoke...). It's also a good idea to apply a small amount of solder to the wire first, think of it as "pre-wetting" the wire to fill in space. Also if the connector has a cup for the wire, filling the cup with some solder before adding the solder-tipped wire reduces the chance of creating a cold joint.

    Most of the time, the paracord is there for decoration. The wires from a bundle like the Mogami 2799 isn't very pretty, which is why many people add the paracord. If you are interested in a inexpensive transparent wire, you can buy Mogami 2893 as suggested by aufmerksam. Buy 4x the amount you need, and only use the Clear Wire.
     
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  19. fishski13

    fishski13 Friend

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    pretty shit, Don. i loathe building cables.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  20. jacq

    jacq Top 3 poster - friend

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    [​IMG]

    This is my first project. Someone made me an ultrashort Audeze to MrSpeakers male to male adapter but they weren't very good because I felt like it'd strain the connectors since it kept hitting my clavicle. I decided to put some wire in between them to let them dangle a bit and I'm currently waiting for the connectors and the helping hands to arrive because it's so hard to solder the wire to the connector since it keeps moving.

    Honestly I'm really nervous, I have 0 experience in this but I'm hoping it'll turn out well.
     
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