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Some info on DIY audio cables
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vmachine
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#1
14th July 2012
Old 14th July 2012
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Some info on DIY audio cables

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14th July 2012
Old 14th July 2012
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Hey, thanks for this. Just recently bought a soldering iron and some small electronics tools. Have been getting into building some simple circuits and have thought a lot about of starting to build my own cables too. Bookmarked.
vmachine
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14th July 2012
Old 14th July 2012
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After soldering electronics, cables are pretty easy.
#4
16th July 2012
Old 16th July 2012
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What got me interested in electronics was the prospect of making my own cables, at custom lengths.

That was a cool article, but one thing I've noticed with some connectors is that sometimes pin #1 isn't always shield. I recently modded a set of headphones for my kid using a japanese (forgot the brand) female 3.5mm jack and the #1 pin was actually tip (what is commonly #3). It's always best to make sure by using a multimeter and checking for continuity when not sure (noticed a multimeter wasn't listed in the above article, and I think that's essential for making sure your connections were done properly, even when doing basic electronics, like making cables).
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#5
27th July 2012
Old 27th July 2012
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Thanks vmachine,

Good article, and useful graphic for explaining cables to people! I thought it deserved some exposure so I tweeted your article and seeded it on stumbleupon.

Cheers,

Tim
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17th September 2012
Old 17th September 2012
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The illustration of connector pin numbers is too "stylized" and not accurate enough for real-world connectors. Furthermore, the pin numbers on XLR male and female connectors is OPPOSITE when viewed from the cable termination POV.

Separating braid from the outer-sheath end is BACKWARDS! It is MUCH MUCH EASIER to start at the CUT end and work you way down to the outer sheath. And using something like an awl (without any sharp edges like a screwdriver has) makes it much less likely to nick or break any of the braid strands when separating them.

Ideally there should be ZERO nicked or broken strands in either the braid or the inner wires. This is the NASA standard because nicks and broken strands significantly weaken the joint and make it fail faster (especially when used anywhere subject to vibration or repeated handling).

Building audio cables for 50+ years. My mic cables that I have managed not to lose or get stolen in 50 years are still going strong.
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17th September 2012
Old 17th September 2012
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Cables are a perfect intro to soldering and more advanced DIY work.
#8
17th September 2012
Old 17th September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcrowley View Post
The illustration of connector pin numbers is too "stylized" and not accurate enough for real-world connectors. Furthermore, the pin numbers on XLR male and female connectors is OPPOSITE when viewed from the cable termination POV.

Separating braid from the outer-sheath end is BACKWARDS! It is MUCH MUCH EASIER to start at the CUT end and work you way down to the outer sheath. And using something like an awl (without any sharp edges like a screwdriver has) makes it much less likely to nick or break any of the braid strands when separating them.

Ideally there should be ZERO nicked or broken strands in either the braid or the inner wires. This is the NASA standard because nicks and broken strands significantly weaken the joint and make it fail faster (especially when used anywhere subject to vibration or repeated handling).

Building audio cables for 50+ years. My mic cables that I have managed not to lose or get stolen in 50 years are still going strong.
Thnx for THE excellente info. You should be vallend THE cableguy.
vmachine
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#9
7th October 2012
Old 7th October 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcrowley View Post
The illustration of connector pin numbers is too "stylized" and not accurate enough for real-world connectors. Furthermore, the pin numbers on XLR male and female connectors is OPPOSITE when viewed from the cable termination POV.

Separating braid from the outer-sheath end is BACKWARDS! It is MUCH MUCH EASIER to start at the CUT end and work you way down to the outer sheath. And using something like an awl (without any sharp edges like a screwdriver has) makes it much less likely to nick or break any of the braid strands when separating them.

Ideally there should be ZERO nicked or broken strands in either the braid or the inner wires. This is the NASA standard because nicks and broken strands significantly weaken the joint and make it fail faster (especially when used anywhere subject to vibration or repeated handling).

Building audio cables for 50+ years. My mic cables that I have managed not to lose or get stolen in 50 years are still going strong.

The article i wrote was just the bits of information I picked up while building my first few pairs of audio cables. The cables I built work fine following what I wrote.
#10
9th October 2012
Old 9th October 2012
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The things I like to emphasize about audio and power cables are.

Balanced analog audio cables:
a] XLR pin#1 is chassis shield not audio ground.
b] Symmetry of the Plus & Minus wires is most important.

Unbalanced analog audio cables:
a] Low end to end resistance of the shield is the only important thing.

Speaker and power cables:
a] Twisting is good.

Also:
a] Radio Frequency Characteristic Impedance has nothing to do with analog audio cables (unless your cables are miles long).
b] Skin Effect has nothing to do with analog audio cables (unless your cables are an inch in diameter).
#11
14th October 2012
Old 14th October 2012
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One very important rule when making your own cables, get yourself a real Wire Stripper!
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#12
17th December 2012
Old 17th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
b] Skin Effect has nothing to do with analog audio cables (unless your cables are an inch in diameter).
Not an inch.
About 0.5mm depth for copper at 20khz.
Leo..
#13
4th August 2013
Old 4th August 2013
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Im surprised nobody mentioned this yet

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