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Cable Testing Question
Old 4th August 2011
Cable Testing Question

I've recently started making my own TS cables and I have a testing question...

I've been testing them with my multimeter @ 200k in the resistance setting.

I know that it will give you an arbitrary reading (like .1) initially, and then zero out once tested if the cable is working.

My question is this:

Does the length of time it takes to read 0 matter in relation to how good the solder leads are?

Sometimes a cable will read 0 almost right off the bat, and sometimes it will take a while to get there.

When play-testing them I can't really tell a difference, but just wanna make sure I'm doing this right.

Soldering is such a valuable skill!
Old 4th August 2011
Lives for gear

I think you should buy a cable tester, because I don't think an ohmmeter will reveal a fault that winds up interrupting the signal briefly once in a while. It can happen too fast for you to be able to see.

Behringer makes a reasonably inexpensive cable tester that works this way: You plug both ends of the cable into it and LEDs light up to show which conductors are connected to what. There are other LEDs that light if the state of any of the first LEDs changes even for an instant. Each of those LEDs has a reset button.

So you plug your cable into the box, and then you press the reset buttons to turn off the corresponding LEDs. Now you jostle and shake the cable. If that causes a glitch, even for an instant, the second set of LEDs will light up and you know you have a problem.

I'm very skeptical that anyone can reliably find such problems with an ohmmeter.
Old 4th August 2011
I guess you are using digital multimeter and needle type of test leads. Use aligator clip leads instead, then the time to get stable reading will be more consistent. I usually use my trusty old analog mutimeter, if this is just testing cables, because it doesn't have such response time.
Btw, not only the resistence, but you have to check short circuit. I always do short "stress" test before I say "ready to use". That is, I have a set of matching plugs (XLR M/F, TRS M/F) for each cable type, and they have aligator clip leads coming out from each pin. Then, plug the new made cable in, and bend the cable up/down, right/left, and test if the connections are solid stable. Cable tester boxes (Behringer, EBtech, etc) may be convenient to do that, but my DIY testing plugs are good enough for my purpose. If you take bunch of patch cables to live show or something, this short stress test will reveal "lemons", so it's very important.
Old 4th August 2011
Gear Maniac
Apprentice's Avatar

Probably the "only" Behringer gear I actually like...
Old 4th August 2011
Yeah, I actually just learned of the cable testing box...after running down to Fry's to get a multimeter...

I've already dumped a lot into supplies (had to get all the soldering stuff too) so I may have to wait a little bit.

But for now I've play-tested all the cables that I've made and they sound great.

There were a few duds, but I continue to learn!
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