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Author Topic: Make or Buy? Cables..  (Read 7182 times)

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Offline DMaCATO

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Make or Buy? Cables..
« on: July 29, 2004, 07:20:15 PM »
Okay, so here is the deal. I am looking at starting taping.

I have a pair of C4's, an Edirol UA-5 (which I plan on modifying), and an Nomad Jukebox 3. I need cables and batteries.

My question is, should I make or buy them? I have full access to an Oscilloscope/Meters/Power Supplys/Soldering irons you name it. I am pretty good
with a soldering Iron. But I have no Idea where to start on making my own cables.

What cable should I buy in bulk? I read all about Neutrix Connectors so I would need 4 right? (2 male, 2 female.)? Canare seems to come up a lot. So about 60 ft of that? (If they are running 25' per mic)

Anything Else? How difficult is it to solder on the connectors? I haven't seen any pix? Should I just buy them?

I apologize if this has been covered to death. If you guys help me out on where to buy and give me some other details, then I will document the whole procedure with digital pics and have someone host it or place it somewhere if they can.

Thank you,
Drew.

Offline DCDireWolf

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Re: Make or Buy? Cables..
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2004, 07:24:37 PM »
Check the faq and the archives, there's a long thread on this that already exists.
"It's pretty clear now that what looked like it might have been some kind of counterculture is, in reality, just the plain old chaos of undifferentiated weirdness."  -Jerry Garcia

jpschust

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Re: Make or Buy? Cables..
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2004, 10:40:44 PM »
if you dont know how already- make.  its important to know how.

Offline krebsy

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Re: Make or Buy? Cables..
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2004, 07:31:58 PM »
I made my own quite easily having not soldered anything in years.  I say go for it!  I learned all I needed to know in the archives.  By the way, you're gonna like the C-4 -> UA-5 -> JB3 combo.  Sounds great.
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Offline DMaCATO

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Re: Make or Buy? Cables..
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2004, 11:51:49 AM »
Well I made my cables last night. Everything checked out great. I held them together and recorded some stuff off my computer speakers. Cables look great. I took a bunch of digital pictures and was wondering if anyone had any intrest in seeing them? I could make another thread and post a step by step to go along with brians FAQ.. awesome by the way.

Any Intrest?

Aside: I had to crank up the sens on the edirol to be able to record last night (Almost all the way). Granted they were computer speakers ( panasonic ones that I got off a decent old school boom box w/ cheap sub.) Is this normal being that it wasn't in a loud environment?

Anyway.. let me know.

Drew.

Offline dnsacks

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Re: Make or Buy? Cables..
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2004, 11:55:52 AM »
drew, sounds normal -- even in LOUD concert environments (ABB), I've had the gain knobs on my UA-5 at around 3 o'clock.


Offline DMaCATO

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Re: Make or Buy? Cables..
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2004, 12:20:38 PM »
Sweet. I was starting to wonder.

Thanks dnsacks.

Drew

Offline DMaCATO

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Re: Make or Buy? Cables..
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2004, 04:57:24 PM »
I have written a document on how to make your own cables, along with some pictures.

Does anyone want to host this or turn it into a pdf for me? Any intrest in this?

Thanks,
Drew.

Offline DMaCATO

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Re: Make or Buy? Cables..
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2004, 11:15:15 AM »
Okay, well I am going to post this anyway. I don't know if anyone will find it useful, maybe it can be archive material as an add on to Brians cable making guide. It has pictures, and I made it for a friend, as well as myself.

Hope it is understandable, and if anyone has any input or changes, then let me know and I will update it.

Thanks TS.com and Brian Skalinder for the excellent instructions.


Drew

Offline DMaCATO

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Re: Make or Buy? Cables..
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2004, 11:21:12 AM »
Okay, well it wont let me attach the file cause it is too large, so nevermind I guess.


Offline Lil Kim Jong-Il

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Re: Make or Buy? Cables..
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2004, 11:48:09 AM »
Okay, well it wont let me attach the file cause it is too large, so nevermind I guess.



You can resize images in MS paint if you want to get them to fit.

menu bar>image>stretch (set to lower percentage)

You can also crop them prior to resizing.
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Offline DMaCATO

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Re: Make or Buy? Cables..
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2004, 11:52:08 AM »
Yes I know, thank you. It is a word document that I was going to attach.. ~470k. I don't have any PDF software to make it a PDF, only Open Office 1.0.1.

Thanks anyway..

Offline Lil Kim Jong-Il

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Re: Make or Buy? Cables..
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2004, 12:27:16 PM »
I believe that there is a tool from adobe that allows you to "print" to a pdf file from MSword.   

Why not post the text and photos as a thread in the archive instead of as a word file?  word sucks anyway for cross platform compatability and if you are saving in the latest word format that uses xml, then its really inefficient.  You might try selecting another format or break the document into multiple parts - although nothing beats plain old text and jpegs for compatability and efficiency.


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Offline DMaCATO

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Re: Make or Buy? Cables..
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2004, 01:10:27 PM »
Making Your Own Microphone Cables:

Drew McIntosh
mcintosh_drew@hotmail.com

Tools Needed:

Canare Microphone Cables (#L-4E6S)
Neutrik Connectors
2 Male: Black/Gold - (# NC3MX-B)
2 Female: Black/Gold - (# NC3FX-B)
Soldering Iron
Solder – Rosin Core
Multimeter w/ Leads
Wire Stripper
Clamp/Third Arm
Shrink wrap & heat gun (optional)




Before we begin:

   Take note of how large the connector is on each end of the cable. In doing this you will find out how much wire should be stripped off of each end. In the picture below I have taken of about 3/8th of an Inch. This proved to be a good rule as the chuck then had a great deal of un-sheathed cable to clamp hold to. (If this doesn't make sense. It will).

Note:    

*****************************************************
Each cable will take 2 different connectors!!
1 Male(NC3MX-B) & 1 Female(NC3FX-B)!!!
Your cables/connectors may differ based upon preference.
*******************************************************
First – Getting comfortable with your connectors:
   Your connector comes in four pieces. These pieces are as follows.

1.Bushing -  This is the rubber & plastic piece with female threading.
2.Chuck – This has 3 prongs with teeth to clamp down on the cable.
3.Insert -  This piece contains the 3 Gold pins or 3 gold Inserts.
4.Housing – This piece is the solid black metal housing.


Image taken from Neutrik.com. ©Neutrik

Together these will be assembled to make your XLR connector. These pieces attach to the wire in the order they were described. See Image #1 Below.

Image #1: Pieces of a Neutrik Male Connector (NC3MX-B).


Second – Preparing The Cable Ends:

   First we want to place the bushing, chuck and heat shrink (optional) around the cable(bushing will be fat end out). Make sure to give yourself some room near the end of the cable as you will need it when preparing the wires inside. With the bushing and chuck in place (these will slide up when finished) we want to strip the end of the cable. A good rule for stripping the wire, is to take a ruler and strip each end the same amount, this will keep your cables uniform in length.

I took about 3/8th of and inch off each end(See Image #2). This will be a little tight and more difficult to work with if you are not practiced with a soldering iron, so you might give yourself about ½ inch or slightly more.  Being careful not to cut the inside wires, strip away the outside housing. This will expose a braid of silver wire, this is your shield(See Image #3).
Image #2: Placing the connector & determining strip placement.

Image #3: Exposed shield from stripped end.

Next, You want to somehow twist the shield so that it itself is a wire. I did this by taking an exact-o-knife and slicing (very carefully as to not cut the inside wires) a line down the shield. This allowed me to pull it away and gather it to one side for twisting. This will expose the white paper inside as well as the 2 Blue and 2 White wires along with some cotton threads.

Using your wire strippers, strip away a fair amount of the blue and white housings, and twist both blue wires together, then twist both white wires together. Use a set of snips to cut away the paper and cotton threads. You should now have something similar to Image #4.

Image #4: Wires inside the Cable. Blue & White & Shield.

You will want to make sure that you tin these cables with your soldering iron and solder.

Now we are ready to connect the Insert to the cable. The pin placements go as follows:
1: Silver Shield Wires
2: Blue Wires
3: White Wires

Place a small piece of heat shrink around the wire, enough to cover any exposed copper. This will aid in deterring shorts between pins.

Note: You may want to place some solder inside each pin before you insert the wires. This will allow you to heat up the pin and slide the wires inside. The only downfall to this approach is that it can create cold solder joints. Use your best technique/judgment.

Image #5: Connecting the wires to the Insert.

Once you have soldered down all wires, use a heat gun to shrink the heat shrink tubing around the pins. Your wire should now look something like Image #6 below.

Here you will want to use the multimeter to test for continuity and shorts between pins. If you think everything is alright, then move on to Connecting the Connector Together.

Image #6: All Pins soldered & heatshrinked to the Insert
Connecting The Connector Together:

Once you have finished this, slide the chuck up and match up the guide pins. Next we take the housing and using the guide notches, match them up, and slide the housing down over the insert and chuck. Slide the bushing up and screw the bushing to the housing. When you get close to the end, you will have to apply some force. This is okay as we are causing the chuck to dig into the cable so it will not let the cable slip.

Now comes the moment of truth. If you didn't check before,  you will want to check the continuity of the pins. Using the multimeter, place one lead on each corresponding pin. One lead on Pin 1 Male, and one lead inside Pin 1 female. Make sure that you can get signal from one end of the cable to the other, and not in between pins. IE. Pins 2 <-> 2 should send signal. But from 2 <-> 3 should not. If you don't get signal, you will have to go back and check all connections, maybe reflow the solder in the pins.

If everything went okay, and you have no shorts across pins, then you should have something like Image #7!!!

Image #7: Finished Microphone Cables!!!

Thats It! Congratulations on your new Microphone Cable(s)!

Note: All steps are the same for the female connectors. To make sure you have them connected correctly, the release lever should be pushed up and tense.

Special Thank You to Brian Skalinder and TS.com.

Offline DMaCATO

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Re: Make or Buy? Cables..
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2004, 01:13:51 PM »
more pics. Images #4, 5 & 6

Drew

 

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