1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

Make your own cable ques.

Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by Bodhi, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. Bodhi

    Bodhi Active Member

    It occured to me that one can make 10 quality cables for less than what 4 already made cost. I'm good with a soldering iron, so what the hey. Done a couple and they work great, but I want to make sure I'm doing it correctly so I have a few questions. I'm using Mogami cable and Neutrik connects BTW.

    For balanced XLR cables is it as simple as 1(shield) 2(hot) 3(cold) at both ends OR do i need to solder the shield to the tab that also touches the chasis? I've just been doing 123.

    Another thing, for the 1/4" cables that connect the analog out of the mic pres to the converter should I use balanced or unbalanced, or does it matter?

  2. bap

    bap Member

    I tend to use balanced cables on balanced equipment, no matter the cable length, though I have heard that unbalanced is better for very short runs. I think monitoring systems, room, and ears will have to be pretty good to tell the difference.

    Sound on Sound and Project Studio Handbook have some 'how to' articles on cable building. I looked at those but still unscrewed connectors on pre-built cables to use as models when I soldered my first.

    Best wishes,

    Bruce P.
  3. Look into Technical Support at Neutrik

    You can get the information you need from Neutrik :D
    Got to Altronics Amp and look into Technical Support -> Assemblies.
    You can download lots of PDF files with assembly instructions here: http://www.neutrik.com/content/Technical_Support/Assemblies.asp

    I hope it helps you a little... :cool:
  4. Bodhi

    Bodhi Active Member

    Ah, thanks. Opening up the premade cables is actually what thru me for a loop. The ones with Neutrik connectors are just 123, but some others have the shield also wired to a metal tab.

    On the other question I'm talking about short runs, so I guess it doesn't matter.
  5. Bodhi

    Bodhi Active Member

    Lusitano Vagabundo, thanks, I checked there first thing but couldn't find a wiring schematic, only a rudimentary diagram for putting the components together. If I can't figure that out I shouldn't be allowed to use a soldering iron. Unless I'm overlooking something.

    I went here, the first figure shows straight up 123, but later figures vary. Making me wonder which is which.

  6. redrabbit

    redrabbit Active Member

    I also am building my own cables. Nowhere on the Neutrik site does it mention anything about using that "chassis ground" lug.

    My own searches also led me to the Rane site. From my lack of understanding proper electrical theory, I am assuming it is to be used on older equiptment that does NOT internally tie grounding pin #1 to chassis, leaving a sort of floating ground. Most (all?) newer equiptment does tie pin1 to chassis, so it is not needed there.
    If all of what I said is true, then those cables you opened up that used the extra "chassis ground" lug, did so to be compatible with older designs that needed it, "just in case" (pun haha). I say 'just in case' because it won't hurt to use that lug, because it's already done internally on newer gear making it harmlessly redundant.

    I have been looking for a simple explanation of this, and am not sure I am entirely right, so if someone can clarify, it would clear up a lot --

  7. bap

    bap Member

    All of the articles that I read before assembling my own cables mentioned only 3 solder points for balanced cables and the cables I looked at for reference used only 3 solder points as well. I soldered to only the 3 points on all of my cables [XLR & TRS] and everything works just fine.

    I was a little thrown by what seemed to be a 4th tab inside but felt confident that all the instructions I found and all the cables I opened up were correct. Look at the connectors and you will see the numbers 1, 2, & 3. The instructions will tell you to solder this wire to #1, another to #2, and so on. If you are careful to solder each wire to the same #s at each end all should go well! :)

    It's not as complicated as it seems.
  8. Bodhi

    Bodhi Active Member

    Thanks. Yeah, I figured 123 was right, it was just that one part on Rane where they do it the other way that threw me off.
  9. redrabbit

    redrabbit Active Member

    Yes , all my cables work fine, and you are correct, it is not that hard to do, just a little time consuming. I'll usually take a Saturday morning, put on my fav. radio program, and solder away.

    But I'm one of those people who needs to know what those extra thingies do that sit around unused and look like they have a purpose. One day I looked under the hood of my car and found a disconnected wire with a connector, and I thought , "where did this used to go?" It turned out to be a computer diagnostic cable used to trouble-shoot the engine, a friend informed me. Or the time I was 12 and asked my father while pointing near my belt line, "Dad, what does this do?"...and forced him into an uncomfortable and rather lengthy explaination. And now, at 41, I am asking total strangers "What is that 4th solder lug "chassis ground"in a Neutrik XLR connector used for?"
    I just need to know.

  10. bap

    bap Member

    Some of my first cables were with Mogami Neglex quad big mama cable. The Nuetric conectors weren't too bad, although a tight fit, but getting those big ol' shields twisted up and fit into Canares TRS connectors was a real challenge!

Share This Page