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DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

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DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby Richie Royale » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:03 am

Hi,

I have a couple of drum machines and an x0x which can be synced using DIN cables. From what I can understand, DIN requires 4 of the 5 pins on the plug to be connected, where as MIDI cables only require 3, so some MIDI cables wont work properly. I have read that some MIDI cables come with all 5 pins wired, making them suitable for DIN sync.

Can anyone either suggest somewhere to purchase a couple of cables suitably wired or suggest a suitable cable, that I could make up some myself. I'm sure that some of my MIDI cables have worked fine as DIN cables and I'm guessing that I can check out the pin wiring using a continuity tester on a multi-meter?
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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby Chevytraveller » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:16 am

Here's a pin out diagram for DIN Sync..

Image

Hope this helps

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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby Richie Royale » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:45 am

Cheers Chevy. I had already found that on Philip Rees' site. I know that at least one of my MIDI cables worked fine as a sync cable, but if I'm going to make up some, I've no idea what would be a reasnoable cable to use. 4 or 5 core it would seem. Can I just get "any" 5 core cable?
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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby nathanscribe » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:50 am

There's not really any such thing as DIN Sync, despite that being what most people call it - there was more than one sync protocol using DIN cables for connection. Roland had Sync24, while Korg had Sync48, for example. The basic difference between those manufacturers was the number of clock ticks per quarter-note (24 or... umm... 48). Roland's system is the most common and I think most of us into retro gear could name at least half a dozen devices with it without even thinking - but not all of them implement it in the same way. The Start/Stop, Clock and ground remain the same, but the extra pin marked Continue in that diagram was not always Continue. You'd need to check the specs of your individual items of equipment to see what it does on each particular device you want to connect.

Anyway, I've had better luck with old-fashioned 5-pin DIN audio leads (which are wired on all pins) than MIDI leads - though if your MIDI lead is wired an all pins rather than specifically as a MIDI lead, then yes, you're good to go. DIN leads are available easily.

Making your own is no harder than any other cable soldering job as long as you can remember to put the sleeve on before soldering... not that I ever do that. Ahem.

You can use regular mic cable for MIDI leads - I've made loads from cheap Maplins stuff and it has always worked fine. If you only need the clock and start/stop lines, you could get away with that for your Sync leads too.
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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby Richie Royale » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:55 am

Thanks for the reply Nathan, I am aware of differences between Korg and Roland. In this case it'll be a 606 an 808 and an x0x, so it is only one format I have to worry about.

I don't think I could use 3 core for DIN, due to the fourth pin requirement. I've found some 5 core electrical cable, which might be fine; just hoping for someone else with experience before I jump in.
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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby Chevytraveller » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:07 am

Richie Royale wrote:
I don't think I could use 3 core for DIN, due to the fourth pin requirement. I've found some 5 core electrical cable, which might be fine; just hoping for someone else with experience before I jump in.


3 core plus screen should do the trick.. Cores going to pin 1, 3 and 5 and the screen going to pin 2 that covers your 4 lines

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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby Richie Royale » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:20 am

Thanks.
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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby Folderol » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:30 pm

If you are going to make your own leads, try to get the best quality plugs you can find, and always stick the plug into a socket before attempting to solder the pins.

Many plugs have very poor quality terminations that seem to fiercely reject solder, and at the same time, have soft plastic bodies that start to deform as soon as the soldering iron gets anywhere near them.

Similarly try to find a decent quality cable, and when you prepare the wires for soldering only strip 2mm of sleeving - you'll be amazed at how far it runs back when you tin the wires
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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby nathanscribe » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:07 pm

Richie Royale wrote:In this case it'll be a 606 an 808 and an x0x, so it is only one format I have to worry about.

I don't think I could use 3 core for DIN, due to the fourth pin requirement.

I have no idea about the x0xb0x, but the 606 and 808 do not share the same Sync protocol. Run/Stop, Clock and ground are the same - but as I mentioned above, not all devices used the spare pins for the same things, and the 606 and 808 are different in that regard. The 606 uses pin 4 for Tap (which acts differently according to the mode it's in) and the 808 has Reset and Fill on 4 and 5. The 606 I think will take Tap as Reset in play pattern mode.
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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby Richie Royale » Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:03 am

Thanks for the further info guys.
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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby ef37a » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:06 am

Further to Wills' points, always slip ~3mm of silicone sleeving over each wire. That way if your work is not of the best the sleeve stops whiskers from causing shorts (sleeving as you go is almost mandatory for such things as D conns').

Re suitable cable. Go see a computer networking firm and ask them for some FTP CAT5/5e PATCH (not net wiring) cable. They will probably throw 20mtrs or so at you. 4pairs and a handy earth drain wire.

You do not qualify as a DIY cable maker in MY book untill you have done DINs!

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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:07 am

Thanks Dave.
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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby Folderol » Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:52 pm

ef37a wrote:You do not qualify as a DIY cable maker in MY book untill you have done DINs!

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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby dmills » Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:57 pm

ef37a wrote:
You do not qualify as a DIY cable maker in MY book untill you have done 11 pin DINs!
Dave.
Fixed that for you!

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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby ef37a » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:17 pm

dmills wrote:
ef37a wrote:
You do not qualify as a DIY cable maker in MY book untill you have done 11 pin DINs!
Dave.

Fixed that for you!

Regards, Dan.


Aha! But Dan, have you tried the mini DINs that sported the video i/o of ATI graph cards?

Dave.(BTW still have a 10pin Revox RC plug if anyone wants it, WIRE it yourself!)
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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby Folderol » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:01 pm

Humpf!
I have to wire these on a regular basis for one of our customers. Their outside diameter is 9.5mm and they are 7 pin
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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby Adam Inglis » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:09 am

dmills wrote:
ef37a wrote:
You do not qualify as a DIY cable maker in MY book untill you have done 11 pin DINs!
Dave.
Fixed that for you!

Regards, Dan.

Yes, I remember finding the 13 pin DIN (for my Akai sampler-to-synth connection) pretty bloody challenging...
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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby dmills » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:29 am

The 13 pin was also used IIRC on the Atari st for something or other (HDD?), and yea those small lemos are a bit nasty to do (Very nice connectors however), particularly 'fun' with steel cored tinsel cable used on some radio mic capsules.

Din in general has however to be the only thing that gives SCART serious competition in the crap plug stakes (What were they thinking?).

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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby ef37a » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:44 am

Heh!
Yes the SCART was/is pretty rubbish but that is the "domestic" telly industry for you and I don't think the connector was ever intended to be "used" like a mic XLR. In fact in some 20yrs in the telly game I can't actually remember a faulty connector or lead!

They could have used the 25pin D connector? I think there orta be a Law! You can't bring out a new connector if a viable alternative already exists.

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Re: DIN cables - ready made or the way to make them

Postby James Perrett » Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:01 pm

Folderol wrote:Humpf!
I have to wire these on a regular basis for one of our customers. Their outside diameter is 9.5mm and they are 7 pin

Get Lemo to do it for you - their cable manufacturing service was surprisingly cheap when we last used them.

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