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How to solder twin cable to RCA connectors

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How to solder twin cable to RCA connectors

Postby mjfe2 » Tue May 15, 2012 7:37 am

I've been having problems with an SPDIF connection that uses a hifi phono cable (dropouts etc.) so I decided to make my own from some foil-screened twin cable I found lying around (Canford FST-F). I've bought Neutrik RCA connectors, so all the components are quality. Is there anything I need to be careful with when making this cable and what do I do with the second unused core?
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Re: How to solder twin cable to RCA connectors

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue May 15, 2012 8:20 am

There are two choices.

1. Wire it to the centre pin along with the primary core

2. Wire it to the sleeve along with the screen.

Either is absolutely fine... but personally, I'd go for option 1.

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Re: How to solder twin cable to RCA connectors

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue May 15, 2012 8:38 am

Though a SPDIF cable really ought to be 75 ohm coax, in practice the proverbial "piece of wet string" generally works fine! I'm not sure your cable will be any closer to the correct spec. than a cheap hi-fi cable, and a standard soldered phono connector, when it won't be subjected to physical stress, does the job just as well as a fancy one.

What exactly is the "etc." part of "drop-outs etc."? You may have a damaged cable. But could you have a clocking issue?
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Re: How to solder twin cable to RCA connectors

Postby mjfe2 » Tue May 15, 2012 8:54 am

Exalted Wombat wrote:Though a SPDIF cable really ought to be 75 ohm coax, in practice the proverbial "piece of wet string" generally works fine! I'm not sure your cable will be any closer to the correct spec. than a cheap hi-fi cable, and a standard soldered phono connector, when it won't be subjected to physical stress, does the job just as well as a fancy one.

What exactly is the "etc." part of "drop-outs etc."? You may have a damaged cable. But could you have a clocking issue?

Not really sure why I added the 'etc'! Basically, I use the cable to connect my CD player to my Fireface and very occasionally the sound just drops out until I fiddle with the cable.

The one I'm making is to connect two things in a rack case that I'll be using on location. Once plugged in it won't be moved, but seeing as I'll be in and out plugging in XLRs and stuff I can't guarantee I won't knock it by accident!
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Re: How to solder twin cable to RCA connectors

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue May 15, 2012 9:58 am

mjfe2 wrote:Not really sure why I added the 'etc'! Basically, I use the cable to connect my CD player to my Fireface and very occasionally the sound just drops out until I fiddle with the cable.

Just swap in another standard hi-fi cable that ISN'T broken then!
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Re: How to solder twin cable to RCA connectors

Postby James Perrett » Tue May 15, 2012 10:07 am

Better still, buy a video cable (the ones with yellow phono connectors). They're not expensive.

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Re: How to solder twin cable to RCA connectors

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue May 15, 2012 11:04 am

Although by making his own cables it can be made to the exact required length... ;)

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