DIY Coax Cables - Making Your Cables Look Polished - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-10-2011, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
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DIY look at creating Semi-Professional looking Cables with minimal cost

Step 1:
- Use a 2 step* coax stripper and "Twist" it around the cable just enough times to cut through jacket (Usually 2-3 Turns)
* If your using quad shield you can use a 3 step stripper although I have generally found it unnecessary


Step 2:
- Spread the wires surrounding the inner core out evenly around the core
- If your cable has "aluminum" shielding you will want to remove this, generally you can just "rip" it off but you may have to get a little creative with removing it.
- On quad shield cable you will have 2 layers of foil you will have to remove
- You can either fold it back over the outer jacket or just let it fold back when you insert the connector over it


Step 3:
- Insert connector over coax making sure it is fully seated
- Either crimp on connector using a crimp tool with correct dies or use a compression tool to compress the connector over the cable
- In the picture i'm using the F-Conn Compression RCA's which I would highly recommend


NOTE: If you want a simple cable this is the end of the DIY part, Just repeat the process on the other end of the cable.
Proceeding on is just if you want to give you cabling a more "expensive" appearance along with adding excellent abrasion resistance.


Step 4:
- Insert the Wire Sleeve over the wire stopping approximately 1.5" from the connector that you just terminated and cut off sleeve at opposite end of cable, ideally using a hot knife or SHARP scissors and use a lighter to gently melt the end of the sleeve
- The sleeve pictured in TechFlex 3/8" Flexo Remix Fire


Step 5:
- Cut the heat shrink tubing into ~ 3/4" strip you will need 2 (Obviously you can make it longer depending on how you want it to look )
- Slide both pieces onto the unterminated end of the cable and just leave it there for now


Step 6:
- Slide the sleeve back up flush with the terminated end of the cable are repeat steps 1-3 for the other end of the cable
- If you want the sleeve to be flush with both ends of the connector the coax stripper width is almost exactly the length of the terminated connector
- If so then cut the cable so that the coax stripper when set to strip leaves about an 1/8 of an inch of cable exposed between the end of the sleeve and the stripper (maker sure the other end of the sleeve is also flush and pulled taunt over the entire length of the cable)


Step 7:
- Move the heat shrink back up to the end of the connector and use a heat gun to shrink the tubing over the sleeve
- IMPORTANT: If you decide to use either a heat gun without temp control or a lighter be very gently since you may end up burning or marring the sleeve


Step 8:
- Connect it to your equipment making sure it is operational and sit back and admire you hard work



Products Used:

TechFlex Flexo Remix Fire
F-Conn FS6RCAU
2 Step Coax Stripper
Klein Compression Crimper

Tommy: What's wrong with this one?
Turkish: Oh, nothing, Tommy. It's tiptop. It's just I'm not sure about the color.

DIY Professional Cables
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-11-2011, 05:44 PM
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Quad-shield is designed for TV signals from the cable company to your Set Top Box (STB). There are other better choices for analog audio, digital audio and component video.

Yes, quad-shield will work but if you are putting in extra effort why not choose a more appropriate co-ax?

Kevin
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-11-2011, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post

Quad-shield is designed for TV signals from the cable company to your Set Top Box (STB). There are other better choices for analog audio, digital audio and component video.

Yes, quad-shield will work but if you are putting in extra effort why not choose a more appropriate co-ax?

Not sure exactly what your talking about. Yes, if I was installing F-Pin connectors on the cable to run AV signals I may have actually used quad-shield cable (which I didn't)... The quad shield part was a note for people not familiar with quad shield and how it may in fact differ from standard RG6
The DIY part is universal to F-Pin/RCA/BNC anything using Coax or really any type of cable you can think of, past the actual termination of the cable.

Tommy: What's wrong with this one?
Turkish: Oh, nothing, Tommy. It's tiptop. It's just I'm not sure about the color.

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post #4 of 9 Old 03-11-2011, 06:45 PM
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Gee, I thought that I read:

Step 1:
- - -
* If your using quad shield you can use a 3 step stripper although I have generally found it unnecessary


and

Step 2:
- - - -
- On quad shield cable you will have 2 layers of foil you will have to remove

Kevin
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-11-2011, 07:19 PM
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Good post, Shadowfox! Crimped connections are a great option for people who can't solder, or don't want to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post

Gee, I thought that I read:

Step 1:
- - -
* If your using quad shield you can use a 3 step stripper although I have generally found it unnecessary


and

Step 2:
- - - -
- On quad shield cable you will have 2 layers of foil you will have to remove

I think what he meant was he's not sure why you're saying that quadshield isn't the best choice for an audio or video cable. IIR, its center conductor is clad copper (copper-plated steel), not solid copper like regular coax. I'm perhaps a bit anal about this, but I prefer copper for my audio and video signals. It can be a challenge to find regular RG-6 or -59 coax with a copper shield.

Actually I prefer RG-59 for audio/video uses, since it's more pliable (read rack friendly). The fatter, stiffer RG-6 offers no advantage for line-level audio or video signals, it's only relevant with RF signals. I believe the highly-regarded Canare LV-61S and LV-77S coax is RG-59. It has copper shielding, by the way...


Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt



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post #6 of 9 Old 03-11-2011, 08:24 PM
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I use the 5 wire Canare RGBHV bundle cable, split apart so I have nicely color coded and sup[er flexible coax cables for all the rack video wiring. I stick with industry standard audio cables though for rack work.

Also a major concern when making your own cables or getting suckered into buying the WalletDrainer series from some of the cable scammers is the physical torque and shear forces stiff cables forced into small radii can exert on the RCA chassis connections. This is especially true for PCB mounted RCAs such as are found on BD/CD/DVD players and AVRs.

This is why the pros NEVER use the jack as the sole support for the cabling. We use support bars and ties to hold the cable solid yet allow some flexing for service etc.
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-11-2011, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne A. Pflughaupt View Post

[font="Comic Sans MS"]
Good post, Shadowfox! Crimped connections are a great option for people who can't solder, or don't want to.

Yeah I've been know to be a little lazy Which RCA connectors have you used that were meant to be soldered? The only ones I've seen weren't meant to be be soldered onto coax, I generally prefer to solder connections if possible, and from checking you sig you definantly know what your talking about.

Tommy: What's wrong with this one?
Turkish: Oh, nothing, Tommy. It's tiptop. It's just I'm not sure about the color.

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post #8 of 9 Old 03-12-2011, 09:25 AM
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The vast majority of RCA connectors are specifically designed for soldering.
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-12-2011, 01:24 PM
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Yeah, what Gizmo said. My favorites RCAs are the Neutrik NYS373 plugs that Parts Express, Markertek etc. sell. Great plug, dirt cheap, and excellent quality. Among other things, I’ve used them with Canare LV-61S coax to make my own component video cables. True, you get a more technically “correct” 75-ohm connection with crimped RCAs, but RCAs aren’t 75 ohm connectors to begin with, more like 25 ohm, so the “system” ultimately breaks down with the connector. On top of that, the video circuits in consumer video components aren’t tightly regulated anyway. All of which means soldered video cables using coax work just fine, even if they are technically inferior to crimped.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt



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