Have a look at these Beauties!!!! How to make your OWN "High End" Cables!!! - Page 131 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

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post #3901 of 3929 Old 09-06-2016, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ih-94RfMmo

There are several others on YouTube. Really you are not so much making cable as dressing them up.

You can find an assortment of TechFlex wire jackets at Parts Express and on Ebay. Ebay probably has a greater assortment of colors.

Speaker Pants from Parts Express or KnuKoncepts or very common on Ebay and possibly Amazon.

Heat Shrink, which is handy, can be purchased just about anywhere. However, Parts Express (and others) has Heat Shrink in an assortment of colors -

http://www.parts-express.com/nte-hea...0-pcs--080-730

Then simply purchase the wire terminations (Bananas, Spades, Others) to suit your needs and your budget.

Then it is simply a matter of putting it all together.

Most of the Wire Jacket covers a range of sizes. For example, this is Nominal 1/4", but if you stretch it, it shrinks down to 1/8" and if you compress it, it expands to 7/16". Though stretched it is longer, and compressed it is shorter, so remember this when you order the Wire Jackets to make sure you get the right length.

http://www.parts-express.com/techfle...black--082-316

I think I would order on the smaller size and expand it to fit, that way I'm assured of a reasonably tight fit in the Jacket. For example, this 1/8" nominal, has a range of 3/32" to 1/4".

http://www.parts-express.com/techfle...black--082-300

However, the MOGAMI wire has a considerable diameter of about 0.472". 1/4" will expand to 0.4375", that's 0.035" difference, I think I could make it work.

http://www.parts-express.com/mogami-...1-ft--103-1023

Or as an alternative, thin covering In-Wall wire of the same 12ga, is only 0.252" in diameter. Which means the 1/8" would be just 0.002" short, but again, I think I could make it work.

Just a few rambling thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard
I know what i'm doing over the weekend . Thank you so much!!!
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post #3902 of 3929 Old 09-07-2016, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by kyzer soze View Post
I know what i'm doing over the weekend . Thank you so much!!!
It's pretty easy, take your time. IMO don't use a lighter go buy a heat gun they are DIRT cheap. AND MEASURE MEASURE MEASURE before cutting Good luck and make sure you post pictures of your end result
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post #3903 of 3929 Old 09-07-2016, 10:02 AM
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Agreed. I'll never regret picking up my $30 Porter Cable heat gun off Amazon, though you could cheap out for limited use and probably get one for $10 at Harbor Fright.
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post #3904 of 3929 Old 09-07-2016, 10:07 AM
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Agreed. I'll never regret picking up my $30 Porter Cable heat gun off Amazon, though you could cheap out for limited use and probably get one for $10 at Harbor Fright.
My 12 year old black and Decker was 15$ worked till my kid dropped it now i'll be replacing it with another cheap one
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post #3905 of 3929 Old 09-07-2016, 10:41 AM
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$14.99 ones at Harbor Freight. I've dropped my Porter Cable PC1500HG twice, no noticeable ill effect though it wasn't 4 ft to a concrete floor.
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post #3906 of 3929 Old 10-06-2016, 08:12 PM
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ok i have been reading this thread for an hour now. this is one of the best threads on AVS. i'm redoing my whole living room setup and i'm going to make nicer cables. i have a few questions though.

1. I use compression ends for my connectors. it allows me to screw on any kind of end such as a spade or plug.

Untitled by Jim, on Flickr

my question is regarding the pants. how do they stay in place inside the connector end? do they just hang out in there or do you use something to hold them in place?

2. getting the right size pants for the speaker wire is just trial an error i'm reading? i use ICE cable i have the 12 or 14 gauge.

3. what holds the flex in place? the pants? electrical tape under? do i have to use heat shrink to hold them in place?

4. if i wants not use pants and use flex for the bare neg and pos wire i read 1/8" works well do i need anything under the flex? or is it just the wire?

5. how are you guys getting these dual colors?


thanks a lot.

jim
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post #3907 of 3929 Old 10-06-2016, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jimim View Post
ok i have been reading this thread for an hour now. this is one of the best threads on AVS. i'm redoing my whole living room setup and i'm going to make nicer cables. i have a few questions though.

1. I use compression ends for my connectors. it allows me to screw on any kind of end such as a spade or plug.

my question is regarding the pants. how do they stay in place inside the connector end? do they just hang out in there or do you use something to hold them in place?

2. getting the right size pants for the speaker wire is just trial an error i'm reading? i use ICE cable i have the 12 or 14 gauge.

3. what holds the flex in place? the pants? electrical tape under? do i have to use heat shrink to hold them in place?

4. if i wants not use pants and use flex for the bare neg and pos wire i read 1/8" works well do i need anything under the flex? or is it just the wire?

5. how are you guys getting these dual colors?


thanks a lot.

jim
1. First part isn't a question, it seems. I use heat shrink tubing to seal the joint between the connectors (Blue Jeans Cable Locking Banana Plugs for me) and the end of the cable pants. A little tricky for the first one you do to get the right lengths of wire coming out of the cable pants and into the connector of choice.

2. Being a machinist with a digital caliper I measured over the jacket of the Monoprice 12ga CL-2 cable I bought, and ordered the right size from KnuKoncepts on eBay.

3. I wrap a single, tightly would layer of electrical tape over the TechFlex with the midpoint of the tape width at exactly where I what to cut it. Using a razor I cut through the tape and the TechFlex, leaving a 1/2 width of tape to hold it in place. I slip the cable pants over that easily. Sometimes I secure the large end of cable pants to the TechFlex sheathing with 3/4" long piece of 4:1 adhesive lined heat shrink tubing. Sometimes...I don't.

4. Not sure what you're asking. I'll say from experience don't buy TechFlex that's got a minimum (unstretched) size equal to or larger than the total cable you're covering. It expands great, doesn't shrink down. I bought the 3/8" nominal to cover Monoprice #2718 cable after making the mistake of buying 1/2" because I thought 3/8" would be too tight. That 1/2" stuff is too big.

5. I buy from Cableorganizer.com and they have a great selection of solid colors along with the pricier multicolored stuff.

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Last edited by KenM10759; 10-06-2016 at 10:33 PM.
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post #3908 of 3929 Old 10-06-2016, 10:33 PM
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I could take some pictures of how i did mine.. I usually cut 3-4" off the ends of the wire so there are red & black. Then i slide the techflex over the end and push it to the other end. When it gets to the other end i push it 1/4" and then put some glue in the tip and then heatshrink over that. Then press the cover over it.. I'll post pictures in the next few days. I have been busy with so many hobbies and projects


Dash.
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post #3909 of 3929 Old 10-07-2016, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
1. First part isn't a question, it seems. I use heat shrink tubing to seal the joint between the connectors (Blue Jeans Cable Locking Banana Plugs for me) and the end of the cable pants. A little tricky for the first one you do to get the right lengths of wire coming out of the cable pants and into the connector of choice.

1. that's what i was asking. i just don't know if the pants will fit in the sleeve of the plug. you guys use plugs that are 2 piece it seems so the other piece just slides over the pants and then screws onto the termination plug. mine are a single piece cause they are compression. you slide the wire in and when you compress the connector down it holds the wire in place. they are very very tight. i really like them.

2. Being a machinist with a digital caliper I measured over the jacket of the Monoprice 12ga CL-2 cable I bought, and ordered the right size from KnuKoncepts on eBay.

3. I wrap a single, tightly would layer of electrical tape over the TechFlex with the midpoint of the tape width at exactly where I what to cut it. Using a razor I cut through the tape and the TechFlex, leaving a 1/2 width of tape to hold it in place. I slip the cable pants over that easily. Sometimes I secure the large end of cable pants to the TechFlex sheathing with 3/4" long piece of 4:1 adhesive lined heat shrink tubing. Sometimes...I don't.

4. Not sure what you're asking. I'll say from experience don't buy TechFlex that's got a minimum (unstretched) size equal to or larger than the total cable you're covering. It expands great, doesn't shrink down. I bought the 3/8" nominal to cover Monoprice #2718 cable after making the mistake of buying 1/2" because I thought 3/8" would be too tight. That 1/2" stuff is too big.

5. I buy from Cableorganizer.com and they have a great selection of solid colors along with the pricier multicolored stuff.
thats that is all very helpful. i'll get the spec for my cable today and i can go from there for the tech flex.

3. you had me until you cut wit the razor. do you have a pic by any chance?

4. if i didn't want to use pants over the bare negative and positive conductors and use tech flex instead to give the wire a different look would i just use the smaller diameter tech flex i guess but at the junction of where the 3 pieces of tech flex meet what should i do to hold everything together and look ok? meaning the larger tech fix covering the overall wire still in sheath and the 2 pieces of exposed conductors now covered in tech flex.

5. also here is the inside of what i have for space with my ends. is that enough depth to get the pants in there nd stay put or do i need to be using something that slides over the pants to hold them in place at the connector end.

Untitled by Jim, on Flickr

Untitled by Jim, on Flickr
thanks a lot.

jim

Last edited by jimim; 10-07-2016 at 05:59 AM.
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post #3910 of 3929 Old 10-07-2016, 06:32 AM
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Cutting the TechFlex is something you have to be very careful doing. It requires a new, sharp razor blade and understanding that it's much tougher than any wire jacket or insulation underneath it. I suppose this applies to jacketed cable, twin singles or zip cord would be a little different.

I believe I took some photos but have to dig a little and upload them. In the interest of a little more detail:

First cut the cable to the overall length needed, I prefer equal length cables in case I ever move the system. On the TechFlex I start by wrapping electrical tape right at the end, then make a clean cut through the middle of the tape. If you have a hot-knife, this isn't necessary. It's to prevent fraying.

I then start slipping the TechFlex over the cable, and I haven't stripped back the jacket yet. Run the TechFlex to 6" from the end of the cable. Wrap a single layer/wind of electrical tape at 6" from the end of the cable that's furthest into the TechFlex. This is where I carefully cut through the tape and TechFlex, and into the cable jacket. A half-width of electrical tape is left on the TechFlex so I don't have to do that first step for the next cable. Trim back (strip) the jacket of the cable at the opposite end of the TechFlex where it was pushed on so I have on each end the two single leads to feed into the cable pants.

At each end now I've got 6" of lead. Slip the cable pants on and test length of the leads for the amount I'm going to strip back insulation, and how much is going to be taken up by whatever terminals I'll be using. (Lately that's exclusively Blue Jeans Cable locking banana plugs.) As long as we're close (within 1/4") on lengths, fasten the terminals of choice, slip the cables pants snug against the back of the terminals. Here I usually add a 5/8" long piece of heat shrink tubing to keep them from backing away from the contact with the terminal. I have also put a 3/4" piece of heat shrink at the junction of the large end of the cable pants and TechFlex, but it's really not required.

HTH
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post #3911 of 3929 Old 10-07-2016, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
Heat Shrink, which is handy, can be purchased just about anywhere. However, Parts Express (and others) has Heat Shrink in an assortment of colors -

http://www.parts-express.com/nte-hea...0-pcs--080-730

Great advice bluewizard.

I would take it one step further (as I did in my own cable build) and say when using Heat Shrink for custom cables, one may want to seek out GLOSSY Heat Shrink, vs. the typical heat shrink which tends to be very dull/flat in appearance.

Since one is simply dressing up the cables, no need to skimp on appearance.

My cables are 8AWG....simply for appearance. They add nothing to the quality/performance of my system.



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Jim,

Seems you added photos while I was writing my long reply. Those terminal you show are ideal for capturing the twin small ends of the cable pants, no sealing with heat shrink would be required.

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post #3913 of 3929 Old 10-07-2016, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
Jim,

Seems you added photos while I was writing my long reply. Those terminal you show are ideal for capturing the twin small ends of the cable pants, no sealing with heat shrink would be required.

It's not apparent who your post was directed at due to not quoting a prior post....

Assuming you were talking about the banana connector I used on one end...I didn't find cable pants large enough to cover the individual wires plus fit over the larger sleeved portion. Plus, cable pants would just butt up to the spade connectors, thus still requiring heat shrink to clean up the look. 8AWG + insulation is pretty thick.


.

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Originally Posted by rms8 View Post
It's not apparent who your post was directed at due to not quoting a prior post....

Assuming you were talking about the banana connector I used on one end...I didn't find cable pants large enough to cover the individual wires plus fit over the larger sleeved portion. Plus, cable pants would just butt up to the spade connectors, thus still requiring heat shrink to clean up the look. 8AWG + insulation is pretty thick.


.
How about like this.

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How about like this.


That appears to be the same as what I did too with the addition that I sleeved the individual wires as well.


.
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Originally Posted by rms8 View Post


That appears to be the same as what I did too with the addition that I sleeved the individual wires as well.


.
Sorry i probably quoted the wrong person just showing an example !
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post #3917 of 3929 Old 10-07-2016, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
Cutting the TechFlex is something you have to be very careful doing. It requires a new, sharp razor blade and understanding that it's much tougher than any wire jacket or insulation underneath it. I suppose this applies to jacketed cable, twin singles or zip cord would be a little different.

I believe I took some photos but have to dig a little and upload them. In the interest of a little more detail:

First cut the cable to the overall length needed, I prefer equal length cables in case I ever move the system. On the TechFlex I start by wrapping electrical tape right at the end, then make a clean cut through the middle of the tape. If you have a hot-knife, this isn't necessary. It's to prevent fraying.

I then start slipping the TechFlex over the cable, and I haven't stripped back the jacket yet. Run the TechFlex to 6" from the end of the cable. Wrap a single layer/wind of electrical tape at 6" from the end of the cable that's furthest into the TechFlex. This is where I carefully cut through the tape and TechFlex, and into the cable jacket. A half-width of electrical tape is left on the TechFlex so I don't have to do that first step for the next cable. Trim back (strip) the jacket of the cable at the opposite end of the TechFlex where it was pushed on so I have on each end the two single leads to feed into the cable pants.

At each end now I've got 6" of lead. Slip the cable pants on and test length of the leads for the amount I'm going to strip back insulation, and how much is going to be taken up by whatever terminals I'll be using. (Lately that's exclusively Blue Jeans Cable locking banana plugs.) As long as we're close (within 1/4") on lengths, fasten the terminals of choice, slip the cables pants snug against the back of the terminals. Here I usually add a 5/8" long piece of heat shrink tubing to keep them from backing away from the contact with the terminal. I have also put a 3/4" piece of heat shrink at the junction of the large end of the cable pants and TechFlex, but it's really not required.

HTH
ok i totally got it now. you cut through it on the cable so you aren't wasting any tech flex for ur next cable and it is already prepared for next time.

1. I have a hot knife so can i just cut the one end with heat and start to put my tech flex over the speaker wire jacket and then pull through 6 inches further than the end of the cable and hot cut it again and then slip back on the cable so i have 6 inches on each side to the dress and terminate?

2. i have samples of 3:1 heat shrink coming from tech flex. is that the ratio size you usually use vs 2:1 OR 4:1? they said 3:1 was the most ordered for this.

3. i have to order some pants to test the larger end for my cable from ice cable (12 gauge). do you have any recommendations on what sizes to buy to test? i read a lot of people use 8mm? should i go bigger and smaller to test?

4. so i assume the plugs u use are 2 piece so you slip the cover on the pants and then terminate and then slide the cover over the plug and screw it on? that way the pants is tucked neatly inside the cover of the banana plug?

I don't think i'm going to use my compression ones.

5. So you aren't using the GLS ones like a lot of other people are? is their a reason. i'm just wondering. is it because you want to use locking banana plugs?

6. last one. how do i figure out what size heat shrink to buy for the pants to conductor or the tech flex to pants? trial and error?


This all is pretty awesome. the more i think about all of this and how awesome everyones cables come out the more i feel so many of these companies just rape people when it comes to prices. how much diff can all these diff wires really be. i mean start with good plugs endwise and everything else is pure eye candy.

thanks a lot!
jim
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post #3918 of 3929 Old 10-07-2016, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
Jim,

Seems you added photos while I was writing my long reply. Those terminal you show are ideal for capturing the twin small ends of the cable pants, no sealing with heat shrink would be required.
that's the thing. i have to compress first i think? then i would just be shoving the pants inside the plug end. like sticking ur pants in a pair of boots. lol i think it will eventually just walk out? unless i can compress down the pants with the wire, but not sure if that will mess up the connection. they r really good quality but. . .

1. maybe i can do heat shrink over the plug onto the pants look.

2. or maybe i can do the tech flex over each conductor look to the plug and then heat shrink over the plug/ tech flex junction. then go back up to where everything meets and do heat shrink up there. that might look good. not sure how it would look over the plug down to the much smaller diameter tech flex and conductor wire.
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Originally Posted by rms8 View Post
Great advice bluewizard.

I would take it one step further (as I did in my own cable build) and say when using Heat Shrink for custom cables, one may want to seek out GLOSSY Heat Shrink, vs. the typical heat shrink which tends to be very dull/flat in appearance.

Since one is simply dressing up the cables, no need to skimp on appearance.

My cables are 8AWG....simply for appearance. They add nothing to the quality/performance of my system.



that's the look i want. that is tech flex on each conductor right? what did you use for the junction at the larger jacket and individual conductors? do you have heat shrink under the black round thingy. sorry no idea what it's called.
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post #3920 of 3929 Old 10-07-2016, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rms8 View Post
It's not apparent who your post was directed at due to not quoting a prior post....

Assuming you were talking about the banana connector I used on one end...I didn't find cable pants large enough to cover the individual wires plus fit over the larger sleeved portion. Plus, cable pants would just butt up to the spade connectors, thus still requiring heat shrink to clean up the look. 8AWG + insulation is pretty thick.


.
pretty sure it was to me cause my name is jim. we were talking about my compression fittings above.

your wires are awesome though, but so is ur build.

jim
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post #3921 of 3929 Old 10-07-2016, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by dashpuppy View Post
How about like this.

who makes the black junctions that are used in urs? how did you keep everything neat inside of it where all the tech flex meets?

jim
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post #3922 of 3929 Old 10-07-2016, 04:39 PM
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that's the look i want. that is tech flex on each conductor right? what did you use for the junction at the larger jacket and individual conductors? do you have heat shrink under the black round thingy. sorry no idea what it's called.

It's still referred to as speaker pants.

Google :
"steel speaker pants boot"

You can also add "Y" splitter to that search too. The one I used was the only one which would accept the diameter of 8AWG wire wrapped in techflex. And yes, I did heat shrink the end of the larger techflex so it would not unravel.


.

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post #3923 of 3929 Old 10-07-2016, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rms8 View Post
It's still referred to as speaker pants.

Google :
"steel speaker pants boot"

You can also add "Y" splitter to that search too. The one I used was the only one which would accept the diameter of 8AWG wire wrapped in techflex. And yes, I did heat shrink the end of the larger techflex so it would not unravel.


.
man my google searches are getting weirder and weirder. lol

so heat shrink to bind all three pieces of tech flex together?
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post #3924 of 3929 Old 10-12-2016, 04:41 AM
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Thought i would join the clan

My cables!!

Mogami 2 conductor stuff..



Hand made RCA & speaker cables,




Looking for some help. I am far from a DIY person but would really like to make some cables that look like the top one. I want to make each speaker wire a different color so it's easier for me to know what is what. I like the look of the top picture how it looks sorta braided and a different color swirl in it.

Did you actually order the housing like that?
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post #3925 of 3929 Old 10-12-2016, 06:29 AM
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If anyone could shoot me a pm that has experience building these inwould appreciate it.
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post #3926 of 3929 Old 10-12-2016, 03:08 PM
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wow those are awesome
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post #3927 of 3929 Old 10-12-2016, 10:01 PM
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So I ordered some sleeves I'll post when I receive them
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post #3928 of 3929 Old 10-14-2016, 02:26 PM
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i got some of my samples from techflx and i got some of the GLS plugs so i figured i would give this a try.

here is my problem. you can see the red through the 1/4" tech flex but if i go up to the 3/8" which is the next size it looks really bad. i had to use 1/2" for the main cable cause my wire is pretty thick. the 3/8" was like spandex on it. you can see right through to the white.

1. so do I just live with this?

2. how does my tech look in general? don't worry about color. they sent me all black for samples.

3. my color plan was going to be the snake color with the positive and negative conductors being two different colors that compliment the snake color and then use heat shrink that matches. any ideas what 2 colors to use that would go with snake and what color heat shrink then?

My sneaker pants should be here today so i'll see what i like better.

4. so is this pretty much what these should look like?

5. oh also my heat knife. it doesn't have a stand. what is the best tech to cut with it cause i have hold it in my hand and cut at the same time. my first cut was not pretty at all. i got the blade all dirty with the melted tech flex.

jim

Untitled by Jim, on Flickr

Untitled by Jim, on Flickr
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post #3929 of 3929 Old 11-06-2016, 07:41 PM
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some old ones i made.
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