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How to make your own HDMI Cables

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
Has anyone figured out how many conductors and of what ga. an HDMI cable consists?

Also, can you find HDMI connectors that you can terminate yourself?

Thanks
post #2 of 39
The cable is a mess; four shielded twisted 100-ohm pairs and seven miscellaneous conductors. There are connectors available, but generally only in large bulk from Chinese sources, and there are no backshells available for them--all the assembly houses mold them on. All of the connectors I've seen are solder-only, and the contact points are very small. To my knowledge, nobody currently sells HDMI-suitable raw cable in the US, nor does anybody currently build finished HDMI cable assemblies here. So, while it's possible to do (we're investigating doing it, but have to get a few pieces to fall into place, and will likely wind up with tens of thousands of dollars in equipment to make it happen), it's not very practical, especially on a one-off DIY basis.
post #3 of 39
I bought my HDMI cable from SVideotoRCA. Since it is digital, there shouldn't be any signal loss so I don't see why I would need to buy expensive Monster cables or anything:
http://www.svideotorca.com/hdmicable.html
post #4 of 39
I'm sure there are specs out there, but why attempt to DIY an HDMI cable? Just go to www.monoprice.com and buy one of theirs. It's incredibly cheap, and due to the fact it's a digital signal, you shouldn't have any problems.
post #5 of 39
And in order to manufacture and sell any you have to pay HDMI.org a $15K annual fee.... plus third party certification...
post #6 of 39
I bought a cheap 6' HDMI cable from pccables and it works fine. Tested it against a Monster and it looks the same to me.

BUT

I do not believe that just because something is digital it doesnt matter what quality it is. Digital cables can still lose data, error correction can prevent that but HDMI to my knowledge does not have any error correction so any data lost is just skipped. If your looking for a 50' cable or something you might need to be more particular about what cable you get.

In fact between what I have read on this board and other reviews over long lengths componet can be better than HDMI but thats another topic.
post #7 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yunus View Post

I bought a cheap 6' HDMI cable from pccables and it works fine. Tested it against a Monster and it looks the same to me.

BUT

I do not believe that just because something is digital it doesnt matter what quality it is. Digital cables can still lose data, error correction can prevent that but HDMI to my knowledge does not have any error correction so any data lost is just skipped. If your looking for a 50' cable or something you might need to be more particular about what cable you get.

In fact between what I have read on this board and other reviews over long lengths componet can be better than HDMI but thats another topic.

You will only lose data as a result of the cable if the cable is TERRIBLE in addition to the signal being extremely weak. The types of error you're referring to is jitter. This also has much more to do with the source ADC and the target DAC in addition to cable length than the cable itself. Pretty much any decent DAC will be able to correct for jitter.
post #8 of 39
The reason why termination might be desireable is when you want to pull in-the-wall runs and terminate at wall plates. I was looking for the same thing (which brought me to this thread).

What I DID find is a site with decora style wall plates for HDMI, and terminated HDMI cable of all kinds of length and guage - some rated for in-the-wall runs. The cables are very reasonably priced, and are of excellent build quality.

The site is eHDMI.com
post #9 of 39
here

But I haven't used them. I think these may be challenging to solder.
post #10 of 39
I don't understand why you would want to build one yourself, except just to feel accomplished.
post #11 of 39
IIRC, the specs on HDMI call for having the lengths of all the internal cables to be within 20/1000's of an inch of each other. That's not something that would be very easy to do by hand.

CJ
post #12 of 39
I find that spec pretty amusing. I don't think it's possible with a machine, either, since just measuring the cable from end to end doesn't measure each conductor (the conductors don't go perfectly straight in a cable bundle). Steve Vanuti, the HDMI Marketing Manager, claims that to splice an HDMI cable it must be within 1/20000 of an inch.

On a typical cable, it's around 9 inches per nanosecond (1GHz). That means that according to the spec, HDMI signals must be less than a picosecond apart.

I'm surpised you're even allowed to bend the cable at those tolerances.
post #13 of 39
You're right--it is pretty amusing. I read that statement and could not figure out what he was talking about. Most HDMI cable is actually pretty sloppy stuff inside, too; inconsistent twist rates, inconsistent dielectrics, a real mess. Those things affect timing much, much more than 1/20,000th of an inch of conductor length variability.

There is nothing about this in the HDMI spec document. Where Vanuti got it I really can't imagine, but it's fair to say that it's the statement of a salesman, not a technician. The tolerances for channel-to-channel delay differential aren't right at hand here, but I can assure you that they aren't anything in the picosecond range....
post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZWarren69 View Post

I don't understand why you would want to build one yourself, except just to feel accomplished.

I'm on the same situation, I need a 95m HDMI cable. I read on wikipedia about Custom HDMI cables can be prepared with regular CAT5e cables.

BTW, no matter if the signal is digital, the HDMI is based in the DVI standard, who have issues with distances because was designed for pcs (close to the digital monitor). the HDMI cable is expensive without reasons and here we remember the same USB stuff some years ago: a USB1 cable can manage USB2 data (40x speed) without any problem (is everything marketing)

hdmi don't need to be expensive. I wonder if someone knows a guide to build hdmi cables, I know if possible with cat5e or cat6 cables!

I have hdmi 1.0, 1.1 and 1.3 cables but are only 2 ~ 5 meters long. I need 95!!
post #15 of 39
post #16 of 39
cubanomx,

I have terminated HDMI cables and it is absolutely nightmarish! Do try it unless you are very good at soldering and a masochist. Actually, don't even consider it.

HDMI at 95m is not really doable over copper unless you go through two cables and repeater/retimer unit with equalization. 60-70m is the maximum for one length of cable at 22AWG. The cable also has to have low intra-pair skew. So you could go through two 50m copper links with an equalizer at the end of each and hope that additive jitter won't break the jitter budget.

For a single stretch of 95m you are looking at fiber optic cable - very expensive. Ram Electronics, Gefen, and DVIGear are a few places that offer HDMI over fiber.

Both of the above options (copper or fiber) are going to be > $1000.
post #17 of 39
You can get custom made cables with high quality components at a very cheap price from Blue Jeans Cable - Check them out.

Not worth making your own unless you are making a lot.
post #18 of 39
thats a good link
post #19 of 39
Does anyone know where to order the HDMI connector heads and bulk cable for making your own HDMI?

I saw it once while surfing and forgot which site it was. It had spool of cable available to terminate your own customer length HDMI and clam style connector end. I am skill at soldering (once terminated HD-DB48 connectors with VGA, Network, and audio cable), so it should be a good challenge.
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by qtech2020 View Post

Does anyone know where to order the HDMI connector heads and bulk cable for making your own HDMI?

I saw it once while surfing and forgot which site it was. It had spool of cable available to terminate your own customer length HDMI and clam style connector end. I am skill at soldering (once terminated HD-DB48 connectors with VGA, Network, and audio cable), so it should be a good challenge.


See post #9 above.
post #21 of 39
Here is a great link on the pinouts of HDMI and DVI cables. Also alot of good info on the cables as well. One good idea I read some where was buying one HDMI cable (6' or less), cutting it in half and then splicing on compatible cable. Then you don't have to worry about soldering the ends, just some good heat-shrink.
"hardwaresecrets" is the website, /article/283/3

Apparently I can't post a URL until I post at least 5 times.
post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZWarren69 View Post

I don't understand why you would want to build one yourself, except just to feel accomplished.

How about if you bend the existing connector beyond repair while pulling a 30 foot HDMI cable through the wall and don't want to spend another $80.00?
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by the snedge View Post

How about if you bend the existing connector beyond repair while pulling a 30 foot HDMI cable through the wall and don't want to spend another $80.00?

Pull the $80 cable out, and run a $30 cable?
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by the snedge View Post

How about if you bend the existing connector beyond repair while pulling a 30 foot HDMI cable through the wall and don't want to spend another $80.00?

You say to yourself "well that sucks" and you pull a new cable.
post #25 of 39
I've seen some HDMI over 5 BNC cable solutions that should be coming out. Specifically I saw units from Kramer and Liberty. They were both running through 400' of RGBHV cable at full 1080p w/ audio. With RG6 RGBHV cable I can see it being able to run upwards of 750' or so. And I think I saw around $400 for the units without any cable.
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

You say to yourself "well that sucks" and you pull a new cable.

Yes, if you can.
post #27 of 39
I normally pull a CAT5 cable with every long HDMI cable that I install. Later if something goes wrong with the HDMI cable I can always use the CAT5 cable for video. Also, CAT5 cables have so may other potential uses. CAT5 is cheap. Just leave the ends inside the wall at the box.

Randy
post #28 of 39
For long runs an hdmi balun over cat 5e or cat 6e works well its just more pieces in the
chain to go wrong at some period in time but unavoidable if say a customer uses a 4x4
switcher and wants to be able to share all the eq anywhere in the home.
post #29 of 39
The fact that's it's very difficult/impossible to re terminate HDMI or Displayport cables in the field and without a robot has many in the Pro A/V community worrying. You have to run a new cable if one connector goes bad, you have to run conduit big enough to thread the connector through (not as bad as a DB connector, but still bad), and if you have to replace a cable, you may have to pull all the other cables out of the conduit if there isn't enough room to get the connector through.

-Drew
post #30 of 39
making hdmi longer with cat5e


Ok so I signed up on this site because I also wanted to make my own and with lots of googles, I just found the same thing over and over its to hard or its cheaper just to buy the products.

After seeing all the wall plates it came down to what are they sacrificing
to make 19 wires down to 16 for 2 8 wire cate5 cables.

It came down to a simple answer its the data shields as they would be useless
in cat5e anyways because cat wire does not use data shields ..


I did not make a wall adapter i simply cut my hdmi cable in half and stripped the wire... I did have one adapter from a old tv I could de- solder but only one so it was easier for now just to cut the hdmi cable in half and re solder and then use both ends.

on one cat5 wire I soldered all the individual wires up and left me one green/white that i used for the 4 ground wires in-cased in the foil of the data shields . I also never joined up the main shield ground wire..


I would strongly suggest making your legend before you start this project
example orange hdmi cable goes to cat5e cable 1 orange


things you need
flux
solder
knife
heat shrink <---don't use tape hehe..

I can say I have full hd 1080 and audio at 35 feet. that was my run
so I can confirm it works at that length with no down grade.

if you doubt this at all do what I did before I figured it out.
I spliced the hdmi cable half way (skinned it) then i cut the 4 tin foil shields
and the ground wire with no coating within .. also the main shield around all the wires i also cut in half . I then plugged it in to confirm it would work with those 5 grounds missing. ...and it worked. however seeing you would be left with one wire in your 2 cat5e cables I attached the 4 data shields to one cat5e wire ..

The 2 pictures just shows that if you take your time you can tape up the finish project so its not so messy.and no huge ball .


The wall plates are cheap now 16 dollars for 2 of them but I love to do things my self... Even though this thread is old I hope it helps out somebody else .. And it now looks like its the only site in the world that explains how to do it now without buying a adapter lol...
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