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post #1 of 21 Old 09-16-2019, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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DIY Cable Supports

From concept to reality. My do-it-yourself 3D printed cable supports are inspired by the outrageously expensive Furutech NCF Booster. (See Audiophile BS reaches a new depth.. We are way past hipwaders here for AK opinions on this product). Ever since I upgraded all my AC power cords to Signal Cable MagicPower cords, I've been looking for something to secure them to my wall receptacles and components as they were drooping under their own weight. Personally, I wasn’t willing to pay $350 each for the Furutech items, so with the help of a friend we created a 3D model in CAD and then printed a prototype on his 3D printer. Then we tweaked the design again and printed a second prototype that was optimized for both functional performance and print speed. Later this week I will make a few more minor revisions for the third (and hopefully final) prototype design with some alternate cradle support configurations to handle different cable routing needs.

This design is not modular nor height adjustable like the Furutech NCF Booster. To keep costs low, the carbon fiber support shafts are cut to a fixed length suitable for that particular application. If you need a different height cable support then you print another set and cut the shafts to the appropriate height. Small adjustments can be made by using flat washers between the shaft and the 3D printed plastic support pieces or by wrapping the cable with one or more turns of self-fusing silicone tape. The upper clamp portion is optional. I did not need it at the wall receptacle but might try it at the component end of the power cord.

All told each completed device costs less than $10 including nylon filament, electricity to print them, the carbon fiber support shafts and the bolts and washers if using the upper clamp portion. Missing is the mystical and proprietary nano-crystalline formula nylon that Furutech uses. Sound quality aside, mine support heavy power cords just as well for a fraction of the cost. After I secure all my heavy AC power cords from drooping under their own weight, I might try lifting my XLR balanced signal cables and speaker wires 6” off the floor and create tidy cable highways to minimize the effects of static electricity, RFI and electromagnetic interference. Future iterations of the saddle support piece might have multiple cradles to support more than one cable in different orientations (e.g. side by side or vertically stacked pairs or in a V formation for 3 cables).


Furutech NCF Booster was the inspiration for this DIY project.


First 3D model in Autodesk Fusion 360 CAD/CAM software.


Checking wall receptacle height so we can estimate support shaft length.


Checking component IEC plug height so we can estimate support shaft length.



First prototype on the 3D printer. The first prototype took about two days to print. We scaled down the parts for our second prototype so they all fit within the work envelope and can be printed simultaneously for faster manufacturing. My friend is graciously printing them for me as time allows in between prints for his other projects. So no, these cable supports are not for sale to the general public. They're for my personal use. But once my design is finalized I may throw it up on Thingaverse for others who might want to tweak the design or print their own.


First prototype pieces. We dry fit the assembly and then decided to make some design changes for the next iteration. For the second prototype we scaled the part 50% for a tighter fit against the wall/ baseboard trim, better alignment with the AC power cord plug that it is meant to support and so all 3 pieces can print at the same time on the print bed to speed up manufacturing; enlarged some of the holes for easier assembly (it's still super tight no glue needed); and altered the support structure to improve surface finish and dimensional stability.


First prototype pieces hot off the printer.


This is the second prototype part fully assembled and installed. It is holding my heavy-duty Signal Cable MagicStrip power extension cord in the Hubbell 8200IV 15-amp hospital grade wall receptacle. The Hubbell outlet has really strong contact grip but my cable would still droop somewhat under its own weight due to gravity. That's no longer an issue. I didn't even need to use the upper clamp portion.


The support shafts started life as 30" target arrows. The shafts are made of carbon fiber. The removable tip is threaded for 8-32 machine screws. Once the fletchings and nock are cut off using my vertical bandsaw, the useful length of the shaft is 1" to 26" making them very versatile. Cost is just $2 each. Apparently these are very popular material stock for RC model airplane builders as they're cheap, light and easy to work with.


Base support fits tight against the baseboard trim.


Closeup installed rear view.


Bottom piece is called saddle or support cradle.


I wrapped the power cord in some self-fusing silicone tape to protect the heat shrink tubing that Signal Cable uses on all their power cords from the somewhat rough surface finish of the 3D printed plastic support cradle piece. To be honest the support shafts could probably stand to be 1/16" shorter but they're wedged into the plastic base good and tight and not going anywhere now.


Upper clamp portion is optional. I still get excellent support without it and not using it makes it much easier to unplug the cord. Will most likely end up using the clamp on the component end of the AC power cord so that remains attached to allow slight movement of the component on the AV rack shelf without disturbing the cable support.


With the upper clamp. Could use longer 8-32 screws. Must be very careful not to over tighten these screws. Might use cylindrical nylon spacers as a torque limiting device or to make it look more tidy so you don't see the exposed threads.

Examples of how others have used their Furutech NCF Boosters:

This guy couldn't be bothered to spend the extra $50 for the Furutech support shaft extensions so he used wooden blocks instead. Notice the piece of foam rubber material wedged between the two adjacent plug ends. This is because there isn't enough room between the two plug ends to fit another saddle support.


Cable routing ideas.


$700 worth of Furutech NCF Boosters holding up the component end of the AC power cord and keeping the cable routing tidy.


Nearly $5000 worth of Furutech NCF Boosters in this picture, although I believe most dealers will give you a 15% discount off retail prices.


The shaft extension pieces cost $50/pair. It adds up quickly. With mine, if you need a different height support, you simply cut the shaft to the required length.


I will probably make an alternate cradle support piece that isn't rounded but instead has a flat bottom so it's easier to do the height measurement. Basically I need to know the height from the floor to the bottom side of the AC plug end when it's plugged into the wall receptacle. If you have a duplex outlet, you must decide if you want to use the upper or lower plug. If you have carpet flooring, be sure to press down slightly to compress the fibers and the padding underneath so we get an accurate height measurement. A tape measure accurate to 1/16" should be sufficient.


Elevated cable highway. I will probably make an alternate cradle support piece with multiple cradles to facilitate this kind of vertically stacked cable routing arrangement.
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post #2 of 21 Old 10-02-2019, 11:02 AM
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OK so you saved $350 each but why not just use cables that don't droop under their own weight?
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post #3 of 21 Old 10-02-2019, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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DIY Cable Supports

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Originally Posted by Leporello View Post
OK so you saved $350 each but why not just use cables that don't droop under their own weight?
Are you being serious? Or are you just being critical? I like big AC power cables and I don’t want to use something else.

Do you think all the high end cable makers and dealers are crooks and the customers with high end systems that buy this stuff are stupid?
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post #4 of 21 Old 10-02-2019, 03:57 PM
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And the measurable difference in sound is??
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post #5 of 21 Old 10-02-2019, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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DIY Cable Supports

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And the measurable difference in sound is??

Oh you’re one of those guys....
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post #6 of 21 Old 10-03-2019, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by freedomgli View Post
Are you being serious? Or are you just being critical? I like big AC power cables and I don’t want to use something else.

Do you think all the high end cable makers and dealers are crooks and the customers with high end systems that buy this stuff are stupid?
I just think it odd that on the one hand you cite an article alleging "deep hip boots" (a term coined, I think, by Audio Critic Peter Aczel, who thought all audiophile cables were nonsense) for the $350 cable supports and on the other you insist on using AC cables that droop under their own weight. You do acknowledge an audiophile bull**** realm, you just draw the line differently from where I do. Regarding boutique AC cables, I draw it much closer to where Aczel did.


For serious AC runs I usually use SJ12/3 cable. You can buy right angle plugs for it and orient the cable so it flows toward the floor, making a neat appearance and little tendency to pull out of the receptacle. For a 10 foot run sucking 15 amperes through it the drop is about half a volt. Of course you may want to fly it above the floor to avoid "bad dialectrics" interfering with the sound. Your call.


I don't use ad hominems like "stupid" or "crooks" to describe people buying or selling audiophile tweaks. It's your money. If it brings you pleasure, great.
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post #7 of 21 Old 10-03-2019, 04:21 PM
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Most homes have 14 gauge wiring running throughout the house, Why would you think running anything bigger from the outlet would make a difference?
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post #8 of 21 Old 10-03-2019, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by golfster View Post
Most homes have 14 gauge wiring running throughout the house, Why would you think running anything bigger from the outlet would make a difference?

Nothing I can say is likely to change your mind if you’re already a skeptic and choose not to educate yourself or experiment on your own system. If high quality power cords don’t make a difference in your system then you probably have poor hearing or a poor system or both.

If you do want to learn something and take your system to the next level, here is a very basic article that breaks down some common misconceptions about AC power cords.

https://www.gcaudio.com/tips-tricks/...-a-difference/

More:
https://www.gcaudio.com/tips-tricks/...are-important/

https://www.gcaudio.com/tips-tricks/...tems-overview/
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post #9 of 21 Old 10-03-2019, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Leporello View Post
For serious AC runs I usually use SJ12/3 cable.
Most audiophiles don’t want to DIY their own power cables. And while it’s certainly possible to make good DIY cables, making great cables goes well beyond the ambition and skill of most hobbyists. I don’t know of any serious audiophile that would hack the expensive plug end off an expensive AC power cord in order to fit a mediocre right angle plug. Doing so would in all likelihood have detrimental effects on sound and resale value never mind safety risks.
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post #10 of 21 Old 10-04-2019, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by golfster View Post
Most homes have 14 gauge wiring running throughout the house, Why would you think running anything bigger from the outlet would make a difference?
That's the logical paradox true believers in magic power cables never answer.
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post #11 of 21 Old 10-04-2019, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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That's the logical paradox true believers in magic power cables never answer.

Read the link I posted from GC Audio. It answers this misconception of yours succinctly. Believe or don’t believe. But it’s not nice to use snarky terms like “true believers” as if people who use high performance AC power cords rely on faith alone while ignoring science and direct observation.
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post #12 of 21 Old 10-04-2019, 10:16 AM
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Read the link I posted from GC Audio. It answers this misconception of yours succinctly. Believe or don’t believe.
OK, I looked at the article referring to house wiring

"Misconception #3 : There is up to a hundred feet of wire in the walls, so the last 6 feet of power cord can't possibly make any difference.

Answer: “The power cord is not the last 6 feet, it is the first 6 feet from the perspective of the component. As stated in #1 the local current and electromagnetic effects directly affect the sonic performance of the component.”

Misconception #4 : There is a tremendous amount of electrical interference and EMI coming from outside the home that we need to protect our equipment from. This implies that we need some sort of power conditioner or filter to protect the equipment.

Answer: “Most of the EMI that affects the audio quality of a system is generated by the audio components themselves. Electromagnetic waves that traveling through space dissipate in power at the square of the distance from the source. Further, very high frequencies that propagate through the power circuit do not survive for long. Power lines present a high impedance to MHz and GHz signals due to the relatively high inductance of power lines.


What??? So it is an extension of your component? So you need to run that high end cable all the way to the breaker box with no connectors. Maybe encase your receiver in lead.

No disrespect, but I do not see any science in the article, just statements with no backup.

The final statement sums it up
"Shielding can be a two-edged sword. On one hand, it can reduce radiated fields from impacting other components. On the other hand, the shielding may induce re-radiated fields onto the cable or component that it is being used in. Sometimes the cure may be worse than the illness. As always - you must know your materials and tools and apply intelligence with a small dose of intuition to create a world class product. There is no silver bullet and there is no rote formula that works in all cases. There is just hard work, occasional inspiration and lots of testing.”
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post #13 of 21 Old 10-04-2019, 12:05 PM
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Well, the cable supports look interesting.
Looks like someone cared to worry about the aesthetics.
Sound quality?
Most of the attention was to the marketing words to say something without saying it.
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post #14 of 21 Old 10-04-2019, 12:51 PM
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Do you think all the high end cable makers and dealers are crooks and the customers with high end systems that buy this stuff are stupid?
Well, yes. Exactly that.

I refrained from posting in this thread at first (hard to do looking at pictures of ridiculous power cables so poorly designed they can't even stay plugged into the wall without ridiculous cable lifters) because it was a DIY effort saving money on something perhaps he thought was cool or just looked pretty.

Then came the inevitable comments that if you can't hear magic fairy whispers you're either deaf or too poor to buy decent equipment.

So yeah. Crooks, liars, stupid. That about sums it up.
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post #15 of 21 Old 10-04-2019, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, yes. Exactly that.

I refrained from posting in this thread at first (hard to do looking at pictures of ridiculous power cables so poorly designed they can't even stay plugged into the wall without ridiculous cable lifters) because it was a DIY effort saving money on something perhaps he thought was cool or just looked pretty.

Then came the inevitable comments that if you can't hear magic fairy whispers you're either deaf or too poor to buy decent equipment.

So yeah. Crooks, liars, stupid. That about sums it up.
If power cords do nothing for sound quality, then why use anything better than the cheapest UL rated cord from Amazon, right? Jeez all those hifi enthusiasts must really be suckers wasting money on crap that doesn't matter.....
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post #16 of 21 Old 10-04-2019, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by freedomgli View Post
If power cords do nothing for sound quality, then why use anything better than the cheapest UL rated cord from Amazon, right? Jeez all those hifi enthusiasts must really be suckers wasting money on crap that doesn't matter.....
That sounds about right. Oh, were you just being sarcastic?
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post #17 of 21 Old 10-04-2019, 02:02 PM
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If power cords do nothing for sound quality, then why use anything better than the cheapest UL rated cord from Amazon, right? Jeez all those hifi enthusiasts must really be suckers wasting money on crap that doesn't matter.....
Yes, and yes. Glad we agree.

Seriously. You can't tell the difference between what you have and the cheapest Amazon cord.
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Seriously. You can't tell the difference between what you have and the cheapest Amazon cord.
Of the appropriate gauge. Wouldn't want to leave that part out...
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post #19 of 21 Old 10-04-2019, 04:55 PM
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No cable thread would be complete without mentioning these
http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina31.htm
and documentation of course
http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina17.htm

Last edited by golfster; 10-04-2019 at 04:59 PM.
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Of the appropriate gauge. Wouldn't want to leave that part out...
I'm willing to go out on a limb. If it's UL listed and for sale on Amazon, no difference.
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post #21 of 21 Old 10-05-2019, 06:19 AM
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Y, the sound quality aspect is BS.
But, it is a hobby and attention to cosmetic detail and "coolness" is a big part of a tech hobby.
So, I don't think it's complete waste of money, I just laugh at the marketing paragraphs that are the most creative portions.
I think the cost of most of these improvements is crazy, but the "high end audiophile" category has always been crazy amounts of monies for tiny improvement.
Just part of the "mine is better" category.

I like the 3d printer aspect. Brings the stupid money to the hobbyist level. And increases the DIY participation which is good.
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