I completed Belden/Canare cables without the Canare tooling

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ted Drain, Jan 23, 2003.

  1. Ted Drain

    Ted Drain Agent

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    Hi all,
    Since there seem to be quite a few people interested in this subject, I thought I'd most some results from my cable building experience last week.

    I (and a friend) wanted to build custom cables for digital audio, subwoofer, analog audio, composite video, s-video, and component video in my system . In general, I followed the great write-up at Chris White's site:

    http://www.bus.ucf.edu/cwhite/theater/DIYCable.htm

    I bought the cables by the foot (and the connectors) from Pacific Radio.

    http://www.pacrad.com/index.shtml

    The cables I used were:

    Canare LV-77S coax: analog audio, composite video, digital audio, subwoofer
    Belden 1808A: s-video
    Belden 7710: component video

    Each cable/cable set is terminated with a Canare crimp-on RCA connector (except for the S-Video cable which uses the Part's Express Dayton S-Video connector) and covered with Tech-Flex and shrink tubing.

    If I bought the tooling from Canare, it would have been almost $250. I completed these cables and spent about $110 for the tooling. Here's what I bought:

    Radio shack coaxial cable cutter 278-244 ($6)
    2 Radio shack coaxial cable strippers 278-248 ($13) or from Parts Express 360-016 ($10)

    I used 1 stripper for the 7710 and one for the LV-77S - you could get by with 1 stripper if you don't mind losing your settings. The Canare stripping guidelines are to have 9 mm of braid, 6.5 mm of dielectric, and 3.5 mm of center conductor. This stripper is a 2 bladed model that advertises 4, 6, 8, and 12 mm widths (it will also do 10 mm). I set the strippers to 8 mm and set the blade heights to cut the outer jacket and the braid 8 mm from that. I didn’t think that losing 1 mm of braid would cause any problems. If it bothered you, set the stripper to 10 mm and about 1 mm of the braid with a pair of shears. When I stripped each cable, I marked a line 11 mm from the end of the cable and put the right-most blade on that line (3.5+6.5+1). Then all I needed to do was strip 3.5 mm from the end of the cable. I marked a line at this distance and used an adjustable stripper to do this (a utility knife will also work fine if you’re careful).

    I admit that this isn't as easy as the single operation the Canare strippers will perform. I didn't have any problems with connectors not fitting correctly so the dimensions worked out fine but it did take longer. Given that I would have had to buy the $115 Canare stripper (TS100) in order to handle both cable types, I didn't really mind. After a few cables, the stripping went very quickly.

    For crimping, I purchased a Paladin crimp handle and 2 dies from Lashen electronics for around $80. The Canare center pin can be crimped with the .052” square crimp on the Paladin die #2649. I used the .315” hex crimp for the outer jacket crimp on both cables on the Paladin die #2047. You can save some money by getting 1 die with the handle and then ordering the other die separately. The handle was about $35 and each die was around $22.

    If people are interested enough, I’d be willing to create a site similar to Chris’s that details the components and tools I used.
     
  2. Owen Bartley

    Owen Bartley Second Unit

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    Ted, sounds like you've made yourself some great cables! Any pictures of them? (I love how well done DIY cables with techflex and good looking connectors can look so badass) [​IMG]
     
  3. Ted Drain

    Ted Drain Agent

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    Thanks! I'm pretty amazed at how cool the cables came out looking. Of course it's purely cosmetic but who cares.

    I'll post some pics next week sometime. I'm in the middle of buying a house so it's been kinda hectic around here.
     
  4. Dan M~

    Dan M~ Second Unit

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    Ted,

    Yes, please put up a page showing your cables, raw materials, tools and suppliers... etc.

    Thanks for forging into new areas.
     
  5. hughN

    hughN Auditioning

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    Ted, pictures and more details please.
     
  6. hughN

    hughN Auditioning

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    Also, where can you get the coax cables, belden 7710 and canare lv-77s, in small quantity?
     
  7. Frank Carter

    Frank Carter Screenwriter

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    How does the sound compare to other cables you have experience with?
     
  8. Ted Drain

    Ted Drain Agent

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    Great! I'm glad people are interested. I'll try to put a web page together this week with the information, parts lists, order sites, and plenty of pictures.

    hughN: I ordered cables and connectors from Pacific Radio. The link is my original message. They sell all the cables I needed by the foot w/o a cut fee.

    Frank: No change to the audio or video that I could see. I didn't do any real testing of either though. To be honest, I didn't expect to hear any difference in the audio and my video runs are short enough that better cable really shouldn't make a big difference. I'd never trust my ears w/o doing a blind test and I just don't care enough to try.

    I really wasn't looking for any improvement. I mainly did these cables because: it was fun, it looks cool, and it cleaned up my cable mess since everything is the exact length required.
     

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