my cheapo DIY Cat5 audio interconnects

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by NickSo, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Edit: I changed my mind on the cables, took them apart, and rewired them, this time i actually made the effort to braid it (using the Litz braiding method), and decided to get rid of the vinyl tubing. I used pretty much the same method as the ones here: http://www.platenspeler.com/diy/cabling/uk_4play_1.html

    [​IMG]
    Original: http://www.sfu.ca/~nns/ic.jpg

    This is my first real pair of interconnects made...

    they were inspired by the minimalistic design of breath of god cables made by a member at head-fi forums.

    Cost i estimate (in canadian dollars):
    Connectors: $1.95
    Vinyl Tubing: $2.00
    Cat5 Plenum: $2.56
    Work: 2 hours? Dunno, time flies when ur in the middle of a project

    How do they sound? havent had the chance to take a real serious listen, but they do WORK, and dont sound obviously horrible I didnt expect them to sound great, they're mainly for looks Im surprised that they dont have any hiss or interference, seeing they're not shielded at all.

    They were made with 2 twisted pairs per cable (so thats 4 wires per cable). One twisted pair per 'terminal'. I just wish the wires inside the Cat5 were more colorful.

    The project was born mostly from boredom...

    See also: my ultra-ghetto diy headphone extension cable:
    http://www5.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=84007


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Just about any kind of wire will do Nick. If you want colorful, then browse around for 'hookup wire' from the various electronic catalogs or Radio Shack. For on the cheap, like freebie, you can contact various wire manufacturers and ask for an evaluation sample. So long as you're not looking for 10 meters, they should accomodate you nicely. If you've got a few friends who want to go in on a deal, you can always buy a roll of silver wire in teflon (a few places on the web sell it) and crank out several sets of interconnects. The gauge isn't important but should be thick enough to avoid breaking due to flexure.

    The problem with the vinyl tubing, is that over time, it may start to look like crap as it scratches easily, yellows due to environmental exposure, and so forth. Again, by locating manufacturers you can source out free samples of things like various urethane tubing, teflon, tefzel, and the list goes on. Give you something to do, eh?
     
  3. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Screenwriter

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    Nice.

    I built a component video to db15 cable almost a year ago out of CAT 5, its my reference video cable. Cost me about $5 to build. [​IMG]


    My most recent addition is a DB25 to 6 RCA cable , I just used two lengths of CAT 5 ..so far I like it quite abit.
    Cost me about $12

    I think the main thing is do a good soldering job and use decent , tight fitting RCA end. I bought these for .99 ea and they fit as tight as heck.




    [​IMG]
     
  4. Mark gas

    Mark gas Second Unit

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  5. Brian Tatnall

    Brian Tatnall Stunt Coordinator

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  6. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Screenwriter

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    Thats nice but that information is pretty much irrelavent for my situation and probably Nick's as well. Strong DC interference is not a problem inside a house.

    Cat 5 may not be suitable for automotive use but it has worked well for me.

    If there is any interference being introduced into my audio or video CAT 5 cables I cannot hear or see it and my HT system can resolve anything better than any car system can.

    Cat 5 gets its shielding from the twisted pairs, its probably not as good as foil but it does work.
     
  7. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Screenwriter

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    Plus if you notice, Nick has weaved his Cat 5 cable by hand so its alot more effective then stock Cat 5 for shielding.
     
  8. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Great links, Brian and Mark. [​IMG]

    Absolutely. That Cat 5 stuff is pretty fragile – something like 24-26 ga. Not to mention the insulators on the individual wires are so thin they’re barely there. Bottom line, this stuff won’t take much abuse.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  9. Brian Tatnall

    Brian Tatnall Stunt Coordinator

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    I've never been able to tell the difference between the multiple coax cables I use and the few Cat 5 I use from a listening perspective. Except once when my listening room was next to a bathroom with a large fluorescent lamp. Everytime that was on if I was running my equipment using Cat 5 or coax it was very noticable.

    I prefer a standard coax for reasons other than what I can hear. Durability certainly leans towards coaxial cables, but Cat 5 is so much cheaper.

    Nick, I wanted to say nice work...I hope it only encourages you to build more of your own equipment and accessories.
     

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