A really easy way to make top quality audio/video cables.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris White, May 22, 2000.

  1. Chris White

    Chris White Second Unit

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  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    I like the page. Obviously a labor of love.
    But why did you use 75 ohm coax for the audio cables? I thought audio cables tended to be 50 ohm?
    And what is so different about the stranded RG6 cable that justifies the many times more expensive price over the solid RG6?
    It look like the ease of building comes from the crimper. Is it safe to buy the crimp handle one place and the dies somewhere else? (With my luck, I'd get an Amphanol crimper and someone else's dies). Does the same die crimp the center and the outer ring or is it a die set you have to switch out?
    Someone else said that the Canare plugs were designed to provide 75 ohm impedence. Are these the ones in your page? I've gone through the web site and cannot tell.
    And last, have you noticed any improvement in sound/video since making your own cables, or was this just a good way to make custom cables for your system, regardless of quality. (I've often wanted to do this to solve "cable clutter").
    Anyway, your page is very nice and detailed. One of the best I have seen. Thanks.
     
  3. Chris White

    Chris White Second Unit

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    Bob:
    Part of my goal was to find a cable that would work for all a/v connections. The 75 ohm Canare coax is perfect because it's appropriate for transmitting any signal from DC to 2 Ghz.
    I don't know why the LV77 is twice the price of the L-5CFB. I suppose it's more expensive to manufacture the stranded copper core. I can tell you the difference is worth it for audio interconnects because the LV77 is much more flexible.
    The ease of building comes with the crimper, but the key to a good crimp is actually the die. That's why I recommend a rather expensive Canare die, but the much cheaper crimper from Parts Express is perfectly adequate. The same die crimps the center pin and the outer ring.
    Yes, the Canare connectors shown on the page are true 75 ohm.
    Just so you'll have a frame of reference, I upgraded all my cables from Radio Shack gold. I haven't done extensive testing with the audio cables, but I'd have to say the differences were subtle at best. I have done some testing with the video cables. The custom cables were significantly better than the Radio Shack.
    Thanks for your interest.
     
  4. Michael Ferrari

    Michael Ferrari Auditioning

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    Chris,
    Thanks for the tremendous info! I'm considering some DIY line-level audio cables for my system; your page gives me all the information I need to begin the project.
    Good job!
    Mike
     
  5. Chris White

    Chris White Second Unit

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    Thanks Mike.
     
  6. BrianMc

    BrianMc Auditioning

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    Chris,
    Fantastic job! You've consolidated the info from at least a few dozen posts into a single link. (And you are way too generous giving out the credit - most of the info I put together originated in your earlier posts.)
    A couple of updates since I sent you some of the info. Zack Electronics sells both the LV-77S and L-5CFB for $0.39/ft! (Or so I've been quoted - I'll know for sure tomorrow when I place the order). They also sell those Canare cable boots - they stock the CB-05A (fits LV-77S and L-5CFB) in black, red and white, and CB-04 (I THINK it will fit the 3 individual cables in the V3-5CFB) in red, green and blue. The price is $0.59 each.
    Again, thanks for all your help.
    Brian
     
  7. Zach M

    Zach M Auditioning

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    Cool site Chris. I have a question though: the second shielding used to hold together the two cables in a standard audio run(looks like mesh), what is this? I think your site said it was from HaveInc, but I didn't see it on their website. I have ordered their catalog though, will I see it in there? I would like to use it to bundle two runs of cable going to the same speaker (biwire), would this be good for that use?
    Thanks
    ------------------
    My Home Theater
     
  8. BruceL

    BruceL Auditioning

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    Chris - some great info - thanks again for replying to my earlier post on cable management - Bruce [​IMG]
     
  9. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris:
    GREAT site- thanks for the effort! Seeing it, it isn't as difficult as I imagined. Worth a shot, for sure!
    Dave
     
  10. Chris White

    Chris White Second Unit

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    Brian: Thanks for the info on Zack's. If you don't mind, send me an email to confirm delivery and I'll add them to the page.
    Zach: The shielding serves mostly a cosmetic function - i.e., it looks nice. It will work great for bundling cables, just be sure to get the right size.
    Bruce: You're welcome.
    Dave: Thanks. You're right - it's really easy. Believe me, I am definitely NOT mechanically inclined and so I was very hesitant about making cables. But, after Tim (Cristy) and Harv convinced me the key was the right tools, I decided to go for it. I was pleasantly surprised.
     
  11. Chris Perrin

    Chris Perrin Auditioning

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    Chris,
    Sweet site! Not to ask you for too much, but are you thinking about doing something similar regarding speaker cables. I'm sure that they are easier to do, but I really like the equipment recommendations on your page. If you're not going to do it, is there a good place to find info on speaker cable?
    I'm bookmarking this now so that I can use it once I get to my new apartment this fall to make cables of the "perfect" length. Thanks.
    ------------------
    CP
     
  12. Brian Kelty

    Brian Kelty Extra

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    Those tools look awfully similar to the ones we use to make up computer network cables - are they the same?
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  13. Basil AJ

    Basil AJ Auditioning

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    Chris, I got all my Canare cable and interconnect supplies from www.markertek.com:
    Canare Supplies:
    4S8 Quad Speaker Cable
    L-4CFB Co-Axial for video and digital audio
    L-2T2S Twisted Pair for audio interconnects
    Also some TecNec Cables:
    SV4-SV4 S-Video Cables
    Opt-103 Optical TOSLINK
    And some Switchcraft SW3502 RCA plugs, although you can do better with Canare RCA plugs (higher quality).
    Very inexpensive, yet professional broadcast studio quality. You cannot go wrong with these, and you save a bundle.
    Good luck
     
  14. Phil Olson

    Phil Olson Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris,
    I finally bit the bullet a few weeks ago and bought the Canare tools and some cable/connectors from Markertek. That stuff goes together so easily!
    The thing I like best is that you can make cables to your own custom lengths. If you want 10" or 44', just cut-strip-crimp!
    It would also be tough for anyone to best their performance as these things are flat to 1+ GHz and offer ture 75 ohm from end to end. I couldn't be happier.
    Phil
     
  15. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  16. Chris White

    Chris White Second Unit

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    Chris P: Given the amount of profit cable companies make on speaker wire, my interest in DIY speaker wires is growing, but to date I haven't done anything. Brian recently discovered that Belden 1810A makes a great speaker wire (may be used by BetterCables), so you might take a look at that. Also, several people have tried the Canare quad speaker cable Basil mentions below.
    Brian K: I don't know, I've never made any computer network cables.
    Phil: Isn't it great to be able to make exactly what you want?!
    Vince: To combine to single cables into an audio cable, you can use 0.68” O.D. Techflex. It costs 0.46/ft at HaveInc. . To bind the end of the mesh (which is absolutely essential, by the way, since the mesh unravels quickly), I use a 24 mm heatshrink that I buy from Parts Express . You can buy 2 6" pieces for $2.95 (part # 080-660).
    Good memory. Yes, I bought an RG6 die from Parts Express back in April. I haven't tried it on L-5CFB or LV-77s, but I did try it on some V3-5CFB. It didn't work well. It simply wouldn't crimp the center satisfactorily.
     
  17. MikeS

    MikeS Auditioning

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    Great job Chris! We need to have this thread archived.
    -Mike-
     
  18. Bing Fung

    Bing Fung Agent

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    Great Job Chris! I have bookmarked it as reference [​IMG]
    Bing
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  19. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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  20. DaveH

    DaveH Auditioning

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    Nice!
    Chris, I've read your written descriptions of making cables many times in the past. Your pictures and charts, with exact info on every little thing is absolutely perfect!
    Thanks to both you and Brian for the effort!
    And yes, this should be linked from the HTF info. site.
    ------------------
    "Go ahead, make my day"
     

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