Third project: DIY 10GA speaker cable made from Cat5

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Javier_Huerta, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    My third project was actually the first one I could finish. I have already made 4 speaker cables out of CAT5 cables. It's a nice stress reliever, too!

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    If you want to build them yourself, here are the instructions for doing so:

    http://www.venhaus1.com/diycatfivecables.html

    Be advised, though - your hands will end up full of blisters! [​IMG]

    Are they worth it? I'm not sure about it. I love their sound - but I also like the sound of 10GA copper cable. I, of course, found them a bit better than copper - a bit more detail here, a bit more detail there. That's it And that was when using the MartinLogans - the Energys

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    sound to me exactly identical with both cables.

    Still, they look nice, and are a good conversation piece [​IMG]
     
  2. Joe Hsu

    Joe Hsu Supporting Actor

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    Sweet project! I thought about doing this a while back, and now I rue selling my box of 200ft of CAT5...shouldn't be too expensive to buy some more though.

    Thanks for the pic! Could you give an estimate of how long it took to do each cable? Lastly, for someone like me who's never done DIY cables before, what are those connectors and how are they connected?
     
  3. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    Joe,

    Well, it might be a good thing that you sold your cable. You need to check the UTP wire you use - it has to be teflon-coated. Any other material won't do (according to the cable designer). I used Lucent GigaSpeed UTP.

    An estimate... uhm. Well, the first set I built took me around 3 - 4 weeks. I'd say 60 hours' work. It was hard stuff, so I decided to work a little everyday, so as not to get fed up with it. The end result was nice.

    But the next time I attempted to build the cables, I decided I wanted at least 50% more length. The first set should measure around 5 ft, so I was shooting for around 8 ft. I used 3 times this length and started braiding. This time I used lots of tricks I learned during my first trial - like securing the cable, braiding very tightly, and wrapping 2 out of the 3 braids on a little block of wood, so as to avoid having to straighten each wire every 3 or 4 braids.

    The second cable ended up being so great... and so tight...

    It's the *exact* same length as the first one - only a lot thicker! [​IMG]

    When I say - *exact*, I mean it - down to the last centimeter. In fact, the first two pictures are from my first set - the third picture has my second set in them! Virtually identical...

    The connectors you see actually aren't - they are bare wire. In keeping with the project's low cost target, I ended up using Radio Shack 10GA spades - I think I paid $7 for the complete set. You just put them on top of the terminals, crimp, and you are all set.

    Total price? Can't remember - but the fun I had was worth it!
     

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