Your comments on my DIY cables appreciated (bet you haven’t seen any like these)

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Wayne A. Pflughaupt, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,123
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    [​IMG]



    I’ve been wanting to put this up for comment for a long time, but didn’t have a place to upload a picture. My thanks to the AVS Forum for providing that capability (hope they don’t mind my using it here – I checked the FAQ and didn’t see anything prohibiting posting pictures to other Forums).

    I built three of these back in ’96 for my system, which is housed in three cabinets of your typical entertainment center. Because the amount of equipment necessitated so many cables passing back and forth between the cabinets, I needed a way to minimize the bundles and substantially cut down on “cable real-estate,” as it were.

    The cable is a pro-audio-grade snake. If you’re not familiar with "pro audio speak," "a snake" is a cable used to carry lots of individual signals (typically over a long distance) in a compact package. This is accomplished by using very thin jacketing on the internal single cables, with a heavy jacket overall. It’s the stuff they use at concerts to carry all the signals between the stage and the mix position. At the sound company I used to work for we also used it in studio installations. Snake cable stock comes in a variety of capacities, ranging from 4-channel to 48 or more.

    My particular cable is an oxygen-free, 8-channel Mogami, which I configured as four stereo pairs. The connectors are Dayton Super RCAs from Parts Express (which are the beefiest RCAs I’ve found for the price). I used colored 3M electrical tape under clear heat shrink for ID purposes.

    Notice that the break-out is longer on one side than the other. The short side is for the receiver end (center cabinet), since all the connection jacks are in close proximity. The other end is the equipment side; the longer breakout length allows room to spread out to reach the necessary pieces in the cabinet.

    When it was all said and done I had only two cables providing service for all the audio signaling in the cabinet with the source components: One of the cables did the tuner, CD changer, and (audio) ins and outs of a VCR. The second cable handles the ins and outs of a CD recorder and the input signal to the amplifier, with a spare pair available for future use.

    Only one cable was needed for the other cabinet that houses processing gear (equalizers, crossover, remote controller for sub volume).

    The only real downside to this approach is that once the overall outer jacket is stripped back, the jacket of the individuals is very thin and somewhat fragile. Something like a screwdriver could easily gouge right through it, so you have to be a little careful with it. Still, I haven’t had any failures in the 8 years I’ve been using them (knock on cheap Formica [​IMG] ).

    Naturally, I had to also run separate cabling per-component for video - didn’t feel up to the challenge of making one of these with S-video connectors!

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,123
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    [​IMG]



    I’ve been wanting to put this up for comment for a long time, but didn’t have a place to upload a picture. My thanks to the AVS Forum for providing that capability (hope they don’t mind my using it here – I checked the FAQ and didn’t see anything prohibiting posting pictures to other Forums).

    I built three of these back in ’96 for my system, which is housed in three cabinets of your typical entertainment center. Because the amount of equipment necessitated so many cables passing back and forth between the cabinets, I needed a way to minimize the bundles and substantially cut down on “cable real-estate,” as it were.

    The cable is a pro-audio-grade snake. If you’re not familiar with "pro audio speak," "a snake" is a cable used to carry lots of individual signals (typically over a long distance) in a compact package. This is accomplished by using very thin jacketing on the internal single cables, with a heavy jacket overall. It’s the stuff they use at concerts to carry all the signals between the stage and the mix position. At the sound company I used to work for we also used it in studio installations. Snake cable stock comes in a variety of capacities, ranging from 4-channel to 48 or more.

    My particular cable is an oxygen-free, 8-channel Mogami, which I configured as four stereo pairs. The connectors are Dayton Super RCAs from Parts Express (which are the beefiest RCAs I’ve found for the price). I used colored 3M electrical tape under clear heat shrink for ID purposes.

    Notice that the break-out is longer on one side than the other. The short side is for the receiver end (center cabinet), since all the connection jacks are in close proximity. The other end is the equipment side; the longer breakout length allows room to spread out to reach the necessary pieces in the cabinet.

    When it was all said and done I had only two cables providing service for all the audio signaling in the cabinet with the source components: One of the cables did the tuner, CD changer, and (audio) ins and outs of a VCR. The second cable handles the ins and outs of a CD recorder and the input signal to the amplifier, with a spare pair available for future use.

    Only one cable was needed for the other cabinet that houses processing gear (equalizers, crossover, remote controller for sub volume).

    The only real downside to this approach is that once the overall outer jacket is stripped back, the jacket of the individuals is very thin and somewhat fragile. Something like a screwdriver could easily gouge right through it, so you have to be a little careful with it. Still, I haven’t had any failures in the 8 years I’ve been using them (knock on cheap Formica [​IMG] ).

    Naturally, I had to also run separate cabling per-component for video - didn’t feel up to the challenge of making one of these with S-video connectors!

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Kincade

    Kincade Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Messages:
    400
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Wayne,

    They look great! Very much like the snakes we use at work, but a little nicer. I'd love that look in my HT instead of the spaghetti factory I have right now.

    Does shielding/EMI seem to be a problem? I can't tell what shielding they have?

    I just sold 2 8 channel snakes. [​IMG] Thanks for giving me the idea a week too late! [​IMG]
     
  4. Kincade

    Kincade Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Messages:
    400
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Wayne,

    They look great! Very much like the snakes we use at work, but a little nicer. I'd love that look in my HT instead of the spaghetti factory I have right now.

    Does shielding/EMI seem to be a problem? I can't tell what shielding they have?

    I just sold 2 8 channel snakes. [​IMG] Thanks for giving me the idea a week too late! [​IMG]
     
  5. David K.

    David K. Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    im not too sure about interference and such due to lack of insulation, but does interference if any pose a problem with the interconnects since the jackets are so thing, with the plugs all close together and all?
     
  6. David K.

    David K. Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    im not too sure about interference and such due to lack of insulation, but does interference if any pose a problem with the interconnects since the jackets are so thing, with the plugs all close together and all?
     
  7. Cornelius

    Cornelius Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Just an FYI- I wouldn't use these for a video signal since the impedance is probably quite different from 75 ohms. It's a great idea, however, for the audio cables. You can do a similar thing for video using a Canare V5-5C or similar.

    CJ
     
  8. Cornelius

    Cornelius Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Just an FYI- I wouldn't use these for a video signal since the impedance is probably quite different from 75 ohms. It's a great idea, however, for the audio cables. You can do a similar thing for video using a Canare V5-5C or similar.

    CJ
     
  9. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,123
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    Thanks for the comments, folks. [​IMG]

    Kincade, David, each individual cable is fully and adequately shielded. Don’t confuse the internal shield with the outer jacket or “insulation.” The shield is what eliminates interference, not the outer insulating jacket. The jacket is there merely to protect the internal wiring. It’s size (thickness) determines how durable the cable is (resistant to external damage), not the amount of EMI rejection.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  10. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,123
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    Thanks for the comments, folks. [​IMG]

    Kincade, David, each individual cable is fully and adequately shielded. Don’t confuse the internal shield with the outer jacket or “insulation.” The shield is what eliminates interference, not the outer insulating jacket. The jacket is there merely to protect the internal wiring. It’s size (thickness) determines how durable the cable is (resistant to external damage), not the amount of EMI rejection.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  11. Kincade

    Kincade Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Messages:
    400
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    Wayne,

    Hope that wasn't taken as critisism... I just couldn't tell if there was shielding in there or not.

    Great looking stuff! I might try that sometime this summer. 1 snake for audio, 1 for video. It'd give a really clean look!
     
  12. Kincade

    Kincade Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Messages:
    400
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    Wayne,

    Hope that wasn't taken as critisism... I just couldn't tell if there was shielding in there or not.

    Great looking stuff! I might try that sometime this summer. 1 snake for audio, 1 for video. It'd give a really clean look!
     
  13. Mike Keith

    Mike Keith Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Nice job Wayne, I've used Mogami cable many times in the past, very good signal cable. I just built a long signal cable for my bass shaker amp useing the same RCA connectors.
     
  14. Mike Keith

    Mike Keith Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Nice job Wayne, I've used Mogami cable many times in the past, very good signal cable. I just built a long signal cable for my bass shaker amp useing the same RCA connectors.
     
  15. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,123
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    Kincade,

    Heavens no, no perceived criticism there! [​IMG] Just trying to clear up the confusion. I was kinda expecting some, since most people have never seen cable like this.

    I got the cable as left-over scrap from an installation; it was slated for the trash before I rescued it. [​IMG] If any of the sound companies you do business with do installations, or make their own cabling from scratch, they might have some on-hand you can buy, although if they’re like the place I used to work for it’ll be hit-or-miss. Any we had in stock was usually leftover from whatever job or project it was ordered for.

    Mike,

    Yes, I think Mogami is excellent cable – seems to get no respect around here, though. All you ever hear about is Canare and Belden. Nice to see someone else using the Dayton RCA’s. Thought I was the only one there, too!

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  16. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,123
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    Kincade,

    Heavens no, no perceived criticism there! [​IMG] Just trying to clear up the confusion. I was kinda expecting some, since most people have never seen cable like this.

    I got the cable as left-over scrap from an installation; it was slated for the trash before I rescued it. [​IMG] If any of the sound companies you do business with do installations, or make their own cabling from scratch, they might have some on-hand you can buy, although if they’re like the place I used to work for it’ll be hit-or-miss. Any we had in stock was usually leftover from whatever job or project it was ordered for.

    Mike,

    Yes, I think Mogami is excellent cable – seems to get no respect around here, though. All you ever hear about is Canare and Belden. Nice to see someone else using the Dayton RCA’s. Thought I was the only one there, too!

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     

Share This Page