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Thread: Low Cost DIY Interconnects

  1. #1
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    Low Cost DIY Interconnects

    My version of very low cost DIY interconnects.

    Fully annotated tutorial also here with high res originals: http://www.pbase.com/shinjohn/diyinterconnects&page=all

    - Gepco 61801EZ Cable. Ordered directly from Gepco, in bulk quantity ($0.10/ft)
    - Streetwires RCA ends from ebay. (seller = "trucktunes") (50 for $15 + ship)
    (any decent RCA end of choice will do fine)

    also:

    - 1/4" (expanded) adhesive lined heat shrink
    - 1/2" (expanded) adhesive lined heat shrink
    - 1/4" Expandable sleeving (aka. "Techflex")

    Tools:
    - soldering iron (with solder, duh!)
    - utility knife
    - wire cutters/strippers
    - needle nose pliers (for crimping)
    - ruler
    - butane lighter (for shrinking tubing)


    300 ft. of Gepco 61801EZ = $30. Yep, that's $0.10/ft.


    Streetwires RCA ends on Ebay. 50 pcs. for $15.


    RCA ends taken apart.


    Expandable sleeving (Techflex) and adhesive lined heat shrink


    Back side of packages.


    Tools/supplies for the job. Not shown: disposable butane lighter, needle nose pliers.


    First, cut the Gepco to length.


    Take your utility knife and score all around the outer jacket of the cable. Not too deep; just make a line like this.


    Gepco is great because all you have to do after scoring is.. bend it one way....


    and then bend it the other way...


    Insulation pulls off to reveal two conductors and a drain wire (shield). Strip the two inner wires with strippers.


    On the SOURCE end, I twisted drain and black together as shown. On the receiving end, I cut the drain wire completely off.


    Next, I folded the red (signal) wire over to double the wire density, and then trimmed the ground down to a shorter length.


    Insert the cable to get red inside the center conductor, ground to the outside of the RCA


    Closer view of the center conductor. Folding over the wire "fills" the center pin hole better...


    Next crimp around the outside jacket to hold everything together.


    Ground side; we're ready to solder.


    Solder the center conductor..


    Solder the ground.

  2. #2
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    Cut your heat shrink to length: I used 1.5" length of the 1/4", 1" length of the 1/2"


    Slip the heat shrink over and seal it up using the butane lighter.


    Slip the RCA end over and screw it on. Make one more just like this so you have a stereo pair. DON'T PUT THE OTHER END ON YET!


    Next, slip the two pieces of 1/2" heat shrink then the expandable sleeving over the pair of wires. (from the non-connector end)


    Slip the last two pieces of 1/4" heat shrink and RCA ends on BEFORE soldering this side. Double and triple check it!!


    Pull the 1/2" heat shrink onto the sleeving, get the sleeving and wires positioned properly. Shrink one end of the sleeving.


    Pull the sleeving taught and heat shrink the remaining end to complete. If you positioned evertything properly all's good!


    Relish your new interconnects before you hook them up to your cool new processor.

  3. #3
    Big Daddy Chad's Avatar
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    Nice write up, one thing that HAS to be reinforced is the scoring of the outer jacket. If you even so much as nick the insulation on an inner conductor cut it off and start over. The internal insulation is VERY sensitive to heat and a hole will develop in the insulation when soldering, this will allow contact with the foil and cause reliability issues.

  4. #4
    Founding Member SundownAudioNY's Avatar
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    Seeing the Streetwires ZN5.0 RCA connectors are no longer available, does anyone know of a good replacement?

  5. #5
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    I haven't seen anything, but haven't really been looking. Those prices were pretty stellar though.
    Just because you don't understand the data doesn't mean it's not relevant.

  6. #6
    Senior Member James Bang's Avatar
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    I'm going to have to order me more of that wire. Great stuff at a great price.

  7. #7
    Founding Member SundownAudioNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiniVanMan View Post
    I haven't seen anything, but haven't really been looking. Those prices were pretty stellar though.
    Indeed, 50 ends of $15 is a great deal. Comparable ends are $1ea or more.

  8. #8
    Founding Member capnxtreme's Avatar
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    I haven't really seen a better option than the Neutrik NYS373.

  9. #9
    Founding Member SundownAudioNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by capnxtreme View Post
    I haven't really seen a better option than the Neutrik NYS373.
    I was suggested them by another member on another forum. I meant to pick up a couple pair to try out while I was at the PE tent sale but I forgot. $1.29ea is terriable by anymeans.

    Thanks

  10. #10
    "It Works Every Time!" Landau Karlissian's Avatar
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    I get these from a local electronics supply for $.80. The shield terminal isn't as nice as the one pictured above, but they come with a coiled strain relief that was unfortunately too small to fit over the fat wire I have here.


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