First time DIY patch cable thread

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by rockskate4x, Mar 23, 2019.

  1. rockskate4x

    rockskate4x rockskate4x

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    Hey, folks. I got myself a voodoo labs px-8 to start controlling my amp channels with midi and switch pedals in and out of the signal chain simultaneously. It's been loads of fun, but I have run into a patch cable conundrum. Even with all my combinations of solderless george l's, EBS flat patch cables and whatever other discount cable I've had lying around, it has been untidy and unreliable, and I still haven't been able to wire up all the pedals that I want on the board. As a result I am strongly considering the option of soldering my own cables. I have an iron which I have barely touched except for the occasional pickup swap or mod in the guitar itself, and haven't had the confidence to try anything like wiring up a pedal or amplifier. So I would like to accomplish two things firstly tidying up my first real midi + loop switching board with custom DIY patch cables and secondly up my soldering game for future projects!

    Products under consideration:
    Mogami 2319 or similar cable
    Unsure of which plugs but I know that I would like:
    a. Short body straight plugs for all the crowded jacks in the back of the switcher
    b. Pancake right angle plugs for the jacks on the sides of pedals so pedals can be packed closer together
    c. More standard right angle plugs for a couple of the pedals with multiple jacks on the sides too closely packed to use pancakes.

    If you think I am forgetting anything, or have a tip or product recommendation please let me know, thank you!
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Check out Redco. I've been going through them for bulk cable and jacks for years and years now.

    I use Mogami 2524 for the longer runs (guitar to board/amp, board to amp, loop to board, etc.) and 2314 for pedal jumpers. I'll use 2319 too depending on what I have on hand. I use Canare cable too. Even the Redco brand stuff is really good. The difference in price in minimal.

    Connector wise, I go for Amphenol ACPMs or Canare F15 for straight and Redco and Squareplug for right angle/pancake.
     
  3. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    I ended up buying a bunch of Rean straight plugs (Neutrik’s cheap brand, about £1 each), and no-name pancake jacks off eBay (about £0.50 each) for all my cables. I originally tried to get name brand jacks, individually they’re not too expensive, but the price adds up real fast when you’re buying like 20 of each.

    I haven’t had a problem with the cheaper jacks, except the cheap pancake jacks are harder to solder to. There’s no solder tab for the ground so I have to solder to the body of the jack, and it has to be done quick, since too much heat can damage the jack. I burned out about three before I got my method down but it’s easy now.
     
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  4. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    I've used the Rean too.

    I don't think I've ever come across any jacks I'd call "bad". Even the super cheap 25¢ eBay specials are perfectly functional. Your cutting and dismantling of cables and solder job will make the most difference. I pretty much choose jacks by ease of soldering at this point. :lol:

    Speaking about cutting and dismantling, get yourself some decent (as in more than $5) cable shears and wire dismantler/stripper. They'll make the job smoother.
     
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  5. vick1000

    vick1000 SS.org Regular

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    rockskate4x likes this.
  6. rockskate4x

    rockskate4x rockskate4x

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    Thanks for the awesome replies! Especially sending me to redco (thank you max)! I am looking with keen interest at the squareplug sp400 tiny right angle and sps4 short body straight. I was looking at mogami 2319 after watching a bunch of the vertex effects rig doctor videos, but knowing that the 2314 has an even smaller diameter has me intrigued. The only thing that has me worried is if these plugs are too small for a beginning soldering project or if you think there is enough space in that style of plug housing to get started without more difficulty than necessary. Since reading all your replies I have ordered some helping hands from amazon (thank you vick1000).
     
  7. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    The Squareplug stuff, both the SP400 and SPS4, come completely apart for soldering, which makes them really easy to work with, and fix later down the road.
     
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  8. rockskate4x

    rockskate4x rockskate4x

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    That is awesome to hear! I've ordered a few plugs and some cable to get started! My new helping hands have already come from Amazon, so I might have everything I need to beginning heating solder this weekend!
     

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