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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software
Patch cable calamity!
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Coriolis



Joined: Apr 11, 2005
Posts: 616
Location: Stilling, Denmark

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:51 am    Post subject:  Patch cable calamity!
Subject description: Banana cord DIY gone wrong!
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Gah! This should be easy, but it's not - somehow.

I'm trying to make my own patch cables using stacking-type banana jacks like these: http://www.futurlec.com/Banana-BananaPlugs.shtml (scroll down and look for "Quality banana plugs")

Anybody ever made cables using plugs like these? I bought a few, and some cable that fit snugly. But how to do it?

The plug consists of a brass "barrel" - a hollow extension of the tip, which is encapsulated in the plastic grip. Through a channel parallel to the barrel, you insert the cable, and then have to get it through a hole in the side of the barrel, underneath a screw in the barrel which you then tighten.
IOW, like sticking your arm in the drain, and writing your name and adress on the inside of the pipe...YOU CAN'T, CAUSE YOU CAN'T SEE WHAT YOU'RE DOING!

Right: I tried slimmer wire, and now, squinting down the barrel, I seem to be getting a few strands through the hole. Just not enough to withstand a moderate tug in the cord, when the screw is tightened.

What am I doing wrong? This shouldn't be so hard? Any hints?
If I could do this, it would cost me a 3rd of what I'd have to pay for Pomona cables, and more importantly: I could fix the cables when they brake, instead of having to throw a 5 dollar cable away...


C
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Joel



Joined: Sep 12, 2006
Posts: 97
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

can you pull the plastic grip off, feed the wire through it, poke it through the barrel then push the grip back over?
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Coriolis



Joined: Apr 11, 2005
Posts: 616
Location: Stilling, Denmark

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Haven't actually tried it yet, but it doesn't look like I can - without ruining the plastic shell. Will try though.

C
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bugbrand



Joined: Nov 27, 2005
Posts: 843
Location: Bristol, UK
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G2 patch files: 1

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You should be able to use a small screw driver to open the plastic casing up - the ones I use have a little hinged bit - you stick the screwdriver into the smaller hole (where the wire would go) and lever up the plastic - this then opens up and you can take the metal plug/barrel out and attach your wire nice & easy.

...that's how I've found 'em - surely must be something similar in this case..

by the way - from another post - yeah, I get my 4mm plugs pretty cheap from Rapid - picked up a load of end-of-line cheapy non-Rohs ones for my own use.

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richardc64



Joined: Jun 01, 2006
Posts: 623
Location: NYC
Audio files: 26

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You could try tinning the stripped end of the wire with solder, so that it's one stiff, solid mass and not a flexible bunch of strands that won't stay twisted together or go where you want them to go.
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Coriolis



Joined: Apr 11, 2005
Posts: 616
Location: Stilling, Denmark

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Succes! It is actually possible to deform the plastic casing enough, that the brass barrel can be pushed out, the cable can be inserted and the screw tightened, and everything be put back together.
It requires what I first thought was excessive force to do do it, but it works, and doesn't seem to break anything. Wink
Sorry for wasting forum space and peoples time on this, but I was genuinely puzzled over this...
Thanks for stirring my brain a bit here, people... Embarassed

C
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kkissinger



Joined: Mar 28, 2006
Posts: 1221
Location: Kansas City, Mo USA
Audio files: 29

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Coriolis wrote:
Sorry for wasting forum space and peoples time on this, but I was genuinely puzzled over this...
Thanks for stirring my brain a bit here, people... Embarassed
C


Hey, not a waste of time at all. I've never worked with banana plugs before and, thanks to this thread, I'll know what I need to do if I encounter them in the future. Thanks!
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amos_joseph



Joined: May 09, 2005
Posts: 50
Location: Lincoln, NE

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I actually use the same type of futurlec banana plugs and I have a pretty good method worked out to get the brass barrels out of the plastic casing.

I use a needle nose pliers to squeeze the brass barrel towards the empty space where the wire will go through. At the same time I'm squeezing the pliers I push down on the plastic while the brass banana jack is resting on the table. It should pop out without too much pushing.

Hope that made sense.
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