Does Anyone Make Their Own DC Power Cables?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by UnderTheGroove, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. UnderTheGroove

    UnderTheGroove Supporting Member

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    I'm going to be re-wiring my pedal board soon to incorporate a Pedal Power Digital along with my Pedal Power 2. I was just thinking about building my own DC cables so they could be custom lengths for a neater build. Has anyone done this? If so, was it worth the effort? Where is the best place to get the cable and 2.1mm connectors?
     
  2. CodeMonk

    CodeMonk Member

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    I made ALL my own cables for my board, audio and power.
    As long as you can solder, you should have no problems.

    Look around here for parts:
    http://www.smallbearelec.com/Catego...Fittings&searchpath=4002568&start=33&total=73

    There are other locations, for sometimes a lesser price, but smallbear doesn't have the massive stock that places like Mouser have so its easier to find just what you need.
    Tayda, Mammoth Electronics, Pedal Parts Plus, etc. are some other sources.
    I have also found that Perfomance Audio has a large inventory, with decent prices, but is far easier to navigate than Mouser.
    Thats where I got ll my audio cables Mogami W2425 (?).
    Power cables I got from a local source:
    http://www.apexelectronic.com/
    They are in Sun Valley, Lankershim offramp, off of the 5.
    That place is NIRVANA of DIY types. My "Shopping/Hunting" trips there usually run me about 6 hours on average.
    You may not always find what you are looking for but quite often along the way, you find some awesome stuff. Want a 12 cylinder for a plane? They have one :)



    And.....As much as is possible, all my audio cables are on the top and the power cables are underneath.
    At some point a few will cross paths, but with some planning, you can keep that to a minimum.

    Prepare it to take several hours depending on the size of your board.
    I have 18 pedals.
    My mods took me a better portion of the day.
    If you use assembly line methods, you can probably cut that time down by at least 30% or so.

    Hello, My name is Rob and I have a pedal addiction.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
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  3. jnepo1

    jnepo1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I make mine all the time. For Cioks PSU as well as for the VL type PSU. I'm somewhat OCD, so I like to make sure there isn't too much slack on the power cables, hence the custom length builds. I also place my PSU on a riser if need be, so that I can place the added length underneath it as well. I buy my 5.5 x 2.1mm barrel connectors thru a couple places: Directly thru VL or thru Mouser. As for the power cables, I will also buy thru VL in 36" lengths w/ a 5.5 x 2.1mm barrel connector on one end and bare on the other end. I also buy bulk cable thru Best-tronics.com. Jim Croke is my contact over there, the power cables I buy are .15/ft and very flexible. I also buy RCA connectors for Cioks PSU thru Mouser or Best-tronics.com

    I will also make "Y" power cables for my boards when necessary, but not multiple daisy chain types.
     
  4. matt5150

    matt5150 Either U Know Or U Don't Supporting Member

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    All the time.

    Mogami for the power cable and KobiConn for the ends.

    Matt
     
  5. chrisross

    chrisross Supporting Member

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    Ok, I've tried starting a thread like this too. I understand that you can buy the cable and plugs, but will someone please post a few step-by-step PICTURES of HOW to do this? That's the one thing I've never seen. (I can solder just fine, I've just never worked with power cable)
     
  6. jnepo1

    jnepo1 Silver Supporting Member

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    It's as easy as making patch cables, point to point. The only other thing to worry about is when you have reverse polarity or making "Y" power cables. I also will make other things like power cords for PSUs, of course there's no soldering there, but point to point terminal connections.
     
  7. chrisross

    chrisross Supporting Member

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    But it's tiny isn't it? And what do you actually solder to? For instance, on a regular 1/4" jack, you can unscrew the metal sleeve and see exactly where to solder the cable. But with tiny little enclosed jacks??
     
  8. JoeE

    JoeE Member

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    Its really dead simple. I buy right angle plugs from Effects Connection which take up less room than straight ones and as you can see in the picture, there is two tabs to solder to, the tip and the sleeve. Solder one wire to each then the plastic cover clips over the top... Done
    [​IMG]
     
  9. chrisross

    chrisross Supporting Member

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    So it doesn't matter which wire goes to the tip/sleeve as long as it's done the same way on the other end? (unless reverse polarity is needed, then flip them)

    Is that right?
     
  10. JoeE

    JoeE Member

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  11. chrisross

    chrisross Supporting Member

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    JoeE, you are a gentleman and a scholar.
     
  12. jnepo1

    jnepo1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Well, in the end it does matter. For VL, the connectors are always center negative form the PSU. For Cioks, using RCA plugs, it isn't wired center negative but positive tip. So, the principles are the same, point to point and similar to wiring instrument cables or patch cables but just smaller.
     
  13. UnderTheGroove

    UnderTheGroove Supporting Member

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    Hey Rob,

    Apex looks awesome, thanks for the link. Can't believe I haven't heard of it before. It's not far from my home. Any chance you've noticed if they carry those right angle plugs posted earlier?

    What type of cable are you using?
     
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  14. UnderTheGroove

    UnderTheGroove Supporting Member

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    Great info, thanks! What cable are you ordering from best-tronics? I took a brief look at their site and couldn't find an obvious choice.
     
  15. UnderTheGroove

    UnderTheGroove Supporting Member

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    These look like they would work great.
     
  16. jnepo1

    jnepo1 Silver Supporting Member

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    It is an in-house cable, rubber housing w/ 2 individually wrapped wires, rather than a zip cord type wire. Very flexible and easy enough to work with. Contact Jim Croke for the specific type wire/cable. It's what they use when they build custom ordered power cables. Sorry I am not near any of my spool of cables to give you the specific cable number.
     
  17. UnderTheGroove

    UnderTheGroove Supporting Member

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    That helps, thanks!
     
  18. Bon Scott

    Bon Scott Supporting Member

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    Bumping this thread for a simple question from a first-time power-cable builder. I want to make one or two Y-cables to run two pedals off one power jack. Is it simply a matter of soldering two wires to each tab, or does it involve a different technique?
     
  19. jnepo1

    jnepo1 Silver Supporting Member

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    A simple "Y" power cable constitutes soldering the same wires to the same tabs, yes. Be sure to slip a piece of heat shrink tubing over the wires before soldering.
     
  20. Bon Scott

    Bon Scott Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the quick response. I haven't seen anything mentioned before in this thread about heat shrink tubing. Do you use it on single cables too? Does it just go over as much of the whole soldered assembly as possible?
     

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