Where do I begin with soldering my cables?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by etvedt, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. etvedt

    etvedt Member

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    I'm going to start soldering my own patch cables. However, I'm at a loss with where to start. I'm looking for:

    1) A complete checklist of materials
    2) A video and/or step-by-step written resource to teach me how to do this

    Thanks!
     
  2. mysticaxe

    mysticaxe Member

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    Minimum of materials you will need:
    - Bulk Cable
    - Jacks
    - Soldering iron
    - Solder
    - Wire stripper
    - A few other basic soldering accessories (flux, tip cleaner, helping hand or other stand/holder)
    - A multimeter is always handy

    It is pretty simple, the general steps are:
    - Strip the outer layer and any shielding off the 1/2" or so at the end (be careful not to strip out the braided/stranded layer - that is your ground).
    - Twist the stranded layer together - eventually that will solder to the ground/sleeve connection of your jack.
    - Strip the internal insulation to expose the "hot" wire. Solder that to the tip connection of your jack.
    - When you are done, it isn't a bad idea to take a continuity measurement on the multimeter from tip to tip and sleeve to sleeve (they should be continuous).

    There are plenty of videos on youtube that show good soldering technique and talk about tinning wires etc.
     
  3. tremolo3

    tremolo3 Member

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    There's a good video on tubedepot.

    A good soldering iron and a nice wire stripper is going to save you tons of headaches and time.
    Also, soldering flux could be your best friend.

    WLC100 40watt is what I use for everything.
     
  4. theroan

    theroan Member

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    1) soldering iron
    2) solder
    3) flux
    4) de-soldering braid or sucker
    5) third hand apparatus (CRUCIAL)
    6) redco sells cable and plugs
    7) wire cutters
    8) wire stripper
    9) I can't remember what it's called but the stuff that looks like steel wool to clean your tips.
    10) some stations have a sponge area built in.

    I did my entire board for less than half of what a lava kit would have cost me. Everything custom plus the pride of having done it myself. You'll get into a groove and it'll be nothing. I great skill to boot. Worth the investment of time and money to learn.
     
  5. nater9

    nater9 Member

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    Most solder contains it's own flux. All of mine does, I've never used "flux" separately and I've never had a problem with my own soldered cables.

    I like Redco for supplies.

    I could never get the solder sucker to work, so I always just use de-soldering braid, works great.

    Always "tin" your tip between soldering components and always pre-solder/"tin", your cable leads and jacks before actually soldering the two together.

    I use a Behringer cable tester, for $20.00 its' been invaluable for both my own soldered cables and non-solder type stuff like George L's.

    Have fun... next up - make your own pedals, that's cool too!!
     
  6. Alchemy Audio

    Alchemy Audio Silver Supporting Member

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    Agree with everything you mention (I have two of those Behringer cable testers - home and shop.) However, I do recommend solder flux for cables. It makes the job MUCH easier.
    Here is what I use:
    https://www.tubedepot.com/products/liquid-rosin-flux
    Be sure to get an applicator for the flux to:
    https://www.tubedepot.com/products/flux-dispenser-tube
    Here is a great video tutorial - also from Tube Depot:

     
  7. etvedt

    etvedt Member

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    By third hand apparatus, I assume you mean a vice or something to hold the cable?
     
  8. tremolo3

    tremolo3 Member

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  9. JasonElGato

    JasonElGato Member

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    Subscribed. Thanks for any and all tips, I am planning to take all the George El's off my PT-2 and rewire with soldered cables.
     
  10. theroan

    theroan Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  11. PB Wilson

    PB Wilson Member

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    Depending on which plugs you use, search around for a youtube video that matches yours. Each plug requires a different amount of wire to be stripped and soaking it all in by watching a bunch of videos can be useful.

    Here's a series of pics that show soldering a Neutrik style plug:

    http://www.byocelectronics.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=16532
     

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