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How To Create An Ultra Custom JH Audio IEM Cable

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

 

First off this guide is not for everyone; as a matter of fact it was more or less an experiment on my part. I’ve never attempted a two part mould so I wanted to tackle the project for a pair of JH Audio IEM’s. The question for me is how you keep those little pins at the perfect distance while making sure that there strong enough so that every time you take them out of your IEM's they don’t connect, break or pull apart.

 

I simply looked no further than the cable that was supplied with your JH Audio IEM’s and decided to make a cast as it’s a perfect match and it would be more interesting for me than using epoxy putty or some other type of glue to hold the pins at the right distance.

 

As you will see from the following tutorial it was quite a project to get my head around as I said before I have never attempted anything like this before.

 

This tutorial solely focuses on the pin assembly and not the soldering of the 3.5mm jack as there are enough examples of this on this site already.

 

 

1st.JPG

 

1st) Assemble your tools.

A: Wire strippers B: Clasp to hold cable while soldering C: Soldering Gun

D: Solder, I’m using Mundorf Supreme here. E: Wire crimpers, wire cutter, razor blade

F: Plasticine G: Silicon Rubber with Catalyst H: Liquid Plastic Kit or Polytek EasyFlo 60

I: Petrogel helps to de-mould your project J: Small plastic tub to make cast K: JH Audio Pins

L: Florists heat treated wire 24awg i.e memory wire

M: The cable you want to to make, I’m using a Crystal Cable Piccolino Cable, use whatever you like

N: Your original JH Audio Cable O: Your JH Audio IEM’s

 

 

 

2nd.JPG

 

Next let’s begin by cutting a little circle into your small tub just big enough to fit one end of the original JH Audio cable through it.

 

 

 

 

3rd.JPG

 

4th.JPG

 

Next fill the tub with Plasticine filling half to the top and leaving the other half just below the circle you cut. Slip the cable through the hole and gently press down half way and make indentation with the back of a pencil or any other type of small object as you see in the photo.

 

 

 

 

5th.JPG

 

Next measure out per your products instructions the required ratio and pour over the cable as you see in the photo. After the Silicon has dried flip the mould over cut the bottom out and gently scrape off the Plasticine to expose the cable. Simply brush over a little Petrogel and pour over another layer of of silicon rubber to make the top half of your cast. After this has set you can then pry apart your two part mould.

 

 

 

 

6th.JPG

 

While the top layer of your mould is drying we begin by stripping your cable and soldering the pins. At this point you can make a decision to put a cable choke over the two wires or slip on heat shrink. I did not put these in the supply photo as it’s not necessary to make the cable but a personal decision on which way you go. I slipped on blue heat shrink as I thought it would add a different touch.

 

 

 

 

7th.JPG

 

After your pins are soldered we check there will be no issues with inserting them into our IEM’s.

 

 

 

 

8th.JPG

 

Next we prepare the cable be inserting a short piece of memory wire into the mould and then slipping the cable into the pin holes that were made during the cast. Note in the photo I put a short piece of heat shrink over the bottom of one of the cables. This is simply extra insurance to make sure the pins don’t come in contact during the plastic cast.

 

 

 

 

9th.JPG

 

I use twist ties to hold the mould together and weigh my liquid plastics together and gently using the end of a straw drop in 2 or three drops into the tiny hole to form the plastic bond. It’s important to note that whatever you use it should have enough viscosity to go into such a tiny hole this is why I choose Polytek EasyFlo 60 as it’s very liquidy when mixed and set’s rock hard.

 

 

 

 

10th.JPG

 

Before the plastic has set and this depends on what you are using I gently opened my mould before the plastic came to a complete hardness and gently formed any abnormalities with my fingers to obtain the shape I needed. You can then use fine grit sand paper to smooth out any rough edges.

 

Next I check to make sure the pins will insert ok into the IEM’s no problem here.

 

 

 

 

11th.JPG

 

Finally I apply a short piece of heat shrink to the tips for added insurance and colour and also over the memory wire which is set in the plastic. You can see in the photo I’m adding the finishing touches.

 

 

 

 

12th.JPG

 

Job Done!!

 

13th.JPG

 

This should last awhile with proper care. The colour scheme I chose may not be for everyone but that shouldn’t stop you from using whatever colour heat shrink you like or simply none at all.

 

 

When making your custom cable you must make sure whatever you use for the plastic it will be suitable for your mould. The liquid plastic I used generates a lot of heat during cast and the silicon mould takes the heat just fine. Whatever you want to use either polycarbonate or some other type of plastic make sure your mould will work with it.

 

I do apologize for not taking photos of the top layer mould cast as I was distracted with other things but if you’re interested there are good videos on youtube discussing two part moulds that will help with any question you might have.

 

Good Luck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by improvised - 9/18/11 at 2:43am
post #2 of 14

Wow, that seems like a lot of work damn...

 

(the tutorial that is)

post #3 of 14

Congrats, but that was alot of work. What were the cost of your material's?

post #4 of 14

Wow using casting thats pretty extreme. Is that resin or some other sort of plastic?

post #5 of 14

Good Job... How much was the total cost of making the mould?

post #6 of 14

Thanks for the great explanation.  Would you please explain the part where you create the memory wire section a little bit more?  I have been trying to find a way to add the memory wire section to an iPhone cable accessory of Shure 535 to be like its original cable.  

 

Any thoughts?

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for having a look and for your questions.

 

The cost for the casting is hard to tell because I have a lot of casting resin left. The cost for all materials was like £50 that's British Pounds but since I have loads of cast and materials left the cost of this particular job is around 0.75 no more for sure.

 

It may look like a lot of work but you have to understand there are no companies creating what I wanted. I wanted to choose my own cable and design my own look, sort of what Nike does with there online shoe maker option. So I had to focus my attention on doing this myself, If I was going to tackle such a large project I might as well document this for others to see as it could come in handy for someone else.

 

The wire I used for memory wire was flexible "florist wire" it is heat treated and can be bended thousands of times without breaking. You just take the gauge you want i.e the thickness and measure the wire around your ear to get an idea of how much you need then simply insert between the wires of the cable your using and set into the tip of the mould.

 

I hope this answers a few questions.


Edited by improvised - 11/24/11 at 11:00pm
post #8 of 14

same as i do except i only use a single seamless mould, hypoallergenic casting polymer, hard annealed solid 9ct gold pins and i built out the connector a touch before casting so its smooth and is just wide enough at the top to allow the memory wire and heatshrink to be fully encased in the plastic. just like the OP, i started simply for my own personal cables about 18 months ago, because nobody else offers this service as a one off.

 

also to keep the pins from shorting i used some epoxy putty which i pushed the stock cable pins into to make an impression to keep them the required distance apart; you can choose to add a tiny bit of super strength epoxy to set them in place before you follow through with the cast. i generally dont bother these days so that the casting has the most volume/strength. its best to use a shore 80 or so polymer so its not brittle, shore 80 is very hard and durable, but still has a very small amount of flex. for doing a one off cable its not really that cost effective, but if you plan on doing more casting for this or other projects it works out ok. sure is more effort than buying the connectors off ebay, but I prefer the result and quality pins


Edited by qusp - 11/25/11 at 6:26am
post #9 of 14

Does anyone know what size/ratio heatshrink he used for this? I just created some cables but my heatshrink is way too thick after being heated. Thanks!

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OPTiK View Post

Does anyone know what size/ratio heatshrink he used for this? I just created some cables but my heatshrink is way too thick after being heated. Thanks!

 

To be honest I took my cable in to a shop that sold heat shrink and made an educated guess with what I was looking for. I went to a specialist electronic parts store in London sort of like what Radio Shack is in the US but a bit more specialized.

 

Not all heat shrinks are of the same quality I would recommend going with your cable to a knowledgeable sales rep and discuss your needs or possibly to a good local hi-fi dealer who might be able to discuss this further.

post #11 of 14
Nice work thats taking it to the extreme
post #12 of 14

Very nicely done.  And using Crystal Piccolino cable, a nice touch.

post #13 of 14

Nice Tutorial!

post #14 of 14

very nice job

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