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Where to get started with recabling?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello.  New to the forums as well as the concept in general.  I've got some Portapros with some rather worn cabling, and I'd like to play around with improvements while I'm at it.  I've got a cheap iron, but I don't know what else I might need, where to get it, or where to start. I assume it's more complicated than just soldering one cable in one spot.

post #2 of 7

It really depends on what you want to do. I'd suggest getting a scrap of protoboard, some cheap copper wire, and learning to solder first.


I tend to favour canare starquad or its 2 stranded sibling for wiring - its good, honest copper, solder sticks to it well, and its not too expensive. Might be a little fat for your portapros tho. Don't start with exotic materials. Copper is the best.


Likewise don't go crazy with jacks - I use cheapo jacks I get locally. Considering I melted one, getting practice is a very good idea. If you can solder a jack without burning the plastic you're most of the way there.


Toolswise, I'd suggest a hot glue gun, a soldering iron stand with a cleaning sponge, a set of helping hands (those little clips on a stand with a magnifying glass). You're probably going to want heatshrink (and a lighter or hairdryer to shrink it) as well, of a diameter slightly larger than your finished cables. You also want a wire stripper, tho I just use a craft knife and lots of care.


If you're using an existing cable, and just replacing a jack, get a microtorch - its a lighter on steroids, and is useful for removing the enermal coating on it.


I get most of my gear locally, but somewhere like adafruit might be a good start for tools.

post #3 of 7

You need 3 things since you already have a soldering iron


1. 24awg wiring of your choice (SPC, OCC, OFC etc)

2. Monofilament or Nylon-filament braiding

3. Heatshrink in matching colours.



Make sure both side cabling length are matched otherwise you will get one side shorter than the other once you do the Y-Split section. Make sure you solder the correct signals to the correct polarity solder pad on the drivers, Ground goes to ground and signal goes to signal.

Don't use excessive amount of heatshrink. If you stuffed up the heatshrink don't go putting multiple layers over it to try and cover the dodgy job, doesn't work this way with heatshrink. Remove and re-heatshrink accordingly to what you think looks aesthetically acceptable.

Braid or twist cable, this prevents microphonics from two stranded cables rubbing each other and blocks off RFI/EMI.

Don't use excessive amount of solder. A single dab to make contact is enough.


Good Luck.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
What about solder?
post #5 of 7
Normal solder that your local electronics or hobby store carry. Stay away from the pure silver solder stuff.
post #6 of 7

Since you are looking at recabling, stay away from Techflex covering for your cable. Use nylon or nothing at all. Techflex is very microphonic and every movement or drag of the cable may transmit noise into your ears.


A smaller starquad type cable is probably your best bet. The trickier spot could be the Y point. If using a starquad, you will be sending two conductors to one earcup and two conductors to the other, leaving behind the jacket and shield.


You should protect these cables. To do this, either use smaller nylon wrap or heatshrink. I've seen some people use heatshrink but I'd worry about that being too stiff so I use heatshrink only on the termination point. Also need to be sure you tie off or otherwise secure the cables to the earcups on the inside so they don't tug directly on the drivers if the cable catches something.


Doing the Y itself can be the trickiest, I'd recommend getting creative with some small tubes, lay one tube around the entire cable, and two smaller tubes around only where the 2 conducts branch off, this lets the heatshink

Edited by Jam_Master_J - 6/14/13 at 8:02am
post #7 of 7

If one has a 4-cable braid of 24 AWG teflon coated wire, what size paracord should one use as sheathing? I've heard 550 mentioned several times.... The paracord I'm using currently is not thick enough and was difficult to fit over the braid.

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