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Author Topic: Integrated mic cable jacket failure repair using Techflex sheathing  (Read 807 times)

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Offline Gutbucket

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I've several pairs of DPA 4060/4061 which have failing cable jackets.  These microphones have built-in cables and while the microphones are working fine, the cable jackets have grown stiff and are cracked and crumbling.  In some places the jacket is missing entirely, exposing the fine twisted-wire shielding.  In others, sections of stiff jacket remain, which creates a bending strain point at each section edge. 

I've posted previously that I wish these mics were supplied with a microdot connection at the microphone such the cables could be easily replaced.  Lacking that, I've been intending to try and re-sheath these cables with small diameter Techflex or the equivalent, in the hope that I will not need to resort to replace the cables by making a splice near the mic and rewiring with new cable.  Finally got around to doing it..

I ordered 1/8" diameter (the smallest diameter available) Techflex Flexo noise-reduction sleeving- https://www.techflex.com/specialty/flexo-noise-reduction, which has a softer "hand" to it designed to reduce cable handling noise and slide more smoothly against fabric and skin.  It is recommended for body-harnesses applications, and has a denser, less shiny appearance.   Also ordered some 1/4" to use for bundling 4 of these small diameter cables together in a loom, which I have not done yet.  Although not as thick, this stuff is very much akin to "Crokie" eyeglass holder type material, and could easily substitute for that application.

The initial repair on two failed cable jackets and as protection on two others in good condition seems to work very well.  It does increase the diameter somewhat, but not overly so.  It is very comfortable and flexible and also serves to make the mic cables much easier to handle without tangling.

I did remove obvious flaking portions of jacket that were about to fall off, but did not remove the failing jackets entirely, treated any slight-green corrosion of exposed shielding with Caig, then slid the mic through the Techflex, pulled it taught, and inverted/tucked the ends under to prevent fraying rather than heat-shrinking them in place.  I may heatshrink them in place later once I determine if I actually need to remove all failed jacket portions, and initial impression is that its good as is without completely stripping the old jackets off.  I cannot tell were the jacket portions are missing or in place, and the new sheathing supports and protects the exposed shield areas.  Overall the cables now handle nicely again and there seems to be no obvious remaining strain hazzard.

I also considered the possibility of using conductive shield techflex in cases where the exposed shielding has failed as well as the jacket- https://www.techflex.com/metal-shielding/flexo-shield , yet that is only available in silver and would not have the same soft/quiet "hand".  It  may be possible to use a layer of that under the noise-reduction type sheathing where necessary, at the expense of greater thickness and reduced flexibility, if it can be soldered to the existing shielding at each end.

Also of interest is the Shrinkfex conductive EMI shielded heatshrink- https://www.techflex.com/heatshrink-tubing/2-1-shield-shielding

Photos of DPA 4060 inserted into 1/8" Flexo noise-reduction sheathing, with ends tucked under-
« Last Edit: November 19, 2019, 01:06:55 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline heathen

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Re: Integrated mic cable jacket failure repair using Techflex sheathing
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2019, 02:09:27 PM »
Is it just the tightness of the tucked end that keeps the Techflex from slipping?  What's keeping the end of Techflex tucked in?
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Integrated mic cable jacket failure repair using Techflex sheathing
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2019, 04:23:41 PM »
Just fold-over tension and friction.  I've done the same with larger diameter lengths of standard techflex (1" diameter maybe) at the exit end of a couple reconfigurable snakes for years and it's never come undone.  These would probably come undone only if the mic was pulled through all the way such that the microdot thimble snagged the tucked end on its way out.  There is more concern with the sheathing sliding down the cable without the end being positively secured, or possibly the tiny mic with cone-shaped body sliding into the sheathing, but in this case the sheathing is cut to exact length so that's not of too much concern to me.  Also I ended up gaff-taping the mic in place which also secures the sheathing in place - and it felt good to know the sheathing will protect the mic cable from further tape-adhesive degradation.

The trick is getting a clean initial tuck-under without too much unraveling.  That's easier with the larger diameter sheathing where I can just do it with my fingers.  With the 1/8" stuff I had to hold the sheathing while making a clean scissor cut close to where I was holding it, grab a tool with the other hand (I used a flat-ended stainless pin at work, about the diameter of a thin ballpoint pen body which would probably work equally well), and use that to push the cut end into the sleeve about a 1/2" or so before it can unravel.
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Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline Walstib62

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Re: Integrated mic cable jacket failure repair using Techflex sheathing
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2019, 05:25:58 PM »
The best way to cut the sheathing is with a hot soldering iron. this fuses the loose ends together as it severs the sheathing to length.

Offline voltronic

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Re: Integrated mic cable jacket failure repair using Techflex sheathing
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2019, 05:55:30 PM »
Gutbucket,

Thanks for the tip on the Flexo Noise Reduction.  I was going to buy some of the standard 1/8" FlexoPet to make some new cable snakes with my Mogami W2930 stock (outstanding cable, btw).  I don't like the "zippiness" of the standard stuff so much though, so might give the NR version a shot.

Good to know that it works well on DPA 40xx cables as well.

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Integrated mic cable jacket failure repair using Techflex sheathing
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2019, 07:33:06 PM »
The best way to cut the sheathing is with a hot soldering iron. this fuses the loose ends together as it severs the sheathing to length.

The fusing aspect is both good and bad.  Good in that it makes a clean cut and prevents fraying.  Bad in that it no longer allows for full expansion of the sleeve, which I why I do the tuck, especially for snakes I know I will be reconfiguring later.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline Walstib62

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Re: Integrated mic cable jacket failure repair using Techflex sheathing
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2019, 10:34:38 PM »
The best way to cut the sheathing is with a hot soldering iron. this fuses the loose ends together as it severs the sheathing to length.

The fusing aspect is both good and bad.  Good in that it makes a clean cut and prevents fraying.  Bad in that it no longer allows for full expansion of the sleeve, which I why I do the tuck, especially for snakes I know I will be reconfiguring later.


Nah! You scrunch it so it expands, then melt it while expanded

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Integrated mic cable jacket failure repair using Techflex sheathing
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2019, 09:01:36 AM »
Ah! I've been doing it wrong. Will give that a try.  Will it then contract fully or stay flared out?

I will add that the tuck works well to provide a smoothly-rounded edge rather than a hard melted plastic edge if/when that's useful.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline TheBishop

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Re: Integrated mic cable jacket failure repair using Techflex sheathing
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2019, 01:29:21 PM »
You could cover the tucked part with some heat shrink too, which would make it more secure.

Offline Walstib62

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Re: Integrated mic cable jacket failure repair using Techflex sheathing
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2019, 01:30:37 PM »
yes it will retract back down. you can still fold it under if desired. I  generally use a dab of adhesive to secure the sheathing to the cable jacket, then put heat shrink over while adhesive is tacky. this holds everything in place.

Offline lerond

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Re: Integrated mic cable jacket failure repair using Techflex sheathing
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2019, 05:12:40 PM »
Nah! You scrunch it so it expands, then melt it while expanded

scrunch = mash it down flat? or something different??
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Integrated mic cable jacket failure repair using Techflex sheathing
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2019, 05:19:02 PM »
Contracting it lengthwise to fully expand it to its maximum diameter crosswise, while still being a tube.. as I interpret "scrunch"
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Offline lerond

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Re: Integrated mic cable jacket failure repair using Techflex sheathing
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2019, 05:39:30 PM »
Contracting it lengthwise to fully expand it to its maximum diameter crosswise, while still being a tube.. as I interpret "scrunch"

! Sounds like another three-handed technique: one hand to push each end towards the other, then hand number three to wield the hot knife.
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Offline Walstib62

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Re: Integrated mic cable jacket failure repair using Techflex sheathing
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2019, 10:01:46 AM »
Contracting it lengthwise to fully expand it to its maximum diameter crosswise, while still being a tube.. as I interpret "scrunch"

! Sounds like another three-handed technique: one hand to push each end towards the other, then hand number three to wield the hot knife.



No! You use your toes!   All you need to do is secure one end with some stationary object.  A  weight on a flat surface will do, or a clamp, whatever. push the other end so that the sheathing expands a bit, (doesn't need to be at maximum diameter) then melt it with the iron.  It ain't rocket surgery.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Integrated mic cable jacket failure repair using Techflex sheathing
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2019, 10:31:25 AM »
Yeah, that extra hand, foot or clamp always seems to be needed for cable making.

Someday I will remember to slide all the heatshrink AND connector bits onto the cable before soldering on the connector.  Seems without fail I always have to un-solder and re-solder the first one of the bunch.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

 

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