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Author Topic: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake  (Read 1765 times)

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Offline voltronic

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Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« on: September 18, 2022, 03:36:06 PM »
I had wanted to make a long stereo cable that was much thinner than the Mogami or Redco 2-channel snake cable I normally use. Something like the Schoeps KS 10 U cable but reasonably priced.

Thanks to some very helpful advice I received here on TS and also on GS Remote, I completed the build this weekend and it came out pretty well.

I used Sommer Cicada 4 mini star-quad for the cable, along with Rean 5-pin mini XLRs (TA5) and Neutrik XX 3-pin XLRs.

Unlike some other very thin cables, Sommer Cicada 4 is perfectly round, coils very easily, and lays dead flat even after extended storage in a small coil. It looks like shoestring licorice with a matte finish. All around, it handles beautifully and was just as easy to work with during construction as the Mogami or Redco 2-channel snake cable.

I used the "opposite pair" wiring setup. For this particular cable, that was:

Pin 1 Ground Drain
Pin 2 Left + Red
Pin 3 Left - Blue
Pin 4 Right + Yellow
Pin 5 Right - White

For the fanouts, I wired according to normal star-quad procedure:

Pin 1 Ground Drain (combined)
Pin 2 Left + Red/Blue
Pin 3 Left - Yellow/White
Pin 4 Right + Red/Blue
Pin 5 Right - Yellow/White

As you can see, I had to use heatshrink inside and outside the shell on the fanouts. One of these cables fits snugly through the included boot; it is far too narrow for two.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2022, 03:39:08 PM by voltronic »
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Offline jbell

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2022, 04:25:21 PM »
I use a Schoeps KS I 5 cable between my Nbob actives and a Naiant PFA.  Similar idea.  I really like having one stereo cable makes setup and breakdown easy.  Nice work, the cable looks great.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2022, 06:13:21 AM by jbell »
Mics: DPA ST4011ER & 4018ER 500 | AKG ck61 & ck63> Nbob actives
Preamps: DPA mma 6000
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre-10 II | Sony PCM A10

-22        -12         -6        TDS   (32/48)     
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__________________________
|Record|  Runtime: 4:19.99  {|||] 75%

Offline voltronic

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2022, 05:05:05 PM »
I use a Schoeps KS L 5 cable between my Nbob actives and a Naiant PFA.  Similar idea.  I really like having one stereo cable makes setup and breakdown easy.  Nice work, the cable looks great.

Thanks. This project was actually meant to be a lower-cost alternative to the Schoeps KS cables, which I am sure are great, but are painfully expensive. A 10-meter KS 10 U with the two AK SU breakouts costs $420! I thought about saving money going DIY, buying the raw KS cable from Posthorn at $12/m. A 10 meter DIY set would run around $150 if I used the mini Rean connectors. Much better, but still more than I wanted to pay. If I was flying/suspending mics from the cable, I might feel differently.

My 10-meter cable cost about $70 all-in including shipping.
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Offline jbell

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2022, 05:29:59 PM »
The Schoeps KS 5 I is a 711 binder cable and cheaper, but they are still expensive and I believe discontinued!  For sure, you save building your own cables. 
« Last Edit: September 20, 2022, 06:13:01 AM by jbell »
Mics: DPA ST4011ER & 4018ER 500 | AKG ck61 & ck63> Nbob actives
Preamps: DPA mma 6000
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre-10 II | Sony PCM A10

-22        -12         -6        TDS   (32/48)     
]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]][}   
]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]][} 
__________________________
|Record|  Runtime: 4:19.99  {|||] 75%

Offline voltronic

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2022, 06:27:19 AM »
The Schoeps KS 5L is a 711 binder cable and cheaper, but they are still expensive and I believe discontinued!  For sure, you save building your own cables.

Yes, I noticed that the L-type cables with Binder connectors is cheaper, but Schoeps doesn't make a Binder-XLR fanout so DIY is your only option there. I have never used those connectors, and I wonder if they are more robust than the Rean TA5s I'm using.
DPA 4061 ~ Line Audio CM3 ~ Naiant X-Q ~ AT 853  |  Naiant PFAs ~ Shure FP24  |  Zoom F6 ~ Sony PCM-M10
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2022, 11:36:52 AM »
Nice work!
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2022, 07:49:33 PM »
Nice work!

Thanks. What finally made this go much quicker was buying a nice new Klein wire stripper that could do the 26 awg conductors in this cable. I didn't have a wire stripper that could handle that small I size when I started, so I was trying to carefully use my flush cutters as a stripping tool (and often failing). Lesson learned: get the right tools for the job first.
DPA 4061 ~ Line Audio CM3 ~ Naiant X-Q ~ AT 853  |  Naiant PFAs ~ Shure FP24  |  Zoom F6 ~ Sony PCM-M10
MOTU M2 ~ KRK Rokit RP5 ~ Sennheiser HD 650 ~ Etymotic ER4XR  |  iZotope RX ~ Reaper ~ foobar2000 (SoX linear)


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Offline H₂O

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2022, 09:35:42 PM »
The Schoeps KS 5L is a 711 binder cable and cheaper, but they are still expensive and I believe discontinued!  For sure, you save building your own cables.


To be clear that is a Schoeps KS 5 i not L


i = binder
L = Lemo


Don't know if they made a 5 pin Lemo cable but I guess it's possible as Lemo makes miniture 5 pin (used frequently with Timecode I/O)



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Offline pohaku

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2022, 12:07:42 AM »
Nice!  My next cable project as well.  Picked up a pair of the teeny Audix M1290 mics in the Yard Sale and want to make appropriately sized cables for them.  Using your approach, but with the Canare L4E5C cable.  Now I need a rainy day as an excuse to stay inside and build them.
Mics: akg c460 (ck61, ck63), c414buls, c568eb; at4049a, 4051a, 4053a, at853; josephson c42; neumann U87, km84i; beyer m130, m160, m500; aea r84; gefell m71, mt711s, m200, m201, um70S; sony c38; schoeps cmc6, CMBI (mk4, mk21, mk41, mk4v); sennheiser mkh30, mkh40, md421, md431, md541; audix m1290
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2022, 06:17:27 AM »
Nice!  My next cable project as well.  Picked up a pair of the teeny Audix M1290 mics in the Yard Sale and want to make appropriately sized cables for them.  Using your approach, but with the Canare L4E5C cable.  Now I need a rainy day as an excuse to stay inside and build them.

Good luck! A few people here and on GS have recommended that cable for this purpose. You'll just need a multimeter on hand because that cable has two pairs of the same color.

M50k on GS also recommended the cable Audio-Technica uses in the popular 853 mics as being a good choice. You can find used / non-working 853s for cheap on eBay if all you want is the cable.
DPA 4061 ~ Line Audio CM3 ~ Naiant X-Q ~ AT 853  |  Naiant PFAs ~ Shure FP24  |  Zoom F6 ~ Sony PCM-M10
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Offline checht

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2022, 11:00:34 PM »
Nice work!

Thanks. What finally made this go much quicker was buying a nice new Klein wire stripper that could do the 26 awg conductors in this cable. I didn't have a wire stripper that could handle that small I size when I started, so I was trying to carefully use my flush cutters as a stripping tool (and often failing). Lesson learned: get the right tools for the job first.

I really like using a variable bite stripper that allows me to tackle most any wire, but I think I'm old school on that. Once you get the feel for it, you can sense when you're through various parts of the cable assembly, which is super helpful if you want to preserve the shield for example.

Got mine a few decades ago from digikey, kinda like these:
https://www.digikey.com/en/products/detail/eclipse-tools/200-007/16627150?utm_adgroup=TANE%20ALARM%20PRODUCTS&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Shopping_DK%2BSupplier_Tier%202%20-%20Block%202&utm_term=&utm_content=TANE%20ALARM%20PRODUCTS&gclid=Cj0KCQjw7KqZBhCBARIsAI-fTKJXHj4CHcp83KviAQxHFaT7RuQwLePgKAVY_Fk9Mg_EHz_AvZICc0IaAmrGEALw_wcB

But the handles are red, which I'm sure is important.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2022, 09:07:57 PM »
Nice work!

Thanks. What finally made this go much quicker was buying a nice new Klein wire stripper that could do the 26 awg conductors in this cable. I didn't have a wire stripper that could handle that small I size when I started, so I was trying to carefully use my flush cutters as a stripping tool (and often failing). Lesson learned: get the right tools for the job first.

I really like using a variable bite stripper that allows me to tackle most any wire, but I think I'm old school on that. Once you get the feel for it, you can sense when you're through various parts of the cable assembly, which is super helpful if you want to preserve the shield for example.

Got mine a few decades ago from digikey, kinda like these:
https://www.digikey.com/en/products/detail/eclipse-tools/200-007/16627150?utm_adgroup=TANE%20ALARM%20PRODUCTS&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Shopping_DK%2BSupplier_Tier%202%20-%20Block%202&utm_term=&utm_content=TANE%20ALARM%20PRODUCTS&gclid=Cj0KCQjw7KqZBhCBARIsAI-fTKJXHj4CHcp83KviAQxHFaT7RuQwLePgKAVY_Fk9Mg_EHz_AvZICc0IaAmrGEALw_wcB

But the handles are red, which I'm sure is important.

Never seen that one before. I'm sure it's great, but the cables I have been using are 24 ga, or in the case of this Sommer cable, 26 ga.
DPA 4061 ~ Line Audio CM3 ~ Naiant X-Q ~ AT 853  |  Naiant PFAs ~ Shure FP24  |  Zoom F6 ~ Sony PCM-M10
MOTU M2 ~ KRK Rokit RP5 ~ Sennheiser HD 650 ~ Etymotic ER4XR  |  iZotope RX ~ Reaper ~ foobar2000 (SoX linear)


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Offline checht

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2022, 10:08:45 PM »
Oh, I see the description has a gauge range.

I just close it as much as is needed for whatever wire/cable;jacket I'm working on.
Schoeps MK41s > nbob KCY >
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Vanguard V1s matched pair
Niaint x8
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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2022, 04:01:50 AM »
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Offline Sebastian

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Re: Very low-profile (3.4 mm) stereo snake
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2022, 05:50:10 AM »
I have never used those connectors, and I wonder if they are more robust than the Rean TA5s I'm using.

I actually prefer the Binder to the TA5 (or any other miniXLR) connectors. Two connectors screw together very nicely while I am always having a bit of a hard time separating those miniXLR connectors.

The Sommer cable is really good! However, I found it just a bit too wobbly and it once broke on me. But that could have been from years of abuse in stealth situations. Now I am back to original Schoeps 3-conductor wire for my actives. The new ones are also in the 3-4mm range and I think I paid 5 EUR per meter when ordering directly from Schoeps.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2022, 05:53:39 AM by Sebastian »

 

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