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Author Topic: Just made new low-profile/chopped cables.  (Read 11460 times)

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Offline SMsound

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Just made new low-profile/chopped cables.
« on: September 29, 2022, 03:29:26 PM »
Just finished a new set of cables based on some recent info you all shared here. I spent all summer lugging around full size Canare and Mogami star quad singles & snakes. A couple weeks ago, I saw that Schoeps had started shipping the CMC1-Lemo pre's with a super small cable that would save me a ton of space/weight. I decided to build my own similar XLR cables with some similarly-sized Mogami W3031 cable (2.8mm overall diameter with braided shield) and some chopped XX neutriks with black mica-dyed epoxy. Angled connectors on the mic side; straight on the recorder side (my different recorders would all want different angles to not be in the way...).

PS, if anyone has tips for sealing chopped female XLR's I would love to hear them. I used hot glue to seal inside the silver button before pouring epoxy in, but it took a few tries to accomplish this without making the button hard to push due to hot glue wanting to get inside.

I made 2x  15' cables and 2x  30' cables.  Shown next to a pair of full size Canare star quad 30' cables for comparison. The Pinecil was a godsend when soldering these tiny cables (thanks for the tip Voltronic)




« Last Edit: September 29, 2022, 06:46:15 PM by SMsound »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Just made new low-profile/chopped cables.
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2022, 07:43:55 PM »
The Pinecil was a godsend when soldering these tiny cables (thanks for the tip Voltronic)

That was an intentional soldering pun, right?  ;D

Seriously, great work. Are the channel IDs at the cable exits just short pieces of heatshrink?
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Offline SMsound

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Re: Just made new low-profile/chopped cables.
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2022, 10:24:52 PM »

Seriously, great work. Are the channel IDs at the cable exits just short pieces of heatshrink?

Thanks---I got the inspiration to make them from watching your threads here (these are my first cable builds).

For the channel ID's I cut 1/8" long rings of Sumitomo Sumitube B2(3X) 9/3mm Flexible Polyolefin 3:1 Heat Shrink Tubing, since it comes in a ton of colors. The 3mm minimum inner diameter means that it won't work on the Mogami 3031W unless there's already a layer of heatshrink on the Mogami (which is fine since I put an inch of heatshrink on where it exits the Neutriks). I thought about using colored epoxy instead for channel ID colors, but I decided on black dyed epoxy because the connector backs are sometimes visible when filming. The hope is that these little color heatshrink rings are small enough that they won't show up on video depending on how I position them.

https://www.performanceaudio.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=Sumitomo%20Sumitube%20B2(3X)%209/3mm%20Flexible%20Polyolefin%203:1%20Heat%20Shrink%20Tubing

Since I can't get that color heatshrink with adhesive lining, I added a little bit of hi-heat silicone sealant inside before shrinking it on.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2022, 10:40:05 PM by SMsound »
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Offline fireonshakedwnstreet

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Re: Just made new low-profile/chopped cables.
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2022, 01:58:21 AM »
Awesome stuff
Mics: AT 3031; AT 853Rx (c, o); Samson C02; Studio Projects C4 (c, o, h); Nak 300/Tascam PE-125/JVC M510 (cp-1, cp-2, cp-3, JVC M510 superdirectional caps)
Recorders: Tascam DR-680 MkII; Tascam DR-70D
Pres: Edirol UA-5 (Oade PMod & WMod); Marantz PMD661 (OCM); Marantz PMD620 (Oade WMod); Naiant MidBox; Shure FP11 (x2)
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Just made new low-profile/chopped cables.
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2022, 11:08:31 PM »
For the channel ID's I cut 1/8" long rings of Sumitomo Sumitube B2(3X) 9/3mm Flexible Polyolefin 3:1 Heat Shrink Tubing, since it comes in a ton of colors. The 3mm minimum inner diameter means that it won't work on the Mogami 3031W unless there's already a layer of heatshrink on the Mogami (which is fine since I put an inch of heatshrink on where it exits the Neutriks). I thought about using colored epoxy instead for channel ID colors, but I decided on black dyed epoxy because the connector backs are sometimes visible when filming. The hope is that these little color heatshrink rings are small enough that they won't show up on video depending on how I position them.

https://www.performanceaudio.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=Sumitomo%20Sumitube%20B2(3X)%209/3mm%20Flexible%20Polyolefin%203:1%20Heat%20Shrink%20Tubing

Since I can't get that color heatshrink with adhesive lining, I added a little bit of hi-heat silicone sealant inside before shrinking it on.

I've been looking for some good 3:1 shrink - thanks!

You really did a lot of work on those connectors, and it shows. If you're worried about drawing attention on video, maybe for the next one use gray and black for the second pair? I like that combo and have 3D printed caps in those colors from Gotham for the next right-angle XLR cable I make.
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Offline checht

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Re: Just made new low-profile/chopped cables.
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2022, 08:32:20 PM »
Anyone used the Cable Techniques connectors or familiar with their cable?
https://www.cabletechniques.com/lopro-xlr-mini-xlr

I like that the exit angle is changable...

Thx
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Offline SMsound

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Re: Just made new low-profile/chopped cables.
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2022, 05:20:08 PM »
Anyone used the Cable Techniques connectors or familiar with their cable?
https://www.cabletechniques.com/lopro-xlr-mini-xlr

I like that the exit angle is changable...

Thx

^^ If you dig around the reviews in various retailers, you'll find a bunch of reports of both these Cable Techniques and the Switchcraft low profile XLR's failing. That's why I made my own.

About 2 weeks ago, these new alternatives came out. They are made by SquarePlug, which has made good TRS connectors for a long time but never XLR. They look a lot better to me, but nobody has tried them yet, so no reviews. They are straight plugs not right angle:
https://www.performanceaudio.com/squareplug-spxm-low-profile-true-heavy-duty-3-pin-male-xlr-connector-black.html

https://www.performanceaudio.com/squareplug-spxf-low-profile-true-heavy-duty-3-pin-female-xlr-connector-black.html

I'll probably buy some for my next build. If they are good then it would save the annoyance of working with epoxy.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Just made new low-profile/chopped cables.
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2022, 04:20:45 PM »
^^ If you dig around the reviews in various retailers, you'll find a bunch of reports of both these Cable Techniques and the Switchcraft low profile XLR's failing. That's why I made my own.

That's good to know.

About 2 weeks ago, these new alternatives came out. They are made by SquarePlug, which has made good TRS connectors for a long time but never XLR. They look a lot better to me, but nobody has tried them yet, so no reviews. They are straight plugs not right angle:
https://www.performanceaudio.com/squareplug-spxm-low-profile-true-heavy-duty-3-pin-male-xlr-connector-black.html

https://www.performanceaudio.com/squareplug-spxf-low-profile-true-heavy-duty-3-pin-female-xlr-connector-black.html

I'll probably buy some for my next build. If they are good then it would save the annoyance of working with epoxy.

I saw these when they were released, and I was very interested in them. I really want them to have an adjustable exit right-angle version, though.

Thanks for the purchase link on these! Let us know how they are to work with.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Just made new low-profile/chopped cables.
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2022, 12:42:06 PM »
SMSound - did you ever purchase any of those SquarePlug XLRs? I will have some new cable builds coming soon and I'm wondering what diameters of cables they work well with, how everything fits together, etc.
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.
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Offline SMsound

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Re: Just made new low-profile/chopped cables.
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2022, 04:15:56 AM »
SMSound - did you ever purchase any of those SquarePlug XLRs? I will have some new cable builds coming soon and I'm wondering what diameters of cables they work well with, how everything fits together, etc.

Not yet! I've almost pulled the trigger a bunch of times but keep putting off my next build.

Their published specs say they accommodate 4.5 — 6.2 MM cable. I've been loving the 3mm Mogami in the first post of this thread, so that means I'll need a bit of heatshrink where the cable enters the XLR (which I would do anyways).
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Offline sounddguy

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Re: Just made new low-profile/chopped cables.
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2023, 11:07:56 PM »
I've been using Canare L-2E5 cable  with Switchcraft AAA3FBLP plugs with out any issues.  I love the weight reductions.

Offline SMsound

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Re: Just made new low-profile/chopped cables.
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2023, 02:15:33 AM »
Finally just ordered some of the Squareplug chopped XLR's from PerformanceAudio. I'm in the middle of a new build using the same Mogami W3031 as in the original post above (these days I'm running more mics than ever) and more Sumito Sumitube color codings (incl. gray like Voltronic suggested). Will be interesting to compare the Neutrik custom chops to the new Squareplugs. I think the Squareplug may be heavier---their literature is very proud of their all metal construction.
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Offline SMsound

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Re: Just made new low-profile/chopped cables.
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2023, 09:33:06 PM »

Just made a new set of 15' Neutrik straight chopped XLR's from more of the Mogami W3031 cable (2.8mm) and Neutrik XX black/gold. I used Voltronic's idea of grey & white color bands.



SMSound - did you ever purchase any of those SquarePlug XLRs? I will have some new cable builds coming soon and I'm wondering what diameters of cables they work well with, how everything fits together, etc.

In the pic, you can also see the new Squareplug factory chopped/stubby XLR's in bags. They are all metal and look really nicely made. The female ones use the old style Neutrik X-model style releases. You can also see the little blue and red screws that they offer for color coding. PerformanceAudio.com sells single screws for these for like $0.20 or something. Each XLR takes up to 2 screws (wish I had known when ordering). I had already made up my Neutriks when the order arrived or I would have tried them out. They weigh a tiny bit more, and are a tiny bit longer than my chopped Neutriks, but I expect way less work than epoxy do-it-yourself chops (I had to completely re-do one of the females again because epoxy got into the release button ugghh).

They have silver connections inside instead of the gold, but that's more of a personal preference thing.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2023, 09:35:13 PM by SMsound »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Just made new low-profile/chopped cables.
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2023, 10:16:45 PM »
Nice work, SMSound. I'm very glad for your photo, because now I am no longer interested in purchasing the SquarePlug XLRs, since they are significantly larger than the metal shell of a Neutrik XX. I think I'm going to stick with Neutrik and possibly take the 3D printed screw Caps I have from Gotham and see if it's possible to drill a hole straight through the center. I already used that solution when drilling through the side of the shell for an angled exit, but I'm gravitating more of a setup like what you've made, just without the epoxy so that the connection is serviceable in the future. I will say your epoxy work is a lot better than many others that I've seen.
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.
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Acoustic Recording Techniques
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Offline SMsound

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Re: Just made new low-profile/chopped cables.
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2023, 10:42:55 PM »
...SquarePlug XLRs, since they are significantly larger than the metal shell of a Neutrik XX.

fyi the SquarePlug at the bottom of my pic is in a baggy with a couple of cord grips, which make it look longer than it is, but maybe you already noticed this.

Re:Gotham caps, I have only seen their $35 chopped neutriks. They look nice, but $140 for a stereo pair that you have to solder yourself seems like Schoeps territory. Do they sell just the caps?

It's easy to make epoxy look nice -- just add a little extra so that it forms a meniscus, and then don't touch it until it completely cures (or you'll lose the nice finish by breaking the surface tension). These days I first fill around the connections with hot glue to block the epoxy from getting into the release button/spring area, though it sometimes still finds a way in and blocks the button. Then I add epoxy on top.  On the XLR-M's, there's no release button, but epoxy will drip down into the thing that catches the release on the XLR-F, so I put a tiny but of hot glue there to block it.

I use Mica powder to color the epoxy black. Not totally necessary as clear is pretty camouflaged against the black connectors. A tiny bit goes a long way.

I actually really like the epoxy (when I don't screw it up and get it into the release button), as it seals around all of the connections and insulates them. It's not user-serviceable, but you can yank on the little cables and none of the connections move. It's just a pain to work with.

For right angle connections, I drilled a hole in the side of the connector, but when I make more I will use a milling machine to make a slot instead of a hole. That way I can solder the connections and then slide them into the Neutrik housing, rather than having to solder with the housing in place (which was not fun).
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