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November 30, 2012

Pure Silver Mini to Mini Cable

A short mini to mini cable cable can be very handy when connecting a portable audio player to a portable amplifier. In some cases it's worthwhile to use a digital audio output, but not all portable devices offer this, so the venerable 3.5mm mini to mini will work perfectly well. In this particular post, I will be assembling a mini to mini cable using Cardas 5N (99.999% pure) silver wire and a pair of Neutrik mini connectors, the Neutrik NYS-231 BG to be exact. The B in the nomenclature stands for the black shell, and the G stands for gold contacts. This particular connector is chosen over the Switchcraft 35HD and the Canare F12 as the body is smaller and more easily fits on the face plate of portable amplifiers. You'll notice below that the connectors come in three parts, the connector piece with solder tabs, a barrel and a small tube that acts as a dielectric so the left and right solder joints do not short to the barrel, which is connected to ground.

A pair of Neutrik NYS-231BG

You may notice that the barrel inlets are rather small and not completely ideal for thicker sleeved cable. Because of this, I dremeled out the barrel inlet to create a larger opening. 

Barrels dremeled for larger diameter cable

Once this is complete, it is necessary to sand or file the rough areas so they don't grind up against the wire during use. Once the barrels are prepared, the solder tabs should be identified with a multimeter. In this case, the shorter leg A is the left signal (aka tip), the longer leg B is the right signal (aka ring), and C is ground (aka sleeve). 

Pinout of the Neutrik mini connector

As mentioned above, this cable will be using solid silver wire from Cardas. This wire will be sleeved with Teflon (PTFE) tubing. 

Cardas silver wire and Teflon tubing

Each wire is trimmed to the appropriate length and the Teflon tubing is then slipped over top. The Teflon acts as a dielectric and prevents the strands (aka conductors) from shorting to one another. It's a very good idea to get Teflon that's for a larger gauge than the wire you are using so it slips over it easily. In this case, 24 gauge silver is covered with 22 gauge Teflon.

Silver wire sleeved with Teflon

The three wires are braided together and soldered to the Neutrik connector. It's important for the Teflon tubing to go right up to the solder taps to prevent shorting.

Silver wire soldered to the Neutrik connector

Next comes the black nylon multifilament sleeving made by Techflex. This is 3/16" size, cut to length using a hot knife from Partsexpress. The hot knife prevents fraying at the ends by slightly melting where it cuts. Also note the dielectric material is slid in place before the barrel is screwed on. 

Black Nylon Multifilament

The barrel can then be screwed in place, and the other Neutrik connector installed the exact same way. In the photos below, 1/2" heat shrink is slipped over the barrels to provide additional strain relief and to offer the feel of a "rubberized"-type layer.  

Completed mini to mini cable

This can now be the connection between a portable audio player and a portable amp and not take up much real estate at all. Thanks for taking them time to read this post. If you are interested in purchasing a completed mini to mini cable, please contact Zynsonix.com.

For more pure silver goodness, check out a previous post detailing the build of pure silver interconnects

The Fine Print:
The above steps detailing the building of a cable are for entertainment purposes only and not to be performed under any circumstances. The owner of this blog and all associated parties can not / will not be held responsible if you attempt the process posted and cause physical harm to yourself, your surroundings or your property. Please keep this in mind.