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TA3 Problem


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Hey folks,

I am attempting to wire my own TA3F to XLRM cable and I am having problems with the TA3 end. I am using Audio-Technica cable, and it is too just thick to fit through the boot (even with the rubber part removed). I used plenty of elbow grease, but I could not get it through. When I compared the AT cable to the ones manufactured by Sound Devices, I definitely saw a noticeable difference in thickness.

Apparently, SD uses a cable called Gepco International. I've never heard of it. I was wondering if I could trouble y'all for your recommendations for a thinner cable that works well with TA3 connectors. Specifically, I'm looking for model numbers. I know Canare and such are excellent quality cables, I just don't know what gauge I need. Thanks!

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You need to enlarge the back end opening either by grinding it out or use your soldring iron to melt away whats restricting the cable. The Canare cable you want is L-2E5. Actually any 2 conductor shielded cable will work for your purpose. See picture for an example. BTW http://www.gepco.com, they've been around since 1985.

post-22-0-43231200-1347035772.jpg

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I also use the Canare L-2E5. (miniature version of L-2T2S)

The Star-Quad miniature version is L-4E5C only a few cents more than the L-2T2S @ 0.45ft, The Star-Quad is more of a PITA to works with though and not totally necessary for line-level applications IMHO.

In addition the Neutrik-Rean miniature XLR plugs (TA series) are easier to work with than the Switchcraft.. again IMO.

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whether it is a rean or a switchcraft, to solder small connectors:

1. you need a grip (vice) to hold the connector part firmly in ONE position at a time

2. you need right kind of tweezers to hold the cable in place

3. you need a magnifier and strong focused light

4. you need a steady hand with the soldering iron, and the tweezers of course :)

5. good to put heatshrink on the terminals if possible

just some pointers to help you...

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whether it is a rean or a switchcraft, to solder small connectors:

1. you need a grip (vice) to hold the connector part firmly in ONE position at a time

2. you need right kind of tweezers to hold the cable in place

3. you need a magnifier and strong focused light

4. you need a steady hand with the soldering iron, and the tweezers of course :)

5. good to put heatshrink on the terminals if possible

just some pointers to help you...

I would add:

6. Paste rosin solder flux. Dab a little (or more) on the contact and on the wire. Once they are mechanically stuck together (with vise and/or tweezers and/or clips), melt solder onto a very fine tipped soldering iron. Then touch the glob of molten solder to the wire and once the wire and contact are heated enough, the solder will flow quite nicely. On small gauge wires, and with a lot of practice, shouldn't take more than 1-2 seconds to get a good joint.

And don't breathe the fumes if you can help it.

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Almost all solder is rosin core so external flux is not required. Connections and wires should be tinned so just touching the iron tip to them melts the tinned solder, neat, clean and fast.

Eric

I find you get better joints by using some extra paste flux, regardless of rosin core. Much, if not most, of the flux in the solder itself gets burned off when melting it to the tip of the iron. YMMV, but this works really well for me.

And of course tinning connections helps, but certain connection points (solder cups for XLR, as an example) are harder to effectively pre-tin and be able to get a clean joint.

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I find you get better joints by using some extra paste flux, regardless of rosin core. Much, if not most, of the flux in the solder itself gets burned off when melting it to the tip of the iron. YMMV, but this works really well for me.

And of course tinning connections helps, but certain connection points (solder cups for XLR, as an example) are harder to effectively pre-tin and be able to get a clean joint.

You have to fill the cups with solder so when you insert the tinned wire you get a good connection with the cup solder covering the wire. If you can see the strands of wire in the cup on the finished connection there's not enough solder in the cup and the solder should be shiney. If it looks dull there's a cold solder joint in the making. Using .032 diameter solder is my preferred size for all audio connectors

Eric

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You have to fill the cups with solder so when you insert the tinned wire you get a good connection with the cup solder covering the wire. If you can see the strands of wire in the cup on the finished connection there's not enough solder in the cup and the solder should be shiney. If it looks dull there's a cold solder joint in the making. Using .032 diameter solder is my preferred size for all audio connectors

Again +1

...except he's waaaay off on the size of solder. I'm currently using Kester 66/44 ("44" ROSIN CORE) but at .031 diameter <g>.

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If you feel like you reeeeally want star quad cable there ( even if it's a short run) there's also the L4E5C that you can use; same diameter as the L2ES cable...

You can also skin the cable a little longer and put shrink tube between the last plastic part you slide on the cable (that goes over your soldered pins) and the metallic crimp part; you heat-shrink before sliding the metallic crimp and crimp the whole thing before screwing the cap. Quite secure/good compromise.

What I also do is, when I split the braiding (shield-ground) from both sides of the cable (kind of " un-knitting" it ) is I ditch one these two separated sides of the braid ( I thightly twist it then cut it along the cable). Much easier to deal with that ground size when thinning/ soldering time comes on these tiny TA pins.

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You have to fill the cups with solder so when you insert the tinned wire you get a good connection with the cup solder covering the wire. If you can see the strands of wire in the cup on the finished connection there's not enough solder in the cup and the solder should be shiney. If it looks dull there's a cold solder joint in the making. Using .032 diameter solder is my preferred size for all audio connectors

Well, we differ on technique, but the result is the same. I still like doing it my way better, go figure.

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it is too just thick to fit through the boot (even with the rubber part removed). I used plenty of elbow grease, but I could not get it through.

If it is barely big enough, but is just offering too much resistance, I've been putting some WD40 on a paper towel and rubbing the tip of the wire to allow the boot and rubber seal to slide over the cable.

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Mogami make a quad cable thin enough to fit thru the boot without any issues. Unfortunately I don't have the model number on hand. With the Canare cable I remove the boot and use one or two bits of heat shrink.

Soldering is a personal thing; whatever works for you. I always tin both the connector (fill the indent with solder) and the wire then briefly heat the connector and bring the cable into place. I'm still running leaded solder but the roll is almost finished.....

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  • 2 months later...

Mogami make a quad cable thin enough to fit thru the boot without any issues. Unfortunately I don't have the model number on hand. With the Canare cable I remove the boot and use one or two bits of heat shrink.

Soldering is a personal thing; whatever works for you. I always tin both the connector (fill the indent with solder) and the wire then briefly heat the connector and bring the cable into place.

I'm still running leaded solder but the roll is almost finished.....

Do not intermix the leaded solder with the "non leaded" solder in the same connection as they don't play well with each other.

Eric

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