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Uninsulated wire question

Ed Denton

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I have some cables that are balanced 3.5mm jack to female XLR that I used for old RED cameras with 3.5mm audio input jack (why oh why RED?). One of the 3.5mm jack broke so I cut it off and stripped back the insulation to replace the 3.5mm jack and what I discovered has me baffled. Inside were 3 conductors as you would expect, but they don’t seem to be insulated in any way from each other. I am so confused as to how the cable works when the conductors are just running together with nothing separating them. Can anyone with electronics knowledge explain how this would be possible? Perhaps a coating? But even so it would be very thin and prone to failure I imagine. Never has issues with the cable until he connector broke. D062E5B0-E0CF-41AC-8D9F-7CC007014292.jpeg

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If you DIY with this sort of wire, the enamel coating can simply be burned off of each conductor with a little "blob" of solder on a fairly hot iron.  Then these newly tinned ends can be soldered back onto any connector of your choice.  It's a bit tricky the first time or two but it works quite well once you get the hang of it.


Oh, and twist up the ends tight before you apply the solder "blob" or you'll pay hell getting the frazzled ends onto a contact.  I usually end up with about a 1/4" of tinned wire and snip the end off each with a pair of dikes to make it a 1/8" of neat.



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