Making Ring - Tip Cables
Things like Compressors and Reverb units are connected in this way.
You can also use this type of cable to split a stereo output signal into 2 separate mono signals, or combine 2 separate mono signals into a stereo input.
|These cables are not hard to make. In the cables I build, I use high quality Switchcraft connectors for all of the Phone Plugs. These are available at many electronics supply stores. Don't skimp on the connectors, good ones will hold up much longer in this environment, and they really don't cost much more than cheap connectors. Use quality audio cables too.|
The Cable assembly itself is very simple. It is composed of 2 Mono 1/4 inch Phone plug and 1 Stereo 1/4 inch Phone plug. There are 2 single conductor (a wire in the center and a shield) audio cables - one is marked at the end TIP.
Parts of a Mono Phone Plug
|Cut 2 19 1/2 inch (50 cm) lengths of shielded single conductor audio cable. Strip 5/8 inch (3 cm) of the insulation off of all 4 ends. Strip approximately 1/8 inch of wire (3 mm) from the center wires. Separate the shields from the center wire and loosely twist the ends to make sure that they are separated from each other. Loosely twist the shield wires together and apply a small amount of solder to these leads, while holding them together. Add a small amount of solder to the center wires (tin them).|
Solder the shields onto the COMMON connection. Then turn the plug and connect the 2 center wires to the Ring and Tip connections. Make note of which one of the wires goes to the Tip.
To make the heat shrink tubing shrink, you need a heat source. In an industrial environment, you would use a heat gun (like a large portable hair dryer, except much much hotter). However, I find that careful use of matches works quite well. Put the tubing in place and light a match, holding it underneath the tubing (around 1/2 inch (13 mm) away) and moving it back and forth to cause the tubing to shrink. Work it around all sides of the tubing and be careful not to burn the wire, the heat shrink tubing or yourself. It normally takes 2 matches to shrink a piece the size shown here.
Plug the Mono Phone Plug into a jack and solder the Shield, then the HOT connection. Once done, compress the clamp to the wire on the Phone Plug (if there is one), slide the plastic cover over the solder joints them slide the metal cover down and screw it on.
When you plug into this jack, it disconnects the signal from its normal circuit (using switched jacks) and routes it thru the cable. If you want tap this signal, you will need a cable that re-establishes the broken signal path, and also gives you the signal. Easy to do (see the diagram below). All you need to do is connect the send/receive back together in the stereo jack by jumpering the ring/tip and bring that signal out thru the other mono jack. The case remains a sheild for both connectors.
This signal could feed another mixer (it is likely to be line level), or be sent to some other remote audio processing hardware (like a recording studio, or vocal processors).
Questions? Comments? .
Photos taken with a Kodak DC25 Digital camera and Tiffen Close-up lens. Text added using JASC Paint Shop Pro.
© 1999, 2005 Shavano Music Online