How To Make: Jack / TRS to RCA / Phono Cable

Discussion in 'Member 'How To' Guides' started by Tenson, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. Tenson

    Tenson Moderator

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    This type of cable is not so common in hi-fi, but Jack or TRS connectors are very common for pro sound cards since they are smaller than XLR connectors and can carry balanced signals as well as unbalanced. I use one of these cables to connect the output of my sound card to my hi-fi.

    Although most sound cards will have balanced Jack outputs, converting this to an un-balanced connection is as simple as using an un-balanced Jack plug. Inside the socket the additional connection used for balanced will be linked to ground by the unbalanced plug without any need to make a fancy cable.

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    You will need some un-balanced cable and I'd recommend:

    Sommer Cable Session MKII: Session MKII
    Klotz AC110: Klotz AC110

    At one end of the cable you need an RCA connector and the method with product links has already been covered here. Just do this for one end of the cable then continue below: RCA Tutorial

    You will also need some Jack / TRS connectors for the other end of the cable and I'd recommend Neutrik: Neutrik Jack


    Strip your cable insulation back and twist the screen wires together.

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    Strip the centre conductor insulation back. When pulling the cut insulation off, I'd recommend holding the centre conductor with pliers so it doesn't slide inside the outer sheath. Now apply a little solder to the twisted screen wires and the centre signal wires.

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    Slide the plug body over the able so it can be screwed onto the plug assembly when the cable is soldered.

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    Now apply some solder to the outer ground connection of the Jack, and also to the centre signal connection.

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    Hold the twisted screen wire againt the jack outer ground connection and apply heat with the soldering iron. The solder will flow and the screen wire will touch on the jack connection. Remove heat and let it cool.

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    Do the same for the centre signal connection.
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    Pop the plastic retainer clip onto the cable. This compresses when the plug body is screwed on to the assembly and holds the cable tight to stop the connections being pulled.
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    Screw the plug body onto the plug assembly, and you're done!

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    Tenson, Mar 28, 2011
    #1
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