How To Make: XLR Cable

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

  1. Tenson

    Tenson Moderator

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    Here is the diagram showing how to wire an XLR to XLR cable.

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    One end of an XLR cable has a Male XLR with pins and the other end has a Female XLR with holes that accept pins. This means you can daisy-chain XLR cables to make them longer without any need for adaptors.

    Female XLR
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    Male XLR
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    We need a balanced cable for XLR to XLR connections which is basically the same as a normal interconnect cable but has a additional conductor in the centre.

    For this tutorial I am using Sommer Cable Club Series MKII: SommerCable Club MKII

    I recommend this cable highly. I have cables made with this from 10 years ago that are still in service, although a few are needing re-soldering now. Then again, I do lug them around with me all over the country.

    The XLR plugs I am using are Neutrik: Male XLR , Female XLR

    So first we need to take the plug apart and slide the plug body over the cable so that it can be screwed back onto the plug assembly when the cable and plug are soldered together.

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    Next we need to strip back the cable sheath to reveal the screen wires that surround the centre conductors.

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    Separate out the parts of the cable. We have the screen wires around the outside, the red and blue signal conductors in the centre (red is positive, blue is negative) as well as some cotton that helps stop the cable from stretching.

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    Twist the screen wires together and chop back the cotton to stop it annoying you. Apply a small amount of solder to the twisted screen wires. This is called Tinning.
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    Now cut back a few millimeters of the insulation on each signal condctor and tin those too. You can use a pair of pliers with a rubber-band on the handle to grab it while you solder.

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    Get the plug assembly gripped in the pliers or vice and apply a small amount of solder to each pin receptacle.

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    Hold the conductor to be soldered against the pin receptacle and then apply heat from the soldering iron. The solder will melt and the conductor will go into the receptacle surrounded by solder. Let it cool and repeat for each conductor as per the connection diagram at the beginning of this post.
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    Put the plastic retainer clip around the cable. This compressed on the cable when the plug body is screwed up to the assembly and stop the cable from pulling on the connections.

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    Put the plug together and that end of the cable is done!

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    Now you need to repeat this method for the Male plug on the other end of the cable. It's really just the same thing even though the plug is a little different.

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    Done :)

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    Tenson, Mar 28, 2011
    #1
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