Re post of a IC recipe for all those new members.

Discussion in 'DIY Discussion' started by zanash, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. zanash


    Jun 20, 2003
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    A number of people have been asking about IC's [not just on this forum] so rather than replying to the individuals here's the original post.

    I will assume [ makes an ass of u and me ]that you have all the tools to hand.
    soldering iron
    solder silver loaded prefferably
    stanley type knife
    bit of heat shrink maybe
    pair of those extra hand thingies or an female RCA mounted to act as a heat sink and hold the plug steady.
    plumbers tape
    pvc tape
    Mustbe loads more stuff but you can get away with just whats listed.

    a pair of cheap red rca plugs
    a pair of cheap black rca plugs
    a spool of silver wire 5m min or
    36 awg enamelled magnet wire
    spool of ptfe tape [plumbers tape]
    3m of 3 - 4mm former

    The RCA plug I used are from maplin and are the 99p gold plated types. The 49p
    ones are a pain as you need to chop off the strain relief and it always looks messy.

    Whoo I hear you cry, Silver wire must cost a bomb.
    Find one of the bead shops or craft shops, I got 10m or so for £2.50, but mine was silver plated copper,from a bead shop!. Get the thinest ie 0.025mm now this is delicate stuff and remember thin is good.

    You only need look at it for it to tangle!

    An alternative is the wire wrap/magnet wire that is high purity copper covered with a eurathane varnish often called enamel [though not really]. You can get this from maplin in all sizes but the thinest is best, cost £5-00 for 200m ish.
    Former, well clear tubing or even string, most of anything, that's none conductive and non magnetic.

    Cut the former to the length of cable required.
    Cut 6 lengths of enamelled copper wire, each about 1.5x the length of the finished cable. Set
    these aside.
    Take the plumbers tape and firmly wrap the whole length of each former.
    Take one enamelled copper wire and wind this carefully but tightly around the former.
    To make a spiral [helix] so each complete rotation of the wire is separated by 4 - 5mm.
    Making certain that you leave about 15mm of wire protruding at each end.
    You might need to anchor each end with a little bit of pumbers tape.
    Once you are happy with the this take the plumber's tape and wrap the whole
    length of the former and silver wire, its best to follow the spiral wind with a 50% overlap of ptfe tape.
    Take a small piece of pvc tape and tag both ends of the enamelled copper wire.
    Now repeat the process with the second silver wire but you do not need to tag it
    with tape.
    This is the intreseting part as you can make one of two cable varients
    a. wind the wire between the spirals previously laided down.

    b.wind the wire so it crosses the windings under neath at 90 degrees.

    your choice a. provides some shielding ?
    b. minimises the interaction between the wires.

    Once you have completed this stage cover the cable with ptfe tape as before.

    I would heat shrink the lot at this stage [6-8mm dia in my case], you could use
    ptfe heat shrink but this is very expensive and would defeat the object of a low cost IC.

    Attach the plugs. The tagged wire to the centre pin and the outer wire to ground, these wire must be trimmed and routed so no connection between the
    two is made. If you strugle here a small amount of ptfe tape can be used to isolate each conductor.
    I have found that if you then slip a piece of heat srink [25mm long] up the cable so that it covers the plug connections and cable grip, a very secure joint is made. [Don't forget to slip another piece of heat shrink on at this stage, for the other plug].
    Attach the second plug in the same way.
    It's good to use silver loaded solder, it will sound better, but is not essential.

    Now repeat for the other cable.

    If you have a multi meter check for any shorts between signal and earth.

    Once connected between amp and cdp I was aware of a full rich and meliferous musical presentation, that belies theminimal cost of these cables.
    Hope yours sound as good as mine.

    These are good enough to benift from better RCA plugs, I'd suggest the bullets.
    zanash, Jan 28, 2004
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  2. zanash


    Oct 7, 2003
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    Interesting, which of the 2 variants sounds better? Do I understand it correctly that the magnet wire will serve as the hot & silver as ground?

    moz, Jan 30, 2004
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  3. zanash


    Jun 20, 2003
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    No....well you could, I've only tried similar wires, ie two copper or two silver.

    This recipe with 4n 0.5mm silver is really very good, and lately I've tried making the ground return 2/3 bigger than the signal dia. that seems to give even better results. With none of the normal short comings when using silver or silver plated. Copper now sounds warm and over blown and definately not natural.

    I'm still to hear an IC that sounds better at any reasonable cost [upto £150].
    zanash, Jan 30, 2004
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