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Author Topic: Help wiring up Neutrik 1/4" TRS for inserts  (Read 9097 times)

eclectic-ken

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Help wiring up Neutrik 1/4" TRS for inserts
« on: August 22, 2004, 11:58:05 am »

Hi everyone,

Well, I'm pretty new to DIY install issues and I thought I was being pretty smart  Embarassed  ording a bunch of 22awg gepco cable and neutrik trs and xlr connectors (for the install of our NEW A&H GL3300!!).  BUT, I'm looking at the TRS connectors (NP3C) and I don't see a contact for the shield strand--I expected to find three contacts (tip, ring, sleeve), but I just see two and then the bottom half of the plug?  Did I get the right connector?  I looked at the Neutrik website, but no real help there.  Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Ken Truitt
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Ken Truitt

Tim Padrick

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Re: Help wiring up Neutrik 1/4" TRS for inserts
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2004, 11:52:25 pm »

The "lower part of the plug" is the shield contact.  This is very handy, as it allows even large shields (once twisted) to fit with room to spare.  It also allows you flexibility in how you dress the leads out.  I love 'em.

Please note that on the compressor end, you only need connect the shield in one of the cables.

I don't make a "wye" style cable.  I run a single 2 conductor shielded cable from the TRS to TS #1 and connect the shield and the tip lead in that one.  Within that connector I solder a length of inshielded 20 gauge wire to the ring lead and heat-shrink it.  This runs out the strain relief with the main cable, and solders to the tip of TS #2.  It does not have any strain relief, but so far I have had no failures and everything has worked noise free.

eclectic-ken

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Re: Help wiring up Neutrik 1/4" TRS for inserts
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2004, 08:29:46 pm »

Ahhh (light bulb going off)--I wondered if that part of the plug was for the sheild. Honestly though, I read the article on the Rane site about proper connections and got spooked enough to asked an obvious question.

Since I've already asked one obvious/novice question, I'll throw another one out--thus prooving the axiom that there's no such thing as a dumb question, just dumb people who ask questions.

Here goes:  How do you solder these, or any other, connectors? Don't you need three hands?  How do you get the plug and the wire hot enough, at the same time, so they, not the iron, melt the solder to form the joint?  I have a Weller 25w iron and I couldn't get that to get the job done with a switchcraft connector awhile back.  I now have a 40w iron--am I on the right track or do I need something even heftier.  A google search on soldering just yields lots of places with generic or PCB advice.

Thanks muchly in advance.

Ken.
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Ken Truitt

Kevin Maxwell AKA TheMAXX

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Soldering connectors
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2004, 02:01:24 pm »

I will try to answer your question in parts. I hope this helps.

Yes you need at least 3 hands connected to 1 brain. So instead since I only have 2 hands at the moment. What I do is clamp the connector that you are soldering in something. But don’t clamp the other end of  the pin that you are soldering to. I have a small plastic vice that I lucked out and found years ago. I have also used a small metal bench vice and vice gripe pliers and in desperation regular pliers with a rubber band on the handles to keep it closed. If you are putting together XLRs don’t clamp on the pins, clamp on the plastic (or whatever it’s made of) that the pins are mounted in. Position it for best access to the pin that you are soldering to and move it for each pin. So the “vice” is holding the device, one hand is holding the iron and one hand is feeding the solder.

Do you know what a heat sink is – well if you clamp to the pin (lets say the sleeve or a T/R/S connector) you are heat sinking the pin and it can make it almost impossible to get it hot enough to solder. The heat is dissipated thru the clamp. The trick to soldering male 1/4" connectors is to use something to insulate the vice so you aren’t clamped to the shaft of the connector. You can use wood on the vice (but be careful not to start a fire). You could plug it into a new female 1/4" connector and clamp the female connector in the vice, but it may spin when you don’t want it to. Or you could use the jacket off a big enough piece of wire. Some people made pieces of wood with the proper holes drilled to hold the connectors and don’t even use a vice, but I don’t like the angle that puts the connector.

So be careful and don’t burn down the place.

First learn “Soldering 101”. This is a basic simplified explanation.

Heat up the iron

Have a damp sponge to wipe the iron on.

Use rosin core solder not acid core.

As the iron is heating up melt some solder on the tip. This is called tinning the tip. The solder has a rosin core and sometimes if you pinch off the melted end exposing the rosin core it helps the solder to flow as the iron is heating up. I personally like a very thin solder.

Wipe off the tip on the wet sponge regularly. After you wipe off the excess you should lightly re-tin the tip so you only have a little bit (tinned) on the tip.

When soldering, what you are trying to do is heat up both parts that you are trying to join and then letting the solder flow between them.

As you are heating up both parts you want to feed in some solder to help in the transfer of heat between everything. It can help to tin the wire a little before trying to join it to something else. If you tin the device you are soldering to be sure not to get carried away and fill up the hole you need to get the wire into.

Doth get carried away and over heat and melt things that you don’t want melted. And don’t put too much solder into the joint so it is overflowing everywhere.

When the solder has flowed smoothly between the joint remove the iron and DON’T WIGGLE (move) the connection until it cools. You will get used to how the joint looks as it cools. I don’t like to blow on the joint as it cools, I have heard that you shouldn’t blow on it. But if you are holding part of it and now your fingers are burning because the heat has transferred up the wire you may need to blow on you fingers.

If you have a meter of better yet a cable tester, test your work after you are done.
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Kevin Maxwell
Freelance Audio Eng. QBE

Stuie

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Re: Soldering connectors
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2004, 06:11:43 am »

Hi Ken

Another nice idea is to get the necessary cables to get from a pro audio shop. This will get you out of jail and then look at how they where put together. NOthing is hard just applied.

Oh Yeah Stuies Soldiering tips
* Do it in the garage, My wife hates the spills of solder on the floor.. OOps i did it again.
* Have somewhere to place the soldiering iron afterwards
* Keep plastic away from the soldering area, Today i put a couple of marks on the dB counter.


Have Fun
Cheers

PS im really envious of the GL 3300 we are stuck in the 80s think tacky and Yamaha GF24/12. Im just coming down from last sunday night we hired a nice system Nexo Alpha E and AH GL4000 40b massive difference to JBL Eons and a Yamaha GF24/12 God bless the Budget.
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andrew gissing

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Re: Help wiring up Neutrik 1/4" TRS for inserts
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2004, 02:33:42 am »

One more soldering tip - not mentioned in the previous two posts: What I do is tin both ends and then join.

When making cables, typically i'll do a lot in one hit and here's how I go about it:

(1)
Strip all the ends and get them ready for soldering. For example on star quad cable this means striping back the plastic/rubber outer, unbraiding the shield, twisiting it, cutting the string, stripping a bit off the blue & white cables, lastly, joining the blues & whites.

(2)
Clamp soldering iron in a metal vice. Tin all the blues, whites and shield

(3)
Remove iron, place plug in vice squeezing just enough to to hold it but not squish it.

(4)
Put solder in the 3 pins (XLR) or on the areas of that jack that you're going to connect cables.

(5)
Put the boot & cable clamp on cable, heat up the pin again (very quick this time) and place already tinned cable on it.

Remove soldering iron and watch the solder dry - as pointed out before - you can see it change texture when it's dry.

I find that by doing this the cables stay neat - you don't get frayed wires everywhere, and when you go to join the plug & cable, that's really quick.

Oh.. and if you are doing lots of cables, make sure you've got good posture 'cause so many times I've done it and gone to stand up after 2 hours and ouch !

Lastly.. it's boring so have a tv or cd player nearby <grin>

andrew
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eclectic-ken

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Re: Help wiring up Neutrik 1/4" TRS for inserts
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2004, 03:12:17 pm »

Thank you for the tips everybody, these have been great--I also did a search of the archives and found some great help.

I like the idea of putting the iron in a vice to tin the leads--very cool. Same with doing all the stripping/dressing at once, I'll definitely put that to use tonight.

I'm about a quarter of the way through my project, I have about 20 or so interconnects to put together.  Here's a few things I've discovered as well.

--A chisel tip works better than the conical tip (larger tip area to transfer heat)
--40w iron is good
--I've been putting the plug in a spring clamp, then the spring clamp in a portable bench vise made by "Record" tools.  This elevates the plug off the bench by about 6-8 inches so I'm not stooped over as much
--electrical tape helps keep the wires in place while they're being soldered to the plugs
--you can buy solder that's designed to melt at different temperatures! Craazy--turns out I'd been using a solder that was designed to melt at a fairly high temperature
--Stui: I don't even think of getting away with this at the kitchen table--you're bold my friend.

Yes, we're all stoked about the gl3300.  We currently have a Biamp (remember them--whatever happened to them?) 16 channel board, 3 auxs, no mutes, no groups, no inserts, and all outputs unbalanced. But on the bright side, it really mixes reverbs well, however the architecture puts the effects aux back to the main bus it's tasty--yum.  Thanks again for all the help, this site has been invaluable for an install novice like me!

Ken.
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Ken Truitt

eclectic-ken

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Re: Help wiring up Neutrik 1/4" TRS for inserts
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2004, 02:19:13 am »

Sorry everyone for the remedial help I'm seeking and thank you for the advice so far and your continued patience.

I'm now back to my TRS plugs--I've been working on my XLRs since my original post--and I now know that the "bottom half of the plug" is for the ground (thanks timmyp).

But I'm still confused. Which of the other two connections is tip and which is the ring?  

I'm guessing that the smaller connection with the hole on the top of the plug (relative to the connection point for the ground) is the tip (red wire).

And the middle cup is the sleeve (black wire).

I conclude this by my read of the Rane tech note on interconnections and my inspection of other brand connectors (switchcraft--thanks for the tip stuie).

The Neutrik website says to trim the tip/red wire 4mm shorter than the ring/black wire.  This seems backwords to me--unless I've guessed wrong about which connection is which--don't you need the longer wire to reach the shorter connection point on the plug, no?

Again, my apologies if this is stoopid remedial--would it help if I mentioned I'm a guitar player and obviously not normal  Twisted Evil ?

Ken.
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Ken Truitt

John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Help wiring up Neutrik 1/4" TRS for inserts
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2004, 11:24:10 am »

Tip is pointed end... sleeve is large ground end, ring is the middle Part...

JR
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andrew gissing

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Re: Help wiring up Neutrik 1/4" TRS for inserts
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2004, 12:51:15 am »

Seems to me you might be missing one vital piece of equipment for those that solder - a multimeter !

With an el cheapo multimeter you can use it to test continuity. Unless you're 100% there, I would definately recommend using one at the end of each cable to test that pin 1 on each end only goes to pin 1 and nowhere else, and same for 2 & 3.

To answer your 1/4 stereo jack question, you put one multimeter tip on the the tip, and another on each of the 2 stubs and the sleeve, and find out for yourself which one it is. That test will remove beyond shadow of a doubt as to what part connects to where.

However, to pick up on JR and your last post, JR is right and this describes the front end of the jack.

The back end, where you do your soldering, the sleeve is used for the shield and is therefore the outside of the jack plug - ref TimmyP's post (1st reply in this thread).

This is contrary to what you just wrote - "middle cup is the sleeve".

I don't have a stereo jack with me and it's been a while since I soldered one (ie, next time I do i'll multimeter check which pin is which).. but from experience I've wanted the wire going to the top connector to be longer - reason being is that usually i'll solder the sleeve/ground first, then the lower cup, followed by the top bit.

At which point, you've already got 2 wires connected and don't have much flex, and the extra little bit of length for the top bit helps. And... usually I have to use longnose pliers to hold the wire in place while it cools 'cause it will want to pull back.

Hope this helps - sorry I can't remember which pin is which, but multimetre will definately tell you.

andrew
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