Creating your own component cables

Those stupid cables. A person can spend thousands of dollars on their HDTV and audio/video equipment only to turn around and spend a thousand more on quality cables. People will scoff at pricey cables like Monster Cables but there is a difference between cheap cables and better quality like Monster Cables. Are they overpriced? Sure, they are, but they are great cables and for a good majority of consumers, they are what they need.

It is a shame that they cost so much but they do carry a great quality signal. Keep in mind that we am not talking about digital cables like HDMI or DVI, but rather analog cables like component (red, green, and blue( and composite. (yellow) But for those that do not mind buying some tools, there is a way to make the same quality cable for a fraction of the cost.

Professional broadcasters do not use Monster Cables simply because of their cost. Thanks to the Internet though, anyone can buy the right tools and parts in order to make these professional cables. The tools are the pricey part, so your up-front cost can easily reach over $100. But you will be pleasantly surprised on how easy it is to make cables that will rival Monster Cable.

Tools needed:

The first tool is a coax stripper that does the three necessary cuts at the same time. More importantly, the cuts are the exact measurements you are going to need. The second tool works with the third to crimp the ends. Canare has a die set that is the proper size but this the Paladin is only .001 different; plus it is $90 less.

Parts needed:

  • Canare RCA Crimp Connector (RCAP-C53) - $2.80 each

  • Beldwin RG-6 Coaxial Cable (BL-1694A) - $0.24 a foot

  • Canare Cable Boots (CB03) - $0.20 each

This is it. It's not too bad. Let's dive right in.

Start by figuring out how much cable you are going to need. It is a lot easier to make the length of the cable before you put ends on them. The beauty of making your own cables is you can make them any length you want, so plan a head.

Once you have the cables cut, we need to put some pieces on that will be used later. The picture shows the cable boot and a part of the RCA connection. Put those on before you strip the cable. Once those are on, proceed to strip the cable.

Hold it vertical and take the small screwdriver. You are going to gently fan the shielding away from the installation. Put the cap on the center core after this.

Take the RCA connector and slid it down till you feel the cap lightly snap into the connector. The bottom part of the connector is going in between the installation and shielding.

Take the first piece of the connector that was slid on to the cable way back before it was stripped and slide it over the shielding and connector. It should be firm at this point.

Take your crimper's and crimp at the top of the shielding. You will need to make another crimp at the bottom since the crimper is not wide enough to do the entire thing.

Slide up the colored boot and you are done. That's it. We told you it was easy.

This can be used for component, composite, and subwoofer cables. Once you get past the up front cost, it is very cheap to make these cables. Think of the tools as an investment as they will turn around and pay for themselves. There is no good way to make a HDMI, DVI, or S-Video due to the amount of wires that is involved. Besides, you can get cheap HDMI and DVI cables online and 'cause they are digital, as long as they are firm in inside of their female counterpart, they will work great.

We will be doing audio cables soon as they are slightly different. They do require soldering and are a bit more time consuming, but still are not that bad.

Now go save some cash!

[via AVS Forum]