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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

These plugs are great for pedalboards. Use the right technique when soldering the connector and you'll have a truly road-worthy cable! One thing not mentioned is to tin the body of the PLUG (where the ground is going to go) to make it much easier to solder the ground to the body. For some reason, that part wasn't filmed. :(
 

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One thing not mentioned is to tin the body of the jack (where the ground is going to go) to make it much easier to solder the ground to the body. For some reason, that part wasn't filmed. :(
Don't you mean plug??

Unfortunate that tinning was left out as it is very important to clean (very well) and tin an area on the plug. That is the most frustrating part of working with these plugs IMHO
 

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JB Custom
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Discussion Starter #3
Don't you mean plug??
Bahahahaaa... Oh man. I have a serious problem. :D

Unfortunate that tinning was left out as it is very important to clean (very well) and tin an area on the plug. That is the most frustrating part of working with these plugs IMHO
Indeed! We will likely do some "how to solder" and maybe "how to maintain your iron" videos.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
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Thanks for the video.

These are my favorite plugs for pedalboard interconnects. I also usually have a couple of cables with these on one end as well, for connections into and out of the pedalboard (so drunks won't step on a straight plug and break a pedal). I agree with those damn slotted screws, too. It's a bugger to play guitar with a gash on your finger.

I have the luxury of multiple soldering irons. I have one with a small tip for the center conductor and one with a large spade tip. That iron allows me to heat up the ground connection from underneath the connector while adding solder to the top (i.e. through it). And as you showed, once that large mass of metal is hot, it takes a bit of time to cool down.

If the cable is the right size, the connector when tightened will grip it for good strain relief. I have used smaller cables, but I just increase the diameter with heatshrink tubing or electrical tape.

I've had some of these cables/plugs for 30 years. Never failed, never bent. No problems at all with them.
 

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JB Custom
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Discussion Starter #7
I hate soldering those things:(
You can do it!

Apply flux and pre-tin all contact points. Use thin 63/37 solder and a well maintained soldering iron (that gets hot enough). Having "helping hands" or some other sort of clamp to keep things in place also makes a big difference. Like anything, once you do it enough times, it will become second nature. :)
 

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A couple points. It sometimes takes substantial heat to get solder to take (properly) to larger masses, like these ground surfaces, or chassis connections or pot bodies. If your 'blob' stays round enough to get pliers on, make sure you can't break it loose. If the solder hasn't flattened out, chances are that the surface didn't get hot enough.
Now that extra heat required leads to the second point, sometimes these plugs have plastic (rather than fiber) insulators between the tip and sleeve at the plug end. Those plastic insulators will melt if you get the plug hot enough. You may need to heatsink the sleeve tube when working with plugs that have plastic insulators.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
A couple points. It sometimes takes substantial heat to get solder to take (properly) to larger masses, like these ground surfaces, or chassis connections or pot bodies.
Quick counterpoint. With flux, it really isn't that much harder than soldering to a small lug. We'll make a demo vid at some point to break down how to easily solder to large smooth surfaces.

Now that extra heat required leads to the second point, sometimes these plugs have plastic (rather than fiber) insulators between the tip and sleeve at the plug end. Those plastic insulators will melt if you get the plug hot enough. You may need to heatsink the sleeve tube when working with plugs that have plastic insulators.
That is usually the case with cheaper plugs.
 

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I think stressing that the iron/station is AT LEAST 40 WATTS MINIMUM is important. I get by with the one I have (40 watts) ...but now I wish I had bought a station with more power. I got it many years ago and I have managed 'OK' so far.

I was recently exchanging PM with a forum member who was doing basic guitar soldering and having issues with his soldering. His iron was 20 watts. I advised getting a new and more powerful iron.
 

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You can do it!

Apply flux and pre-tin all contact points. Use thin 63/37 solder and a well maintained soldering iron (that gets hot enough). Having "helping hands" or some other sort of clamp to keep things in place also makes a big difference. Like anything, once you do it enough times, it will become second nature. :)
A cheaper alternative to "helping hands": find some scrap 2x4, drill a hole that is wide enough to fit the right angle plug snug enough without moving while soldering. For straight plugs, I would drill another hole on the side of the 2x4, so both plug types are covered. That was what I did when I started making my own cables, before I moved on to clamp-on vise, then a PanaVise.

Can't find any scrap wood? How about a shoe box that is made of paper thick enough for the job?

Applying flux is not a must, IMO, if the solder wire is good 63-37 rosin core. However, I think it does make pre-tinning a bit easier with it, especially for those who are new to soldering. Flux or no flux, pre-tinning the wire is always preferred for making cables.

Heatsink tool, as suggested by jb welder, would be a good idea. In a pinch, I would use an alligator clip if I could not find my heatsink tool.

I have been busy making cables lately, having bought a bunch of straight and right angle plugs from Next Gen. Great service.
 
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