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WOW! This is a fancy "third hand".

How do you like it?

Which plugs and cables are you using?
Not intending to start long debate... just curious.

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Cool brother! Give us the details and maybe some pics when you're all done. I make all my own cables using top notch cable and Switchcraft ends..I take my time and make them exactly the lengths I want for a fraction of the price of retail. There's something therapeutic about soldering..
 
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Discussion Starter #13
WOW! This is a fancy "third hand".

How do you like it?

Which plugs and cables are you using?
Not intending to start long debate... just curious.

View attachment 229990
I use the cable from Next Gen. Jacks picked up from Active Tech on Merivale. Pancake jacks from Amazon. I won’t use pancake style again unless they have a soldering lug for the sleeve. Too hard to get the case hot enough for the ground wire. The most useful part of that third hand is the vise in the middle.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Cool brother! Give us the details and maybe some pics when you're all done. I make all my own cables using top notch cable and Switchcraft ends..I take my time and make them exactly the lengths I want for a fraction of the price of retail. There's something therapeutic about soldering..
I agree. It’s pretty relaxing until you make connection after connection and you can’t figure out why it doesn’t work. Highly recommend a cable tester. Saved me a lot of grief. Those damn pancake jacks that depend on the sleeve making contact with the case are useless.

6B97A52C-5734-4AC0-B81A-1023B9595193.jpeg
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Here’s the cable tester I use. Note that for TS type instrument cables, it needs to show a short with 1-3 and 3-1.

6A706107-96A1-4484-8C0E-AC8F0CD0174B.jpeg
 

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I use the cable from Next Gen. Jacks picked up from Active Tech on Merivale. Pancake jacks from Amazon. I won’t use pancake style again unless they have a soldering lug for the sleeve. Too hard to get the case hot enough for the ground wire. The most useful part of that third hand is the vise in the middle.
I don't get that. It takes me less than 2 seconds to heat the body of the connector and attach the braid to it. Couldn't be easier. The secret - as I've said before - is the correct sized soldering tip. Something big with a lot of thermal mass.

And than makes for the ultimate strain relief. That braid well soldered to the body can't be pulled off without shredding the cable. And do you have any idea how much force that would take? The mechanical strain relief is just an early relief valve in my cables. I've never had a solder joint to the body pull free in 4 decades (and I've got cables with Switchcraft pancakes that have lasted that long). Because of that, I wouldn't even consider a pancake with a ground solder tab. Too weak and just in the way.
 
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I don't get that. It takes me less than 2 seconds to heat the body of the connector and attach the braid to it. Couldn't be easier. The secret - as I've said before - is the correct sized soldering tip. Something big with a lot of thermal mass.

And than makes for the ultimate strain relief. That braid well soldered to the body can't be pulled off without shredding the cable. And do you have any idea how much force that would take? The mechanical strain relief is just an early relief valve in my cables. I've never had a solder joint to the body pull free in 4 decades (and I've got cables with Switchcraft pancakes that have lasted that long). Because of that, I wouldn't even consider a pancake with a ground solder tab. Too weak and just in the way.
Interesting. I took apart one of the Ernie Ball cables with pancake ends to see how they did it. They use ones with a soldering tab. When you are grounding to the case, you're dependant on the sleeve making constant, good contact with the case. That's more of a weak link in my opinion than the chance of pulling the cable out of the jack when the pancake cables already squeeze the cable where it exits anyway. Glad it worked for you though.
 

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Too hard to get the case hot enough for the ground wire.
The only way I have found to make that task easier is to clean your allocated braid "receiving" area on the plug case quite thoroughly with some emery cloth (or scrape it with something). I think the Chinese copies of the plug have some sort of metal plating that resists easy soldering. (BTW..That is a total hypothesis/guess on my part).

I then make a small puddle of solder on the cleaned area and make sure that the solder is "adhering".

Try it and tell me if it make a difference for you.
 

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I don't get that. It takes me less than 2 seconds to heat the body of the connector and attach the braid to it. Couldn't be easier. The secret - as I've said before - is the correct sized soldering tip. Something big with a lot of thermal mass.

And than makes for the ultimate strain relief. That braid well soldered to the body can't be pulled off without shredding the cable. And do you have any idea how much force that would take? The mechanical strain relief is just an early relief valve in my cables. I've never had a solder joint to the body pull free in 4 decades (and I've got cables with Switchcraft pancakes that have lasted that long). Because of that, I wouldn't even consider a pancake with a ground solder tab. Too weak and just in the way.
1) 2 secs is a gross exaggeration; you're missing a digit

2) who the F wants to switch tips just for the ground wire? A big chunker is no good for just about any other task we care about.... maybe there's some stained glass people here tho. Anyway, it's not so much about mass so much as surface area - take your fine point and lay it flat for more contact and heat up is pretty fast. For some reason, maybe the alloy, maybe the concave shape, dunno, soldering that ground wire to a tabless pancake is more of a pain than soldering to a pot casing, which I do all the time lickety split. I also turn up the temp a bit (and then back down for other work.

3) I have totally seen shredded braid and it does not take much force; remove the other strain relief and give it a go. Stranded copper is not that strong. Takes very little force. Now you can reinforce the thing by just gobbing it up with solder but that presents a number of other issues.

4) cleanup/redo is also so much more of a pain; especially if you have a 1-2cm solder joint of braid to the case as you suggest.

I get it, until the Squarejacks came out these were litterally the smallest thing available, but lets not get carried away being apologists for an 80 year old design that was never updated (by Switchcraft; others have added a ground solder tab as mentioned and that makes things much better but there are still problems), costs more than more modern options, and takes 2-3 times as long to attach cable too, and requires a screwdriver, and has the worst stain relief (unless you happen to be using just the right size of cable). That is their only advantage; size and form factor when finished. Everything else is a negative and y'all just trying to justify it all the time - you don't need to. You can like and use whatever you want for whatever reason you want; just don't try to sell us that bridge cuz we ain't buyin.
 
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