For longer runs, or low-level signals, you may prefer a shielded interconnect. Here is a simple “recipe” for making a shielded interconnect. (Its hardly a recipe at all, really, but it’s useful to have something to point people to.) While you can buy your own cables made this way, and of course you’re welcome to, if you’re planning to make anything more elaborate then you should learn how to do one of these. The ingredients: Switchcraft 3502A RCA plugs. These are available from various suppliers including Parts Express ($2 each of you buy ten or more). I read that they are pretty decent for inexpensiveRead More →

I needed to make some more speaker cables recently. Since this was for a 4-way system, cost-effective was a good idea. After thinking through some options, I grabbed a 200 meter roll of CAT-6 network cable on eBay for 50 dollars. By any reasonable method, that is enough copper to make quite a lot of speaker cable! The neat thing about making speaker cables out of network cable is that you can use as many strands as needed to get the gauge you want. And you can trade off inductance against capacitance as well. While there is a popular “recipe” for making speaker cables outRead More →

Here’s a little thing you may need to do sometimes. It’s actually simple to do, but all the instructions I found online when looking for info on how to do it are confusing. All I wanted to do was copy my entire library from my home directory on my iMac to an external drive on a headless Mac Mini, which is being used as the music server. Let’s assume that file sharing is enabled. Here it is, easy as pie (make sure that you quit iTunes first): Copy the whole library into the new location. Typically, that will mean dragging the file Music/iTunes in yourRead More →

I had forgotten how time-consuming this type of project is. Perhaps I’m just overly cautious, but I figure you’re always better of getting it right the first time than doing rework later. Usually, things I build work first time, so I think this approach does pay off. So here are a few suggestions for a project like this: Measure each resistor with a digital multimeter before putting it in place. Check each component and surrounding connections against the schematic before fastening it in place. Make sure that each component has a secure physical connection before soldering – don’t rely on solder to hold it together.Read More →