Adventures in Interconnection

Back in February I ordered a pair of 15 foot 1/4″ cables from Monoprice to use for the radio programme as well as recording my guitar.  When I opened the box, the cables seemed a bit bulky, but I didn’t put much thought into them.  I used them for several weeks, bunching up the slack underneath the coffee table.  One night, after the radio show was over, Corinna and Rory started busting my balls about how long the cables were.  I had to admit they did seem just a touch longer than 15′.  So we busted out a tape measure and found that my 15′ cables were actually 50′.

Bank error in my favor?  I’d normally agree, but being I really only needed the cables to run the few feet from my mixer to the living room amplifier, it was a little ridiculous. Embarrassed that I didn’t realize this right away, I quickly resolved turn the two cables into four.  One pair of shorter patch cables (as I had originally ordered) and a long pair of extensions.  I also realized that my original estimate of 15′ was actually too long, so I decided on 10′ and 40′ lengths for the cables.

Fast forward several months to me actually getting off my ass to do this work.  A week or so ago I ordered all of the interconnects I actually needed, and a few days ago I measured and cut the cables to length, and began assembling them.  Or at least I had planned to.  It turned out that the insulation on the cable was too thick to fit through the jack housing.  Furthermore, my soldering iron was a piece of shit.  So I set everything aside until I could make a trip to the electronics shop.

This morning I made my pilgrimage “You-do-it” Electronics, home of everything a nerd needs for projects such as these. I picked up an alternate set of connectors, some sexy colored heat-shrink tubing to color code the cables and extensions, a nice Weller soldering iron, a new pair of dikes, and a bit of random stuff that has nothing to do with this project but which one is susceptible to buying at Nerd Mecca.  Once I got home with the right gear and parts, building the cables was a piece of cake.

My weekend project is done, I’ve acquired some new tools, breathed in some lead…  So far, so good!