Cable talk (with Linda Richman)

Dale Ghent

On Apr 10, 2021, at 12:47, Bryan R. <bross138@...> wrote:

I am a fan of Switchcraft DC jacks. They seem to be of much better quality than run-of-the-mill amazon stuff, bit easier to solder, and made in USA. Would like to hear that others have used for ethernet RJ45 connectors if fabricating their own patch cables as I do.
I personally prefer not to solder things anymore. While I'm pretty comfortable with my soldering skills, I prefer to skip that with cables because it makes fixes in the field more of an ordeal and I never have that 3rd hand when I need it. So, for power, I do crimped powerpole with an array of adapters that I make myself.

For the typical 5.5/2.1mm or 5.5/2.5mm coaxial power plugs, I buy bags of premade connectors that have pigtails, and they're readily available with 18 awg wiring. Example:

I take these, trim them down a little and crimp 15A powerpole ends on to them. Since I run a Pegasus UPBv2 with 5.5/2.1mm power sockets instead of a powerpole hub, I just have these at both ends and run a powerpole extension cable between them of appropriate length. I also make these out of a roll of 18 awg silcone jacketed zip wire. Pretty flexible and more than sufficient in the winter in my mid-Atlantic US temperate clime.

All my powerpile/cabling stuff fits in a small fishing tackle box and I don't need a soldering iron (and power for it) to make anything I need when it comes to 12V DC. Crimper, stripper, knife, side cutters, and all my supplies fit nicely on a box that's easy to pack and doesn't take up much space:

For USB, I exclusively use L-com ( cables now. They have a line of high-flex USB2/3 cables in various lengths that are really super nice to use, especially for through-mount cabling:

They also have high-flex versions cat 5e/6/6a ethernet and HDMI.

For ethernet and RS232 over 8p8c/twisted pair, I just crimp my own using wire and connectors sourced from wherever is handy at the moment; usually Monoprice. I use some leftover solid-core cat6 I have on a spool from wiring my house if the wiring isn't going to move much, otherwise I have some stranded-core cat5e. The only use of such cable I have is on my main rig where I made a cable to connect the focuser controller on my UPBv2 to the HSM35 that drives my 130GTX's focuser. This will go away soon, though, as it's all getting replaced with a Nitecrawler and that's just another 12V+USB2 wiring job.


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