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Old 4th November 2009, 15:29   #1
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Unhappy RCA Interconects Issue

Hi All, need help!

I had recently ordered Stinger Helix series 4 channel interconnects from Amazon and got them to India through a friend.

Now the problem is, that these cables are damaged (well not exactly damaged, but the plastic junction box is not binding the main cable properly) at a place and the metal foil shielding is visible from a a gap (a very small one though). My friend has already gone back and a lot of time has elapsed, so returns is not an option.

At a moment, the system plays perfectly fine, very clear, without any whine. But the moment the road gets bumpy, hell breaks loose and I can hear all kinda weird whines from the speakers. A gentle pat on the damaged area gets rid of the whine and clear music flows, but only until the next bump.

I tried covering the damaged portion with some insulated tape and also tried aluminum foil, but the leak (I hope its the right word) is still not getting sealed. Below is an image of the cables and the damaged area is highlighted..!

What should I do??? Please advise, I'm going nuts looking for a solution..!

At times I think, I was better off with my el-cheapo BOSS RCA rather than getting this exotic stuff..!
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Last edited by cyclops : 4th November 2009 at 15:48.
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Old 4th November 2009, 15:49   #2
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Me thinks the wires are shorting inside.

Either bare them and re-insulate or get a new pair altogether
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Old 4th November 2009, 16:17   #3
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You'll have to replace them, they're cables and there's only so much you can do when they are damaged.
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Old 4th November 2009, 16:39   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longford View Post
Me thinks the wires are shorting inside.

Either bare them and re-insulate or get a new pair altogether
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocksterraghu View Post
You'll have to replace them, they're cables and there's only so much you can do when they are damaged.
Is replacing the only option? Methinks its only the shield which needs to be re-sealed, the wires inside are not damaged..!

Cant we do some kind of "jugaad" to get them working? Common guys, get some good ideas flowing..!

Last edited by cyclops : 4th November 2009 at 16:45.
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Old 4th November 2009, 17:39   #5
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i dont think an openshield will be creating this problem, it must be shorting to one or more of the center leads. if you had got some more sets it would have still worked out cheaper. now the best bet is to buy it from here, i saw them for about 1700 in the classifieds.
last option is to open the junction and find out the exact cause and resolder it. will need cutting pasting, some patients and time.
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Old 4th November 2009, 17:51   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigy View Post
... will need cutting pasting, some patients and time.
Why, GG? Maybe DrFrankBhaiMehta can help here by redirecting some of his.

Reparing your cable Shouldn't be that big a problem, @cyclops. If you are wary of doing it yourself, a competent electronics technician should be able to open that plastic covering and firmly seat the main cable's ground connection (that is what is coming loose) so that it does not open out. Use a hot-melt glue gun thereafter to make sure that id does not open out again. Even silicone glue will do, but that will take a while to set/dry.
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Old 4th November 2009, 18:10   #7
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Signs of aging i guess.
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Old 4th November 2009, 18:51   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Why, GG? Maybe DrFrankBhaiMehta can help here by redirecting some of his.
Ha ha. English is a very "phunny" language..!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gigy View Post
i dont think an openshield will be creating this problem, it must be shorting to one or more of the center leads.
...
last option is to open the junction and find out the exact cause and resolder it. will need cutting pasting, some patients and time.
This is a four channel cable, so if the shielding was getting short with one of the center leads, I guess only one of the channel would distort, but in my case all are getting bad alternator whine.

And yes, it only happens when the engine is started.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gigy View Post
if you had got some more sets it would have still worked out cheaper.
I dint understand this. Can you please elaborate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Reparing your cable Shouldn't be that big a problem, @cyclops. If you are wary of doing it yourself, a competent electronics technician should be able to open that plastic covering and firmly seat the main cable's ground connection (that is what is coming loose) so that it does not open out. Use a hot-melt glue gun thereafter to make sure that id does not open out again. Even silicone glue will do, but that will take a while to set/dry.
I guess I would need to go to someone as I'm not having a soldering/glue gun. But I doubt whether I would be able to find some good technician here in Pune, please suggest if any.

But even if I get it done from someone, I would like to understand what exactly must be wrong? I am enclosing a diagram (Source RCA Cable Construction) representing the RCA cable structure, please suggest what needs to be checked.
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Old 4th November 2009, 19:32   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclops View Post
I guess only one of the channel would distort, but in my case all are getting bad alternator whine.
What head unit do you have? If it's a Pioneer, there's a good chance you must have blown the ground resistors from the moment this shorting first happened.
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Old 4th November 2009, 19:35   #10
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Your cable is slightly different, but the issue is the same. The solder joint where the braided shield is soldered in your diagram is intermittent/loose, causing shielding to be ineffective sometimes.

You need to look for any audio / video repair technician who can open it, resolder it and glue the cover back on. Glue gun is something that you can procure locally - it is quite handy to have at home.
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Old 4th November 2009, 19:37   #11
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I meant if you had called for two cables it would have not been so irritating after install. Anyways dont know if this cable has one common shield for all or each has a separate shield and all together covered by a second common one.
I guess in the common length all are having a common shield which is loosing connection completely when car bumps. so it will have to be positively bonded to the hub where it gets distributed to individual channels.
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Old 5th November 2009, 11:05   #12
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Thanks for your replies guys..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass&Trouble View Post
What head unit do you have? If it's a Pioneer, there's a good chance you must have blown the ground resistors from the moment this shorting first happened.
Yes man, its a pioneer 5050. But if the resistor was blown (or pico fuse I read somewhere), would'nt the noise be consistent? As of now it only comes when the connection is bumped..

Also in this case, I dont think there is shorting between center lead and the grounding, its about the connection to the ground being loose.. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Your cable is slightly different, but the issue is the same. The solder joint where the braided shield is soldered in your diagram is intermittent/loose, causing shielding to be ineffective sometimes.

You need to look for any audio / video repair technician who can open it, resolder it and glue the cover back on. Glue gun is something that you can procure locally - it is quite handy to have at home.
Thanks for the advice, I'll get hold of someone who can do this for me. But I have doubts about how will he manage to break-open the junction, its quite well built. How much does a glue gun costs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gigy View Post
I meant if you had called for two cables it would have not been so irritating after install. Anyways dont know if this cable has one common shield for all or each has a separate shield and all together covered by a second common one.
I guess in the common length all are having a common shield which is loosing connection completely when car bumps. so it will have to be positively bonded to the hub where it gets distributed to individual channels.
Ohh yes. That way my risks would have been hedged. But I always preferred a single length of cable rather than two.

Yes. I agree. The damage is at the common length end, so that must be the reason for noise creeping in all the channels..

I was thinking of a jugaad. Before I get hold of someone and dissect the cable, I was thinking of putting m-seal on the joint by keeping it at a position where there is no distortion. Wont use silicon or some other glue as m-seal will make a rigid joint and it can be removed by some impact or scraping.. What do you all suggest? Will it work?

Last edited by cyclops : 5th November 2009 at 11:06.
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Old 5th November 2009, 12:33   #13
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How long will you hold it like that in car. you might have to make a jig for it first to hold it till the m-seal settles. you can try the instant glue to seal it fast in the safe position, but it can damage the insulation and make it hard if missed the first time, safe option will be to open it up a bit and fix it.
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Old 5th November 2009, 16:18   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclops View Post
At a moment, the system plays perfectly fine, very clear, without any whine. But the moment the road gets bumpy, hell breaks loose and I can hear all kinda weird whines from the speakers.

What should I do??? Please advise, I'm going nuts looking for a solution..!
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclops View Post
Is replacing the only option? Cant we do some kind of "jugaad" to get them working?
Most juggads will not work. You can cut and repatch the cable but I hardly think this is worth the trouble as it will only postpone the inevitable - a new cable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclops View Post
This is a four channel cable, so if the shielding was getting short with one of the center leads, I guess only one of the channel would distort, but in my case all are getting bad alternator whine..
once EMI enters the elecitrcal system it will affect all channels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclops View Post
Also in this case, I dont think there is shorting between center lead and the grounding, its about the connection to the ground being loose.. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Yes. I agree. The damage is at the common length end, so that must be the reason for noise creeping in all the channels..

I was thinking of a jugaad. Before I get hold of someone and dissect the cable, I was thinking of putting m-seal on the joint by keeping it at a position where there is no distortion. Wont use silicon or some other glue as m-seal will make a rigid joint and it can be removed by some impact or scraping.. What do you all suggest? Will it work?
M-seal will harden and then removing it will be very difficult. If you want to repair the cable do it once and od it well. Dont juggad the cable as it will only become more difficult to repair.
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Old 5th November 2009, 17:24   #15
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here is one way of looking at it.

Cables are not rocket science as it made out to be by the Mosters of the world. They are simple copper/optical fibre lines with coating to prevent oxidation.
Copper if exposed to normal air will oxidise and have a green layer of caot which becomes black which is bad for conducting the signal transmission.

Here is what I would do.
Uska cheer haran karke patha karoonga ki kaunsa strand hai jiski itni himmat hoye ki mera gaana bandh ho jaye! Phir usko sahi raastha dikha ke us par malham patti laga ke shanth kar diya jaye ;-)


See if that works it will save your 1700 bucks else in any case if replacement is warranted 1700 bucks will fly,na. Nothing like tinkering on a weekend and getting the satisfaction of ripping apart something into pieces he he
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