Lava Cable Tightrope issues, is it me or the cable?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Dobbin, May 15, 2021.

  1. Dobbin

    Dobbin TDPRI Member

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    I set up my current board using a Tightrope kit from Lava Cable and I am having a devil of a time chasing bad connections around the board. I've remade ends so much I've used most of the 10' of cable in the kit, and this is a small board.

    I keep having issues where the copper core wire seems to slide back in the cable when I try to press it into the plugs. I've watched their and many other assembly videos and am following things correctly as much as I can tell. I feel the copper core locking into the plug as I should and they feel solid and I get a cable made up following all the steps and it seems to be good but on the board it either cuts out of passes a weak signal. In every case one of these 'failed' cables pops apart like they are no longer locked once installed and show a much shorter copper core than I left when I made them up.

    Does anyone have any tips or tricks for these that aren't in the usual instructions? I am either going to get another length of wire and redo the whole thing or switch to another system because last night I switched out 3 of the 7 total patches on this board with oldschool (and huge) and the tone and signal strength were both better so I know I've probably still got some iffy connections in there.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2021
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  2. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've never used the Lava kit.

    I tried the George L's kit when it came out years ago and although it worked initially, a few of the connections started to become intermittent. I tried several fixes...it was maddening. I eventually threw the plugs in the trash and soldered Switchcraft pancake plugs onto the cables. No failures on any of the connections after almost 20 years.

    I do the same with instrument cables: I make my own from Belden wire and Switchcraft plugs; top quality parts and cheaper than buying ready-made cables. They are bombproof and have better quality plugs and wire compared to the high-priced cables you can buy--including Mogami and Monster.
     
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  3. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    I just did my board with these and I agree. I did finally get the hang of assembling them. It REALLY helps to have a cable tester or multi-meter to check them.
    image.jpg
     
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  4. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    I dont like any of those make your own. I like hard pressed metal and solder. Imho

    Ps. Love the lava coily cables.
     
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  5. Dobbin

    Dobbin TDPRI Member

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    Here's the thing, every single one has passes the multimeter test when assembled, but many have failed once handled long enough to install them on the board.
     
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  6. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    What ended up working for me was this. Strip the wire as instructed. Make sure you strip the inner insulation from the core wire as it is carbon and conductive. After the initial “insert and 1/2 turn” I’d give it a pretty good tug to make sure that the core wire had engaged the internal threads of the tip of the plug. I noticed you don’t always get “click” when inserting the wire. If I were taking my board on the road, I would have used soldered connectors. We’ll see how this board handles rehearsals etc. Good luck!

     
  7. Dobbin

    Dobbin TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for this, I am going to go through the failed wires and check that inner conductive shield. I trimmed them following the instructions but I thought that was for physical clearance and didn't know that was also a potential spot for a fault electrically.

    I will not only check for continuity between the tips but make sure there is no continuity between the tips and the sleeves next time to avoid inadvertent shorts.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2021
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