Sunday, 10 June 2012

Sunday June 10, 2012 - My "Mad Genius" Wiring Solution

So my wiring challenge was this: connect a male stereo mini plug into 2 female RCA jacks - in other words I needed a cable from female stereo mini to 2x Male RCA. Simple enough if you can find ANYTHING with a female stereo mini connector on it, but that is not simple in Kumasi, Ghana.  

Here's a shot of one storekeeper giving it his best try:

I ended up getting some stereo RCA patch cables, cutting off one set of the ends and stripping back the wire so I could wrap it around the male stereo mini plug.  The trick was to keep the wires from cross connecting and shorting out, so I used micro-wide strips of black gaffer tape to create ridges along the plug's insulators.  Here is the process in photos.  Amazingly, it actually worked pretty well!

Have Leatherman, will travel…
It also helps to have a VOM in your travel tool kit.

Closer view of the cable ends.
Even though the ends were Red & White, the internal wires were Red & Green.

I'm guessing they never expected anyone (like me) to go re-wiring them.

Creating the first gaff tape separator.

Building the next one.

Outline of finished "troughs".  Notice how I can use the naturally swelling tip of the connector as the top limit for that conductor.

Not-yet-cleaned-up version (only so many hands, guys) of how I wrapped the wires: back under itself to keep it tight and in place.

And I only used one of the ground wires.

Finally, after each contact was tightly wrapped, I put another layer of gaff tape over it to keep it all in place.

Here's what the finished wrap looked like.  

Note the extra ground wire coming out the back and the "Courtesy Tab" on my gaff tape wrap - just in case they need to be opened.

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