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Thread: Neater Wiring - Cable Lacing

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    Neater Wiring - Cable Lacing

    I'm addicted to lacing all the cable runs in my construcion projects. It just makes them look so ... official ... somehow, and I find that the process of considering the lacing to be done makes me think about where the wires should run. That makes me actually think about running wires and improves the results.

    The recent interior views of a Torres kit amp inspired me to post this. It serves as a GREAT bad example of interior wiring and how it should not be done. After I got through shuddering, I was inspired to post this.

    Take a look at these links, no particular order.
    https://makezine.com/2009/07/28/lost...-cable-lacing/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_lacing
    http://www.dairiki.org/hammond/cable-lacing-howto/
    http://archive.hnsa.org/doc/cabling/part5.htm

    The last two are where the really good stuff is. Some of the links from wikipedia are also good.

    You can get a 500yd spool of waxed nylon lacing braid on ebay for US$10 to US$20. My 500 yd spool will last me the rest of my life at current usage rates.

    You can do this all by hand, but you can also make a lacing shuttle and/or puller for next to nothing out of popsicle sticks and wire to do really fancy work. There are professional tools for lacing available if you really get into it.

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    Amazing!! Who would ever have guessed that someone who villified the evil rich people would begin happily accepting their millions in speaking fees!

    Oh, wait! That sounds familiar, somehow.

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    Last edited by catalin gramada; 03-04-2019 at 08:16 PM.
    "If it measures good and sounds bad, it is bad. If it measures bad and sounds good, you are measuring the wrong things."

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    That's a good reference in general. I read somewhere that NASA prefers isolated clove-hitch-and -reef spot ties, but I never got to look inside a wiring cabinet on space equipment.

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    Amazing!! Who would ever have guessed that someone who villified the evil rich people would begin happily accepting their millions in speaking fees!

    Oh, wait! That sounds familiar, somehow.

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    I will pre-emptively mention the criticism of laced cable bundles - cross capacitance. Some will soon post that cable bundling increases cross capacitance. That's right, it does, as it forces wires to lie parallel. However, this also forces the designer to think about (and that ALWAYS hurts) what wires should not be near other wires. Just like being forced to exercise, this is good for you in the long run. :lol:

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    Amazing!! Who would ever have guessed that someone who villified the evil rich people would begin happily accepting their millions in speaking fees!

    Oh, wait! That sounds familiar, somehow.

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    Guitar Amp example - the HiWatt 400

    Wiring colours:
    Green - grids
    Yellow - anodes
    Blue - Cathodes

    Cheers,
    Ian
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    I used to work at Rodgers Instruments, and they make church organs. They were owned by Roland at the time. Anyway they did wire lacing with their harnesses. They had a peg board against the wall vertically and ran wires and lacing in a particular pattern around and through the nails and then tied it all off with the lacing before putting it into the organ. I worked in IT so I didn't get much of a chance to watch them in action, but it was interesting to see it. It makes for very nicely arranged wiring, but if you run the grid wires in parallel with other noisy wires then it could cause an issue, though Sunn amps don't seem to have too much trouble with it, and they were done that way. Maybe they aren't high enough gain to worry?

    Greg

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundmasterg View Post
    It makes for very nicely arranged wiring, but if you run the grid wires in parallel with other noisy wires then it could cause an issue, though Sunn amps don't seem to have too much trouble with it, and they were done that way. Maybe they aren't high enough gain to worry?
    I've had a couple Sunn's where the main B+ was laced in with preamp wiring. Buzz, hum, yecch! I ran an entirely separate wire for the B+, arranged at some distance from the preamp. Simply clipped off the original B+ wire and grounded one end so it wouldn't be floating - this kept the bundle looking neat, rather than extracting the B+ lead & disturbing the nicely done bundle.

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    Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

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    Supporting Member eschertron's Avatar
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    Not to detract from the aesthetic of wire lacing - I do love the look! - but in my mind this presumes the builder wants to make more than one amp of the same design, otherwise the up-front cost (time maybe more than materials) of the wiring jig etc. seems extreme.

    Lacing up in-chassis, however, might be a good alternative and a good design exercise. Being that I am pretty kludgy in terms of manual dexterity, I find it a "win" if I get the heater wiring (installed first) to lay snugly in the corners of the chassis, out of the way of what comes after. Of course, I haven't wired up any circuit boards Rogers-organ-size. That might make all the difference.

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    If it still won't get loud enough, it's probably broken. - Steve Conner
    If the thing works, stop fixing it. - Enzo
    We need more chaos in music, in art... I'm here to make it. - Justin Thomas
    MANY things in human experience can be easily differentiated, yet *impossible* to express as a measurement. - Juan Fahey


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    Old Timer tedmich's Avatar
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    Its a bit like wire bondage Eh

    I'm pretty sure Dumble didn't do this because electrons need to be free right?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Is it easier to troubleshoot/fix?
    I had thought Hiwatt founder David Reeves had a military background for his build style but I guess he learned it at Marconi Electronics and Mullard?

    here is a HIWATT DR103 in the UK, gorgeous!!
    https://i.imgur.com/8q8dECh.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/RwI7AJy.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/8s3ECEB.jpg

    warning big files

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    Last edited by tedmich; 03-05-2019 at 04:36 AM.

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    I've never done a nail-board, although I admire the preparedness of someone who does.

    And as I mentioned, putting sensitive - especially grid - wires in bundles with wires that carry large signals is a prescription for noise pickup. If you're going to bundle and buss, you have to know what wires carry which signals and what the impedances are.

    Or ask yourself - do you feel lucky?

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    Amazing!! Who would ever have guessed that someone who villified the evil rich people would begin happily accepting their millions in speaking fees!

    Oh, wait! That sounds familiar, somehow.

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    Originally, MILSPEC, harness lacing was done to mitigate wiring-induced fracturing of solder joints on military equipment due to vibration and movement; it strengthened and stiffened the wiring bundles as well as providing firm "fix" points for mechanical tie-downs.

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    ...and the Devil said: "...yes, but it's a DRY heat!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    I've had a couple Sunn's where the main B+ was laced in with preamp wiring. Buzz, hum, yecch! I ran an entirely separate wire for the B+, arranged at some distance from the preamp. Simply clipped off the original B+ wire and grounded one end so it wouldn't be floating - this kept the bundle looking neat, rather than extracting the B+ lead & disturbing the nicely done bundle.
    Most of the Sunns seemed to be ok with that setup, but there were some that had issues with it for sure. Some had trouble with the OT location too and would oscillate under certain conditions. Moving the OT a little would solve the issue but there isn't many places you can move it since it is so big!

    Greg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    I've had a couple Sunn's where the main B+ was laced in with preamp wiring. Buzz, hum, yecch! I ran an entirely separate wire for the B+, arranged at some distance from the preamp. Simply clipped off the original B+ wire and grounded one end so it wouldn't be floating - this kept the bundle looking neat, rather than extracting the B+ lead & disturbing the nicely done bundle.
    DC wiring have nothing in common with that by my knowledge. I used and use DC potential wires for screening signal traces at any hours of day, with one condition : to be a clean DC one. You problem is related not by DC wires by principle, but to the noisy heavy ripple running through I suppose.

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    Last edited by catalin gramada; 03-15-2019 at 10:30 AM.
    "If it measures good and sounds bad, it is bad. If it measures bad and sounds good, you are measuring the wrong things."

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    Supporting Member eschertron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catalin gramada View Post
    DC wiring have nothing in common with that by my knowledge. I used and use DC potential wires for screening signal traces at any hours of day, with one condition : to be a clean DC one. You problem is related not by DC wires by principle, but to the noisy heavy ripple running through I suppose.
    You're right. The DC component is not an issue. I would expect the first node voltage on a big amp (like the ones discussed here) to have a ripple voltage amplitude bigger than the heaters, with a much noisier harmonic spectrum. A smaller amp, maybe not so much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    I've had a couple Sunn's where the main B+ was laced in with preamp wiring. Buzz, hum, yecch! I ran an entirely separate wire for the B+, arranged at some distance from the preamp. Simply clipped off the original B+ wire and grounded one end so it wouldn't be floating - this kept the bundle looking neat, rather than extracting the B+ lead & disturbing the nicely done bundle.
    I like many of the old Sunns, but the ones I've worked on have a problem with quiescent noise (sceptre and solaris come to mind). I suspect that much of this is due to ground loops. I would like to really take some time and track down the source and come up with a ready, serviceable fix for these.

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    Supporting Member loudthud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoulFetish View Post
    I like many of the old Sunns, but the ones I've worked on have a problem with quiescent noise (sceptre and solaris come to mind). I suspect that much of this is due to ground loops. I would like to really take some time and track down the source and come up with a ready, serviceable fix for these.
    I feel your pain. Grounding on old Sunns is a nightmare. About the only thing done right is the cathode of the first triode is returned straight to the input jack ground (on some models). The laced wiring harness makes tracing things out very difficult. You won't find any kind of layout anywhere.

    Issues:
    1) Can filter cap with 4 sections and common ground to chassis. (Later examples have axial cap as first reservoir cap.)
    2) Center tap from transformer soldered to chassis near transformer.
    3) Aluminum Pop rivets hold terminal strips to chassis for some grounds.
    4) Cross talk in wiring harness (?)

    I've tried soldering the terminal strips to the chassis with varying results. I built a couple of eyelet boards to hold series connected snap-in caps to replace the old style can filter caps. Bass and PA amps have space to put the board where the tremolo-reverb board would be positioned in a guitar amp. Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't rip out the wiring harness and start over.

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    I have often wondered how hard it would be to put two ground tabs on a cap can - one for the power tube plates & screens & one for the other sections (or however the convention goes fir the improved ground schemes). I guess the CE cans are fairly set for a layout & are designed to direct-fit old Mallorys, but JJ & F&T might be able to work it in. I'd almost give up a fourth cap section if it meant two ground tabs...

    Justin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Thomas View Post
    I have often wondered how hard it would be to put two ground tabs on a cap can - one for the power tube plates & screens & one for the other sections (or however the convention goes fir the improved ground schemes). I guess the CE cans are fairly set for a layout & are designed to direct-fit old Mallorys, but JJ & F&T might be able to work it in. I'd almost give up a fourth cap section if it meant two ground tabs...

    Justin
    Weber used to make custom can caps where you could specify separate grounds. I did that for a couple but didn't used them yet. The problem with those can caps was they had a wafer base that was super glued to the metal base of the can, and it was so thin there just wasn't enough surface area to ground to and the base would eventually come unglued, which isn't a cool thing to have happen. I reglued the couple I used that came undone but it was a poor design for the base and I didn't get any more.

    Greg

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