Monthly Archives: December 2018

  1. Cable Switches

    Cable switches are used to connect multiple signal inputs (computers, DVD players, video game consoles, etc.) to a single output (televisions, computer monitors, etc.). Switches all work on the same general principle and most are purely mechanical. A switch only goes from multiple inputs to one output; if you need to go from one input to multiple outputs, you will need a splitter instead.

    Switches are used when you have a screen, such as a TV or computer monitor, that does not have enough ports. For example, say you have a TV with one HDMI port but you want to connect a DVD player, a laptop, and a video game console. One option would be to constantly reach behind the TV and switch the cables, but that gets old fast. The simpler solution would be using

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  2. Making & Mending - DIY Banana Plugs

    Banana connectors are the most common speaker wire connector, with virtually every speaker on the market having banana ports. While there are other connectors that can be used with speaker cable (the cable can even be wired directly to speakers without a connector), banana plugs are by and large the most useful.

    Other types of speaker connectors are harder to use and a bit outdated, being more fragile and not providing as strong of a connection between the wire and speaker. While connecting bare wire straight to a speaker technically provides a better signal, bare cable without a connector

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  3. Cable Splitters

    Cable splitters are used to connect multiple TVs, computer monitors, or other devices to a single signal source. There are differences between the various types of splitters, but a few general rules apply to them all. Splitters only go from one input to multiple outputs; if you need to go from multiple inputs to one output, you need a switch instead.

    When a signal goes through a splitter, it is divided and becomes weaker. Imagine an HDMI splitter as an example. Modern HDMI cables are capable of a 4k signal, which works fine if you are using a single HDMI cable by itself. However, say you use a 4-way HDMI splitter to run four cables to four TVs. Each signal would only have half the normal strength so none of the TVs will have 4k quality.

    Because the signal is evenly divided, the signal will become weaker for bigger splitters.

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  4. Making & Mending - DIY 3.5mm Cables

    3.5mm jacks, also called headphone jacks, are the most common type of audio cable. There are different variations of this jack, such as the smaller 2.5mm and the larger ¼”, but they are all functionally similar. 3.5mm cables are commonly available as off-the-shelf items, but sometimes a repair it easier than a replacement. Other times, users need a custom size not available as a standard cable.

    This guide will show users how to assemble 3.5mm themselves, either as a repair or brand-new in

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  5. Telephone Cord Detanglers

    Anyone who has ever used a desk or wall phone knows they all have one problem in common: cords getting tangled. In the long run, it does not particularly matter how careful or gentle you are with a coiled handset cord. Eventually, the cord is going to end up as a jumbled mess. Preventing a cord from tangling in the first place is where a detangler comes in.

    Phone cords do not last forever. When a cord starts to tangle, the smaller wires inside the cord

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  6. Making & Mending - DIY Telephone Cables

    Modern telephone cords have been in use for a long time, with little change since their invention in the 1970s. Finding phone cords in the store can be tricky today; many stores have stopped carrying telephone cables since so many people only use cell phones now. This rings especially true for coiled handset cords. With these cables becoming rarer, sometimes it is better to repair rather than replace them. Other times, users may just need a cable not available in a standard length.

    There is a bit of variation with different connectors available, as well as different wiring schemes (called

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  7. TV Antenna/Satellite Equipment

    Ideally, getting a television up and running is as simple as connecting the antenna or satellite cable to the back of the TV. Realistically, a bit more work may be necessary before every channel comes in without static. Other tools can be used for protecting your televisions from power surges, extending the signal, and more.

    TV Antenna Booster/Amplifier

    Boosters/amplifiers are fairly self-explanatory; they make a signal stronger. Many amplifiers today are line-powered, meaning they receive power from the coax cable they are connected to. Make sure to check whether the coax cable being used transmits power; most modern coax cables do, but when working with older cables that may not be the case. If using a non-powered line, make sure to select an amplifier with a separate cord

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  8. Making & Mending - DIY Coax Cables

    Coax is one of the oldest types of cables and has withstood the test of time, still being used over 100 years after its invention. While many stores today have pre-made coax cables available, sometimes another option is needed. Users may need a cable in an unusual size or just need to replace a broken connector. This guide will show users how to put coax connectors onto the end of bare coax cable.

    The installation

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