Introduction: Guitar Pedal: Power Supply Extensions

Picture of Guitar Pedal: Power Supply Extensions

This instructable documents how to make three power extension cables for Roland/Boss effects units. If you've replaced individual wall warts with a multi power unit, you can extend the distance between your power supply and effects boxes. I chose the vintage RPW-7 to power all micro racks and boss pedals. This frees up space on the 12" power station, allowing room for other pedals that boss can not power.

My process fabricates multiple cables. Each step was performed 6 times. This repetitive pattern speeds up the production by "streamlining" it with consistent craftsmanship. Apply this production technique to any project you need multiple of.

Warning: Wire polarity!
If your using Rat-shack brand 18 guage speaker wire, always be aware of polarity. The clear plastic makes this difficult to determine. Notice the white colored wire is only on one side. Treat this white stripe as the negative. Usually all standard wallwarts with black wire have a white stripe to determine the negative wire. Be consistent with your polarity when soldering.

Soldering skills are necessary to complete this project. Please take extreme care when using a soldering iron.

Supplies:
18 guage speaker wire (Radioshack)
2.1 mm jacks, Boss/Roland style
Rosin Solder
Soldering Iron
Heat Shrink Tubing 3/64
Flux
Miniature plier
Wire striping tool

Step 1: Prepping the Wire & Work Space

Picture of Prepping the Wire & Work Space

Use your rosin soldering bit and heat up the iron to around 511. Add plenty of water to the sponge because most will evaporate or burn away.

Cut three pieces of speaker wire to the same length as a standard boss power wall wart.

Gather the three pieces of wire into a coil around your hand.

Use a twist tie to keep all the terminals together. This will speed up production while keeping the work space safe and clean.

Disassemble the six plugs

Use the cutter to split the wire's end into a "Y"

Step 2: Strip & Twist the Wire

Picture of Strip & Twist the Wire

Put all the plug handle assemblies over the wires.

Strip the wire:

Start by putting 3/16" of the wire into the smallest hole (20 AWG / 0.8mm) on the wire stripper.

Give the wire a circular spin while the stripper is clamped on to the wire.

Next move the wire to the appropriate gauge(18AWG / 1.0mm) and use this hole to actually strip the plastic off. Revealing the fine copper strands beneath.

Twist the stripped wire:
Twist the end of each wire clockwise. This ensures all the copper strands will solder together forming a sharp point. If they are not soldered to perfect point they will not be capable of being attached to a soldering tab.

Step 3: Tin the Wire / Cut Heat Shrink Tubing

Picture of Tin the Wire / Cut Heat Shrink Tubing

I keep mini flux brush is conveniently stored in flux container along with a scrap piece of wire. Both of these applicators are usefull.

Apply flux with a brush to all the newly exposed wire.

Get a small bead of solder on the tip of the iron. One bead should be enough for about four wires before having to reload it.

Step 4: Heat Shrink Tubing / "Hooking" the Wire / Apply Flux

Picture of Heat Shrink Tubing / "Hooking" the Wire / Apply Flux

Slide the heat shrink tubing over the wire. Use the plier part of the wire striping tool to hold the tinned wire in place while pulling the tubing further down the wire.

"Hooking" the wire makes the soldering process easier. Bend the tinned part wire in to a "L" shape using the plier.

Apply the flux with a scrap piece of wire. By poking the glob of flux in to the hole of the soldering tab.

Step 5: Solder the Tip Lug / Bend the Excesses Wire / Prepare Sheild Lug

Picture of Solder the Tip Lug / Bend the Excesses Wire / Prepare Sheild Lug

After soldering the jacks tip, a small portion of
wire protudes on the inside of the soldering tab. The heat shrink cannot slide over this.

Use pliers to bend this remaining wire toward the jacks tip.

Afterwards the tubing should easily slide all the way down and cover the exposed part of the soldered wire.

Step 6: Solder Sheild Lug / Trim Excess Wire / Slide on Sheild Heat Shrink

Picture of Solder Sheild Lug / Trim Excess Wire / Slide on Sheild Heat Shrink

Insert all negative shield connections into their soldering tabs. Solder each one filling the tabs hole completely.

Now that the shield terminal has been soldered it is necessary to trim the excess wire. Use the the wire clipping part of the stripper.

Use the pliers to pull the heat shrink over the exposed wire.

Step 7: Shrink the Tubing / Secure the Ground Clamp / Assemble the Plug

Picture of Shrink the Tubing / Secure the Ground Clamp / Assemble the Plug

Use the warmth of the soldering iron to shrink the tubing. It's usually necessary to place the soldering bit in between the tip and shield soldering lugs. Be careful not to melt or burn anything by actually making contact with the bit.

The shield has a area to clamp down the entire wire. The pull restraint prevents the wire from being accidentally pulled apart. Use the pliers to slowly bend this clamp over the entire wire.

Finally you can screw on the black plastic plug housing over the soldered metal adapter.

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