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4. Measuring and preparing cable loom

We would recommend cutting and preparing all the cables that connect your pedalboard to the outside world in one go. This chapter will concentrate on preparing a cable loom, but making your own guitar cable can be seen as a byproduct of the same procedure.

A six-metre loom will serve as our example, which will carry your output signal, the AC power for your board, and a potential remote control cable, from the front of the stage back to your amplifier. Because we use only the most appropriate materials for making our cable loom, there will be no audio interference inside the loom, even though it is a common misconception.

For a finished six-metre loom you’ll need:

– six metres of audio cable

– seven metres of AC power cable

– five metres of cable sock material

That’s right, you need a longer piece of AC cable and a shorter piece of cable sock to end up with the desired length of cable loom.

This is true regardless of the final length of your loom. Your AC cable has to have enough length to comfortably reach the floor at the amplifier end and enough slack to reach inside the pedalboard without cable sock on the top. If you’re using a full stack you can add additional half metre for already added extra length for the power cord. In the end, it is far easier to cut something off, should you feel your AC cord is too long after all, than having to redo the complete loom due to an insufficiently long power cable.

  • Take a tape measure and measure off one metre on the top of the table. Mark that metre using coloured sticky tape.
  • Measure lengths of six metres for all the signal leads you require – like pedalboard output, amp switching, or audio cables for an FX loop.
  • Cut off seven metres of AC cable.

    Please note:

    If you use a Cioks power supply, you will have to use a cable with a cloverleaf (IEC C5) connector, because this connector type isn’t available as an accessory.

    Should the AC cord in one of our cable looms be too long for your rig, you can shorten it by cutting the cable at the Schuko-plug end, and feeding rest of it into the cable sock. Then you can connect a new Schuko-plug to the cable, following the instructions given in this guide´s chapter six.

    • Cut off five metres of cable sock. Use a cigarette lighter right away to melt the fibres around the cuts, otherwise the mesh will start to unravel.
    • While you’re at it, prepare your desired length of guitar cable. It won’t go in the cable loom, of course, but now’s a good time to make this lead, too.
    • Use electrical tape to tape off the board-facing tips of the cables meant for the cable loom. The ends have to be as smooth as possible, otherwise they will catch in the cable sock and rip its inner surface.

    • Lay out and straighten all the cables. You can’t feed looped or tangled strands into the sock.
    • Feed the whole bunch of cables into the cable sock in one go. You have to go very slowly, taking care to straighten the expanding sock, so it will fit on easier. Proceed slowly and calmly.

      Once you’ve fed the cables successfully into the sock, and the bunch has come out at the other end, straighten the sock material once more and remove any kinks. Then roll up the half-finished cable loom cleanly to wait for the next step.

      You can use the Custom Boards Safety Strap to coil up the cable to keep it tidy and controllable during the building process. Both ends of the loom should have equal lengths of cables sticking out from under the sock.

          Fire up your soldering iron. We will need 300-400 degrees Celsius to solder the connectors.

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