How to make your own electronics connectors (Plugs)

Tube sockets are often used in older equipment for optio ns or I/O. Ever need a plug to fit a 9-pin or 7-pin tube socket? Or any socket? Here's how to make a plug for a 9-pin tube socket. Other plugs can be made with these instructions too, just use your imagination and take care when assembling the parts.

For 7 or 9-pin, you can make a very nice plug by:

1. Place a piece of electrical tape over a 9-pin socket.

2. Cut some 1.5" pieces of the correct guage wire

3. Put a small u-shaped kink in about the middle of each wire.

4. See tha t they are all still otherwise straight.

5. Force the wire through the tape into the holes of the socket as though they were tube pins

6. See that they are all equally inserted and sticking up straight, and the kinks don't touch, etc.

7. Place a 1/2" tall piece of cardboard or other insulating tube of an appropriate diameter on the socket.

8. Run a very thin bead of hot glue around the edge of the tube to temporarily seal it to the layer of tape on the socket.

9. Fill tube flu sh with non-conductive epoxy. JB-weld claims to be nonconductive, but the package says it has metal in it, so I caution against it.

8. 24 hours later, disassemble this and you will have a perfectly professional 9-pin plug. You can use needlenose pliers to bend a little loop in the end of each wire for the cable attachment.

Notes: 1. the wire pins of the plug should stick about 1/4 or so into the socket. Check to see they are long enough for your job before epoxying.

2. The kink uses about 1/4" of wire. The kinks are to be encased in the epoxy, that is, at a level down in the insulating tube. The kinks help strengthen the plug and are not strictly necessary.

3. There should be about 1/2" of wire length above the top of the insulating tube so you can make loops or whatever. You might even use another tube socket up top to retain the alignment of the pins till the epoxy is cured.

4. The electrical tape is meant to seal the socket used for assembly from penetration by the epoxy. It is ruinous for the epoxy to get past the tape and into the socket's holes! Any material, such as a thin plastic foam disc, etc., can be used as long as it will seal against the epoxy. A very thin layer of hot glue could also be used directly on top of the electrical tape to insure a seal, but hot glue is not always a good thing -depends what you are doing. I have never had an issue with leakage, but it depends on very careful assembly to avoid having the pins make larger holes in the tape than necessary. A tape more like rubber and less like vinyl is a good choice.