NIKON CABLE SHORTENING


AFFORDABLE NIKON
CABLE SHORTENING

I shorten Nikon Cables.  I have a work station just for it.   And you are probably wondering why Nikon ever made those cables for the SC-17, SC-28, SC-29 so damn long?  

Because Nikon thought these cables could be used for off camera "statue of liberty” shooting, not as common a technique any more with brackets or wireless and integrated flash systems.  So we are stuck with long cables.  

If you put them on a bracket, un-shortened you have “Coilitus”, and three feet of coiled cord.  In fact roping it, a common simple but dumb solution around the handle will ruin it quicker internally.

The internals which were molded on by the sheath rubber-like compound and then treated to retain the loops, to unbend and I have seen them do just that and then you really have a mess that will kink, and peel off, unfixable.  

A smallish break indicates and will disintegrate the entire cable.The older Japanese rubber on the grey SC-17 was good, the Chinese rubber compound on the strain relief is weird, as it age’s, it splits, degauss’s, and literally pulls apart.  

The wire is virtually not solderable unless you are astute at 22 gauge wire butt cold setup soldering.  I had to develop a new non- hot-solder technique for these weaker wire units which is working out well, but complex. 

When Nikon went to China, they lowered the bar.  I said,  “It appears Nikon is doing the limbo on a Chinese Junk on high seas”.   The SC-17 was made in Japan and the newer  28 and 29 series were stamped Nikon JAPAN… But you guessed it  now they are “ Parts and labor from CHINA” the packaging is Japan.  I suspected only the box was made in Japan and used because they had them which I now doubt because the one I got yesterday says “Made in China”.  That ended by confusion, not Confucius that discussion. 1

I published a paper for the home enthusiasts with photos of do-it yourself cable shortening.  It backfired, and I removed it.  I was off the mark estimating the capabilities of home hobbyists to solder and quite a few cables were self destroyed.  

The picture to the right is one that came out perfect, I strive for that, the strain relief fell to my new technique,  but… Understand, this is a repair / service process, not beautification.  I will do my best to make it look good and save the strain relief.    Less cable does mean less resistance, less to rot or  degauss, (fungus trunks at the strain relief. 

Commonly when stretched too often they will break the cover at the strain relief, exposing the ground cable and we may have to make a new PVC layered shrink tube strain relief.  

We check the internals, especially the screws that hold the platform loosen on the top near the flash foot.  On the SC-17 the strain relief is a separate added component and held in place (sometimes) by a soluble glue and is (sometimes) workable intact.  

On most of the SC- 28 and 29 models, sometimes the harness is a molded one part component. This means blind in hand cutting using a Dremel and side cutting drill bits to recut and reshape the part:  I may take it down as far a needed, in some cases even flush; secure it internally; shrink tube the outside and high tac industrial hot glue the mess for stability.  It is hit or miss, some come apart, some don’t.  If the don’t it’s a plan “B”.

"PLAN B"

My goal is making it shorter and usable.  The cracks in the relief basically tell me when to stop unless they have degaussed.   

Because of this, it’s common inconsistency of the product coming into the country I have to make the call as to which end I shorten, the shape of the strain, length, etc.  It all depends what you send me.  


This shaping from weak strain reliefs guarantees no two will ever be the same. "A" Modified strain relief,  "B" Shortened length,  "C"  Removed strain relief parts.    Several have totally unwound, the rubber coming off in strips, really amusing but the cable has to be replaced by those ends I remove from good ones I shortened and that makes for major surgery or modify a totally new cable using your ends but might be just a flash connector and lose the TTL part so you might use the strobe in A mode.

Another trick I learned is to take the ends off,  if usable and utilize telephone cable (round) and rebuild them into twenty-five  foot extensions for off camera shooting that makes sense. I am playing with that now for the guys doing beach shots of half naked ladies destined for stardom in Hollywood, California. The technique is to backlight the model using the sun and moving the strobe close for fill flash, using a long lens for the perspective.  It’s cheaper than buying a 2000 dollar Profoto.

PROCESS
If you want yours shortened just follow these simple instructions. This fee applies to those that haven’t been butchered or why doesn’t it work syndrome?  Most cases I can repair small connections as needed and not charge extra within reason.

Send me the cable via USPS in the seven dollar fifteen-cent small priority mailbox wrapped in a ZIPLOC plastic sandwich bag in case there is a monsoon. USPS small boxes fit in multiples in my mailbox. Otherwise use blister or bubble wrap bags.

Enclose name, address, email, and phone numbers, home and cell.  “No phone” then the name of your carrier pigeon, snail or wombat delivering it to me and how many loops in length (unstretched) you wish the cord to be.

Enclose check for 47.00 dollars ( personal OK) or copy of PAYPAL to  ajacobs2@tampabay.rr.com for those 28-29 series. The SC17 is a much simpler unit and is 37.00 dollars, check or PAYPAL.   A few days later you will have a clean and neat short cord returned by Priority Mail.  Cut and Paste.

SHIP TO:  
ALAN JACOBSON 
APT 3503
1200 COUNTRY CLUB DRIVE
LARGO,   FL  33771-2179