NIKON CABLE SHORTENING

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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 around the handle will ruin it quicker internally.

You are asking 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. 

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”. 

Each batch differs, varies and presents unique problems.  I suspected only the box was made in Japan which I now doubt because the one I got yesterday says “Made in China”.  That ends that discussion.

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 destroyed.  I do it cheap enough as a service so you don’t have to experiment since its ten times the work to fix a botch job.  At some point even botch jobs can’t be fixed with a degree of confidence they will work right. And they came to me botched beyond belief.

The older Japanese rubber 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 un-solderable unless you are astute at 22 gauge wire butt soldering.  I had to develop a new non- hot-solder technique for these weaker wire units which is working out well. 

DISCLAIMER

The picture below 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”.


YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED -  "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.  Sounds simple enough…and then I get 5 or 6 a month by hobbyists needing drastic rescue because their brain fart didn’t work.

Again, some of the older ones I’m getting are so ruined because of degaussing, the actual compound is rotting itself and decomposing and the only way is to hard seal it, locktite the internals, make an end from progressive shrink tube, use wire ties internally to secure,  and epoxy glue it back.   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.  

But after the shortening/repair, the darn thing will work and has worked well.  It is sealed permanently.  When they do go bad I sometimes can make single contact, no TTL contacts for something like a SONY 6000, PANASONIC or FUJI with a single pin hotshoe. Sometimes with extra cable from cutoffs I can save the ends.

Another trick I learned is to take the ends off,  if usable and utilize telephone cable (round) and rebuild them into twenty foot extensions for off camera shooting that makes sense. I am playing with that now.


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 six dollar twenty cents 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 45.00 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.

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