How to Make an AV Cable

By David Lipscomb

Making custom AV cables can result in superior performance than from store-bought offerings.
i rca cables isolated image by JoLin from

Making AV cables is a useful skill for anyone wishing to do his own wiring. Audio and video cables are fairly easily constructed using basic soldering skills and the proper materials. Advantages for making custom AV cables are choice of materials and the ability to make precise, application-specific lengths designed to maximize signal transfer. Once these cables are completed, a system can be signal-optimized and, typically, at lower cost than using pre-made store-bought cabling.

Remove 1 inch of insulation from each end of the RCA cable. Only remove down to the shielding; do not cut through it.

Untwist the shielding from the cable and cut it off. Cut off 1/2 inch of insulation from the inner conductors. Twist the bare wires tightly.

Designate one conductor as the positive and another as the negative. Slide the RCA connector over the end of the cable. Solder the positive (signal carrying) conductor to the center post. Solder the negative to the outer portion of the designated inner location of the RCA, grounding the cable.

Screw the outer shell of the RCA connector over the connector until fully seated. Repeat the steps for both ends of the individual cables.