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  • Banana Plug Rattling...

    I just hooked up some speakers that I just finished up and made some cables for using PE's 091-352 screw-type banana plugs.* https://www.parts-express.com/parts-...6-pcs--091-352

    After turning it up a bit, I heard a rattling type of sound coming from one of the speakers... oh no, I thought to myself, how did I manage to goof this up? I know all the screws were tight and there were no air leaks...

    Turns out that one of the banana jacks was rattling - a lot...there is considerable play between the expandable part that touches the binding post and the shaft of the plug. I've always known that these will 'turn' but have not had any actually rattle like this. After looking at all of the cables I just made up, about half turn very freely, and a few actually have considerable 'play' in them like the ones that rattled.

    Some quick-fix ideas I thought of...A little solder towards the back...Give it a slight crimp...Blob of super-gel glue towards the rear.

    Have any of you guys had this happen, and if so how did you fix it?

    Additionally, are there better banana plugs for around the same cash? I don't want to go to speakons BTW. I make a lot of stuff that needs cheap cables/plugs.

    Thanks for suggestions,
    TomZ
    *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
    *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

    *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

  • #2
    Tom I have had this happen, but usually only on much older plugs.* And ones I have used for testing, so they get taken out a lot.* With this in mind, I usually just replace them.* It is odd to get the like this brand new.* With that in mind, I cannot help you fix these.* However, I would recommend the Nakamichi banana plugs.* The are less expensive, but hold up real well.* They even employ a double screw system on the wires.* I haven't found a lot of plugs I love at PE.* They used to have some, but they have since clearances them out.*
    All about Speaker Design YouTube Channel

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    • #3
      Try taking a small screwdriver between the seams of the plug and prying the barrel up with a twist of the screw driver.

      Ron
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      • #4
        Temptingly cheap, aren't they? PE has the same thing w/o screw, solder only. The wall of the barrel is just too thin to hold the screw, solder it. I have lots of these, but haven't experienced this. I say solder it, they take solder very well.
        Or, a judicious hammer tap.
        I haven't found any banana plugs that approach this low price, the price makes it worthwhile to fix them.

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        • #5
          This. If a small screw driver won't fit an xacto blade will.
          Originally posted by Ron_E View Post
          Try taking a small screwdriver between the seams of the plug and prying the barrel up with a twist of the screw driver. Ron
          Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
          Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
          Wogg Music

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          • #6
            I (and Matt did too) like the polycarbonate nanners:
            https://www.parts-express.com/Search...itesearch=true

            I don't like the expanders, as most of them will break eventually. Matt's WBT's broke too.
            -3600 or -3602 are really nice BFA or 9-tine with dual set screws, and they take large gauge wires just fine.

            I've used quite a few of these,
            Wolf
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            • #7
              Thanks sir. I checked them out, nice looking units, big set screw too, the Dayton ones can strip pretty easily, or I should say that the screw will break where the flathead screwdriver goes in.
              Question, looks like a nickel outer shell, is that conductive? or insulated somehow?

              Originally posted by Ron_E View Post
              Try taking a small screwdriver between the seams of the plug and prying the barrel up with a twist of the screw driver.
              Ron
              Originally posted by wogg View Post
              This. If a small screw driver won't fit an xacto blade will. Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
              Thanks guys, I'll give that a try.

              Originally posted by djg View Post
              Temptingly cheap, aren't they? PE has the same thing w/o screw, solder only. The wall of the barrel is just too thin to hold the screw, solder it. I have lots of these, but haven't experienced this. I say solder it, they take solder very well.
              Or, a judicious hammer tap.
              I haven't found any banana plugs that approach this low price, the price makes it worthwhile to fix them.
              Yeah, cheap enough to overlook the flaws. I've used probably a hundred of these things over the last 10 years...price becomes an issue in bulk. I've had a lot of the set screws break, but only after being tightened up fairly well, so no biggie. I always coat the bare wires in solder and then crimp it flat with a set of pliers with smooth inside grips so I can get most of the set screw into the barrel.

              Are these the crimp ones you mentioned?: https://www.parts-express.com/gold-p...6-pcs--091-350
              I actually had a set of these in what I just put together and I MUCH prefer these to the screw in types... wonder why they cost so much more that the screw on ones? Looks like they may still have the same issue, though, not sure.

              Originally posted by Wolf View Post
              I (and Matt did too) like the polycarbonate nanners:
              https://www.parts-express.com/Search...itesearch=true

              I don't like the expanders, as most of them will break eventually. Matt's WBT's broke too.
              -3600 or -3602 are really nice BFA or 9-tine with dual set screws, and they take large gauge wires just fine.

              I've used quite a few of these,
              Wolf
              Thanks for the suggestion. I like the BFA (British Federation Of Audio) ones. (Got that from the Q&A...I didn't know that beforehand. )
              They look a lot less prone to rattling issues. I like the dual set screw idea too if you have to use a set screw.
              $3/ea. is a bit steep, but I guess if they work I could try some.

              Maybe I'll pick up a few different ones and see which ones I can deal with cost vs. performance wise. I seem to go through dozens and dozens of these things so I'd like to find a somewhat reasonable solution.

              Thanks for the ideas fellas,
              Happy Memorial Day!
              TomZ
              *
              *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
              *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

              *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

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              • #8
                I do believe the outer shell is still conductive on those.* I can't say for sure, as I have not tested that theory out.* I will say, that I always keep them separated if I am testing with alligator clips.* Of course, when they are on the back of the speaker, I don't care, as they cannot touch.* Some of my test cables, I do use black and red electrical tape on the outer metal as well. It helps keep them from touching and let's me know which is which easily.**
                All about Speaker Design YouTube Channel

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                • #9
                  ITT Pamona.*

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                  • #10
                    Pomona stuff is well made, but the Pomona plugs I've seen are more for test leads. And expensive. Someone give me a Pomona p/n for a reasonably priced item suitable for permanent attachment to large gauge speaker wire and I'll eat my words. While looking at Pomona on amazon, I did see some plugs that are fairly cheap and well reviewed, but the body is not insulated. The PE plugs are still my preference.

                    No snob appeal though.

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                    • #11
                      I got several varieties of cheap Banana plugs over the years, and was not happy with any of them.
                      TZ: I've got a bag of those somewhere, only to be used as a last resort.
                      I finally got some I like - all gold plated, with 2 set screws. I coat the wiire ends with solder and crank down the set screws.
                      Not a single problem in several years. It would be great if the outer shell was non-conductive, but some heat shrink takes care of that.
                      On Amazon, search for "nakamichi banana plugs". Several manufacturers, all about a buck apiece.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks Don,
                        I was able to find some Nakamichi plugs on Ali-Xpress with the BSA tip and plastic housing. I think that's the safest for gifts to people who may not be as careful if you know what I mean. Lots of these little chip amps will just go 'pop' if they short out I'm afraid.

                        I did also get some with the nickel looking outer sleeve. I'm going to assume they are conductive since it looks like they are. They will be for me and my stuff. Funny, the plastic ones are not really any cheaper for some reason.

                        I tried to get a knife edge under the PE ones, but I didn't like the 'feel' of what I was doing as I pried it out. I'll try again when I get home, maybe I was just a bit too tired this morning or the coffee hadn't kicked in yet.

                        Thanks guys for the suggestions. I'll refresh this thread if I find any I really like for the price. I've also thrown a few of the ones Wolf suggested in the cart for the next purchase coming up probably shortly.

                        TomZ
                        *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                        *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

                        *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

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                        • #13
                          Just read that ITT sold Pomona to Fluke over a decade ago. Great products, though.*

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                          • #14
                            Here's what I did to fix these.

                            I put them in my little helping hands magnifier and turned the soldering iron up to high heat. I tinned a little solder at the base of the plug (which basically did nothing) and then at the tip (which did prevent turning of the expander part of the plug) Then I went around the tip of the plug with the iron until the little bit of solder I applied was distributed around the entire tip of the plug including the seam between the tip and the expander part.

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                            Even though I tried to be careful and only apply a small amount of solder, the plug wouldn't go easily into one of my more snug binding posts, so I took some 220 grit and sanded/polished the tip until it fit nicely. I checked to see they fit into the intended amp and no issues.

                            It must be a quality control issue on these as some of my 'nanners' have no play at all and some are loose as a goose.

                            Anyway, problem solved, no more rattling. Thanks for the great ideas guys. I would be a frustrated dude if it were not for my helpful friends at Tech Talk!

                            TomZ
                            *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                            *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

                            *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

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                            • #15
                              Nice wire label.

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