A plug-in -inch mount headshell for absolutely NO money! May 19th, 2009
You are viewer number  

Required parts

  • short length of 50x50mm 90° aluminium extrusion
  • obsolete Arcnet network cable plug (BNC plug)
  • Vero pins. Vero pins are 1mm diameter knurled solder pins, with a flat top, for making wire connections to PC boards.
  • broken/blunt 1mm drill bit
  • plastic pillar from inbox/outbox filing-tray stack
  • female 'D' connector - from old computer mouse

  • All parts required are to be found lying around house or workshop.

    Tools required are: nimble fingers, small hacksaw, assorted files & drill bits, electric drill, vice, grinder (or drill sharpener), soldering iron. A lathe is desirable, but not absolutely essential.

    It helps a great deal to have a headshell available, from which to take measurements.

    How I did it

    Remove cable crimp sleeve from BNC plug, pull off co-ax cable, remove & discard center contact pin.
    Separate BNC central fluted sleeve from outer bayonet ring. Retain circlip and washers.
    Prize out and discard white inner teflon insulating bush from fluted sleeve.
    Cut off knurled crimping stub from back of fluted sleeve, and drill out center hole to larger diameter.
    Cut appropriate length off filing-tray plastic pillar, turn (or file) down diameter to make it fit snugly into fluted BNC sleeve.

    Drill 4x1mm holes for Vero pins.
    (center 'hole' in example is an air bubble left in the plastic during moulding)
    Drill two 1mm holes on opposite sides in fluted metal sleeve , to accept retaining / alignment pin.
    Insert plastic pillar and drill corresponding holes through that, lining them up with diametrically opposite holes just drilled in metal sleeve.
    Be sure to drill these holes so they pass through centre-line of four axial holes drilled previously.
    Cut short length off aluminium extrusion, and cut to shape.
    Drill and file appropriate holes for cartridge mounting bolts.
    Drill and file appropriate hole for BNC plug's fluted sleeve.
    Buff aluminium angle to desired surface finish, then anodize in 15% H2SO4. Or paint it, instead.
    Solder suitable insulated wires (culled from mouse cable) to tips of Vero pins, and install them into plastic pillar.
    Install the fluted sleeve into aluminium extrusion, add washers as necessary for a tight fit, and install circlip.
    Install plastic pillar with the Vero pins and attached wires into fluted sleeve.

    Grind broken 1mm drill bit to correct length and insert into 'top' hole diametrically through fluted sleeve. Secure by lightly coating drill bit with epoxy glue prior to insertion.
    Cut open 'D' connecter, and remove small gold tulip sockets.
    Solder 4 sockets from 'D' connecter onto the free headshell wires. Trim tulip sockets down in length by cutting off crimped part (bottom socket in example).
    Heatshrink over solder joints looks neater than exposed solder.

    Install your favourite cartridge, plug headshell into tone arm, set cartridge overhang and adjust tracking force and skating compensation.

    Yes, the wiring colours do not follow the usual convention!

    Back to Toys page