FIM Gold powercable - Changing the schuko connector
This cable is easier to terminate than Cardas Golden Reference, but it's still no standard job
This was a cable brought to me because the male plug needed to be changed from US to European standard. Because there cable uses 3x 2,5mm solid core copper per phase, not many plugs will fit. Therefore, originally ist was soldered. I intended to avoid solder at all cost. Read on to see how I managed to do this.
Attaching a new schuko connector in 9 steps:
Visible are three conductors per phase, covered in solder.
FIM use lots of heat-shrinkable tubing. You have to remove some of this to make space for the connector housing.
The cable is covered in layer upon layer of black insulation tape. You have to peel off some layers in order to make room for the new connector.
Here you can see more clearly just how much copper is used.
Even though a standard Bals schuko has above-average size holes, I still needed to drill them out in order to accomodate the enormous amount of copper that FIM use.
Now the holes are big enough and all cable can be fitted. I did this with the pins removed from the plug because the cables couldn't be bent in position otherwise.
After adding some shrinkwrap, the pins could be inserted into the housing again. Still it was very difficult to bend this kind of heavy gauge cable in position.
With some effort, and the aid of pliers, I was able to bend it all into position and fitting inside the connector housing. The stress-relief could be fitted again and it doesn't look too bad.
But to make it look as new, as well as to add more stress relief, now we needed a nice transition from the connector housing to the cable.
Attaching the Wattgate IEC connector:
I ordered extra strong shrink tubing with a shrink ratio of 4:1. It also has glue inside that melts when heated. Over the first layer of this heavy tubing I fitted another layer of thinner shrink wrap in order to conceil the glue and make for a neater look.
This worked out beautifully
It turned out to be less difficult than the Cardas cable, mosly because of the way the Bals schuko housing opens. Also, because FIM already uses lots of shrink wrap, the modified side looks as if it came from the factory. Also I can confidently say that the cable now probably sounds better than the original, because the conductors were attached directly to the pins, without solder.
Finally, just look at the amazing stiffness of this cable!
If, after reading this article you feel like modifying your own cable, just go for it. I think after reading both this article and the one about the Cardas cable, hopefully you'll have picked up enough tips to have a go at it. Feel free to send me pictures of your own monster-cable-modification. I might even post them on this site!