# Sourcing slim 3.5mm stereo jack plugs

I'm not sure if this question is appropriate for the forum: I'd like to make up some male to male stereo leads with a 3.5mm jack at each end. The only assemble-yourself ones I can find are pretty fat. What I'd love it a self-assemble plug that's slim like the iPod headphone jack. Anyone know where to get them?

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You think that's fat. I usually can't do better than these. –  Martin Mar 2 '12 at 13:04

found them!

This company has cables on Digikey but these awesome plugs are not there, only on their site. They are made to be over molded after the connections are made but they are perfect! I was looking for these for a long time lol.

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To properly use those connectors, you need to use an injection-moulding system to shoot plastic or rubber over the soldered connector. They do not come with a housing. –  Connor Wolf Apr 9 '12 at 5:06
Thanks, I think that deserves a tick. –  Rocketmagnet Apr 9 '12 at 10:13
I think that heat shrinking tube might work. –  clabacchio Apr 9 '12 at 10:32

Assemble-yourself ones are fat because you can unscrew the case to solder wires. The iPod ones are small because they are manufactured industrially and cased, without the possibility to unmount them. That's also why repairing that kind of jacks is painful.

One solution, even if not really clean, is to use two headphones with the connector you like, cut the wires and solder them together covering carefully all the wires (make sure that they are isolated) with heat-shrinking pipe. It's a precision handcrafting work, since you have 3-4 thin wires (3 if you solder the return wire of the channels together) that have to be isolated each other, and an external casing, which is the easiest part of the job.

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Yes, I am considering doing that. iPod earphones are fairly cheap, but I'd rather buy the connectors if it's possible. –  Rocketmagnet Mar 1 '12 at 13:05
@Rocketmagnet There are also chinese equivalents of iPod earphones, and while the earphone itself may be crappy, I think that for sourcing the cables they are almost equivalent –  clabacchio Mar 1 '12 at 14:19
Having three teenagers with multiple iPods, I've had the chance to take apart many different manufacturer's headphones. The wires in some headphones are made of string that's wrapped in very thin copper wire. Makes the cord very flexible but nearly impossible to solder. Even if you could solder it, the connection to the connector is very weak. Just a few connects/disconnects and it'll break again. What we do now is buy a good set of headphones and spend an additional $5 for extended, no-matter-what warranty. If the headphone breaks, take it back and get another one. Best$5 you'll ever spend! –  MarkSchoonover Mar 1 '12 at 15:31
Yeah, that's what I was worried about with the earphones option. –  Rocketmagnet Mar 1 '12 at 17:22

Just discovered that you can also buy audio leads with slim connectors on them from eBay. Here's one seller that has them.

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