We would like to welcome Kordz Director of US Operations, Michael Schaller to the D-Tools Newsletter Community! He will be contributing a series of articles, providing his insight about HDMI Cabling for D-Tools Newsletter subscribers.

Kordz Gen 4 Cables – Cable Construction 101
Michael Schaller

Hello D-Tools Newsletter Subscribers! Have you ever seen the inside of a HDMI cable? Ever wonder how a single cable is able to transmit up to 10.2gps of audio and video data? What’s the big deal regarding HDMI cables anyway? Over the next few months, I will go over a number of important construction differences and other aspects of HDMI cabling – contact termination, connector shielding, connector tolerances, shell construction and the importance of the infamous HDMI Trademark and Logo Guidelines.

For this month, we’ll look at contact termination, one of the most overlooked aspects of the HDMI cable.  Before we get started, however, just a little background on where Kordz has been and what we are doing…

As of mid 2009, Kordz is the only cable brand in the world to have evolved to it’s 4th generation of HDMI™ interconnect. We started with our first generation back in 2005, using what was then state-of-art technology and cable construction methods such as in-shell PCB and hand soldering. GEN-2 was introduced in 2006, maintaining the same termination techniques, but with an upgrade to cable flexibility and shielding. GEN-3 came in ‘07 with the appropriately named “Evolution” series. Upgrades included improved cable stock to meet the demands of the evolving HDMI 1.3 spec, further research and development in silver plated conductors and the benefit to the HDMI bitstream, and in-shell filters for noise reduction and longer reach capabilities. These developments led to the release of the flagship MASTER series in January 2008; the pinnacle of this existing cable design platform. However we still we desired to do better, but the only way to further improve was to dump the platform and literally start again…. so that’s exactly what we did!

There is not one single element of the entire cable design that has not been addressed and improved in moving from our GEN-3 to GEN-4 cables. There are many ways to achieve a similar result at each step of designing and building a HDMI cable, and the singular deployment of any one of these develop­ments would result in a superior cable to those before it. However Kordz GEN-4 leaves nothing to chance and uses EVERY ONE, making it truly without peer in the market today.

With that background, let’s get into contact termination!

Contact Termination

There are 5 main ways to terminate the cores of HDMI cable stock to the pins of the connector;

1. Hand soldered via PCB …….. Developed back in 2003/04, and still VERY common today. No way of maintaining consistency of heat and solder volume between cores. Popular due to economics and redundancy of R&D

Method 1

2. Hand soldered via direct pin . Better than PCB as the contacts end up closer to the pins, as long as the twisted pairs are maintained consistently! However the issues of solder and heat inconsistency remain.

3. Crimp ……………………………… rarely used but reliable form of termination, but generally only for 30AWG or thinner (ie short lengths)

4. Semi-auto / hot bar …………… Cable cores are stripped and solder paste applied, inserted into connector and hot bar dropped to solder contacts simultaneously

5. Full auto solder ………………… the Kordz B.O.S.S. process uses laser cable stripping technology with solder paste application. A targeted frequency fuses the contacts through electrolysis, free from radiated heat, with unrivalled precision and consistency across all terminals.

Method 5

Next month, we’ll move on to connector shielding.

Should you have any questions regarding this newsletter and need any additional information regarding Kordz or any Kordz products, please feel free to contact:

Michael Schaller