wiring a bullet mic

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wiring a bullet mic

Postby jbone1 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:36 am

i have a shure brown bullet, circa 1955. when i got it it had the original crystal element, which unfortunately was bad. i replaced it with a cm a friend had sent me, and it's done well for about 4-5 years now.
recently the mic began crackling when plugged in and i knew it probably had a solder joint going bad or a frayed wire. sure enough, when i pulled the spring cable retainer out and looked over the cable, the ground had become frayed where it exits the spring and mic shell. the cable i am using has one lead inside the shield. the ground is woven around outside the inner sheath and i had twisted this ground wire into a round woven wire and soldered it to one post of the element and wrapped it with shrink wrap.
the issue is, where this wire exits the mic body through the spring retainer/stress relief, it has come apart. normal motion and wear and tear has caused it to fray apart. i know i can just strip everything back and redo the solder joints, but i'm wondering if there's a better way to run the cable out of the mic. that spring does some good i suppose but in the end i suspect this will happen again.

the connection to the element is fine. the problem is where the cable leads run through the spring and into the cable itself. space is pretty limited there. i'm trying to decide if another shrink wrap job on that ground will last long enough to be worth the effort, or if i can come up with a better- cheep-fix!

all opinions welcome and thanks!
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Re: wiring a bullet mic

Postby thebluesbox » Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:55 pm

If your handy with rebuilding things I did this to a Astatic 200S, I cut the handle off, the hole from the handle I put some metal puddy I forgot what its called but you can get it at an auto parts store, its a soft puddy you squeese around and mold it and it dries like a rock. I packed that into the hole and quickly stuck an old switchcraft male connector into it and molded the puddy tightly around the connector real good. When it dries if you have any high spots the hardened puddy is sandable, you pretty it up and then you can paint it.

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Re: wiring a bullet mic

Postby jbone1 » Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:09 am

that's probably JB WELD you used. very rugged epoxy. i've actually tapped threads into a hole drilled in that stuff after it hardened!

not a bad idea with the female end. but i do recall very well, on a different mic, stepping on my cable and yanking the cable out of the mic at the jack, in the middle of a solo!
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Re: wiring a bullet mic

Postby 601blues » Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:24 pm

I use a wireless AKG guitar bug,this solves all my worries, I can turn it off at the bug,and no cables, I can walk out in the crowd and let the ladies see my mouth work the Harp!!
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Re: wiring a bullet mic

Postby bottleneck » Sat Jul 26, 2008 8:19 am

i like an amphenol style 2501mp switchcraft male on my bullets with an adaptor.that way i can use the same cord for several mics and even switch mics mid song.

to add a 2501mp to a shure bullet you should either tap the hole so the threads can be screwed in,or remove enough of the metal on the connector so that it fits in the cord hole.keep it in place with a set screw.

the problem with using jb weld or epoxy,which will certainly work,is that you lose ground .normally the ground of the cord attaches to the strain spring and the ground on the element jumps to it or to the shell itself.

you could put in a new chord with a female 1/4 inc terminating around your belt loop.that would probably be the cheapest way to go.

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Re: wiring a bullet mic

Postby jbone1 » Sat Jul 26, 2008 6:31 pm

for now i'm going to go with the same cable and tap a hole inside the shell to screw the ground inside. soldering to the spring works for a while. i'd rather have a permanent ground mount inside. probably double shrink wrap the wire going through the strain spring.

we have much bigger problems here since we bought a money pit car. a pack of shrink wrap tubes is about all i can afford at the moment!
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Re: wiring a bullet mic

Postby dcblues » Sat Jul 26, 2008 7:58 pm

I would send it to Greg Heumann and have him repair and modify it. But that's just me, because me + a soldering gun (or any tool I'm unfamiliar with) = disaster. :)
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Re: wiring a bullet mic

Postby jeffl » Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:11 pm

I had mine re-soldered to the spring, shrink-wrapped it, and it did not hold up. I still don't have it fixed. I've been on my backup mic for a coupla months now, frustrated. I think the tech's frustrated with it as well, so I haven't taken it back to him yet.
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Re: wiring a bullet mic

Postby bottleneck » Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:43 pm

jeffl,do you live near philly?i could fix it for you.

i once met a guy who put shrink wrap on the ground wire where it met the shell,then couldn't figure out why it wouldn't ground,haha.

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Re: wiring a bullet mic

Postby jeffl » Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:15 pm

bottleneck wrote:jeffl,do you live near philly?i could fix it for you.

i once met a guy who put shrink wrap on the ground wire where it met the shell,then couldn't figure out why it wouldn't ground,haha.

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Nope. Thanks bottleneck, but I live in southern Minnesota. I'm sure I can get it fixed...If my guy can't figure it out (he's primarily a guitar & gear guy), I'll take it to a harp tech I know down in LaCrosse,Wisconsin...about 70 miles away, but I'm there just about once a month anyway. It's been fun using the BluesBlaster anyway...it's a completely different mic and I've been learning more about it since I'm using it. I've got a 57 in my bag I'm using for a backup with the Shure outa action.
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Re: wiring a bullet mic

Postby bottleneck » Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:27 am

dcblues wrote:I would send it to Greg Heumann and have him repair and modify it. But that's just me, because me + a soldering gun (or any tool I'm unfamiliar with) = disaster. :)


that's really the way to go if you can afford it.a 2501mp with an adaptor on all mics is great during gigs.

greg's site: http://www.blowsmeaway.com

he can put the connector on a shure bullet or turn a blues blaster into a jt30,or mod any mic.
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