The Cat5 Mod

The cable that connects the gun to the headset is not of the highest quality. ROC and I have recently discovered that a break in one or more of the wires inside that cable shielding was responsible for 90% of the disabling of our "parts guns." Using standard Cat5 inserts from Radio Shack and Lowe's and Cat5 cable readily available from your favorite 24/7 Super center, ROC and I repaired and made fully functional 11 guns previosly suspected to be "dead." How wrong we were! And how easy the fix!

We bought this Cat5 snap-in unit from Radio Shack (RS part# 278-2024) . Expensive, but easy to work with.
We later found bulk "Contractor Packs" of these at Lowe's. "Bulk" means packs of 5 for about $15. You don't get the punch tool with them, though, so, for the sake of having one of those pushy-downy thingies, buy one from Radio Shack.

You then cut the ESS cable in two places, once at the headset, approximately 4" below the spot where it enters the headset, and again at the point just above the point where the cable enters the gun. We have found that the point on the gun's grip is the most prone to wire breakage, which makes sense.

There are six wires in the cable. You strip the black cover off, remove the paper surround, and then spread the seperate wires apart. Do NOT strip those wires... the Cat5 connector does that for you.

Lay the wires into the Cat5 insert. Be sure you remember where each wire goes. We used the following wiring pattern:

You use this pattern on both Cat5 connectors.

Placement of the Cat5 connector in the headset and in the gun grip will require some Dremeling. Exactly where and how depends on which Cat5 connector you wind up using. We actually prefer the one from Lowe's, though we have no pictures of that implantation. Here's where we put the connectors:

Believe it or not, as chunky as it seems, very little plastic had to be removed from either the headset or the grip.

Because these pieces are mounted internally, potential for damage to the cable is minimized.

We are working on a surface-mount fix so that cables can be exchanged without opening the gun or headset, but, at this point, this fix works amazingly well!

Many big thanks to ROC the Gun God who made these mods possible! That's why we call him the Gun God!

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