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Firearms Accessories: Holsters, Safes, Lights & more If it locks up, carries, fits on to or cleans up your firearms, discuss it here.

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Old 08-12-2019, 1:03 PM
dchang0's Avatar
dchang0 dchang0 is offline
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Default MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X cable jacket deteriorated

I have a genuine MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X bought maybe 10 years ago from an authorized dealer.

The cable that goes between the two ear cups deteriorated such that the outer black jacket simply fell apart, splitting open in several places. The warranty is only one year.

I've taken apart the unit (requires a Torx T8 screwdriver) and found that the cable is a 26AWG or 28AWG 8-conductor (non-twisted pair) with braided shielding. It must be no larger than 4.25mm in overall diameter in order to pass through the metal hinges on the ear cups. Only 6 out of the 8 conductors are used.

It is 28 inches, add 1 inch to be safe.

The ends of the wires are covered with a thin layer of hot melt glue and can be directly desoldered and soldered.

I have found a suitable replacement: Belden 83506 cable. It's got a tough Teflon (FEP) jacket, is 4.19mm in overall diameter, and meets the above requirements. The only downside is that it comes only in red, not black. Much of the cable would be covered by the headband cover and the black sleeves that hold the cable to the metal band. The rest could be painted black.

I have not found the equivalent-to-OEM black cable yet, but even if I did, I am not sure I'd buy it given how easily it fell apart over time. I've got a buddy that runs an aerospace company looking for other, better cables.

I'll let you guys know how it works out. The hard part is getting the 4mm cable through the right-angle turn in the metal hinges. The problem with Teflon jackets is that they are less flexible than softer plastics.

As for cost, the Belden cable is just over $7/foot, so it's worth doing this repair when the unit costs around $275 brand new. My pair is one of the older models before MSA supposedly started cutting corners, so I want to repair it and not buy a new one.

Hopefully this helps someone else in the same situation.
I've done a similar repair on a pair of Howard Leight Impact Sport, but in that case the jacket was fine--it was one of the conductors that broke from opening and collapsing the ear cups over and over.

UPDATE:

It does seem that the Belden 83506 cable is too stiff to push through the right-angle joints. I am able to do it, but it's slow going and frustrating. Sadly, I searched through Belden and Alpha Wire's catalogs and did not see any other cable that is around 4mm in overall diameter and has 6 or more conductors plus a shield.

The next nearest cable that would work is Alpha Wire's 3306 with PVC jacket, but it is 4.32mm in overall diameter. I measured the metal hinges and the thinnest portion of the oblong hole is 4.25mm. The PVC would be more flexible but would also be cut/scraped more easily.

UPDATE 2:

Belden 83506 is working so far. Another option is to use brand new heat shrink tubing to re-jacket the original factory braided cable. Not sure how long it would last in outdoor conditions and sunlight, but it is an option for anyone who doesn't want to deal with the difficulty of fitting Belden 83506 through the hinges.

UPDATE 3:

I might have found a better cable! TE Connectivity's 55/2184-26 8-conductor braided shield cable is a mere 3.68mm in overall diameter with 26AWG conductors.

This should be very easy to install. I just have to find some.

UPDATE 4:

I gave up on finding the thinner TE Connectivity 55/2184-26 cable for sale by the foot. It seems to be pretty rare--not even the mfg. has it in stock right now. It would be about $13/ft.

I was able to successfully complete the repair using Belden 83506, but it was a royal pain, and there does not seem to be a way to get the cable through the metal hinge without damaging the outer jacket repeatedly. It's still good enough to get by; the headset will last a long time after the repair, but damaging the jacket is less-than-desirable.

I used tent seal (similar to rubber cement) to re-coat the solder joints and make them waterproof.

If anyone else finds this post and finds a 6-conductor braided-shield cable with an overall diameter of less than 4mm for sale by the foot, please let me know.

I can say that my MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X ear pro is working perfectly.

Last edited by dchang0; 08-18-2019 at 9:41 AM..
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