Its almost like following the spec actually makes a cable work… who would’ve thought.
Now armed with this knowledge, would I be able to make the bad cables work by soldering the shields correctly with a soldering iron, some wire, and a can-do attitude? Short answer…
I soldered the outer cable shield to the connector housing, and lo and behold I got some previously failed parts of the test to pass - namely resistance tests. Signal integrity on the high-speed lines still sucked, probably because each of those lines have their own shield and, of course, it was also left un-terminated.
Trying to solder the high-speed lines didn’t really work as the flimsy shield just shriveled and melted. (I also accidently severed 2 of the lanes with my knife and didn’t feel like spending more time redoing this on a different cable :P )
I am guessing here, but it probably takes at least 3-5 extra manufacturing steps as well as extra material cost for twisted pairs with drain wire to make the cable that worked. And I suppose some manufacturers just choose not to do it to save a buck.
Rest assured, we will find working cables for the store. But in the meantime we might have another project for the LTT team to take on with our cable tester.
Let us know on Twitter @Linustech - or on the LTT forum - if you wanna see some further investigation on this topic!