I shorten and lately, most of the times repair Nikon Cables, as the production from China got worse rather than better. I have been doing it for more than forty years. I have a work station just for cable repair.  And you are probably wondering why Nikon ever made those cables for the SC-17, SC-28, SC-29 so damn long?  

Because Nikon thought these cables could be used for off camera “statue of liberty” shooting, not as common a technique any more with brackets or wireless and integrated flash systems.  

So we are stuck with long cables.  If you used them on a bracket, you have “Coilitus”, and three feet of coiled cord, a nuisance.    In fact roping it around the handle will cause the Chinese cable to split open, many do this.  Bad for you, good for me, keeps me busy.

The internals which were molded on with the sheath rubber-like compound and then heat treated to retain the loops, will fall apart, unbend and I have seen them do just that and then you really have a mess that will kink, and the entire mass will split and completely peel off, unfixable.  The entire cable loops and all be gone and just the wires left.  The covering just falls off

After you send me the remains (just the end pieces if that bad)  you have choices after I look at it.  And I will call you and hopefully I can save the rest, fix the bad end and remake the cable.  If the cable is bad on both ends like shown in the picture just below, we have several choices.  Repair cables and parts are getting scarce.  Almost robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Make something like a same size short cable attempting to retain the TTL.  Make a long twenty foot Mono Cable out of it.  Which is like a long extension trigger used for Beach scenes with extreme backlighting.  No-TTL  but useful for various other purposes. I make a lot of those for the guys who shoot A mode.

t is not a good idea to use a cable that has torn ends or breaks near or in the strain relief as seen on this sample I received. The rubber covering is eating itself and splitting.  The strain reliefs , a different plastic  are degaussing and might be the cause of the splitting. Impure plastics just like impure China Steel.

Now you have a break in the open wiring, part of which is a gaggle of wires with an exposed ground, connected to a strobe with 320 volt capacitor inside triggered by the camera.  Those 28 gauge wires go to the squelching circuits in the flash and to the camera motherboard.

Electricity sometimes jumps around, they may be called shorts but they are long in damage. The perfect storm especially since the five (quenching and focus control wires) plus one ground wire is only rated at 3 volts and capacitors are rate at 320 to 330 volts. And this is thin 22-28  gauge wire in thinner coverings.  The Chinese use whatever is laying around.  

So you get to celebrate the “ Fourth of July” in your hand and unknown financial disaster from MAC Nikon repair for your brand new Nikon 800 series. Repairs which starts at $179.00.

A smallish break anywhere in the strain relief indicates and will disintegrate the entire cable.The older Japanese rubber on the grey SC-17 was good, the Chinese rubber compound on the strain relief is weird, as it age’s, it splits, degauss’s, and literally pulls apart.  

Here is a good example of bad karma.  I could crush the strain relief remnants with my fingernail.  It was a severe
complete degauss of the cheap plastic.

PROBLEM - WORST THIS WEEK - 12-01-2017  
Just above, here is a working example sent to me with the rotten Chinese compound which makes the SC-29 totally useless. The strain relief for repairs they use is unavailable as it is proprietary from a mold, made of a bad composition like used guava jelly and bubble gum, supports nothing, cheap at best and not available from any of my sources.  

Again , there are NO aftermarket strain reliefs I could buy for the SC cables and I have looked for ten years for one that would be compatible.  They would make them for me if I ordered 5000.  No way Jose...

This is a hit or miss repair using several techniques and I am going to use shrink tubes to manufacture a strain relief which is the only repair as shown on the worst one of the week. The repaired cable is below with the red border.

I have used SC-17 cables for those wanting the lock features on short SC-28, 29 when they were totally ruined. When one end is shot, but usually both ends are going bad and the 29 with it’s optical head is sheer micro work.

The wire is virtually not solderable unless you are astute at 22-28 gauge wire butt cold setup soldering.  I had to develop a new hot-solder technique for these weaker wire units which is working out well, but complex.  One miss with the solder tip and you are finished.  As far as technique goes, it’s all in the wrist.  

The other game-killer is when you loose one of the wires from the pins and try to reconnect.  Very tricky because of the solder they used in China.  You will clean the joint off and not get a good joint or get a glob so that the pin on a spring doesn’t function.  Useless cable. I might have to build a manual no ttl cable from it,  just a trigger or use it for something else, just to save something.

I also had to develop a new technique to prevent the cable from putting a strain on the solder joints and that is metal and working perfectly.  Using HD tubing in layers, a metal stop and epoxy, I have the solution. It’s a lot of work but its usable, strong and hopefully will last a lot longer.

All of this was needed to fix the worst of the week just to the right, there it is the before and the after.

The SC-17 was made in Japan and the newer  27, Disc, 28 and 29 series were stamped Nikon JAPAN… “ Parts and labor from CHINA” the packaging is Japan.  The new ones,  SC-28, SC-29 are “Made in China”.   The SC-29 picture to the right is one that came out perfect, I strive for that, the strain relief fell to my new technique,  but… thats because it was an older batch when the SC-28/29 first were made in Japan and  then they went off to China and again things went downhill when the Chinese cheapened it.

Understand, this is a repair / service process, not beautification.  I will do my best to make it look good and save the strain relief.  A higher percentage of the reliefs have already failed, or will fail and I will make a new relief.  Less cable does mean less resistance, less to rot or  degauss, (fungus trunks at the strain relief) . 

We check the internals, especially the screws that hold the platform loosen on the top near the flash foot.  On the SC-17 the strain relief is a separate added component and held in place (sometimes) by a soluble glue and is (sometimes) workable intact.  

No way to tell but with luck on some of the older origional SC- 28 and 29 models, sometimes the relief is a molded one part extra component and comes off.   Not all the time but when it doesn’t,  it just means blind in hand cutting using a Dremel and side cutting drill bits to recut and reshape the part:  

I may take it down as far a needed, in some cases even flush; secure it internally; shrink tube the outside and epoxy or high tac industrial hot glue the mess for stability.  It is hit or miss, some come apart, some don’t. 

My goal is making it shorter and usable.  The cracks in the relief basically tell me when to stop unless they have degaussed.   

Because of this, it’s common inconsistency of the product coming into the country I have to make the call as to which end I shorten, the shape of the strain, length, etc.  It all depends what you send me.  

Another trick I learned is to take the ends off,  if usable and utilize a specific electrical  underground (round) cable not the flat stuff and rebuild them into twenty-five foot extensions for off camera shooting that makes sense. 

If you want yours shortened just follow these simple instructions. This fee applies to those that haven’t been butchered or why doesn’t it work syndrome?  Most cases I can repair small connections as needed and not charge extra within reason.

Send me the cable via USPS in the seven dollar fifteen-cent small priority mailbox wrapped in a ZIPLOC plastic sandwich bag in case there is a monsoon. USPS small boxes fit in multiples in my mailbox.  Otherwise use blister or bubble wrap bags.

Enclose name, address, email, and phone numbers, home and cell.  “No phone” then the name of your carrier pigeon, snail or wombat delivering it to me and how many loops in length (un-stretched) you wish the cord to be. 

Initially, just send return postage with the cable, I will call you and advise at that point the balance is due if we proceed.

Enclose check for 47.60 dollars ( personal OK) or copy of PAYPAL to for those 28-29 series. The SC17 is a much simpler unit and is 37.60 dollars, check or PAYPAL.   A few days later you will have a clean and neat short cord returned by Priority Mail.  Cut and Paste.

Send me the parts, the mess and a check or cash for 7.15 and I will call you with costs and an explanation of what we can do. Shorten, modify, beach cable, burn, throw away or do nothing, etc.   A few days later you will have a new product to use, or the mess mailed back to you, hopefully with a clean and neat short cord returned by Priority Mail.  Cut and Paste.


•  Shortened  to 15-24 coils, read section on Cable Shortening.
•  Model 17 -   $47.15  includes return shipping. 
•  Models 28-29 -  $57.15 includes return shipping.