This is a group order for the following 3.5mm jacks:
What's so special about these jacks? In my ever humble opinion they are the best 3.5mm jacks on the market. They have the buttery smooth action of Cliff jacks, the solid hold of PJ-301s, the reliable switching of Kobiconn 16PJ138s, and a tuxedo appearance that increases modular sex appeal by 10 International Sex Units. They are a 4-contact jack which includes the typical sleeve, tip, and switched contacts, as well as an additional ring connection for anyone that may want to use it as a stereo jack, use splitting cables to access multiple functions from one jack, or throw in some bizarre multi-staged insert feature. If you don't want the ring connection then don't wire the ring lead up and the jack will function exactly as a standard switching mono jack.
These jacks are from the same company as the jacks you'll see on TipTop, Synthwerks, Doepfer parallel-mount modules (like the A-183-2), and the Subconscious Communications Plan B reissues, although these include the additional ring contact as well as some other differences detailed below. The bushing is non-conductive, meaning you can implement these jacks in areas which require (or recommend) insulated ground. They come with a smooth circular nut rather than hex or knurled, which in addition to looking very unique are also able to fit in much tighter spaces if needed - each nut is 10mm across, meaning you can cram one of these in 2HP if necessary and you're into Nut-On-Nut Action(TM). The nuts can be tightened by hand and then given a little clockwise tap with a flathead screwdriver into the slot to seat them nice and snug, which I've found to be far easier for mounting in tight spaces than trying to cram the edge of a socket driver between nuts/switches/whatever. Conversely you could just use pliers with a bit of masking tape on the end to prevent panel scratching, or if you're into efficiency you can easily cut or file a slot into a cheap flathead or piece of sheet metal with a nibbler tool, file, or dremel. There is also a specialized tool available for these nuts from Wiha (PK Elektronik in Europe and KC Tools in the US) [edit: the teeth on this driver are apparently too large to fit the nuts. They may be able to be shaped to size, or may not...proceed with caution]. I personally prefer the hand-tighten/flathead method, which I've found to be a bit easier and less scuffed-panel-worrying than using a socket driver for hex nuts. Here are some glamour shots of the nuts/jacks fitted on various modules:
The switching mechanism is bomb-proof. It does not rely on an isolated spring or precise positioning - it's two metal bars that are either touching or not, and if there is no plug in there they will make a switched connection (see naughty nude shot below - note the sleeve contact has been removed for ease of viewing). I've molested these jacks with multiple plug types and sharp probes in every diabolical way I could conceive and the switch still popped right back to where it should once the plug was removed. Furthermore there is a plastic strain relief built inside the jack itself, meaning with the jack oriented with the "angled" end upward even a dementedly tall stackcable tower will not place any strain on the contacts or otherwise damage the jack.
They have wide-profile solder tabs with drilled holes that can easily accommodate hand-wiring. All four solder tabs are rear-mounted which also allows for quick and easy soldering directly to a parallel-mount PCB. The ground tabs are located in the rear as well, meaning no additional flying-lead connections for parallel mounting like you would find on side-tab Kobiconns. At this rate, this jack may very well save the world some day.
I've done the research into purchasing these to fill my own personal supply for an end-all reliable and multi-purpose DIY jack. After hearing from others who expressed interest I'm offering a chance for people to get in on the order and enjoy the benefits of direct bulk pricing. Mouser offers a similar jack (without tip-switching capability) for $1.36 each (Mouser 161-0352-EX) - I think you'll find the prices from this order to be just a tad more agreeable than that.
The price for fewer than 1,000 jacks will be $0.30 per jack
If you purchase 1,000 or more the price goes to $0.28 per jack
These are high-quality jacks that usually carry quite a price tag. I'm not doing this so that I may spend my days rolling in the two dozen nickels of profit I might amass, otherwise I'd pull a Mouser and add another $1 to each jack. Since this is a dumbass-DIY-thing (DADIYT) rather than a profitable business venture there are a few terms to make this a sanity-conducive experience. Here are the details:
- All orders must be in multiples of 50 (50, 100, 150, etc).
- The circular nuts are included with the jacks in your order. You can also order the nut only for $0.07 per nut. You do not need to order the nuts if you do not want extras - all jacks will come with nuts included.
- Shipping within the US will be USPS Priority. Exact jack amounts per package will be determined once the jacks show up and I can see how many fit in which dimensions, but as a very rough estimate expect the prices to be $7 for 50 - 100 jacks, $13 for 150 - 600 jacks, and $17 for 650 to 1,000 jacks. These prices should stay the same but the amount of jacks fitting in the boxes may shift up or down once I have enough on hand to experiment with. If you want a quantity over 1,000 we'll discuss shipping and find something affordable.
- International shipping will be determined per person/country but will obviously be more expensive. Microscopial (Ross of Lamond Design) has very generously offered to be the shipping point for European orders and Very Angry Mobster (Shannon) has offered the same for Australian orders, both of which could potentially save orders from those corners of the world a healthy bit on shipping. For other areas of the globe expect the cost to range somewhere around 2x to 3x the domestic prices listed above, depending on where you are. Once we've narrowed down orders and costs I'll let everyone know. In the meantime, when placing your order please make a note of the country your address is in so I can organize more affordable international shipping for everyone.
- Payment will be via PayPal. Once the order has been finalized I will send you a PM with your total and instructions for payment. At that point you will be welcome to pay whenever you wish (and it would be appreciated) but payment is not required until the jacks are in my hands and ready to ship to you.
- The factory has suggested a lead-time of 4 weeks from time of order, with shipping taking (ideally) another couple weeks after that. In other words, it may take up to two months for the jacks to get to you after the order is placed. This is comparable to any other DIY group order we've had here, but it's worth noting for those who may be in a hurry.
I will be keeping this thread open for approximately two weeks, provided there aren't any sudden surges of interest late in the game. Once the amounts are finalized I'll place the order and try to look cool for 4-6 weeks. Any information I get on availability will be posted to this thread in the "Updates" post below.
If you're interested in placing an order please voice the quantity you would like in this thread so I can keep things organized. Please only commit to what you will be able to purchase - this is a big overseas freight order for a rather specialty item, so I'm hoping to keep margins relatively tight.
If you have any questions feel free to post in this thread or PM me. If you like your jacks bold, black, and smooth like a fine coffee you will like this thread.