This page is due to having to make some leads for my TV system. While it is possible to buy SCART leads I wanted to know more about what they were and why some were more expensive than others. I never got a satisfactory answer about commercial leads but I learnt what a SCART cable was, where to get the bits and how to make them. I am just passing on this information for those who may be interested.

I should point out that my background is Science and Technology. I worked for many years as an electrical technician in Science and the manufacture of custom leads is no stranger to me. The pseudo-technical terms used by advertisers make no impression; after some 40 years in electronics I think I know a bit about it.

Onto the lead.

You will need some SCART cable and connectors. Bit obvious but that can be the hardest part. I found a suitable supply of cable from Maplin (UK). I intended to make leads using all the 21 connections so bought the cable suitable for that purpose at just under two pounds a metre. This cable contains 5 co-ax screened leads, 1 screened cable with 4 wires and an earth inside, 4 individual wires plus the main earth wire. The whole cable is screened with the screen connected to the earth wire. For connectors I chose the cheap ones rather than the fancy, much larger and expensive, gold plated ones. These are also very bulky which might be OK for industrial installations but usually space is at a premium behind DVD players, VHS Recorders and Satellite Receivers, etc. Some gold plated versions of the cheap ones would have been nice but they are not stocked. I don't think it actually makes too much difference; not that I would notice anyway. Gold plated connectors are usually corrosion proof in the long term.

I am not quoting Maplin Stock Codes as the parts are quite easy to find and the numbers may change.

You will need five tools:

Junior Hack Saw (tool 1) for cutting the cable to length which is held in the small vice (tool 2).

Reasonably sharp knife (tool 3) for cutting off the outer sheath. Don't go too deep as you will cut into the internal cables and we do not want that. Bending and scoring will produce the desired result.

A pair of hand wire strippers (tool 4) are essential for stripping the insulation from co-ax and single wires. I do not recommend using anything else as this tool creates the least stress on the job.

The 4th tool is a good quality soldering iron with a hot, but small bit. I use a Weller temperature controlled iron but these are expensive if you are not doing a lot of soldering. They are, however, the best. Bit is a small number 7.


Take your connector from the packet, unscrew the hand nut, open the hinged case using your knife and note how and which way the connector goes into the case. Look at the angle of attack that the cable will have when it comes into the case and from which direction. Note that pins 1,2,3, etc are nearest the aperture while the earth wire goes to pin 21 at the other end. You need to remove enough of the outer cover of the cable to allow for all these pins. Study where the audio cable is going to go. Wires need to go straight to the pins that they are soldered onto; there is little room for excess wire in the case. Start the wire cutting and soldering with the audio cable. Put the connector in the small vice at an angle with pins 1,2,3, etc at the bottom. Make a rough layout in pencil on a nearby surface as to the numbering of the pins, which you can refer to as you go. Start with connector A. Look at the wiring chart to find out what that means.

If you do not know how to solder I suggest you abandon the exercise, spend your money and buy a ready made SCART lead. Bear in mind there may be more value in the packet than in the lead. The 'top' 1 metre lead at Currys will set you back some 60 pounds and I bet you can't tell the difference to this one, which will cost you about 5 pounds plus some time and thought.

I have searched the Net for the co-ax colours - Red, Green and Blue are obvious but not the others so these colours are my choice as per the Maplin cable. There does not appear to be a standard.

I have put the drawing and cable list on another page so it can be printed out. The drawing is not mine but I have used it as it shows the co-ax cable inner and screen. Other drawings I have found do not show this important information.

Wiring Schedule for 21 pin cable

Wiring Schedule for 10 pin cable

Useful Link

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