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Shortening an IDE Cable?

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Vio1

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2003
Location
Toronto Canada
Anyone know how? or if it is possible? I had one IDE cable laying around and I took it appart... but couldnt get the metal pins back inside the cables... Any help would be cool.
 

Diggrr

Underwater Senior Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2001
I use the caveman method.
Lay the cable flat on a phonebook. Place the connector half with the metal pins over it, making sure it's lined up for each wire to go between the teeth of the pins and that you have the striped wire on the correct side. Then bash it gently with the hammer until the connector is flush on the ribbon.
Flip it over, align the second half of the connector and tap it down onto the pins. It has slots that will finish seating the pins on the cable.

Trim off the excess with a new exacto knife blade making sure that there's no extra tiny bits of wire hangin out or shorting to the adjacent wires.

viola. Custom cable.

If you're making a single device cable, use the end connector, and toss out the middle one (the computer can tell which is which, most cables have one conductor missing in the middle conector).
I cannot stress how important it is to place the connector in the origional orientation. Some cables go straight into the connector, and some fold around a third piece, so it appears to be facing the opposite side.
 

RangerJoe

All that is Man!
Joined
Nov 24, 2001
Location
Stillwater, Oklahoma
Modifying a part like this is almost not worth it. When you can buy a new one, flat or rounded for a few dollars at SVC. If you need a short one, get a 10" or something like that. It is almost not worth the hassle of customizing cheap parts like this, when you can get new ones, that you know will work.

It is like the guy that wants to solder two network cables together. It would just be a better idea, esp for performance if you just buy a new cable.
 

Diggrr

Underwater Senior Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2001
RangerJoe said:
Modifying a part like this is almost not worth it. When you can buy a new one, flat or rounded for a few dollars at SVC. If you need a short one, get a 10" or something like that. It is almost not worth the hassle of customizing cheap parts like this, when you can get new ones, that you know will work.

It is like the guy that wants to solder two network cables together. It would just be a better idea, esp for performance if you just buy a new cable.

Well, in my case I needed a 12" 13" 14" and 15" cable for each of my 4 raid drives.
Rounded cables are not an option because they are NOT truly ATA133. As soon as you bundle the conductors, you loose any ground plane shielding between the wires that was intended with the additional wires in the first place.

You can buy a "one size fits all" solution and try to figure out where to lump the extra cabling, or you can size them yourself. ;)
 

moorcito

Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2002
Location
Chicago, IL
I agree with Diggrr, especially since you can buy IDC/IDS crimpers to create custom cables. Yeah, you can buy smaller cables for a few dollars, but what fun is that.


RangerJoe said:
It is like the guy that wants to solder two network cables together. It would just be a better idea, esp for performance if you just buy a new cable.

Yeah, that was just plain stupid. In that case it would be easier and safer to either buy premade cables, or you could just buy a big spool of CAT5, an RJ-11/45 crimper, plugs and make your own.
 

RangerJoe

All that is Man!
Joined
Nov 24, 2001
Location
Stillwater, Oklahoma
Making your own connector is fine, i mean buying bare cable, and putting them in a connector, but in order to solder all of those cable together he will have to make sure to have very low resistance solder, as well as the exact same amount of solder for each connection, or they will not work the same
 

Diggrr

Underwater Senior Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2001
Yeah, for networking it makes sense to buy new ones, if you want to lengthen them. Shortening is no prob (for me), but soldering to lengthen them is out of the question, and will always end up unbalanced and loosing data.

Being that I work for the phone company, I just go out to the company truck in the driveway, grab some cable out of one of my 1,000 foot boxes and a couple of ends, and whip up my own. I prefer punching down jacks at each computer though, and using stranded wire jumpers.
There's some perks with this job...:D
 

violineb

Member
You know, it's amazing. I was going to make the exact same thread today and then I thought, the heck with it I'll just experiment. Considering that the DVD drives still works, I think I was successful. I personally prefer to stick the connector in a vise to clamp the wires down. Does a more even faster and easier job than trying to hammer it into place IMHO. And like diggrr said, ribbon cables aren't always worse. I have a mod which will be ready this coming week and I'll explain the usefulness of ribbons :D
 
OP
V

Vio1

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2003
Location
Toronto Canada
On a slightly different topic... can I shorten PSU cables? if so any suggestions or tips?

How do you connect the molex connector back on to the cables that you shorten?
 

_slh_

Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2002
Location
Sheffield, UK
shorten them at the psu end instead...desolder them from the board, cut to length and re-solder. No need to buy replacement molex pins then.
 
OP
V

Vio1

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2003
Location
Toronto Canada
_slh_ said:
shorten them at the psu end instead...desolder them from the board, cut to length and re-solder. No need to buy replacement molex pins then.


Good idea! Didnt think about that...
 

Diggrr

Underwater Senior Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2001
It takes a good strong soldering iron to do that though. My 9-70 watt professional iron takes forever to unsolder a pad that large because there's 10-15 conductors taking the heat away from the joint you're trying to melt.
Forget about the little 30 watter from RadioShack working.

One of the trigger style guns should handle it well enough.
 

JDXNC

Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Or for PSU wires you can always take the lazy road, cut out a section of wire in the middle and solder( or tape if your REAL lazy/lacking the tools) back together.

I've made a few motherboard ATX cables longer, it takes time and patients!