1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Modding Adventures in shortening SATA cables

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Splynncryth, 6 Oct 2009.

  1. Splynncryth

    Splynncryth 0x665E3FF6,0x46CC,...

    Joined:
    31 Dec 2002
    Posts:
    1,510
    Likes Received:
    18
    After giving up on buying short SATA cables, I decided I'd have to make some myself.
    I was referred to a MetkuMods guide so I figured I'd have to do it myself. I probably should have used the SATA cables I had lying around, but when I was out at Fry's looking for something else, I picked up a cheap SATA cable to mess with. When I started sizing it up for dissection, it looked like it was a different system. It turns out the cable used a crimped connector. So I tried to take it apart and re-crimp the cable. That failed miserably, but I learned enough to retry and I've now made 2 cables for my project.

    Let me apologize in advance for some of the photos. I was eager to get the job done, but figured I'd document it for Bit. I could not find my 'good' camera, so I dealt with my temperamental one. I did not properly review all the images before moving on to the next stage in my mod.
    I'm bound to have made some mistakes in this guide too, so point them out and I willcorrect them :)

    Here is the cable and packaging for reference
    [​IMG]

    The first thing I did was to remove the metal retention clip. It will interfere with re-crimping the cable later. Sorry for the blurry images, I did not realize my mistake until I dumped the pictures after I was done. I'll try and fix the image later, but I want to get this guide up while I still remember what I did :)
    First, push the metal part forward enough for you to be able to lift the little metal 'wings' on the top part out of the notches.
    [​IMG]
    Then the whole thing can slide forward and out of the connector.
    [​IMG]

    Here is an attempt to show the detail of the plug. I pried the cable apart at the seam.
    But before I started prying, I took some steps to make the process a little easier. Otherwise, you risk bending the pins and you cannot re-crimp the connector.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So I said I needed to make the de-crimp process easier. I did this my heating the cable to soften the insulation on it. What did I use? Boiling water!
    [​IMG]

    Yea, I'm serious. It's the best way to make sure you don't melt things but still get it hot enough. I doused the part for 30 seconds before trying to pry it apart. the trick is to get the cable soft, not the connector, so 30 seconds is about the most I advise.
    I dabbed the connector with a paper towel to dry off the scalding water, then held the connector with a rag while I pried things apart.

    This is the disassembled connector
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    and the cable itself
    [​IMG]

    Make a note of which side of the cable is which so you don't get it backwards later. but as a check, when you fold the cable in half, the connectors should like up like this:
    [​IMG]

    Once it is all apart, cut the cable to length, make sure the edges are as square as you can get them (90 degrees to the cable). Slip the black cap back on, it makes things much easier later.
    [​IMG]
    Gently deform the insulation to keep things together if you have too, but the cap fit snugly enough for me that I did not have to worry.

    then, put the end of the cable in the boiling water for 30 seconds and try to get things lined up with the connector. If you are quick, you may even be able to fully crimp the connector. I'm not, and I stopped when I felt resistance. I was paranoid about breaking the pins.
    So I was left with this:
    http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/3119/dscf0021n.jpg[/url]
    So it was back in the boiling water for about 15 secs, and I finished the crimp.

    Here is the shortened cable.
    [img]http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/9822/dscf0022da.jpg

    Here is the reason for my short cables:
    [​IMG]


    I did not seem to have any problems with the cables getting water logged. The worked when I tested them. I'll have to wait and see how they hold up long term. I probably could have dunked the ends in alcohol to displace the water then let the whole thing dry if I was really paranoid.
     
  2. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

    Joined:
    9 Sep 2005
    Posts:
    8,614
    Likes Received:
    197
    so is that a modded IDE hot swap bay, with 8GB flash and a laptop drive?

    nice little easy mod with that style of connector! thank you
     
  3. Goose360

    Goose360 New Member

    Joined:
    23 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    64
    Likes Received:
    4
    very cool :thumb: I think I'll have to try that, should the need arise
     
  4. Splynncryth

    Splynncryth 0x665E3FF6,0x46CC,...

    Joined:
    31 Dec 2002
    Posts:
    1,510
    Likes Received:
    18
    Yes. the boot drive to my "server" (I use it for a lot of stuff so it's hard to pin down it's role) started to get flaky, so I'm replacing it. I'm separating the OS from data.
     
  5. icutebluezone

    icutebluezone The meaning of life is to MOD

    Joined:
    6 Aug 2007
    Posts:
    1,326
    Likes Received:
    19
    Very nice mte have to try this. Would save me importing sata cables and the killer shipping costs. :D mite see if i can pickup a cable tomorrow.

    I have shortened IDE cables before and sleeved them its kind of fun and very enjoying when done and works. :D
     

Share This Page